By Rooney John
“Stories have got magic in them. It’s in the walls, it’s in their hands, it’s everywhere.”
MakeBelieve Arts offers innovative, high quality programmes to develop the creative, emotional and cognitive potential of children and young people across the UK. Based in Deptford, South London the educational theatre company and social enterprise believe in the power of story to re-engage children with learning.
MakeBelieve Arts use storytelling and theatre to teach subjects across the curriculum, including English, Drama, Mathematics and Science. Their aim is to change the way children engage with learning through creative education, giving them the skills to cope within an increasingly complex world.
“I am passionate about children believing they are capable of everything, and the work we do enables them to do that,” said Pippa Taylor, the administrative director, adding: “We have seen first-hand the value of narrative in problem finding and problem solving, helping children to understand and evaluate their experiences from new perspectives”.
The organisation was founded in 2002 by MakeBelieve Arts artistic director Trisha Lee to provide creative programmes and theatre work in schools. Since then the organisation has had a huge impact, helping to nurture and educate thousands of young children and have established themselves as a high quality provider of services across London.
Trisha believes that creativity can help young people learn in a school environment and also after they leave school. However this is not a view shared by the government, who have taken drama out of the primary school curriculum. While this has lead to MakeBelieve Arts struggling to get funding in recent years their aim has always been to work with communities that don’t traditionally access the creative arts.
MakeBelieve Arts has recently expanded to work across the UK, as well as developing programmes in Spain, Qatar and the United States. The educational theatre company hopes that moving forward they will continue to be able to creatively engage with more and more children through theatre and learning. To find out more visit their website