The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations

Young Vic Theatre

Founded in 1970 by Sir Laurence Olivier, the Young Vic presents the widest variety of classics, new plays, forgotten works and music theatre. They have established an international reputation creating work with the world’s best directors, designers, technicians and actors, as well as providing a platform for a new generation of talented British theatre makers, particularly directors. This fusion of youth and experience, ambition and genius, makes the Young Vic one of the most exciting theatres in the world. The Young Vic audience is famously the youngest and most diverse in London, the theater puts a strong emphasis on reaching out to all audiences and especially to people who would never come to the theater via specific outreach programs.

A theater for everyone, the Taking Part Program

The Young Vic is a theatre for everyone. Around 100,000 people visit the theater in London each year and thousands more on tour. Whilst theatre making is their core activity, their commitment to do more than simply produce shows is evident in their Taking Part Program.

It aims to break down the barriers that prevent the widest range of people from experiencing theatre, both as makers or observers. Each year the program works with over 10,000 people and at least 250 schools and community organizations from the local boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. All projects are offered for free to participants in order to attract those who might not otherwise be able to take part or see theatre of the highest quality.

A focus on the two neighboring boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark

The whole team is committed to making the Young Vic a place where local people, young and old feel welcome.
Both boroughs have high levels of deprivation, ranked 5th and 9th respectively amongst London boroughs, and are ethnically diverse with a high percentage of residents from black and minority ethnic groups. Over 150 languages are spoken in local schools across the boroughs with English as a second language for many. In addition there are high rates of child poverty, increasing numbers of lone-parent households, low levels of educational achievement and high levels of long-term unemployment.

They use theatre-making practices to provide constructive and enjoyable creative activities led by professional artists. They aim to use their skills to support these young people’ experience and access to theatre, to develop confidence and equip them with transferable skills to support their ongoing development.

Theater workshops, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations engage in cultural mediation

In conjunction with their productions, the Young Vic team runs specific in-school and on-stage theater workshops around them. They develop an educational outline and tools for every play and work with schools in Lambeth and Southwark to deliver these workshops. They each engage 20-30 pupils and are led by the assistant director from each production and a professional actor. It gives pupils direct contact with artists who have an in-depth knowledge of the play. The students will be given a short excerpt from the Young Vic’s production, which they will analyze; unpicking the language, meaning and themes. Pupils will then look at ways to direct the excerpt - exploring movement, characterization and voice - and perform their version to the group at the end of the workshop. During on-stage workshops, they will have the opportunity to work with members of the production crew - lighting, sound and stage management - to see how technical elements are achieved and contribute to the performance.
This tailored program is adapted to each production and needs of the participating classrooms. The students will gain a first-hand understanding of what a theater is and of how a professional show is created. They will become spectators and hopefully more engaged actors in their lives.

This program clearly incarnates the work of the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations in cultural mediation. They firmly believe in an inclusive education that expands cultural views and opportunities for students and help them define themselves in their own unique ways.