Skills for life

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


The Warehouse Theatre is a very valuable local community asset comprising the Ilminster Entertainments Society (IES), with over 200 active and social members and The Ilminster Youth Theatre (IYT) which currently caters for 76 children, with 13 children on the waiting list. The Theatre also provides accommodation for community use such as meetings, social gatherings and fundraising events.

The Ilminster Entertainment Society was founded to educate members of the public in all forms of dramatic and musical art particularly by the presentation of live amateur performances.

ITY is operated as a non-profit making organisation and exists to provide an education in stage skills and experience in theatrical performance for young people aged between 7 and 18 years. It aims to challenge young people of all backgrounds to develop confidence, creativity and consideration for others in the context of amateur theatre. The IYT operates four groups PROLOGUE (Years 1 and 2), ACT 1 (Years 3-5). ACT 2 (Years 6-8) and ENCORE (Year 9+). The children who participate in the Youth Theatre also get the opportunity to write and direct their own plays (with adult assistance) which helps to develop their creative writing skills. The IYT helps children to develop important life skills, this includes: confidence in public speaking and performance; working as part of a team and co-operating with peers; demonstrating commitment to a task such as regular attendance to rehearsals and learning lines; concentration and listening skills and leadership through acting out a range of situations and emotions. The children are also able to develop greater empathy and emotional intelligence allowing them to express and understand different points of view.

Analysis of Need:
An analysis of need demonstrated that The Warehouse Theatre is short on three main accommodation requirements:

1. Additional drama workshop and rehearsal facilities, particularly for the use by the Youth Theatre.
2. Stage workshop facilities and associated storage (which need to be in the Theatre or at least immediately adjacent to it).
3. Another large dressing room area, which needs to be in the Theatre itself.

The opportunity has arisen to purchase the old Bakery next door to the WarehouseTheatre which would primarily accommodate the growing activities of our Youth Theatre by providing a rehearsal space, but would also provide much-needed extra storage for set building and wardrobe.

If funding is awarded and the building successfully purchased, the additional space will provide an immediate and more intimate working area for smaller group activities and a wide range of community uses/functions in the future. The smaller workshop areas will also provide the older children (Year 9+) greater opportunities to assist with the younger age groups and allow them to develop their directing and coaching skills.

We believe that future expansion will ensure the long term sustainability of The Warehouse Theatre, the IES and the Youth Theatre. By involving the children in this valuable community project, it will foster their long term commitment to the Warehouse Theatre and help to ensure it remains a valuable community facility for future generations.

The Warehouse Theatre

In only 6 months over 50% of the targeted funding has already been achieved through the hard work of a small committee and the Youth Theatre Apprentice Challenge which has encouraged participating children to create their own fundraising activities, while also teaching them essential life skills.

Location: Ilminster