Representing important women throughout history has always been high on The Drama Hut’s agenda. Our professional actors portray amongst others, Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, Boudicca, Sylvia Pankhurst, Amelia Earhart and Rosa Parks and we have been delighted to see a steady increase in the demand for these workshops.
One of the most rewarding elements of our job is visiting schools to watch first hand, our carefully crafted sessions brought to life. Our Suffragette workshop, run by Sylvia Pankhurst always produces some great discussion amongst Year 5 and 6 girls and boys, it’s exciting to see primary school children engaging in political debate. The same is true of Rosa Parks, who leaves the children wondering about what it is that they might do to change the world. Recently we had the pleasure of watching a group of Year one children at a school in Hampstead, chanting in unison with Mary Seacole: I can, I will, I can!
International women’s day is a great way to recognise and celebrate women, however, The Drama Hut celebrates great women, almost every day of the school week!
Lillie, an actress and long-standing member of our team, shares some of her thoughts on representing these women and working with primary school children to tell their stories….
“When I first started working for The Drama Hut, I was so excited to be able to portray so many significant figures from history, to be able to share their stories and achievements. It is wonderful that these workshops led by prominent female figures are always so popular. I was really pleased recently to learn that distant relatives of mine were Suffragettes who campaigned outside Parliament. It seems fitting that I now get to portray Sylvia Pankhurst, recreating rallies and staging protests in school halls up and down the country, with the children shouting ‘Deeds Not Words’ and ‘Votes for Women’ at the top of their lungs!
At first, I was daunted by certain workshops, such as taking on the great Celtic Warrior Boudicca for our Roman session. I remember learning about her when I was at school and being in awe! I love it now, classes are always shocked when they see me burst out of the P.E cupboard; fiery red hair, blue war paint smothered on my face, sword, and shield in hand!
Seeing the children’s reactions and hearing them talk about the workshop as they leave, is so rewarding. It’s something so different and exciting, you know that they will remember the experience and the characters they have met, hopefully for years to come!