Skip to content

The Brit School

  • Case Studies
The Brit School 01

Emma Banton, Director of Applied Theatre and Community at The Brit School, talks about our work together to support creative expression.

Our work with Certitude is all about giving our students transferrable skills that they can take into their performance careers. We see our community work as both a learning resource and a social responsibility in partnership with our communities.

Since 1992 we’ve been passionate about including community work with our students. It’s now so integral to our work that every student does this as part of their qualifications. Our mission is to prepare young people for careers in the creative and performing arts and to make a powerful contribution to society.

We’ve been working with the community engagement team and Connect and Do for over ten years now and it’s grown into two community partnership events per year, even during the pandemic. It’s popular with the people Certitude supports and we love it. Each event starts with a chat about what’s important to the people that are going to be involved. Then, over six consecutive weekly workshops, our students work with people to develop a performance or ‘sharing’ event for their family and friends and the Connect and Do team.

For our students this is a pivotal experience. They design the initial workshop and coproduce the content with the people at Connect and Do. They’re learning to be flexible and remain adaptable, building their understanding of non-conventional forms of communication and expression. Over the years we’ve learnt that there’s always the element of surprise and that’s both exciting and challenging for our students.

The people that go to the Connect and Do sessions have typically developed a confidence to express themselves; they’re independent and happy to share. And we’re all innovating and learning through the experience – how to adapt to different perceptions of social boundaries, plus the themes and conversations that people feel comfortable with.

We’re currently working on the Brit Reach Project funded by the London Borough of Culture. It’s a big project and Certitude is one of 17 community groups we’re working with. Each group is collaborating in a series of workshops and will then come together for a ‘sharing’ event to perform for one another on 14 July at the Brit School.

For us, working with Certitude stretches our creative minds, and we have to innovate which makes the work more interesting.
Emma Banton Director of Applied Theatre & Community, The Brit School