A safe haven for vulnerable adults to socialise, interact and develop

TURN the clock back ten years and a new theatre group for adults with physical and learning disabilities made its debut in the town – a chance for everyone to be centre stage.

Now, a decade later, that group – In2Theatre, is celebrating the remarkable achievement of its tenth anniversary – ten years of fabulous friendships and wonderful opportunities.

Its success is testimony to those involved – Jackie Lines who founded the group in 2007, Artistic Director Tony Peters, who has been in charge since 2010, and the volunteers and members who make In2Theatre the special family it is.

The group’s success is also thanks to the support it receives – generous donations at showtimes, local fundraising – and regular support from Stratford Town Trust.

Over the past decade, the Town Trust has awarded grants totalling £19,500 to In2Theatre – money Artistic Director Tony Peters says is priceless:

“We are eternally grateful to Stratford Town Trust for the funding it has given us over the years,” he said.

“This support has been instrumental in expanding the skills of the group by enabling the recruitment of specialist acting, dance and music instructors as well as helping to fund costumes and props.”

Such is the charm of In2Theatre, many of its current members and supporters have been involved from the group’s humble beginnings ten years ago.

Through voluntary support and under the continued leadership of Mr Peters, In2Theatre provides a safe haven for vulnerable adults to socialise, interact and develop themselves.

 “Often this group of individuals have found themselves marginalised from many social activities, through costs and/or their perceived differences,” Mr Peters added.

“The fact we have so many people here who were here at the very beginning is testament to that and the support of everyone is priceless.”

In2Theatre meets weekly for rehearsals – on a Thursday night at Bridgetown School.

The rehearsals provide a regular outlet for members in a safe environment, and result in an annual show – said to inject a tremendous boost of confidence, both individually and collectively.

Over the last decade In2Theatre has staged its own prodcutions of: As You Like It, Ho De Ho, Heal The World, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Treasure Island, Ali Baba, Odyssey, The Secret of Wishit Wood, The Jungle Book, Robin Hood and Hiawatha.

The boards being trodden are rather prestigious – with performances at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre as well as the RSC’s Swan and Courtyard Theatres too.

And it means so much, as one group member says: “We are glad to be part of this great, friendly and endearing group where we have the opportunity to be on stage without support workers, under the spotlight, having fun and playing a range of characters, to a very high standard of performance.”

The 2018 offering is The Parrots of the Caribbean, and rehearsals are already underway.

For more information on the group visit www.in2theatrestratford.co.uk