Bell Shakespeare remains incredibly thankful for the ongoing support of The Hansen Little Foundation, which has enabled us to reach hundreds of young people and teachers in regional Victoria who might have otherwise missed out on valuable arts-rich learning experiences.

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Across Term 3 and 4 in 2023, our education team delivered 12 performances, 2 Artist in Residence programs, and Professional Development programs for 8 government schools, reaching a total of 921 students and 13 teachers. During the tour, The Players provided a report of their activites.

Robinvale College - Robinvale, VIC
240 students

“There were lots of members of this mostly younger audience that were enraptured and enjoying the story. After the show we met our enthusiastic contact teacher, Debbie Ford. She loved the show! A bunch of students even came by to shake our hands very politely and thank us for the show.”

“The kids were very lively and chomping at the bit for the show to start. These guys really took every opportunity to laugh - especially the kindergarteners in the front row! They really went on the journey with us as a cast and were there with us for the more serious and tense parts of the show too. Lots of audience participation throughout. The kids took every opportunity to try and communicate with Andy when he appealed to them. Overall it was a perfect show to end on. It was a very fitting ending to do the final pack down while were surrounded by children in PE class playing volleyball, basketball and even dodgeball in the very hall where they had just sat moments ago. And just like that we vanished into thin air like the transient spectre of theatre…”

Tyrrell College - Sea Lake, VIC
114 students

“Such a beautiful school with a really friendly community. It was such a welcome change to have such charming students. It was a real pleasure to perform for them and managed to sneak in some time at the end for some great questions. We changed where we were performing due to numbers. They had provided this grand stage with stunning red velvet curtain trimmings. However, we felt it would be too removed for the group sizes mentioned, so we opted for the area next to the footy club kitchen, which was perfect. Such a great, intimate space that provided a lot of opportunity for connection.”

“What a send off! This was a near on perfect show. There were only 9 of them so it felt more like a workshop due to how much we were able to interact and connect with them. We had about half the audience as volunteers for various roles and they absolutely ate it up. Honestly such an incredible way to send off this show. Had a good 20min heart-to-heart with them afterwards for QandA, which made me so proud.”

Donald High School - Donald, VIC
70 students

“We were initially only supposed to perform for 40 students, but we told the staff that we encouraged the other teachers to bring their classes in. Apparently they'd been worried that the show wasn't appropriate for the younger years, but we assured them it was. It was really nice to boost the numbers up, and the students were incredibly sweet. We had to encourage the students to engage at the top of the show but once they realised they were allowed to relax and laugh, the energy was great. This was a lovely way to wrap up the day.”

Birchip P-12 School - Birchip, VIC
142 students

The show went well! The students seemed to really love it! Seemed as though they weren’t sure if they could laugh some of the time even though we did give them permission to “laugh and cry” from the outset. They did take every opportunity to interact when it was clear. we had time for some great questions which were asked and answered.

Kalianna School - Bendigo, VIC
50 students

“This was honestly one of my top five shows of the whole year. The school was so welcoming and all the students were incredibly curious and friendly. We were in the common area which was the perfect place, lots of activity and nestled next to the cafeteria, it was a great opportunity to interact with the students. One positive of the reschedule was that Seamus, who did RTM in 2020, was able to attend this time! All the teachers are really highly regarded by the students here, but Seamus definitely has a soft spot with the kids. Every. Single. Joke. Landed. Perfectly. Seriously it was like a drama school audience on steroids.

They picked up everything and were raucous in their praise and enjoyment. But with razor sharp precision and without prompting, they knew exactly when it was time to listen again. They all adored the show and we had about 25mins of QandA! Again, hats off to Seamus for giving us 1.5hrs lesson time. Students sat with us wrapped during pack down with their lunches and continued to rattle of questions and express their joy, it was an honour and a privilege and an experience I will take with me throughout my career. They made us work so hard, because we wanted to honour their listening and engagement. Top 5 audience hands down.”