New role at Buxton Opera House hopes to engage with community

Lucy Jones is the new learning and participation officer for Buxton Opera House.
Lucy Jones is the new learning and participation officer for Buxton Opera House.

Buxton Opera House wants to reach out to and engage with all parts of the community.

Lucy Jones is the new face for the theatre’s learning and participation department and is keen on breaking down barriers and get more people interested in arts and culture.

Lucy Jones is the new learning and participation officer for Buxton Opera House.

Lucy Jones is the new learning and participation officer for Buxton Opera House.

She said: “The biggest concern at the minute is schools are being face with so many funding cuts that they can’t keep up art, music and drama courses so a generation could be losing access to theatre and the arts which is just wrong.

“We are working schools in the High Peak area to offer two free workshops, taster sessions and Opera House tours for every school.

“It’s wonderful to watch the children grown and see their confidence develop and explore other avenues which may not have been open to them previously.”

Lucy has been in the role since March and said: “It’s all about building relations.

“We are the theatre in the hills and we know that public transport and bad weather can stop people getting into the big cities to see a show so we are doing all we can to reach out to people and make theatre accessible for everyone.

“In some places we are starting from the beginning but we want to reach out to care homes, students all the way up to university level and everyone in between.”

Lucy wants to expand the programme by offering workshops and welcoming new audiences into the theatre and building a community for all.

She said: “There is a real need and demand for these services to continue.

“The theatre opens people’s minds and hearts to new stories, cultures, ways of life and that in itself is a very important thing that we should be championing and I hope my work will bring new people into the Opera House and start a lifetime of enjoyment.”

As part of the learning and participation role the theatre offers works experience and will be taking applications from September.

Lucy said: “Our programme is very popular and we receive a high number of applications throughout the year. We are often limited to taking one placement student at a time so we would recommend you apply early in order to avoid disappointment.”

Throughout the summer the Buxton Opera House has been putting on several drama, craft and movement workshops for young people.

The last workshop on Tuesday was a Play in a Day where pupils were given a script in the morning and by the end of the day had put on a production.

Lucy said: “We started small as we weren’t sure of the take-up but the feedback has fantastic and people were saying we didn’t know we did services like this.

“It’s important to get the message out there that we are not just about full on productions but we are working with and for the community.

“We are going to be building on this success and will be bringing a more in depth programme around Halloween and then again at Easter and providing access to the arts and culture at a reasonable price too.”

For more information about the activities and workshops visit buxtonoperahouse.org.uk/takepart.