New Project Announcement 2021-2023

Eco Drama are pleased to announce that we will be embarking on a new project throughout 2021-2023 which will collaborate with children, young people and their wider communities across Glasgow, supported in part by the Glasgow Communities Fund.

Over the next two years the company will develop and deliver a diverse programme of theatre productions, creative learning projects, continued professional development and arts-based community food growing projects that engage and inspire people of all ages about the natural world and our place within it. As well as engaging in theatre and arts activities, the work will support and encourage communities to take positive, practical action to develop and improve local green spaces, inspire positive thinking about tackling the climate crisis, and enhance everyday experiences with nature.

The programme includes 3 strands:

1. Pollok Grows Together / The Forgotten Orchard project

A local food growing and green space empowerment project combining the arts with practical community led action. With the support of local organisations, Eco Drama will develop and deliver a series of creative community engagement sessions and events with and for people of all ages across Pollok, exploring underused greenspaces and sites in the area and building on previous consultation. The project aims to work with community members to plant a new community orchard, and/or series of mini orchards across Pollok, and up to 15 smaller orchards across the wider city in primary school playgrounds and community venues. Eco Drama’s production The Forgotten Orchard will tour to schools and community audiences throughout the project to engage, inspire and support the planting of the orchards.

Further information will be available soon, but in the meantime, have a look at Eco Drama’s previous arts-based community orchard growing project Townhead Community Orchard, and our previous orchard planting work in schools.

2. Out to Play

An arts-based outdoor learning project collaborating with schools across Glasgow, with a focus on disadvantaged areas. Since 2015, Out to Play has delivered in-depth creative outdoor learning residencies with 25 primary schools, nurseries and complex support needs schools across the city, as well as delivering external Out to Play CPD sessions for education practitioners across Scotland, reaching almost 5,000 children and over 550 teachers and early years practitioners to date.

Out to Play is delivered by drama artists as a 5 week residency in school playgrounds and works to creatively engage children of all ages with learning for sustainability topics and deepen connection with nature through drama, storytelling and creative play, with a strong teacher CPD element supporting the project so that creative outdoor learning becomes a regular part of a school’s timetable.

Out to Play was fortunate to continue throughout 2020 due to the outdoor nature of its delivery, and drama artists worked across Glasgow supporting schools to deliver creative outdoor learning experiences. Due to continued interest and demand for the work, we are delighted to be able to continue the project for a further two years, with delivery in more primary schools planned for 2021-2023.

3. Eco Drama on Tour

Theatre productions and workshops that inspire children and young people about the natural world, support creative learning about sustainable living, and nurture a greater connection to nature. Productions include The Worm – An Underground Adventure, The Whirlybird and The Forgotten Orchard, plus creative learning workshop Recycling Heroes, all planned for delivery in schools and nurseries across Glasgow once covid restrictions allow. Eco Drama’s touring productions are delivered in a van run on bio diesel made from recycled vegetable oil and an electric car, reducing CO2 emissions by 85%. See Green Touring for more information.

The above project was devised pre-covid and is subject to change and adaptation. We will be working with schools and communities over the coming months to ensure that project activity can go ahead in the most appropriate manner adhering to covid guidance and ensuring inclusive, quality engagement can happen across all project areas over the coming two years.

What’s On January – March 2021

Out to Play residencies 

Due to the ongoing covid-19 restrictions, our Out to Play residency at St Albert’s Primary which was scheduled for January – February has had to be postponed. However once schools re-open we hope to deliver this residency later in spring, as well as our residency with Pollokshields Primary which is scheduled for February – March. If your school would like to participate in an Out to Play residency in 2021 or 2022, please get in touch.


Out to Play Evidence Sharing and Final Report

Eco Drama are currently reaching the end of a 4 year Out to Play project 2017-2021, which has been supported in part by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. Over the coming months we will be compiling our final report, as well as disseminating evidence with various stakeholders and organisations, specifically focusing on the positive impacts and outcomes from the project and benefits of using the arts in outdoor learning / learning for sustainability.  If you are interested in webinars, workshops, reports or further information in this area please contact emily@ecodrama.co.uk, or read a selection of previous Out to Play reports on our website, explore the Out to Play blogs or take a look at the Out to Play resource packs.


Early Years Out to Play CPD webinar

Eco Drama will be delivering a 2 hour Out to Play CPD webinar on 10th February for early years practitioners and staff from across Glasgow’s nurseries and early years establishments, supported by the Educational Institute of Scotland. The aim of the session is to share methodology, ideas and learning from our 4 year Out to Play project, with a particular focus on the early years strand. The event will also launch our new Early Years Out to Play Resource Pack, written by Drama Artist Sarah Rankin and each participant will receive a copy.

During the session participants will explore how to integrate arts-based outdoor learning into the early years curriculum, how to reimagine school grounds into a place of adventurous learning and how to utilize creative learning methods such as drama, storytelling and creative play as a way of engaging children with the natural world.

The Early Years CPD Webinar will be led by Out to Play Drama Artist Sarah Rankin, who developed the nursery strand of the project in 2018 with four partner nurseries in Glasgow, and then subsequently wrote the early years resource pack from this experience. Sarah has also continued as an Out to Play Drama Artist throughout 2019 and 2020, delivering residencies and CPD sessions in primary schools, as well as sessions as part of the Arts Across Learning Festival in Aberdeen for two consecutive years.  The webinar will be tailored to the early years practitioner and with playground spaces in Glasgow/urban areas in mind, and will include practical and creative activities, short film clips of an early years Out to Play session in action, and interactive opportunities for online teamwork and discussion.

To book a place please email Producer Nina Doherty – nina@ecodrama.co.uk. Please note capacity is almost full, but we are going to re-run the webinar on the following date:

Thursday 6th May 2021 – join a 2 hour morning or afternoon webinar. This webinar is open to early years practitioners from any location, and there is a small cost to participants of £30 per person to attend this session, which covers the presenters fee and a hard copy of the Early Years Out to Play Resource Pack (worth £19) which all attendees will receive via post.

To register your interest for this webinar and receive updates as we set exact times, please email nina@ecodrama.co.uk.

Future Calling

During lockdown 2020, Eco Drama worked digitally with young people from a north Glasgow secondary school on a new arts and climate change project Future Calling. The short film which the young people created will be shown at an event curated by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, as part of the run up to COP26 in Glasgow later this year. Read more about the project here.

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