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					                                                           18th March 2011
Press release
For immediate issue



            Local Playwright Promotes Writing
                    to School Children
Local playwright, Deborah Gearing recently visited Berrywood Primary School in
Hedge End to hold a question and answer sessions with pupils from Year 5 and 6 as
part of the PlayHouse theatre project run by The Berry Theatre in Hedge End.

The PlayHouse project is a new outreach programme for schools organised by The
Berry Theatre and offers teachers and their school the chance to direct a play by a
contemporary playwright.

Gearing’s work is often informed by her work with children and related issues and
she is passionate about issues such the environment and climate change. Children
were given the opportunity to ask questions around the playwright’s inspiration for
writing and her future plans for new scripts. Gearing, who is currently working on a
futuristic piece about young people in space, stressed to the children that you are
never too young or too old to write, but “you did need to try and write everyday”.

Following the question and answer session, the playwright held a workshop based on
the characters of her play The Forest, a play written specifically to be performed by
young people that the Berrywood pupils are currently rehearsing.

The Berrywood pupils will perform Gearing’s play The Forest at The Berry Theatre on
Wednesday March 30th. The Primary School children have been given the honour of
performing the first production ever to be staged at the new Hedge End state-of-the-
art theatre and will perform to an audience of friends and family.

Robert Iliffe, the Drama Development Officer at The Berry Theatre says:

        “This was an excellent opportunity for the school and young people to learn
       about how people write for a living and create plays. What made this day
       even more special, is that the school are working on and will be performing a
       play written by Deborah.”


For further information about creative learning opportunities please contact The Berry
Theatre at 01489 799 499 of email theberrytheatre@eastleigh.gov.uk

                                     – Ends –

For more information please contact Ellie Russell, Marketing Officer at The Berry
Theatre on 0238 0627 810 or at ellie.russell@eastleigh.gov.uk
Notes to editors
Based on Wildern Lane, Hedge End, Hants SO30 4EJ, The Berry Theatre is a state-
of-the-art 312 seat professional theatre space. The theatre is joint funded by
Eastleigh Borough Council, Hedge End Town Council, Wildern School alongside a
co-location grant from Partnership for Schools and is supported by Hedge End, West
End and Botley Local Area Committee.

The PlayHouse project is supported by Hedge, End West and Botley Local Area
Committee.

The Berry Theatre will be officially launched on Thursday April 7th by actor and
theatre director Sam West. The theatre’s Opening Season will offer a mix of classic
drama, free events, top quality comedy, children’s theatre, light entertainment, film
and exhibitions. Alongside this the theatre offers a range of projects, workshops and
programmes for all ages of the community to get involved in.

The PlayHouse project is currently working with Berrywood Primary School,
Shamblehurst Primary School and Kings Copse Primary School. All three schools will
present their work at The Berry Theatre at the end of March to an invited audience of
friends and family.

Gearing’s, first play Burn was commissioned by The National Theatre in 2004.
Specifically written for and performed by young people, Burn was subsequently
produced at The National Theatre with a professional production.

				
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