Unlock Drama has nine years’ experience in the criminal justice system, delivering in over 30 prisons, across adult male, female, sex offender and young offender institutions.
Unlock Drama’s issue-based theatre projects are linked closely to rehabilitation in the criminal justice system and focus on addressing dominant concerns within the prison estate. These issue-based projects are tailor-made to address subjects including:
Using drama to tackle these issues can highlight the potential consequences of them, encouraging participants to examine the ripple effect of their actions and who can be affected by them. This can increase self-awareness, encouraging participants to reflect and develop their empathy skills, as well as to re-evaluate their behaviour, choices and consequences of actions.
Unlock Drama also offers a Restoring Family Ties project project aimed at serving prisoners who are mothers, fathers, grandmothers or grandfathers. This project facilitates participants creating a child centred play for their families and children. At the end of the rehearsal period they perform the play for their families and children. This final product allows the mothers, fathers, grandmothers or grandfathers to give a positive experience to their families showing themselves in a new and creative light.
Unlock Drama delivers projects within the community with participants that have lived or at risk of offending/re-offending. Unlock Drama also facilitates projects with participants with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The projects aim to encourage participation, increase confidence, self-esteem, improve interpersonal skills and explore issue-based subjects to raise awareness with participants, targeted audiences and wider community.
Unlock Drama is always looking to deliver work within the community with hard-to-reach and marginalised groups; however, funding has always been an issue. Since becoming a Community Interest Company in 2020, Unlock Drama will certainly be looking at more ways to access funding enabling theatre to be delivered in the community.
Unlock Drama ran weekly drama drop in sessions for residents at Milton Keynes YMCA. Anyone could attend and we used to get a lovely mix of diverse participants ranging in ages from 18 all the way up to 60! Each week would have a different focus encouraging increasing confidence, self-esteem and interpersonal skills.
Unlock Drama delivered an issue-based project exploring the detrimental outcomes of substance misuse with a group of young people with lived experience of substance misuse. The final performance was written and developed by the participants guided by Unlock Drama facilitators. The performance was raw, hard-hitting and emotive. Their final product included music and was shown to two separate audiences, one targeted and one to working professionals from the local community. We hope to partner with Recharge Telford again.
Unlock Drama ran weekly drop-in sessions for residents with social, emotional and mental health issues as well as special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Due to the complex needs of the participants, some of whom were nonverbal, Unlock Drama facilitators ran sensory workshops exploring: smells, textures, imagination, sounds, movement etc. Each week would centre around a specific theme such as: seaside, nature and transport. Participants showed improved confidence, communication, engagement and focus. It was a pleasure to see the participants grow.
Unlock Drama is driven to making a difference to the lives of young people across our communities. Our specialist drama facilitators have an array of experience working with young people in multiple settings including:
Our aim is to work with young people whom deem to be at risk of offending by: increasing confidence/self-esteem, improving interpersonal skills, wellbeing/mental health and exploring current issue-based topics that have a negative impact upon our young people such as Gang Culture, Violence Reduction or Substance Misuse. Our flexible approach enables us to work collaboratively with you and your young people. We can tailor-make projects to fit any given topic and time-frame. Our facilitators reflect and amend workshops to ensure all young people can thrive and unlock their potential at every given opportunity.
Young people’s feedback includes:
Does your school want to try a different approach to bring young people together? Improve interpersonal skills, confidence, wellbeing, mental health and more? With our flexible working approaches we can develop workshops tailored to your school and young peoples need. Our approach is inclusive and sustainable we endeavour to help young people to better engage within each school to help improve not only their school experience but also help the teachers and better the school environment as a whole for everyone.
We work with:
We can offer half day workshops, full day workshops or full-week workshops. Unlock Drama can run projects for staff/teachers on training days to help improve wellbeing, moral and get everyone working together as a team.Interested in working with us? Please get in touch: email@example.com
Young People and Teacher feedback:
Unlock Drama have an established partnership with The Royal Central Speech of Drama and host BA DATE (Drama, Applied Theatre and Education) professional placement students and MA Applied Theatre students. In 2019 Unlock Drama began a partnership with Unlocked Graduates hosting training Prison Officers. We have found this collaboration beneficial to Unlock Drama staff, participants and the Prison Officers themselves.
Rebecca Boden has hosted placement students since 2012. Unlock Drama always works hard to take on as many placement students as possible giving them access to hands-on experience by offering on-site theatre in prison co-facilitation opportunities. Students find our placements invaluable and very rewarding.