Eden Court in Inverness is not only one of the largest and most significant multi-arts venues in the UK; it also develops and delivers one of the largest programmes of Arts Education of any UK theatre. On top of running more than 60 classes and activities within the theatre each and every week, the Arts Education team works with children and young people right across the Highland region enabling them to experience theatre arts, drama and dance as part of their daily lives.
Eden Court, with the help of funding from The Highland Council - is the only theatre in Scotland to offer Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) level examinations in Higher Dance and Drama and Intermediate 2 Drama (100% of last year’s Intermediate 2 students achieved A grades). It’s also one of a small number of London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examination centres in the region, and all 40 of the students who undertook LAMDA qualifications last year passed with either Merit or Distinction.
Many of Eden Court’s former students have gone on to develop successful careers in the performing arts and beyond and Karen Gillan - better known to TV viewers across the world as Doctor Who’s Assistant Amy Pond - completed her LAMDA and Higher Drama training at the theatre.
Recent Success Stories
Continuing the theatre’s links to the time-travelling Doctor, primary school pupils led by theatre arts worker Jesse Paul, reached the final stage of the BBC's Dr. Who - Script to Screen competition - their entry was one of ten original scripts from 100,000 entries to reach the final.
Imogen Duncan-Hood studied for many years under the tuition of Eden Court’s dance artist Louise Marshall and has recently been accepted by Rambert School of Dance on a two year BA Hons course - she beat nearly 500 other hopeful applicants for one of only 30 places.
Chris Boxall left school at 15 with no qualifications but under the mentorship of David Hunter (theatre worker for Caithness & Sutherland), Chris has gone on to be awarded the NTS apprenticeship scheme for Stage Management for people from disadvantaged areas. Another of David’s students, Philip Todd, has also been awarded a Dewar Arts Award to study at the Central School of Speech & Drama in London.
And James Pett, who completed his Higher Dance qualification at Eden Court, has been awarded an apprenticeship with the celebrated Richard Alston Dance Company.
Eden Court’s education programme is informed by two advisory groups. The Highland Creative Learning Network is in collaboration with Highland Council and was set-up in order to engage with teachers. Twice a year Eden Court meets with up to 12 teachers to discuss their perceptions of arts provision from both organisations. The teachers provide feedback on what they need in their schools and how best they can work with Eden Court. This enables the Education department to make sure they continue to deliver a programme that’s relevant to schools and teachers in the Highlands.
Young people also get their say. The Young Questors were formed in 2002 and consists of 30 7 - 19 year olds who advise Eden Court on what they like and what they could do better. They have the opportunity to see events at the theatre and cinema for free, and feedback to the theatre in quarterly meetings.
To find out more about Eden Court’s Arts Education programme, both at the theatre and across the Highlands, call 01463 234 234 or contact the Arts Education Manager Kati Kozikowska.
Eden Court is a Creative Scotland Foundation Organisation and is also the lead agency for our Creative Identities initiative - part of the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme.
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