Help us "Make an Entrance" at
The Soapbox Children's Theatre
Our Front Entrance needs a Makeover
The Soapbox Chilren's Theatre is based in Devonport Park, Plymouth's oldest park. The building is 71 years old, built in WW2 as a Mustard Gas Decontamination Unit, (thankfully it was never used for this) which meant it was a giant shower block. It was then used as a scabies clinic and a changing room until the Model Railway Club pulled down the interior walls and created an open area, ideal for Stiltskin to develop and use today.
Stiltskin took on the building in 2014 with a vision to create a Children's Cultural Hub and since then we have gone from strength to strength developing the space and its use from day to day. We now need your help to make The Soapbox Children’s Theatre more accessible for children and their families, especially wheelchair and pushchairs users and tiny toddler legs. Our front entrance is small and reached by a set of steps. We hope to open this up by creating a larger door and a ramp leading up to the front of the building.
What we do and why it would help.
"Absolutely brilliant! So glad we discovered this little gem." Lisa C parent
Stiltskin work with many families and children of all ages from all areas. We have recently developed a programme of theatre projects for children under five, supporting better family functioning, helping to build positive futures and developing speaking and listening skills.
A new doorway would allow families better access to the building from tiny children that find it hard to step up and down the steps, to grandparents with mobility difficulties and parents and children with disabilities; for wheelchair users to enter our building they have to go across country to the back door and in the winter time this is inaccessible due to muddy conditions. It is also very difficult to get a buggy into the building let alone a double buggy. We need to make our front entrance accessible for everyone from the community to come inside and get involved to enjoy our projects, theatre shows and workshop sessions.
The Soapbox Children's Theatre
The Soapbox Children’s Theatre in Devonport park was opened in 2015 with the help of our first Crowdfunding Campaign to furbish the interior and make the space fit for purpose with a log burning stove for heating, a new carpet to cover the concrete floor and black curtains for the walls and stage. This has allowed us to offer a range of children’s clubs, theatre shows, festivals and other activities for children and their families and has brought in additional funding to support projects and building work.
Our theatre cafe.
When we took the building on it was a semi derelict shell built in WW2 as a Mustard Gas Decontamination Unit. Stiltskin have transformed the interior into a lively hub for children and their families to enjoy cultural activity. In 2015 we received planning permission to add toilets, build the internal theatre space within the water tower and for future development of an amphitheatre and roof top stage.
We are now fundraising to implement some of those plans and have received a grant and loan from Plymouth City Council’s Social Enterprise Investment Fund to support us with some of the improvements such as building toilets including a disabled toilet and running water.
What we do for our local community
"Lovely intimate little theatre, really friendly personal staff, great creative performances for babies right through to my 8 year old. Great for week activity or weekend whole family trip. It's interactive and captivated my children. I highly recommend it for young families. Really look forward to them realising the whole dream in the next few years. Great for the area!" Matt and Laura Brown Parents
We are open to everyone, however as The Soapbox Children's Theatre is based in Devonport, one of Plymouth's most deprived wards, we endeavour to work with families that normally find it hard to visit the theatre, due to socio-economic barriers, by keeping our prices low and creating projects that encourage children to gain new skills, social confidence, raise aspirations, build on intrapersonal skills and engage with people their own age. We encourage families to get involved as much as they can and pride ourselves in cross generational experiences where grandparents bring their grandchildren to the theatre to enjoy and learn together. We ensure all children work to their abilities and that all vulnerable children are supported.
We have created projects, with, by and for children with mental health issues, child carers, children with speech and language difficulties and Forces children. We have made and illustrated books, written scripts, performed shows, made lanterns, built willow structures and so much more.
We believe arts and creativity are important to children’s development, health and well-being. Through our experience over the past sixteen years as arts practitioners we have had the privilege to see children develop into all rounded individuals and become positive and active citizens. The Soapbox Children's Theatre is a hub for children to use their imaginations, explore their ideas and gain skills; and for their families to engage with their children and others in a sociable and friendly environment. With the new developments in place we can go from strength to strength and offer so much more for important little and young people we work with; building on their futures and health and well-being through creative and cultural activities.
"My 2 year old was enthralled especially by the story telling, she is normally a very shy quiet child but they managed to bring her out of her shell and get her involved and talking. A really well paced session to keep little ones interested and great communication with little kids. Highly recommended and we'll be coming back! Thanks for a great morning. " Parent
Here are some of our rewards
Bars of lovely soap
Engraved glass bubbles (glass, bronze, silver, gold bubbles available)