Our Front Entrance needs a Makeover
Help Stiltskin to “Make an Entrance” at The Soapbox Children’s Theatre and Cultural Hub with a flourish, by supporting us to open-up the front entrance of the building.
The theatre is currently accessed by a narrow stairway, as seen above, which is tricky for families to bring in pushchairs, creates problems for those with mobility difficulties and is impossible for wheelchair users to enter the building by this entrance. Wheelchair users therefore have to enter the building by the back entrance which is reached across grassland and inaccessible when wet.
We are on a mission to build a larger doorway at the end of the building. Reached by a ramp our vision is to create the main entrance that is colourful and gives easy access to the building. The funds that we raise will help us to create this fantastic front entrance as well as help us to landscape and build the ramp that leads up to it.
This is an artists impresson to give you an idea of where the doors will be.
The Soapbox Children’s Theatre is based in Devonport Park, which is the oldest park in Plymouth and is a heritage and conservation area. The theatre is tucked away in the corner with grassland and wooded areas around it. This is the last corner of the park to be developed. The theatre was originally built in WW2 as a mustard gas decontamination unit making it 72 years old. It is a heritage asset for Plymouth being one of six similar buildings built in Plymouth but sadly this is the only one that remains.
Stiltskin Arts & Theatre CIC took on the lease in 2014 to turn the building into a Children’s Cultural Hub. In October 2015, we received planning permission to develop and transform the building into a bespoke theatre and arts centre for children making us the only children’s theatre in the region. At present we are no.3 for children's theatres within the world and no.1 in the UK on Trip Advisor.
"Absolutely brilliant! So glad we discovered this little gem." Lisa C parent
When we took the building on it had been unused for 3 years, so it was cold, damp and dreary. With help from an initial Crowdfunding Campaign and Plymouth City Council, Stiltskin has rejuvenated it turning it into a lively and vibrant hub for children and their families to come along and get involved in theatre, arts, festivals and many other cultural projects.
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.
Plan by Research +Design
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. We also have Arts Council Funding to develop our programme and create new jobs for local people.
"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
Stiltskin have been creating arts and theatre projects for children over the past 17 years. The Soapbox has enabled us to develop a unique programme for children from the age of 0-15yrs. We create theatre shows for babies and toddlers supporting family cohesion and older children supporting speaking and listening skills. We are visited by schools to see our shows or take part in theatre and arts workshops developing innovative projects to link with the National Curriculum, local history and the environment. We run drama, dance and arts after school and holidaclubs supporting children raising their aspirations, building confidence and creating a sense of positive wellbeing by having their achievements celebrated and developing many different skills.
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 made and illustrated books, written scripts, performed shows, made lanterns, built willow structures and so much more.
We offer opportunities for volunteers and have young and adult volunteers help to run front of house, the theatre cafe and create props and puppets for our theatre shows. We believe in developing skills within the community offering opportunities to help people regain their confidence and to support them in getting back into work.
We believe arts and creativity are important to children’s development, health and well-being. Through our experience over the past seventeen 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
We really look forward to continuing making projects with, for and by children and their families and with your help we can make everyones experiences in the future truly positive.
Here are some of our yummy rewards...
Bars of lovely soap
Engraved glass bubbles (glass, bronze, silver, gold bubbles available)