Playhouse Plays On
Josephine Creative Learning Portal

Josephine Creative Learning Portal

Josephine Creative Learning Portal: The Journey So Far

Where the Project Comes From:

The Josephine Creative Learning Portal is funded by Arts Council England and The Sustainable Innovation Fund, and its development has been supported by the Bristol and Bath Creative R+D Group, based out of the Watershed, Bristol. More information on the partners is below.

Josephine is a multi-national co-production between The Egg, Wales Millennium Centre, Oxford Playhouse and Bear Trap and will be touring the country in Autumn 2021.

More on the Portal:

This Portal will be a new and accessible digital experience for schools, teachers and learners. It aims to enrich the experience of the show within schools, support creativity within the curriculum, enhance delivery and allow different opportunities for interacting with theatre.

This is going to be a standalone, online, digital environment, accessible via the internet, that will allow classes to digitally explore and journey through the worlds of the play. The Portal will address the historical challenges of touring live work into schools and provide further opportunities for engagement with theatre.

The working brief is that every class is able to go on a journey where they can make choices about the direction they take, with jumping off points for activities to complete in a classroom. Each level or layer they pass through may offer them something different - a new scene from the play, an interview with a living witness, some animated infographics, a codebreaking puzzle to complete, for example.

As part of its development, we’d like to address these questions with teachers:

  • What would the Portal need to do in order for you to use it?
  • What areas of content might be useful for it to focus on?
  • How could its function be most useful for you in class/school?
  • When might you use it with a class?
  • What is the appetite for this sort of resource?
  • What would build your involvement and investment in the Portal?

The Team

There is an experienced team of artists and educators leading the development of the Portal, including research support provided by the University of Bath.

Ed Harker

Ed has worked in Primary education for 25 years as nursery leader, class-teacher, head teacher, and now education consultant supporting schools in Bristol and Bath. His particular interest is curriculum development and how children’s learning can be enriched by the creative arts and real life experiences. He is the chair of the creative education charity House of Imagination.

Emile Clarke

Emile is a Liverpool Institue of Performing Arts trained performer with PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) qualifications. He has extensive experience within theatre for corporate and creative purposes from performing with Disney to devising and co-writing Theatre In Education. Passionate about creating positive learning environments, encouraging storytelling techniques that stimulate ambition and encourage conscious development of performance and social skills. Emile has also designed workshops for institutes that champion equality and diversity in film and theatre such as Picture House Cinema group, Refugee Youth, Museum of London and The Egg, Theatre Royal Bath.

Dr Eleanna Skoulikari

Eleanna has an academic background in education, psychology and technology. Her doctorate explored the relationship between the digital experiences of children and teachers and their use of online websites in the assessment of Maths in Primary Schools. She has been involved in many interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects in psychology, human-computer interaction and education, and has worked with 3P Learning, provider of Mathletics, and the Department for Education (DfE). She is currently working as a Research Associate for the AHRC Creative Industries Clusters Programme at the University of Bath, and a Primary Teacher for the Hellenic School of St. Peter and St. Paul at Bristol.


The Egg:

The Egg theatre has established itself at the very forefront of professional theatre for children and young people in the UK. It produces, presents and tours outstanding work for children and young people. An uncompromising attitude to quality and artistic process are core in its approach to all activity. The Egg's founder and director is Kate Cross MBE. Kate is also Chair of Assitej UK. Assitej is dedicated to the artistic, cultural and educational rights of children across the globe.

Wales Millennium Centre:

Wales Millennium Centre is a furnace of inspiration whose building is nestled in Cardiff Bay, but whose reach is worldwide. By opening its doors as a convener, a digital producer, a storyteller and a creative resource, Wales Millennium Centre prides itself in giving artists, communities and young people in Wales a platform and a voice like no other. It has produced and staged a huge breadth of productions, from operas, plays and musicals to a major festival, while welcoming the world’s best-loved and most successful shows to its stages. As a charity, it is driven to unleash creative potential, and determined that everyone in Wales should call it their home.

Oxford Playhouse:

Oxford Playhouse is a theatre for everyone. Oxford Playhouse and its Burton Taylor Studio present and produce a wide range of live performance. The programme includes the best of British and international drama, family shows, contemporary dance and music, student and amateur shows, comedy, lectures and poetry. The Playhouse produces and tours its own shows, hosts Artists in Residence and presents Playhouse Plays Out, an ongoing series of off-site events which happen at locations across the county. The theatre's Participation team work with over 15,000 people each year through post show discussions, workshops, work experience, holiday schemes, a youth theatre and a young people’s theatre company.

Bear Trap:

Bear Trap is an international touring theatre company based in Wales and the South West. We create classically inspired new work through a combination of new writing, devising, music and play. The company was founded in 2010 by Jesse Briton and Joe Darke during their training on East 15 Acting School's acclaimed CT course under Uri Roodner.

Innovate UK:

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

We drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.


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Arts Council

We are the national development agency for creativity and culture. We want to grow skills, knowledge and networks to help establish the conditions in which creativity and culture can flourish across the country.

We conduct research, give expert advice, promote partnership and do other activities to help the creative and cultural sector develop.

Bristol and Bath Creative R+D:

Bristol+Bath Creative R+D is a new, £6.8 million collaboration that aims to raise the bar for the region’s creative industries. The five-year programme seeks to forge connections and partnerships in Bristol and Bath, sharing knowledge, creating crossovers and even greater opportunities in what’s already one of the most vibrant clusters in the UK.

This first-of-a-kind collaboration between the region’s four universities - UWE Bristol, Bath Spa, the University of Bath and the University of Bristol - and digital creativity centre Watershed, intends to break down the doors, connecting the worlds of university research and creative business to develop a shared vision for tomorrow’s creative industries.

February 2021
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