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PowerPlay is a theatre-inspired education programme for students in Pupil Referral Units and Hospital Schools, using the theatre production as a teaching resource.

PowerPlay can address any theme of the teacher’s choice, including any specific social issues relevant to the group, study specific drama skills and work on soft-skills such as non-verbal communication, imagination, confidence or working in a team. The emphasis of most projects is on building trust, positive working relationships and social cohesion. 

We take the lead from the teachers who identify the needs of their group and guide the aims of the project and themes to be explored. They then work in close collaboration with two theatre artists experienced in meeting the needs of challenging young people, to deliver a series of classroom-based practical workshops.  Each programme is tailor-made and highly flexible.

The workshop programme can run for an intensive period over 1-2 weeks or across a term with weekly sessions.

Students worked well together in a number of role-play activities.  This led to students discussing their feelings and emotions, which successfully developed their vocabulary as they started to write their own poetry.  This was a lively and unusual lesson that successfully encouraged the students to express themselves and to widen their vocabulary.  All participated well and enjoyed the challenges presented. 

Ofsted report, April 2012

Project Overview:

  • Pre-planning meeting between Mousetrap Theatre Projects and the teacher, to identify the needs of a particular group of students and to consider possible productions.
  • Mousetrap’s project manager then identifies a suitable practitioner; teacher and practitioners meet to discuss specific objectives and possible outcomes and to develop a time-line of activities.  The workshop programme can be highly flexible, both in terms of theme and structure. 
  • Workshops begin (These can be over an itensive period of 1-2 weeks, or be weekly sessions built in to the lesson schedule)
  • At an appropriate time during the workshop programme the group attend the chosen production.
  • At the conclusion of the project, the pupils might make a short presentation of their work, which could be recorded by photographs or a video.  Each pupil will receive a certificate to celebrate their achievement.
  • Cost: £500 plus £8 per theatre ticket


Statistics from lead Occupational Therapist from Spring Term project 2013

What percentage of students would you say gained improved confidence in:

  • Working as part of a group - 80%-100%
  • Sharing ideas with a group - 60%-80%         
  • Expressing themselves physically - 80%-100%
  • Going to central London - 80%-100%
  • Trying new things - 60%-80%         
  • Drama skills - 80%-100%

The main achievments as stated by a teacher from the programme in Spring Term 2012:

  • Students who had NEVER engaged with performance before did so.
  • Students who have been disengaged with school produced their first examples of written work, supporting literacy.
  • Students were able to express emotion and feelings through their written work.
  • Students had their first opportunity to attend a theatre production.
  • Students performed their work to peers and adults publically, for the first time.
  • The programme was referenced by OFSTED, who observed a lesson as part of a KS4 inspection.
  • Staff, Headteacher and Executive Head expressed real surprise at the quality and depth of the work produced.
  • Pupil attendence was impressive (with 2 students attending all 12 sessions)

For more information please contact our Youth Engagement Manager Gemma Bell:

Tel: 020 7632 4122 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


“The practitioners brought a freshness to our unit.  They were positive and vibrant in all activities and our pupils responded to this exciting energy… never feeling vulnerable or exposed.
Teacher, West Essex PRU
“She has never enjoyed school, but from her first day of PowerPlay it has changed her whole school experience”



Contact Us

Mousetrap Theatre Projects
33 Shaftesbury Avenue

t: 020 7632 4111
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Registered charity number 1053434