School Workshops: West Yorkshire Playhouse

Date Posted: 28/01/2014

A drama workshop at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

A producing theatre in the heart of Leeds, West Yorkshire Playhouse offers a range of creative activities for Primary and Secondary students.

School trip organisers can choose to meet with theatre professionals, from wardrobe, production and workshop staff or directors, actors and designers; or to book a creative workshop, created for Key Stage 1 and upwards.

Each season the theatre hosts a programme of lively and enriching creative events. For KS1 and 2 there are a number of opportunities to have bespoke in-school workshops which support curriculum learning. These range from exploring classic fairytales and folk stories, to looking at the lives of Victorian children and the impact of World War Two.

The playhouse is also offering a wide range of workshops linked to productions of Benjamin Zephaniah’s popular novel Refugee Boy (suitable for KS1 and KS2); a new production of John Steinbeck’s literary classic Of Mice and Men and Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, (suitable for KS3 and above).

Refugee Boy: Production and workshops

Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah will run at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 6th to 8th February.

Alem is fourteen, in London with his father on the best holiday he has ever had, only then the unthinkable happens, he awakes to find himself alone, a stranger in an unfamiliar country.

Seeking Sanctuary: A Pre-Matinee Session

On 7th February from 11am to 12pm, the children’s society HEARTS team offers pupils in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 the opportunity to take part in an awareness-raising session at WYP before attending the matinee performance of Refugee Boy. To book click here.

Of Mice and Men: Production and workshops

Playing from 28th February to 29th March, John Steinberg’s enduring and timeless novel Of Mice and Men bursts onto the Quarry stage this spring. To book click here.

A dance and drama workshop from West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Workshops: The Making of Of Mice and Men

School groups can join director Mark Rosenblatt and selected cast members from Of Mice and Men before a matinee performance on selected dates in March, as they discuss their involvement in bringing this production to life.

This session offers students a detailed insight into the casting process, rehearsal process, staging and characterisation, and is suitable for Key Stage 4. To book click here.

Of Mice and Men: A practical guide for KS4 English Practitioners 

Designed specifically for KS4 English teachers, this CPD session, on 17th March from 4pm to 6pm, will explore the original text in conjunction with West Yorkshire Playhouse’s production and the requirements for GCSE English.

Included in the programme is a backstage tour; a Q&A with director, Mark Rosenblatt; and a practical workshop led by Amanda Burnett which will explore the online resources available on WYP's website, and how the production can be used to help prepare students for written assessments. To book click here.

The Threepenny Opera: Production and workshops

Running from 24th April to 10th May, each staging of this anarchic version of The Threepenny Opera includes live audio description.

Workshops: An introduction to Epic Theatre

Using The Threepenny Opera text as inspiration, these two hour practical sessions will introduce students to the key features and techniques of Brechtian theatre, exploring Epic performance, and Brechtian techniques - Gestus and Verfremdungseffekt.

The workshops are suitable for school groups of pupils aged 14 and over, and will be delivered in schools throughout May. To book click here.

For further school trip information visit

School Travel Organiser's Guide