What does C&T stand for?

C&T stands for lots of things: Computers and Theatre, Creativity & Teaching, Community and Technology. C&T likes to bring different interests together to create a projects and experiences that are not just artistic but make a difference to people’s lives. That’s the most important thing: that we make theatre stand for something in the schools, communities and settings where people live and learn. This type of work is typically called Applied Theatre.

C&T also stands for Collar and TIE, reflecting the company’s original work as a Theatre-in-Education team working in schools. Collar and TIE Ltd is still C&T’s legal name.

Why theatre?

Theatre and Drama are powerful tools for communication and self-expresssion. They can change people’s hearts and minds. C&T believes these are powerful forces that can be used to inspire, educate and empower children, young people and communities.

The processes we use in drama can be used in other ways: enabling participants to share perspectives, develop empathy, solve problems as well as building communication and collaborative skills. This type of work is called many different things depending the context in which people encounter it: Theatre-in-Education, Theatre for Young People, Children’s Theatre, Theatre for Development, Theatre in Prisons. Today C&T prefers to use the generic term for this work: Applied Theatre. We feel this better reflects our openness and willingness to ‘apply’ our skills and expertise in new and challenging situations, whatever they might be.

Why computers and technology?

Digital technology is changing everything: how we learn, how we create, how we collaborate. We want theatre to play a part in this revolution. All the processes we describe as making up drama we think are also part of the digital landscape: people play roles in video games, collaborate in virtual spaces, perform for audiences. We want to find ways of finding synergies between the two so we can make our creativity fit for the future

How can C&T work in my school?

Check out the Creativity and Teaching section of this website for some ideas. Why not try our Prospero technology? Its free to sign up to. We want to hear from you. Please get in touch.

My group is facing a challenge. Can C&T help?

Almost certainly yes. We have a tremendous track record of working in partnership with community groups and charities, helping them to design projects that local needs. We can also help you secure funding to make these ideas a reality. Whatever the question, issue or problem it’s worth talking to us.

What is Prospero?

Prospero is a technology created by C&T. It combines our expertise in drama and technology to enable anyone to use these forces to make a difference in the school, organisation or community. Have a look at the Prospero website to see examples of how Prospero has helped change learning in classrooms, create opportunities for disabled people and make difference to people in the developing world. The possibilities are limitless. Maybe Prospero can help you.

What is the history of C&T?

C&T was founded in 1988 as Collar and TIE, a Theatre-in-Education (TIE) company serving schools and young people in the county of Hereford and Worcester (now Herefordshire and Worcestershire). The founding members were Paul Sutton, Andy Sheard, Martin Felton and Liz Stone. The company used a mix of TIE and Drama Education techniques, with a particular emphasis on participatory work. Work with children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) was an early priority, still reflected in work today. Devised work was the mainstay, but the company also commissioned several playwrights to write original plays that toured regionally.

The company quickly expanded into work in informal learning, working with young unemployed people and youth theatres.

The company become interested in the relationship between media and performance very early on, creating schools projects interrogating the role of news media in contemporary life and in documentary drama.

In the mid 1990s the company began experimenting with Distance Learning techniques, creating The Dark Theatre, an interactive murder-mystery comic book teaching drama and literacy through a termly print publication. By the turn of the century, as the internet began to gain traction, C&T turned to using digital technology to expand the reach and scale of its work. Within a few years projects like The Living Newspaper had allowed the company to develop a network of partner schools across England using C&T’s brand of drama and technology.

Now this practice has spread around the globe, with partners in New York City, Nairobi, Vienna, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. Our academic research and our collaborations with universities means we can disseminate the value of this work through conferences, books and journals.

Who funds C&T?

C&T is a Registered Charity which means all of the funds we raise is invested into our services and projects. We are a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England who fund C&T and support our vision and values. The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund support many of our UK projects and the partner organisations we collaborate with. From time to time we also receive funds from other charities and public bodies.

In New York City our work is funded by New York City Department of Education and through the generous support of Josh Groban’s Find Your Light Foundation.

But this support does not cover all our costs, but it does allow us to ensure our charges for services are vastly subsidised. The schools, universities and groups we serve are our customers and we are grateful for their support.

All the income we receive - be it from government, charities or as earned income - is invested back into our services and projects.

How can I find out more about C&T’s work?

The gowing catalogue of blogs, podcasts and case studies on our Prospero would be a great place to start. C&T’s work is also described in many academic books and journals including Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Performance, Drama and Social Justice, Applied Practice: Evidence and Impact in Theatre, Music and Art (Applied Theatre), and Applied Theatre: Economies, Innovation, Technology and Converging Practices in Drama Education and Applied Theatre.

Can I experience C&T at work?

It’s not easy to see C&T at work in public spaces. Because our work is often with children and vulnerable people it often happens behind closed doors. Here are the best ways to get an immediate flavour of our work:

Sign up for our digital platform Prospero and try out some of the smartscripts in the Library for yourself. Smartscripts created by Prospero are made by C&T and reflect our values, approach and techniques.

Attend one of the conferences in the UK and around the world we regularly contribute to. We share presentations and demonstrations of our work at many of them.

Watch some of the video case studies of our work online, many of them on Prospero.

Can I interview C&T for my studies?

Much as we would love to answer every question personally its not always possible for us to do this. You’re best exploring these FAQs and Prospero for the information you need. The Prospero podcasts and academy sections can give you an insight into our work too. Feel free to contact us if you have research projects we might be interested in, but we can’t guarantee a personal response every time.

Are there job opportunities with C&T?

When we have vacancies we will advertise them on this website and via the Arts Council’s Artjsobs service. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and contexts. We are committed to building a rich, diverse team of artists and practitioners reflecting our commitment to people and communities across the UK and internationally.

How much might it cost to work with C&T?

It depends on the nature of the work. One off activities might be inexpensive, whilst longer residencies or bespoke projects can cost more, reflecting the particular requirements and specifications. We find worrying about money is not the best way to start. We might be able to help you find funding to support projects and ideas. It’s better to start with exciting possibilities than worrying about money. Two things to remember: First, C&T is a charity, so none of our work is about making money. Second. the Prospero Library has lots of free and cheap resources which you can easily access and use.

I don’t live or work in the UK. Can C&T work with me?

The great strength of digital technology is that it doesn’t respect geographic boundaries. That means Prospero and C&T can work anywhere. We regularly work in New York City, Nairobi, Vienna, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland and many other settings. In the UK we work well beyond our base in Worcester, with projects happening in Birmingham, London, Liverpool, Northampton and beyond. Just get in touch.