£24,000 over 3 years

Established in 2000 Synergy Theatre Project works towards rehabilitation and resettlement with prisoners, ex-prisoners and young people at risk of offending through theatre and related activities whilst placing the wider issues surrounding criminal justice in the public arena.

Their work is founded on the belief that theatre can be transformative and challenges perceptions of both prisoners and society, building a more positive future. Synergy is committed to artistic excellence, believing it to be an integral part of achieving this purpose.

Synergy’s work comprises the following strands of activity:

  • Theatre productions performed by prisoners and ex-prisoners alongside professionals in prisons, theatres and schools
  • Education programme targeting young people at risk of offending – delivered by professional practitioners supported by trained ex-prisoner facilitators, comprising an annual touring production and bespoke projects;
  • New writing programme cultivating plays by those with experience of the criminal justice system through courses , competitions, mentoring and progression routes into mainstream theatre;
  • Synergy Studio, a theatre-based training, work placement and employment programme for prisoners and ex-prisoners to develop specific creative and transferable skills and aiding the transition from resettlement to work.

Project

The Education Programme engages young people who are most at risk of entering, or have already entered, the criminal justice system through high quality, theatre-based activities. The programme is delivered by professional practitioners and supported by trained ex-prisoner facilitators whose first-hand experience of the consequences of crime brings an authenticity to the work and engages the young people in a real and honest way.

The programme includes annual productions and films performed by ex-prisoner and professional actors, workshops, and bespoke projects.

The productions and films explore crime related themes and currently tour to young people in schools, Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), Youth Offending Institutes (YOIs) in London and the Unicorn Theatre. They are accompanied by post show discussions and workshops exploring the themes further.