Jacob and Rhianne are Storyhouse’s Creative Learning Practitioners.
What is a creative learning practitioner at Storyhouse?
The creative learning practitioners work in partnership with local partner schools in creating and leading workshops with young people. We take Storyhouse and its ethos to the schools, encouraging inclusivity, confidence-building, freedom of expression and, most of all, fun! The sessions are based around the national curriculum and the body of work showcasing at Storyhouse itself.
What does a typical week look like?
Rhianne: I either drive or get the train to the schools and most of my sessions start around 9am. I work in a mixture of school halls and classrooms with different year groups on different topics. I normally finish around 3:30/4 o’clock and then go home!
Jacob: A working week absolutely flies by! Most of my time is spent delivering the sessions in schools, but spending Fridays planning and resourcing in the office at Storyhouse is invaluable – it allows you to be completely prepared and also feel like part of the team.
What schools do you work in?
Rhianne: I work in Kelsall on Monday, St Martins on Tuesday, Mickle Trafford on Wednesday and Waverton on Thursday. I teach 16 classes over the week!
Jacob: I’m really fortunate to work with The Oaks Community Primary on a Monday and Grosvenor Park C of E Academy on Thursdays. I also work in collaboration with Passion for Learning, an amazing charity that works tirelessly to prove that learning is fun! With PfL, I go to a variety of local schools on a half-termly basis and also lead drama workshops with the new and thoroughly exciting Arts Enrichment Clubs!
Tell us about your favourite workshop you have delivered so far.
Rhianne: My favourite session so far was all to do with using your imagination. We turned the school hall into a jungle and went on an adventure to find lots of animals and people – we even found a very rickety bridge!
Jacob: I have absolutely loved being able to run Peter Pan workshops with all of my partner schools. The show itself was fabulous (more of that, later!) and the themes lend themselves perfectly to the work we have been doing since the programme began. Seeing a class of young people create 25+ Tinks, Pans or Hooks at the same time has been fantastic, particularly as everyone has brought something individual and personal to the roles.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Rhianne: My name is Rhianne. I am 28 years old and I have a dog called Lottie – she’s a pain. Her full name is Lottie Lupin Minerva Stubbs because we couldn’t decide what to name her and me and my mum both like Harry Potter, so we gave her a full name instead of just one! I have been doing dance since I was 18 months old and have been involved in dance, drama and musical productions all through my life. I’ve got a degree in Musical Theatre and a Masters degree in Choreography.
Jacob: Like Rhianne, I am also 28 years old. I studied Drama and Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University and I have lived in the city for nearly a decade, now. I live with my partner, Grace, and our recent addition to the family – Cosmo! He’s a gorgeous, cuddly kitten who sleeps in between our pillows at night! My favourite things in the world are theatre, music and football. I support my hometown team, Preston North End, and try to get to as many games as I can. I have also scored in a match at the Swansway Stadium, home of Chester FC. Fine, it was a penalty, but they all count!
What has been your favourite show you have seen in Storyhouse?
Rhianne: Swallows and Amazons at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre. I loved how they incorporated sound and movement in the play. It was a really fun and energetic show.
Jacob: My favourite, so far, has been Peter Pan! I loved the way a classic story was modernised and set here in Chester, and the live music embedded throughout was excellent. One of the most interesting points that I’ve loved discussing with young people in schools is the fact that Captain Hook was played (quite brilliantly, by Imogen Slaughter) by a female actor. I think it’s really important that gender doesn’t define the roles people can play, both on the stage and in the wider world.
What is your favourite film?
Rhianne: My all-time favourite film is Nightmare Before Christmas. I love Tim Burton and Danny Elfman is one of my favourite film composers. I’ve watched the film since I was tiny and I watch it every year between Halloween and Christmas.
Jacob: I have deliberated over this for HOURS. Notable mentions go to The Matrix, Control, La La Land and Toy Story 3, but I’ve decided to go with Star Wars: A New Hope. What a film! When I was younger, I wanted to be a Jedi just like Luke. Still do, actually. If my mum ever told us she’d be out for the evening, my dad, brother and I would look at each other with big smirks, knowing that it was going to be a Star Wars night in! It’s the perfect good vs evil story and is every bit as relevant today as it was when I first watched it, many moons ago. My favourite character is Princess Leia – she’s fierce, compassionate and fights for a just cause, despite how hard it is to do so.
What is your favourite book?
Rhianne: My favourite book is Misery by Stephen King. It was the first Stephen King book I ever read when I was in year 9/10 at school, around 14ish. I think he’s a fantastic writer and he’s my favourite author.
Jacob: Again, it has been really hard to choose just one, but I’ve decided to go with the first book that I remember being completely and utterly engaged with – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’d hate to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but Sirius Black is a brilliant character and I love the darker turn that the writing took after the first two books. I remember sweating cobs when I read it before bedtime as the Dementors approached! I also think it’s the best film in the series, too.
What is your favourite biscuit?
Rhianne: My favourite biscuit is a custard cream because I like how you can eat it in different ways. You can lick the custard out of the middle, or you can eat the biscuit first and then the custard or eat them both together. I can eat them in 3 different ways depending how I feel and that is why they are my favourite.
Jacob: Finally, an easy question! Gingernuts. They don’t completely disintegrate when you dunk them in a cup of tea or coffee and they’re full of flavour.
If your school wants to find out more about becoming one of our partner schools for the academic year 2020-21 please contact Hayley Lindley-Thornhill, Young Storyhouse Manager, Hayley@storyhouse.com