Our Associates are a specially invited group of highly skilled creative practitioners from a range of fields, all hugely experienced in planning and delivering exciting and active learning opportunities for children and young people.
An actor (as Helena Jacks), drama practitioner, interactive storyteller, singer and songwriter, I work with children (and, sometimes, their families) to create magical worlds that allow people to paint their own stories in words. Starting with anything from traditional tales to historical events to Shakespeare, we work together to build enchanting realms where anything is possible.
I’m a visual artist and illustrator – and I like to doodle and play with paint, recycled objects and found objects (indoors and outdoors!). I think that being creative is all about having fun; I like having that freedom to have fun – and I like to listen to music whilst being creative! Being creative is also about communicating ideas – and I’m a great communicator.
I believe in the power of story – from the joke to the parable, simple narrative is how people communicate. Working through the realm of storytelling allows us to create drama – a popular, accessible, emotional and intellectual experience. And a powerful educational tool, which can be used to explore historical events or contemporary issues in a fully human context. And it does this in many ways. Encouraging the imagination and creativity, driven by passion and enthusiasm, drama allows participants to take inspiration from history, literature or human nature – and to explore the power of the story.
Music and drama can take us anywhere – to any place, real or imaginary, and to any time. So specialise in bringing learning to life through storytelling, character development and acting/role play and song. Qualified in musical theatre, running a number of community choirs and experienced in youth theatre, my approach engages even the shyest to perform with confidence and skill – and to celebrate their achievements.
I graduated from University College Falmouth with a Degree in Illustration. Now I write and illustrate picture books, alongside a variety of other exciting and challenging adventures. I have an eclectic working background and varied experiences of working closely with people of all ages within, and without, the arts. Over the past few years I have been exploring the importance of heart to heart communication as an essential foundation for happiness, with a focus on the role storytelling can play in this. Stories act as such a powerful tool to present ideas and encourage dialogue about parts of life that may be foreign and not easily understood. I wish to help people learn together dynamically and connect more deeply.
As an actor with 12 years experience of creative workshops in schools (including 4 years working with children and young adults with additional needs), I use creative techniques to encourage and inspire those I work with. Because even the shyest performer can be nurtured and given the opportunity to shine! I passionately believe that that are no boundaries to our creativity and potential the succeed – and really enjoy helping children and young people (and their teachers!) realise this for themselves.
I’ve been working in theatre ever since I left school – with the RSC, in the West End, in small fringe theatres and alongside children in schools. For me, theatre is … possibility, freedom, exploration. It opens up, allows shy children to be kings, allows us to share things we’ve only just discovered, to tell the truth, to invent the impossible and live it for a while. It inspires and invites us to see the world in a myriad different ways. And when students begin to play and partake, I love watching the transformations that happen, however brief – moments rich with understanding.