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About

About

Oxford People's Theatre is an intergenerational company for anyone aged 11+ with a passion for making theatre alongside professional artists.

OPT harnesses the power of theatre to create community. Our productions allow connections to flourish across process and performance, creatives and audiences, and different communities.

OPT was founded by Co-directors

Lizzy McBain and Emma Webb in 2022.

Lizzy is a Director and Designer.

Emma is a choreographer, movement director and theatre maker. 

Between them they have 45 years collective experience making theatre with professional and community artists, and a passion for making visually striking performance with people from all backgrounds.

 

"Life is better with OPT" participant

How to get involved

OPT currently runs one production project per year.

Rehearsals start in September and are nearly every Saturday until the performance week in mid February. 

OPT is open to all adults & YP aged 11+ from across Oxford. We want all to feel welcome, especially those: 

  • with little or no experience of theatre

  • on low incomes,  

  • with additional mental or physical health needs. 

 

We do this by: 

  • not holding auditions

  • creating multiple ways to engage onstage or backstage

  • offering free /pay what you can activity

  • reimbursing bus fares where needed

We also have plans for a week of creative play to generate ideas for our next production, July 22nd-24th 2024, at the Burton Taylor Studio, Gloucester Street.

And some skill share and taster workshops coming up.

Email us oxfordpeoplestheatre@gmail.com or join our mailing list below for more information.

Quotes

 

What people say
 

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“By not setting any barriers to entry, it means there are no limits to what can be achieved.”

- Participant

"Personally, I had never been on stage before and it gave me a chance to step onto the stage in a very safe way with a local, supportive audience and a team who had your back. It has given me a new-found confidence that I have never had before. I feel that if I can do that, I can do anything"

 

- Participant

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“If I wasn’t involved with OPT, I would not interact with people & I’d be more depressed. It’s something to look forward to... A chance to be part of something.

Life is better with OPT"

- Participant

Projects


PROJECTS
 


The Moon and Darker Tales

A bright light has appeared. The people have been woken up and some are pretty grumpy about it. What are they going to do now? Will they ever get back to sleep? And what’s that wolf doing there too?   

“Just the beauty of the whole thing - the people, the talent, the patience, the creativity, the kindness, the connection…. Working together to create something amazing.”

 

- Participant

“Whilst every element of this production was perfect it was the sense of love and joy in the room that really elevated into something almost spiritual and definitely about community.”

 

- Audience member

An original production by Oxford People's Theatre, inspired by Grimm's Fairytales

Written by Emma Webb and devised by the company

With original music by Guy Hughes

Directed by Emma Webb and Lizzy McBain

Designed by Lizzy McBain

50 performers aged 9 to 90

Performed at Pegasus Theatre, February 2024

Supported by Arts Council England, Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council



Shaping Destiny 

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Photos by David Jeffrey 

An Oxford People's Theatre performance

Written by Emma Webb and devised by the company

Directed by Emma Webb and Lizzy McBain

Designed by Jess Shaw

26 performers aged between 17 and 89

 

Site specific promenade performance in the grounds of the Old Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford.  

 

In one day they performed three sold out shows exploring, medicine and the history of the building. It was a time leaping extravaganza filled with Saints, sheet folding, quacks, Obstetric flying squads, resurrections and one very strict Matron. Developed over two days of devising, the cast then had 4 rehearsals to get to grips with their roles before playing to over 200 members of the public 

Shaping Destiny was commissioned by TORCH, the Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities and DPAG, the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, as part of a public engagement project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine.



The People's Pantomime

An original production by Oxford People's Theatre

Text by Limelight Scripts and adapted by Emma Webb and Mark Ralph Bowman

Directed by Lizzy McBain and Emma Webb

Designed by Lizzy McBain

40 performers aged 8 - 89 years of age

Performed at the Old Fire Station, January 2023

Supported by Oxford City Council and Offbeat Festival

"A Fantastic show. Really good fun. I have never participated so much with a show, the warmth and talent of the actors drew in the audience. Wonderful music and clever lyrics."

"A wonderful celebration of community theatre at its best. Excellent script, directing, movement, acting, music and audience involvement."

 

-Audience feedback

 

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