From its base in the heart of East Oxford, Pegasus Theatre has been creating theatre for, by and with young people for over 50 years. Although it has come a long way from the early days working out of the old Schools Meals Service canteen on Magdalen Road the ethos remains the same, providing the inspiration for journeys filled with creative opportunity, aspiration and imagination.
The purpose built venue’s 133 seat theatre regularly hosts productions from the very best small- scale touring theatre companies that are creating shows with young people in mind, be they toddlers or teenagers, and it provides a home for two resident Young Companies.
Today, the young companies are currently in rehearsal for productions devised and created by their young actors in response to a brief from their Youth Board – Carnival of Resistance; art in times of unrest. The resulting performances R.E.S.I.S.T and Manifesto are shaping up to be meaty explorations of the times in which they live and will have three public performances in the Spring and Summer seasons. In the studio space the cast of Under My Skin has been rehearsing and preparing for a tour of 30 schools across Oxfordshire which kicks off in March and will be raising awareness about the issue of self-harm among the county’s teenagers and promoting the services available to young people affected. The Café is filled with students from Oxford Brookes University gathering before the start of their Renaissance Drama module which is taught at the venue.
As the school day comes to a close we see the drift of young people through the doors from ages 8-25 who take part in weekly courses in drama, street dance and music, Magdalen College School students head into the workshop for their technical academy, and the taxis bringing our more vulnerable young people to supported projects arrive.
It’s a busy time, with a new team at the helm, Corinne Micallef (Artistic Director) and Polly Cole (Executive Director), and there is energy in the air as the pair are working with education provider boomsatsuma to launch a professional acting diploma for 16-18 year olds (equivalent to 3 A Levels) in September which will see the venue filled during the day with young people learning their trade and fuelling the next creative generation.
“We believe passionately that young people are the change makers of the future and we are placing their voice and decision-making at the heart of the organisation, listening to their ideas and responding to their energy in developing our programme and the support and activity we provide. Young people are and always will be the life force of Pegasus”
From 0-25 yrs, there is something to draw you in; the explosive style of Street Dance Crew, a year-long commitment to one of the resident companies or finding a free coffee for you to take time out for an hour or so whilst your little one enjoys a session of messy arts play on a Saturday morning.
Pegasus Theatre, Magdalen Road Oxford OX4 5RE
Open Tues – Friday from 11am Saturday from 10am