Part of our series of blogs from people across the country about what theatre has done for them and their community.

James is a student in Stratford-upon-Avon School and has been a member of our Youth Advisory Board since it began in 2019.

My involvement with the RSC has helped to make a difference in my life, by allowing me to feel part of a team as well as giving me a sense of responsibility to provide my honest feedback and opinions.  

Being involved with and in the production of Romeo and Juliet (2018) as well as other school projects that have been made available by the RSC, have allowed my confidence to flourish. I studied Romeo and Juliet for English literature at GCSE so being in the production really helped me to understand and interpret the text.

James is a student in Stratford

My involvement with the RSC has also really helped me to make a difference in my community, mainly in my school. 

The RSC invited me to be a Shakespeare Ambassador which involved me promoting Shakespeare through whatever medium we thought would be most effective, mainly to younger audiences.

This allowed me to show other people how interesting and fun the stereotypically ‘boring’ Shakespeare can be. I held a Key Stage 3, lunchtime drama club once a week, along with a couple of my friends (also Shakespeare Ambassadors), introducing 30 pupils to Shakespeare with a few games. This will hopefully help the 30 pupils to do well in their Shakespeare English literature texts as it gives them an insight and understanding of Shakespeare that most sitting an exam won’t have had. I think that acting it out really helps to understand the play compared to reading it - that was what it was created for.

Why the arts matter to me

The arts bring generations together, spreading a message or a story over centuries that is relevant to anyone. The arts also allow me to express myself, ideas, opinions and dreams through entertainment. Working in a team to create a bigger picture, where every single person is needed to make it work is also such a great feeling. With the arts anything is possible.

Another thing that I love about the arts is that you are able to create and play characters, taking time to understand every aspect of them and why they do the things they do. This helps me to empathise with people in the real world and understand why they do what they do or think what they think.

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