Freya shares their experiences of being part of the THREADS Young People Programme and tells us how they continue to use the skills they learnt.
Freya is a Sixth Form student from Warwickshire. They took part in our THREADS Young People Programme last summer. The RSC worked with seven young people from Coventry and Warwickshire for a series of workshops with costume makers, exhibition designers, collections managers and more.
I got involved with the THREADS Young People’s Programme when my sister sent me a link to a Facebook advert describing innovative workshops and seminars about costume and theatre at the RSC. I was immediately drawn in because of my interest in fashion and textiles design.
The programme was made up of a series of eight online workshops followed by a week of in person creative workshops in Stratford-upon-Avon. The workshops themselves were exciting and engaging, as we learnt about what it takes to make the costumes we see in productions and the different methods used to make them look so stunning.
A personal highlight for me was when we used methods we had been show and we got to get hands on and experiment with how fabrics can be moulded and adapted to create different effects. I particularly enjoyed creating a mud effect and tearing and destroying the fabric. It was so much fun and I loved the messiness.
It was also interesting to learn about the business aspect to costume when we discussed budgeting from the perspective of a Costume Supervisor.
What has stuck with me the most is the friendships I made and how I learnt from people around me. This project helped me to improve my social skills and how I work in a group. Especially after the pandemic, I felt as though I had almost become a recluse and as the workshops continued, I came out of my shell and became far more involved. The week we were together in person was so special and I will never forget it.
Having taken part in this programme, I have been inspired to explore my love for fashion and costume. I’ve continued to make my own clothes, and I have used many of the techniques we learnt about to enhance my projects. In college, I am more vocal in my classes and engage and work with my peers. I feel more adventurous and confident in my own abilities. I've recently been doing things in my life which I never thought I would be able to before being involved with this project, and I have become more mature in my outlook on life.
Since being involved in the THREADS Young People programme, I have applied to university to study Ancient History and Archaeology. The influences of the ancient world are undeniable in Shakespeare. Archaeology is a very social career path; you work in groups and engage in learning with your peers. Group work was a highlight of this project and I am looking forward to doing this at university.
Lastly, during the summer holidays before university I plan on creating many historically inspired costumes for myself and for my friends. I will of course be using the techniques taught by the THREADS programme and I am ecstatic to get started on them.