Our annual Playmaking Festival celebrates the creativity and imagination of young people and their teachers from Stratford-upon-Avon and across the country.

The performances created for our Playmaking Festival are rehearsed with young people from our long-term partnerships with schools and regional partner theatres who are part of our national Associate Schools Programme, and in our local schools in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Associate Schools Playmaking Festival 2019_ Newcaslte_2019_Photo by Sara Beaumont _c_ RSC_291253
Young actors from the Newcastle ensemble performing Romeo and Juliet in the National Playmaking Festival 2019.
Photo by Sara Beaumont © RSC Browse and license our images

In the National Playmaking Festival, young people from Cornwall to Cumbria, Blackpool to Hull, come together to present one of Shakespeare’s works in one of our theatres here in Stratford-upon-Avon. The Regional Playmaking Festivals take place across the country with young people from our Associate Schools performing in their schools and in our partner theatres to audiences of family, friends and local communities.

The work in these schools is deeply rooted in the artistic practice of our company. Alongside our regional partner theatres, we encourage young people and their teachers to approach these texts as our actors do; something to be explored and understood together as we create our performance.


Playmaking Festival 2022

This year's festival explores Much Ado About Nothing. We are delighted that performances have already begun and will be taking place in our Partner Theatres and schools through the spring and in Stratford-upon-Avon in July 2022.

National Playmaking Festival will take place on 12 July 2022 in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

With the infamous relationship of Beatrice and Benedick and its themes of love, shame and the power of forgiveness, Much Ado About Nothing is a play which has a new meaning to the young people who have worked on it. 

Playmaking 2020 & 2021

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 festivals both took place online.

In 2021, an interactive map took visitors from performance to performance, with hidden challenges included along the way.

In 2020 young people across the country responded to a set of creative challenges on The Taming of the Shrew and As You Like It for the festival. You can watch some examples of their work here.

Playmaking 2019

In 2019 young people from our Associate Schools performed Romeo and Juliet in our regional and national Playmaking Festivals.





The work of the RSC Learning and National Partnerships department is generously supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Clore Duffield Foundation, The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust, GRoW @ Annenberg, The Polonsky Foundation, Stratford Town Trust, The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity, Teale Charitable Trust, The Grimmitt Trust and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


You may also like