RSC Youth Advisory Board and Shakespeare Ambassadors

Our Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is made up of 30 Shakespeare Ambassadors from our Associate Schools around the country.

Shakespeare Ambassadors have been recruited from the many schools in our Associate Schools Programme who have all chosen to take on a position of responsibility and advocate for Shakespeare and the Arts.

The YAB began in 2019 as a group of young people who were passionate about the performing arts, and who wanted to make the voices of the youth heard in an age where this beautiful sector is slowly disappearing due to the actions of a society that doesn’t realise its importance.

The young people on the YAB are a diverse group of ages, genders and ethnicities - one of their main aims is to make sure everyone’s voices are heard and acted upon, no matter who they are. They want to make a change in the world we are living in today, and to make sure the arts still thrive in the future.

Photo by Sam Allard, Fisher Studios © RSC Browse and license our images

Since 2019, great strides in theatre, education and activism have been made by this engaged group of young people. From lobbying school exam boards to expand their variety of set texts, a live performance of Shakespeare’s most relevant works, and exploring anti-racism and mental wellbeing amongst young people, the YAB has taken their platform and made headways to create a more equal and enlightened world for the youth of today.

Time to be heard

The Youth Advisory Board created Time to be Heard, adapted from a national research project into arts education in school. The three-year research project, called Time to Listen, involved teachers and students in 30 schools working with a team from the University of Nottingham. Researchers analysed 6,000 responses from young people across the country whose schools either worked with the RSC or with Tate, to find out what young people felt about the importance of the arts and cultural education in their lives inside and outside school.

From the 6,000 responses, the Youth Advisory Board chose five quotes that they felt were important and best expressed the difference that Arts subjects and experiences make to their lives:

  • My way to escape from my learning difficulties is through the arts.
  • I know people who were involved in street life and being around negative people, they had nothing to do so joining drama clubs gets them off the streets.
  • You learn about feminism, racism, attacks on race or ethnicity, class debates in order to create a piece of drama.
  • In arts subjects there’s no such thing as perfection. It’s not in our dictionary because it cannot be achieved. It’s interpretation. Everyone will have a different opinion and you have to take it on board and reflect upon it.
  • I am more able to make mistakes and learn from them rather than hate myself for it.

Here are the postcards that they then created, to express these ideas: Time to be Heard Postcards.

Shakespeare Ambassadors

We have 600 Shakespeare Ambassadors across the country who believe the arts matter and want more people to know that.

They are all passionate about making a difference and wanting their voices to be heard. They are all activating and leading creative arts projects in their communities – and making a difference. Hover over the map below to find out what the Ambassadors are doing in their regions.


Shakespeare Ambassador Blogs and Case Studies

  • Springhead Primary School, Staffordshire

  • Weston Favell Primary School, Northampton (Northampton Primary Academy Trust)

  • St. Cuthbert's Primary School, County Durham

  • Silhouette Youth Theatre, Northampton

  • Ormiston Sudbury Academy, Suffolk

If you’re aged between 9 – 18 years of age and want to develop your own arts projects, we hope these examples have given you some ideas. Do let us know how you get on:

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