ICAP's London office supported Mousetrap Theatre Projects on Charity Day 2010 and since then many young people with special educational needs have been able to attend outstanding theatre productions which they would not otherwise have accessed.
Mousetrap Theatre Projects is a charity that believes that all young people should have the opportunity to attend outstanding theatre, irrespective of their health, cultural, social or economic background.
We are always touched by the letters and emails we receive from teachers who see how theatre can be a transforming experience for their pupils, expanding their horizons and giving them new skills and ways of working together. We are incredibly grateful to ICAP for enabling us to expand this valued programme to many new schools, reaching thousands of young people with special needs. Thank you.Susan Whiddington, Director of Mousetrap Theatre Projects.
ICAP Theatre Journeys for Special Schools gives these children access to major theatrical performances including musicals such as Shrek The Musical, The Lion King and Mamma Mia! The trips are more than a visit to the theatre and an opportunity to see a West End show. They offer a very special experience that enables these young people to be transported into a world of imagination and communication which builds their self-confidence and encourages them to express themselves. Mousetrap then follows up with in-school workshops for all participating pupils where theatre practitioners with experience in working with children with special needs, run sessions on topics relevant to the production. These workshops are often transforming, allowing pupils to experiment and explore new ideas and ways of relating to one another through drama.
In addition to Mousetrap's comprehensive programme of theatre access and education work, ICAP also funded a special performance of Shrek the Musical for an audience filled entirely with young people with special needs and their families. The performance was a huge success for both children and their families alike and the feedback has been inspiring.
"Percy who is severely autistic and 7 years old loved Shrek so much that he cried when it was finished and said, "I want Shrek – more music please". He very rarely speaks. Thank you very much for your hard work. It is very much appreciated. Sarah
"I took along my son who has Down's syndrome and he hasn't stopped singing and dancing since!" A mum who attended the event with her son.
"It was probably Mya's happiest time of her life and this would never have been possible to achieve without the help of your fantastic company. Mya is home educated due to her illness and is house-bound most days so to go to somewhere special like the theatre was everything to her. This outing allowed a bit of sunshine in our lives… we will treasure it for the rest of our lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Tracie
"You won't, I'm sure, need me to tell you how liberating it is to be able to take a special needs child to an event where his/her challenging behaviour is the norm rather than the exception. It makes their experiences of life a great deal broader than they might otherwise be – and their family's likewise" A Father whose family attended the performance with his special needs children.
Over 3,250 children have benefitted from The ICAP Theatre Journeys for Special schools. ICAP's donation also funded training for special needs teachers and skills-sharing training days for theatre practitioners working with children with special needs.