Why work with us

The use of entertainment as a strategy for social change is a practice that dates back to the beginnings of organised societies. Life-saving information, shared values and beliefs, and socially acceptable practices have been passed down from generation to generation through the art of storytelling.

Motivating behaviour change is difficult. While knowledge is important, other social and psychological factors are at play. Our work purposely designs characters and storylines in dramas that provide viewers with relatable models, that connect with them on a personal and emotional level, rather than through information alone. Dramas may help viewers become more receptive to new ways of thinking, as ideas are no longer abstract concepts but are experiences lived by individuals, through the dramas’ characters.

So-called edu-entertainment is defined as a communication strategy that intentionally seeks to reinforce or change attitudes, values, beliefs, or social practices by integrating educational content into entertainment productions.

Since 1995 we have commissioned and produced UK-wide tours of 16 original projects exploring advances in scientific research. We have worked with world-leading organisations including universities, the Wellcome Trust, arts centres, research centres, learned societies, charities and more.

Why our work is important

Medical science and associated issues related to human health are developing at an unprecedented pace. Such developments concern us all, and yet the ways in which young people can engage in, explore and understand these subjects are extremely limited.

Theatre provides an accessible way into complex scientific issues through story telling. By providing a structure that everyone can relate to – human relationships – challenging and complex issues become understandable and interesting. The human health issues addressed by Theatre of Debate are universal, ethical questions, and are key subjects on the GCSE Science curriculum. Evaluation of Theatre of Debate programmes demonstrates enhanced understanding and performance in this area by participating students, as well as developments in critical thinking and citizenship studies.

Issues addressed

  • Patient and public involvement
  • Sugar, obesity and type 2 diabetes
  • Genetic disease and screening
  • Electronic patient information
  • Clinical trials
  • Novel neurotechnologies
  • Stem cells in research and therapy
  • The use of animals in medical research
  • Neuroethics

What we offer

Public engagement for community organisations and schools

  • Talks and seminars
  • Plays, films and digital media
  • Resources to support organisations to develop and support debates
  • Professional facilitation / training facilitators
  • Widening participation

Curriculum enrichment for schools

  • Live theatre or films
  • Support and resource materials for schools
  • Facilitation of debate and discussion
  • Widening participation

Public engagement for research

  • Design, production and delivery of creative projects including theatre, film and digital media for specific issues
  • Facilitated workshops with scientists, researchers and creatives to explore creative and impactful ways to engage the public
  • Expert advice on public engagement programmes

All our work is underpinned by rigorous information gathering, consultation and collaboration with a wide range of relevant experts who enable the creation of plays, associated debates and educational resources.