Take the Lead

Take the Lead is a free employability programme from The Old Vic for students aged 15–18 that uses theatre techniques and creative workshops to build on five core skills: communication, self-management, self-belief, teamwork and problem solving.  

This programme is created in collaboration with schools and businesses and draws on The Old Vic’s expertise as a theatrical institution to support young people to take ownership over their next steps after school and prepare them for the working world of the future.  

‘Thank you, it has been truly inspiring to see the students’ confidence blossom throughout the programmeTeacher, Take the Lead  


Take the Lead includes three main engagements for selected schools.  

  • Learn your Part – 2 hour in-school workshop
    How do we use our physicality and words to communicate and work with others. Your students will explore the tools that actors develop in the rehearsal room.
  • Build your Company 2 hour in-school workshop
    How do we work together using our skills and those of our team mates to create and present an innovative pitch? Your students form their own theatre company and pitch the next Old Vic production.  
  • Take to the Stage – 2 hour in-school workshop
    How can we practically apply the skills developed on the programme to help prepare us for the working world? Your students explore how to communicate their skills and strengths when applying for their next steps; including CV writing tips, how to create your own elevator pitch and interview guidance

The programme will take place between January and May 2021. We will work with selected schools to confirm workshop schedules once you are accepted onto the programme. 

Take the Lead participants will be invited to a follow up employability event hosted by The Old Vic. Students will be able to sign up independently for this weekend event which will feature a guest host, exciting guest speakers and a performer as well as employer stalls, employability skills workshops, CV drop-in station and a networking session.  

Partner schools will also benefit from:  

  • A welcome video with Take the Lead ambassadors  
  • Students will be supported by a Prompt Book, an additional learning resource  
  • Teachers will be further supported via an online Meet and Greet and an online CPD session as well as a teaching resource pack  

‘Take the Lead inspired me to focus more on my future and be more confident when in interviews’ Student, Take the Lead


  • This programme is designed for students in Year 11–13 studying any subject and students do not have to be studying drama  
  • Applications are open to all secondary state schools based within the M25  
  • The programme is offered free of charge  


Applications for Take the Lead 2021 are now closed. 

Please email: takethelead@oldvictheatre.com if you have any questions.  

Sign up to the Take Part mailing list to hear more about workshops, skills and employment programmes, talent development and short courses for all ages or follow us on our social media channels.  

SIGN UP TO OUR SCHOOLS MAILING LIST Take the Lead 2019-20 Evaluation

In association with
CVC Foundation

Generously supported by
Sir John Cass’s Foundation, John Lyon’s Charity, Clore Duffield Foundation and The HW Sanderson Art in Industry Fund