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 drawing on The Old Vic’s expertise as a theatrical institution and is specially designed to support young people to take ownership over their next steps after school. Take the Lead is open to any student in Year 11–13, and students can be studying any subject, not just drama.

‘This programme is fantastic and the amount of hours provided is rarely ever provided. My Year 12 students felt much more confident at the end. Thank you.’ Teacher, 2019


Take the Lead will take place across February and March 2020. The programme will work with 40 secondary school groups and schools can apply to involve up to two groups. Groups can be made up of the same or mixed year groups, with a maximum of 30 in each group.


Take the Lead is a four-week programme, with six engagements for selected schools.

06, 07, 10 or 11 Feb: Curtain Up
An exciting 2.5 hour launch event at The Old Vic Workrooms with up to three other school groups

24–28 Feb: Learn your Part
A half day workshop for your students at school. How do we use our physicality and words to communicate and work with others?

02–06 Mar: Build your Company
A half day workshop for your students at school. How do we work together using our skills and those of our team mates to create and present an innovative pitch?

09–13 Mar: Take to the Stage
A three hour workshop at The Old Vic Workrooms. An immersive session with three other school groups. Students will enter an exciting recruitment relay, travelling through various rooms that will feature interactive sessions and training led by Old Vic creative practitioners.

Curtain Call
An interactive event/series of events organised by your students in school to share the programme learning with the wider school community.

Selected schools will also benefit from:

  • Access to our Online Education Hub
  • Access to our Join In Network
  • Students will be supported by a Prompt Book, an additional learning resource
  • Teachers will be further supported via a Meet and Greet and CPD session as well as a teaching resource pack
  • Selected schools will receive free tickets to bring their groups to Samuel Beckett’s Endgame/Rough for Theatre II at The Old Vic

‘Take the Lead inspired me to focus more on my future and be more confident when in interviews’ Take the Lead Student 2019


  • 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 the Take the Lead 2020 are now open.


Applications close at 10am on Fri 15 Nov 2019.

Please get in touch if you have any questions about access requirements.

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


Sign up to our schools mailing list Take The Lead 2018 Evaluation



In association with
CVC Foundation

Generously supported by
The Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, John Lyon’s Charity, The Leathersellers’ Company Charitable Fund and The HW Sanderson Art in Industry Fund