Memorial for Bill Kenwright from The RYTC

The RYTC team was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and patron Bill Kenwright CBE. 

Bill was a partner, father, grandfather, great friend and patron. He will be missed by many and this is testament to his giving nature and impact on the theatre and creative arts space. The team wanted to honour his legacy and influence with this memorial page.

The RYTC’s Artistic Director started her career in Bill Kenwright’s work family. Bill told her to go and open her own youth theatre, because ‘being creative is so important for our kids!’ His mantra… “go and do it”!! And if “it” is right – then you can’t fail.”

To name only a fraction of the awards and achievements Bill received are the notable honour of a CBE in 2002, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Theatrical Management Association in 2008, and an honourary BBC Radio 2 special episode of Friday Night in 2017 broadcast from the London Palladium itself. Bill was nominated for a London Theatre Critics’ Award for West Side Story and a Tony Award for Blood Brothers.

This multi-award winning career saw Bill’s West End productions constantly in notable venues such as the RSC, Dominion, Palladium, Apollo and many others. Ensuring his legacy as one of the UK’s most successful theatre producers.

Bill embodied the spirit of empowering young people through creative opportunities. His legacy will be felt and continued through the many groups and communities he supported with the mission of providing opportunities to local young people. Bill made his community and generations of people richer through experiences such as finding like minds, getting creative and fostering confidence in young people.

The RYTC in memory of Bill will continue to “go and do it” as his legacy will continue to empower our team, kids and encourage everyone to be creative.

Our thoughts are with Bill’s family at this difficult time and also with the many people we know he impacted for the better.

Have you ever noticed how a good play or movie can make you feel more connected to other people? That’s because stories have a way of bringing us together, of helping us understand each other’s perspectives and experiences. Drama therapy takes this connection to the next level, using the power of storytelling and role-playing to help people develop social skills and build relationships.

What is drama therapy?

Drama therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses improvisation, role-playing, and storytelling to help people explore and express their emotions, develop social skills, and improve their overall well-being. It’s based on the idea that by taking on different roles and perspectives, people can gain new insights into their own experiences and the experiences of others.

Drama therapy is often used as a form of psychotherapy, but it can also be used in schools, community centers, and other settings to help people of all ages develop social skills and build relationships.

How does drama therapy help build social skills?

Drama therapy can help people build social skills in a variety of ways, including:

  1. Building empathy 

In drama therapy, people often take on the roles of different characters, which can help them develop a deeper understanding of other people’s perspectives and experiences. By practicing empathy in this way, people can become more attuned to the emotions and needs of others.

  1. Improving communication 

Drama therapy can help people improve their communication skills by giving them opportunities to practice active listening, nonverbal communication, and assertiveness. By practicing these skills in a safe and supportive environment, people can build confidence and improve their ability to communicate effectively in their everyday lives.

  1. Developing teamwork

Many drama therapy exercises involve working collaboratively with others to create a story or performance. By working together towards a common goal, people can learn to value each other’s contributions, support each other’s ideas, and develop a sense of trust and camaraderie.

What are some drama therapy exercises you can try at home?

If you’re interested in using drama therapy to help build social skills, there are a variety of exercises you can try at home. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Role-playing: Choose a scenario, such as ordering food at a restaurant, and take turns playing different roles. Practice active listening, assertiveness, and nonverbal communication to make the scenario feel more realistic.
  • Mirror exercises: Stand facing a partner and take turns mirroring each other’s movements and facial expressions. This can help build empathy and nonverbal communication skills.
  • Storytelling: Take turns telling stories or making up a story together. Practice active listening, building on each other’s ideas, and supporting each other’s creativity.
  • Collaborative play: Choose a game or activity that requires teamwork, such as building a tower out of blocks or playing a group game like “Red Light, Green Light”. Practice communicating effectively, supporting each other’s ideas, and valuing each other’s contributions.

In conclusion, drama therapy can be a powerful tool for developing social skills and building relationships. By practicing empathy, communication, and teamwork through improvisation, role-playing, and storytelling, people of all ages can gain new insights into themselves and others, and develop the skills they need to thrive in their social interactions. So why not give it a try? You might be surprised at how much fun it can be, and how much you can learn about yourself and others in the process.