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Barbican Box at Harlow Playhouse

Student performing in Barbican Box showcase

A Box designed and curated by award-winning interactive theatre company, Coney, to support teachers and students to create new work through the concept of ‘playful activism'

In 2020/21, Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning will partner with Harlow Playhouse, to bring Barbican Box to secondary schools and colleges in Harlow and the surrounding area.

About Barbican Box at Harlow Playhouse

About Coney

Coney are interactive theatre-makers.

They create games, adventures and play where people can choose to take a meaningful part. Coney's work takes place anywhere that people gather: in theatres, schools, museums, on the streets and online and always follows the principles of adventure, curiosity and loveliness.

The experience starts when you first hear about it, and only ends when you stop thinking and talking about it.

Coney make play with ideas that resonate in the world: from the everyday to the extraordinary. Their work is inspired by the belief that the world can be a magical place where ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Collaboration and dialogue are at the heart of how Coney make work: with audiences, peers, partners, and a network of makers. 

Barbican Box schools will become part of Coney’s Undercover Caretaker Agency: an introduction to playful activism in schools built on three principles of play: adventure, curiosity and loveliness. It aims to prompt creative responses to the passion and challenges young people are experiencing – emotional health, resilience, transitioning - empowering them as agents to have an amplified voice and bring about change that will affect them and their peers.

Coney’s practice incorporates digital, interactive, innovative and adventurous approaches, and teachers and students will be invited to explore these elements within their own work through the Box process.

About Harlow Playhouse

Harlow Playhouse is a leading creative hub and venue in the East of England. It provides enjoyable cultural experiences for everyone, working in partnership to support healthier, happier and safer communities; and to stimulate opportunity, creativity and innovation. It has a programme of quality music, comedy, spoken word, dance, and circus arts events across its 400-seat and 120-seat theatres, as well as other reach-out locations, and provides space and support to many artists, groups and companies throughout the year.

Costs of Barbican Box

Requirements for Barbican Box

Before applying please ensure that you are aware of the commitment needed from you, your school and your students and ensure that your Senior Management Team is aware of your application.  Please be aware of the following participation requirements: 

  • At least one teacher from each participating school must commit to attending both CPD days at the start of the project.
  • Barbican Box is designed to be experienced by one class of students.
  • Teachers will be required to take a lead on activity with the young people throughout the Spring and Summer term.
  • During the Box project, classes will require access to the internet, ideally on a shared computer.

Selection criteria

  • Please note that due to funding commitments, we are unable to consider applications from non-state schools.
  • If the programme is oversubscribed, schools with higher levels of Free School Meals eligibility, and/or cohorts who experience challenges to accessing cultural provision, will be prioritised. We will also take into account areas in which the project is likely to have the most impact.

 If you are shortlisted at the application stage, we will get in contact in November 2020 to discuss your application and any questions you might have, before confirming if you have been successful.

If you have any questions about the programme, bursary or application process, please contact Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning via [email protected]
We will be holding a Q&A for teachers ahead of the application deadline to help support with questions about this year’s Barbican Box project. This will take place on Wednesday 14 October 4.30 – 5.30pm. We encourage all teachers who are interested in applying to attend. Please contact [email protected] to confirm attendance.

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Apply for Barbican Box at Harlow Playhouse

This application form is designed to help us understand you, your school, and how the Barbican Box project would work for you and your students.

Basic information

Details of School/College




Details of teacher leading the project

Which one of these best describes the teacher leading the project?


Details about the group/class taking part in the project

How will you be using Barbican Box?


About the Lead Teacher

Please describe your experience in your school to date. E.g. length of time in the role, other programmes and projects you have delivered, other responsibilities you have in your school.

As a drama teacher, what areas of your practice would you most like to develop and refine through this project? Please provide 3-5 objectives or areas of focus for you as a teacher on this project.

A key part of the Barbican Box project is collaboration between teachers and artist mentors (professional artists who are partnered with a teacher for the duration of the project). Please list 3-5 ways in which you would like this collaboration to support the development of your teaching practice.


About the school

What other performing arts projects is your school doing this academic year? Please list both internal and external programmes.

If government guidelines prevent onsite or face to face delivery, we will endeavour to shift to a digital format. What methods of communication would still be possible for your school (eg. video calls, emails to students, pre-recorded content)?


More info about the Group

Please tell us about the class/group who will likely be taking part (e.g. have they worked together before, do they have any shared interests?)

Does the group face any challenges to accessing cultural provision? If so, please add details below.


As the teacher leading this project, you are key to ensuring the Barbican Box programme is a success. We value your hard work and contribution at all times. Please ensure that you agree to the following before you submit this application form:

  •  attending the teacher CPD (otherwise you may be subject to a fee)
  • attending the final sharing day with your group, in July 2021 (this date will be allocated to you in advance)
  • providing an appropriate working space (art studio, drama studio, classroom, hall) for the project
  • ensuring that the appropriate amount of hours are timetabled for artist visits (we recommend between 1.5 - 3 hours for artist mentor sessions with students)
  • communicating all necessary details within the given deadlines and timeframes 
  • letting Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning know two weeks in advance of any changes to session times/dates (otherwise you may be subject to a cancellation fee)

By submitting this form, you give the Barbican permission to store and process your data in accordance with our privacy policy.

With thanks to

In partnership with

Harlow Playhouse logo

Supported by

Logo for Esmee Fairbairn