Developing the Skills and Confidence of Learning Disabled Adults

About Us

Formed in 1997, the Side By Side Theatre Company Stourbridge charity is an independent theatre company, giving learning disabled actors the opportunity to develop their skills in the Performing Arts.

Now a flourishing company, we are run by qualified performing arts teachers and experienced theatre practitioners, who, along with a support team, give their time voluntarily. As Artistic Director, Susan Wallin continues to foster aspirations to achieve the highest standards of performance skills in all members of the company.

We believe in pushing back the boundaries and challenging the perception of learning disability, by working to a professional standard to produce unique and thought-provoking theatre.
SBS actors are encouraged to contribute to the devising of each production, which include music, dialogue, physical theatre, mime, and multi-media.

This is achieved through professional guidance in regular DRAMA classes resulting in exciting, innovative theatrical productions.  In addition to the DRAMA sessions, we also run classes in DANCE, MUSIC and DIGITAL MEDIA to encourage the development of many life skills including SELF CONFIDENCE, VOCAL CLARITY, IMPROVED MEMORY, CONCENTRATION, EXPRESSIVE MOVEMENT and more.

The connection between the classes is ‘putting on the show’. Whether a student is involved in making costumes and props, recording music, sound effects, back projection, acting, dancing or singing ... they’re all contributing towards the Side by Side Theatre Company Stourbridge theatre productions.

One of our actresses with some of our props

Our Aims

  • To give people with learning disabilities the opportunity to develop and extend their abilities to achieve a sense of self-worth and reach their potential through the creation of theatre
  • To encourage mental and physical wellbeing through the techniques and exercises taught in the creative and performing arts
  • To promote equality and inclusivity through producing high quality theatrical entertainment for everybody to enjoy

How We Work

Our training sessions for the DRAMA classes are based on the methods used by the ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY and the LONDON ACADEMY OF MUSIC AND DRAMATIC ART (LAMDA) These are adapted to suit the abilities of the members and to encourage continuing development and progression to their full potential.

Sessions begin in September each year and run to the end of June, with term times and holidays following the academic year.

Exercises are designed for the development of

  • Group awareness
  • Group co-operation
  • Self-expression
  • Self –confidence
  • Concentration
  • Physical & mental energy
  • Sense of rhythm
  • Expressive movement
  • Stage orientation
  • Stage presence
  • Stage discipline
  • Imagination
  • Characterisation
  • Voice production
  • Vocal clarity
  • Memory
  • Taking on challenges

Members are given the opportunity to enter classes at Competitive Theatre Festivals each Spring and to take part in the Annual SBS Show at Stourbridge Town Hall every June.

Short performance pieces may be taken to groups and organisations, at their request, throughout the year.

Contact our experienced team for more information about our past, present, and future performances.

Contact Us