The Customs House has been the starting point for many successful actors, singers and artists. We offer people from North and South Tyneside the chance to take part in the arts through our work with communities and opportunities to perform on stage.
It is the source of countless life changing stories, where men and women, boys and girls have found their lives turned around after stepping through the doors and getting involved in lots of different activities.
The Customs House supports individuals and groups in North and South Tyneside to engage in the arts to try something new. We aim to enrich the lives of the participants of our projects and regular groups.
Each year our Community Play presents stories of South Tyneside featuring local people in roles on stage and behind the scenes. Previous performances have featured over 50 local actors, singers and musicians ranging from 8 to 72 years old.
The Learning and Participation team deliver projects for children, young people and adults. Our work in schools helps young people complete an Arts Award and produce work for the ‘Step Up Gallery’. Our groups at The Customs House engage people throughout the year.
Learning and Participation projects:
- The Customs House Youth Theatre is our longest running project and has supported hundreds of young people since 2009. Members aged 10 to 21yrs work together to perform new theatre pieces, including National Theatre Connections plays.
- Filmmaking workshops take place every week to support young people creating their own short films. Work is then streamed online and shown on our big screen.
- Mini Makers (12yrs and under with their grown ups) and Mega Makers (11 to 13yrs) take place during the school holidays. These workshops give children and their families the chance to try fun creative and affordable arts activities. During 2016, Mini Makers engaged over 200 families.
- Pizza and Pencils gives 14 to 19 year olds a chance to develop arts skills and learn about exhibiting work and writing reviews.
- The Takeover brings together all of our work with under 25s into a week-long festival in May/June. The Takeover supports emerging artists and arts practitioners to develop and showcase skills in a professional environment.
- Step Up and Dance supports 10 dance groups from around North and South Tyneside to perform on The Customs House stage. Two groups from each show are invited to perform at Dance City as part of a North East regional showcase.
- Drawn Together is our Thursday night adult drawing group. The group explores different styles of drawings and has its own exhibition space in the building.