Eco Drama’s Final Report 2017-21

Eco Drama are proud to share our Final Report for 2017-21, summarising the organisation’s activity and achievements across four years of outdoor adventures, inspiring theatre performances and collaboration with educators.

During 2017-2021, Eco Drama embarked on an ambitious multi-layered programme of activities, the main project being Out to Play – creative outdoor learning residencies and sessions delivered in primary school and nursery playgrounds across Glasgow and Scotland. A programme of training ran alongside this, inspiring and supporting educators to develop an arts-based approach to outdoor learning and sustainable development education. Three Out to Play resource packs supporting the work have been distributed across the world, inspiring educators to bring countless children on imaginative outdoor learning adventures.

The report looks closely at Out to Play’s outcomes, participant feedback and overall impact, as well as charting other projects delivered during this period, including Future Calling, a new arts and climate change project for secondary pupils delivered in lockdown, the creation and tour of The Whirlybird theatre production in schools, nurseries, theatres and community venues, and the touring of existing production The Worm – An Underground Adventure and interactive workshop Recycling Heroes.

This report was created in collaboration with freelance administrator Sara Marshall, who was the Schools Coordinator with Eco Drama during the first Out to Play pilot project in 2015. Sara has remained committed to supporting the evaluation of the project on a freelance basis ever since and we are extremely grateful for all of her hard work in compiling and analysing the Out to Play evidence from four busy years! Huge thanks also go to the Drama Artists, Performers and all creative and freelance staff who have worked with us across the four years, helping to develop and realise our project ideas and delivering them with skill and passion to children, young people and their communities. We also want to thank our board of directors for their ongoing encouragement and support in the delivery of our projects and commitment to the organisation.

Nina Doherty, Producer, said “It has been a real pleasure to compile this report and to take a moment to look back on what we have achieved in these four years. The 2017-21 project has enabled a real turning point for the organisation, allowing us to focus in depth on delivering and advocating for creative outdoor learning and nature connection at a time when it is needed the most. This has also been a pivotal time when we have worked hard to move away from a sole funder to more diverse income sources and increased earned income, setting us up for organisational stability which will allow us to invest in new projects in the future.”

Emily Reid, Artistic Director, said “Looking back at four years of project activity and assessing the impact has given us much to reflect on and celebrate. We are seeing partner schools delivering more arts-based outdoor learning and a shift in how the art forms of drama and storytelling are utilised in the delivery of the curriculum, in particular sustainable development education and outdoor learning. The importance of nurturing creativity, inspiring curiosity and deepening children’s connection to our natural world is felt keenly by many, and we are honoured to have collaborated with so many likeminded people in delivering this work. Moving forward, we are excited that Out to Play will continue beyond the four year project due to ongoing interest, and we also look forward to developing new projects which bring children and their communities closer to nature.”

Read the report