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News Release – Breakthrough Arts Council Project Grant for ‘Drama in the Forests’ 2024

‘Summer Drama in the Forest 2023’ Photo taken by Jamie Ricketts for the Shropshire Star.

Moonstruck Astronaut Community Theatre Company has been given £35,943 funding by Arts Council England to hold Drama in the Forest workshops in 2024.  These innovative workshops bring children and young people together to build confidence, life skills, and an appreciation of the environment. Spring Drama in the Forest 2024 begins on 25th March for four days. It is an outdoor event held at Wrekin Forest School near Telford. Children between 6 to 12 years old can enjoy fun activities in drama, movement, and music as they create an outdoor play that they will perform to friends and family at the end of the workshop. A further five day ‘Drama in the Forest’ is planned for the Summer school holidays.

‘Drama in the Forest’ is a unique outdoor community arts project that is designed to be fully inclusive. It is the brainchild of Moonstruck Astronaut Community Theatre Company’s Director, Hannah de Quincey. The first Drama in the Forest workshops were held in 2021 and proved popular. Held on the Events site at Wrekin Forest School, children and young people learn how to work together creatively and collaboratively. The workshop develops a wide range of social and practical life skills as they explore their creativity in drama, dance, music and crafts. The workshops bring together arts specialists, children, volunteers, adults and families building and strengthening relationships.

Hannah de Quincey said: “These workshops are a very important part of our creative programme. This cross-arts outdoor youth project is unique in Shropshire. A key aspect of ‘Drama in the Forest’ is its inclusivity of ages and neurodiversity. The final performances are based on retellings of Aesop’s fables and fairy tales, showcasing children’s creativity. We are delighted that we have been awarded funding from The National Lottery through Arts Council England to make running these workshops in 2024 possible.”

The first workshop is being held during the Easter school holidays. It’s a four day outdoor theatre and cross-arts holiday club packed full of fun activities, run by professional artists & dedicated volunteers. The children will work with skilled movement, music, drama and forest school specialists. Activities will include arts and crafts, forest school activities, dressing up and taking part in an Easter Egg hunt. The activities will bring together children of varied needs, building an appreciation of nature and freedom of expression. The unique workshops help breakdown social barriers and support young people, helping them to build confidence and friendships as they co-create an outdoor play in the forest.

Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director at Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted to support Drama in the Forest thanks to almost £36,000 through National Lottery Project Grants. These workshops, which are accessible to all children and young people in Shropshire, will offer them the opportunity to explore their creativity in a fun and inspiring setting. They will combine craft, drama, dance, music and forest school activities and will culminate in a special showcase event for family and friends.”

Hannah de Quincey adds: “We are now preparing to run our Easter workshop and excited about the activities we have planned. The National Lottery funding, through the Arts Council, means we can subsidise all of the child places for local parents, many who may be unable to afford such opportunities otherwise. This is part of our mission to further inclusivity and accessibility. I’d like to thank the National Lottery, and all the people who play it, for making this possible.”

For more information on the Spring Drama in the Forest go to:

For more information on the Summer Drama in the Forest go to:

Notes to Editors

Moonstruck Astronaut Community Theatre Company

The ‘Spring’ and ‘Summer Drama in the Forests’ are a highly creative series of week-long  outdoor cross-arts workshops for 6 to 12 year olds where they learn a plethora of soft skills through play and grow their confidence.  Participants get the chance to work as a team crafting their own piece of unique theatre incorporating the drama, music and movement skills they are taught. Young people feel a sense of accomplishment performing their play to families and friends at the end of the last day. 

Hannah de Quincey is an experienced secondary school drama teacher and theatre director. She set up Moonstruck Astronaut as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company in December 2017.

For more information on the work of the theatre company go to , watch our films on You Tube (search ‘Moonstruck Astronaut community theatre company’) and follow our Facebook  ( and Instagram (@moonstruckastronaut).

The National Lottery

National Lottery Project Grants is the Arts Council’s open access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects. The fund supports thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations thanks to National Lottery investment.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million for good causes each week, funding arts, heritage, sports, voluntary and charity projects around the UK. Over £43 billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery began in 1994.

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. They have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 they want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. They invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. They are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s unprecedented £1.96 billion Culture Recovery Funds. Find out more at

For more information please contact:
Hannah de Quincey – / 07961 050 961

Dr. David Kidby Acer Marketing Communications – 01952 221281