PACE Theatre Company was formed by David Wallace in 1988 who shortly afterwards founded PACE Youth Theatre. Since then PACE has moved to the forefront of Theatre in Education in Scotland, while PACE Youth Theatre has grown to become the largest youth theatre of its kind in the UK with a current membership of over 2000 and over 200 young people awaiting places at any given time.
The company evolved to such a degree that its needs far exceeded that graciously provided within Paisley Arts Centre. In 1992 the company became independent of the local authority, as a non-profit making company and registered charity. It also began to attract projects in the shape of commissioned productions for corporate and local authority or education clients, as well as commissions to produce educational videos,. It became clear that an advanced level of independence was required and in 1997 the decision was made that the demand on the company’s services required it to expand, not only to enable it to increase the amount of projects undertaken but also to find space to rehearse, perform and undertake workshops. In 2000 PACE collaborated with the renovation of The Wynd Centre in Paisley to manage and become the main-end user of and auditorium and youth theatre workshop space in the newly refurbished church. PACE also makes this facility available to the community to hire for professional and amateur productions, events and conferences.
In 2002, committed to its aim of providing the benefits of youth theatre to as many young people as possible, PACE opened a new youth theatre base in Ayr, based in the Gaiety Theatre and Citadel Leisure Centre.
Then, In August 2003 PACE secured a second building in School Wynd which was converted into what is now known as “Spires Drama Studios” comprising of 3 dedicated drama workshop studios, a café area and numerous offices. This has become the organisation’s main base and administrative hub.
The basic ethos of PACE is to provide a service to all of the community, using theatre, in its broadest terms, to educate and entertain.
i) EDUCATE: To enable the user to gain personal and social skills, communication, confidence and self awareness amongst others, and to stimulate through active and passive participation an interest in the Arts and therefore create and enhance the audiences of tomorrow as well as allowing young people and others to examine and explore contemporary issues.
ii) ENTERTAIN: To stimulate the user to think in broader terms out with their own environment about issues and concerns they and others will have and to enable them to see quality touring children’s shows, T.I.E., and participatory theatre shows and to stretch the creative and cultural horizons of young people who hitherto had little or no experience of live theatre, participatory drama and interactive workshops.
PACE THEATRE COMPANY
PACE is also renowned for producing spectacular theatrical productions as entertainment. It has produced the professional pantomime at Paisley Arts Centre since 1988, performing to over 10,000 people every year with over 99% of available tickets sold every year.
It has also produced many other professional theatre productions that have toured venues throughout Scotland, plus many large scale shows for events such as Renfrew 600, and Barrhead 100, with casts of over 1000 people.
THEATRE IN EDUCATION
TIE and peer education has been at the centre of PACE’s work since it’s inception in 1988. Our unique Participatory Performance Projects have toured thousands of schools, allowing primary school pupils to perform to their peers on issues such as bullying, drug awareness, healthy living, sectarianism and other topical subjects which complement the current curriculum. The combination of original music, peer education and a day of rehearsals that’s great fun, has proved immensely popular with primary schools. PACE have also been commissioned by clients such as Scotland Against Drugs, Drinkwise, Strathclyde Police and Fire Brigade, various local authorities and many others. Many of these projects have involved performances to school children of various ages by professional actors, along with participatory follow up workshops. The company has used theatre as a means of educating and training adults with commissioned plays for clients such as the NHS, STUC and Scottish Executive, at venues from the Borders to the Shetland Isles. Finally, the company has provided the principal theatrical input to Strathclyde Police’s annual Choices for Life event, performing to over 50,000 P7 pupils every year through Scotland, at venues such as the SECC and AECC.
PACE also undertakes hundreds of community workshops each year in school, libraries and other venues, including drama workshops for those with disabilities.
PACE YOUTH THEATRE
PACE Youth Theatre has become the largest, most successful youth theatre in the UK, with over 1500 young people aged 3-18 attending weekly workshops in drama, music and dance, with an aim to increase confidence, communication skills and self expression as well as teach performance skills, since 1988. Ex-members of PACE Youth Theatre have included actor James McAvoy (Shameless, Last King of Scotland), singer Paulo Nutini, actor Gordon McCorkell (River City), actress Shauna McDonald (Spooks, The Descent), Fame Academy winner David Sneddon, TV presenter Kate Heavenor, as well as many other lesser known actors and actresses currently working in theatre, TV and film, and thousands of others who have used the confidence and communications skills learned at PACE in successful careers in other industries.
Workshops are run by fully trained full time staff, under the guidance of the Artistic Director, Director & Deputy Director of Drama, and our senior drama workers.
Members also receive additional benefits such free casting agency representation for TV & Film work and discounts for ‘Fest!’ events.
Fest! is PACE’s hugely popular school holiday performing arts festivals for young people aged 3-18 and are open to PACE members and non members. Fest events generally involve a cast of young people coming together for one week to devise and rehearse a new production based on a fun theme. The are designed to challenging as well as great fun and are a great way for young people to make friends and spend their school holiday time. There are over 3,000 fest participants each year, performing in over 60 different performances.
PACE Casting is the casting agency set up by PACE to represent its youth theatre members in TV, film and advertising productions. It provides licensing and chaperoning services to production companies as well as audition facilities, and also produces an annual casting directory book, with over 1,000 professional photos and CV details, distributed to all major UK production companies. All this is provided to our youth theatre members for no additional charge our agency fee. This has resulted in it being one of the largest suppliers of young actors to the TV and film industries in Scotland, with our members appearing in productions such as Still Game, River City, Rob Roy, Small Faces, Taggart, Young Adam, and commercials for BT, The Herald, Ikea, RBS, Scottish Executive, AOL and Hovis.
PACE MEDIA PRODUCTIONS
PACE Media Productions was formed to provide a different medium for the dramatic work produced by PACE Theatre Company. It has produced educational dramas for clients such as Drinkwise, Scotland Against Drugs, Scottish Government, NHS 24, West Dumbartonshire Council, and many others.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PACE CALL 0845 130 5218