Happy New Year – Letter from Penni (2019)

Dear All,

Ok, go and make a cup of tea and sit down for five minutes, this is a long one!

MTC & Equal People Performing Arts

I thought the beginning of a new year would be a good time to explain the relationship between Equal People Performing Arts (charity) and Mushroom Theatre Company (Limited Company). MTC formed the charity as a way of raising money in a transparent and open way. The money was for a new building that would be suitable for our disabled students as our mushroom shed was cold and damp and not conducive to people who cannot regulate their own body temperature through movement. This we achieved 4 years ago, when we moved to our current location.

Since that time we have raised more money to continue developing the premises and have created our ‘Room of Requirement’ along with two more toilets and a care room. There is still more to do, we have another studio to refurbish and a music and creative area. However, as wonderful as this building is and the work that takes place within it is, it cost us in excess of 40k a year just to exist here, this money is sourced through rental from Mushroom Theatre Company, LTC and other regular rentals and until recently, Masters College were resident here.  This still leaves a short fall of 12k a year which we have to find through fundraising activities and is why we are often badgering you to buy raffle ticket!

I know that most of the parents come to us for our ethos of inclusion and value the work that we do.  It is not an easy option for us as teachers but it is the right one. To this end, if any or you might know of a company that would have one of our collection pots, sponsor a table at the Ball (£50), have us as their nominated charity or do matched funding, please let us know. If anyone is doing a sponsored event and could have us as their charity or even something as simple as putting loose change in the pot on reception.  We are a small fundraising team (all suggestions or new members welcome) and every one gives their time to the charity for free because there isn’t, to my knowledge, anywhere else that works in quite the same way as us certainly anywhere close. I know this as we have students travelling from Romford, Thurrock and Colchester, just to access our classes.

Our big fundraising event of the year is our Charity Ball (posh word for Dinner Dance!). It takes place at the Arlington Rooms on 4th May, and is a great chance to let your hair down and dress up.  It’s £55 which includes: a beautiful meal, half a bottle of wine and a live band, ‘Jackie Wilson Says,’ and I would like to formally invite you to attend.  Some people come as couples, some don’t. It really is a great night and if you would like to know more, please just ask.

Contact and Information

We try to make sure everyone gets the information they need.  We send letters, post on social media and send e-mails.

To this end please ensure we have your latest email address (and if you have moved your latest postal address) and any change in phone or mobile numbers.

Please ensure you have liked us on Facebook, followed us on Instagram or even Twitter.

We often post videos and pictures from classes and rehearsals as well.

You can check the website for the latest information as well – all our letters are posted on there.

As an aside, staff are not allowed to be friends with students on social media but we are allowed to be your friends!

We also put all of the letters up on the window in reception and copies of letters are left on the reception desk, so keep your eyes peeled when you are picking up or dropping off.

Lost Property

There is a lost property in reception outside studio 1, any left items at the end of term will be given to charity.

Carnival Week – 12-17 August

Each year we enter a Musical themed float and processional dancers into the Southend Illuminated Carnival, this year we are doing ‘MAMMA MIA’  The students attend all week and learn the dances and help make float decorations and costumes. This year the week runs from: Monday 12th August until Sat 17th August. The cost of this week is £85.00 and we are taking deposit now. This is a very popular week and places are limited.

Two Year Plan

As we get busier and more and more grade levels, we have decided on a two year plan.

One year will be Exams (younger children will probably take exams yearly) and small show cases in Dance, Drama and Singing and the next year will be our big Towngate show.  To this end it is likely that the next Towngate show will be in 2021. With lots of opportunity for performance in between.

SHOW – Can You Feel It

The show is booked for Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th March 2019 at The Towngate Theatre Basildon.

We have had 123 students register for the show.  If you missed the registration dates and still want to be involved, you must speak to a member of staff ASAP and it will be at our discretion.


Half Term:
Wednesday 20th February
Thursday 21st February
(See schedule here)

3rd March
10th March
17th March
(Times to be arranged)

Nearer the time you will be issued with costume lists and items that you will need to provide.
We will notify you when tickets are on sale and if anyone is able to help backstage please let us know asap.

As there will not be any classes on Sat 23rd March (as we will be at the theatre) we WILL have classes on SAT 23rd FEB, this is the Saturday at the end of half term, when we would normally be off.

Well that’s it for now, I said it was a long one !!!

Penni and Team

Half-term Show rehearsal

Half-term Show rehearsal

Rehearsals on Wednesday 25 October:

  • 10am-11am – Junior Dance
  • 11am-12pm – Senior Street
  • 12pm-3pm – Senior Dance (1& 2)

Please bring a £5 rehearsal fee.

MTC receives Gold Award

MTC has several different partners in the community, one of them being theYouth Service.

As part of this partnership we are required to under go inspections. Consequently, last term our Senior Drama classes where observed by members of the Youth Commissioning Team and we are pleased to announce that we received a Gold Award for our class delivery, and apparently not many organisations manage to achieve this. So we are very pleased with ourselves.

The award can be seen in reception.

Show Registration

Show Registration – Shows 13th and 14th January 2018
Please remember that to take part in the show the student must attend ONE of the following registration sessions:
Saturday 7th October 10.30am – 12.30pm
Saturday 14th October 2pm – 4pm
1. The student will be measured for costumes, and will need to pay a costume deposit of £20.00. this will be held and returned to you once the costumes are returned. We have a plentiful supply of envelopes for these payments – a cheque is ideal.
2. Costume hire fees will be notified nearer the time, and we do our best to keep these costs as low as possible.
3. You will be able to purchase a Good Luck box at a charge of £5.00 per box.
4. If you wish to help backstage you MUST be in possession of a valid DBS form – please supply a copy
5.  In the event that you hold a Chaperone Licence, and wish to help please let us know.
As soon as we know when tickets will be on sale we will let you all know via the noticeboard, website and social media.

Term Dates 2017/18

Autumn Term

Monday 4th September – Saturday 21st October (7 weeks)
Monday 23rd Oct – Sat 28th Oct Half Term
Monday 30th Oct – Sat 16th Dec (7 Weeks)

Spring Term

Tuesday 2nd Jan – Sat 10th Feb (6 Weeks)
Mon 12th Feb – Sat 17th Feb Half Term
Mon 19th Feb – Thursday 29th March (6 Weeks)

Summer Term

Saturday 14th April – Saturday 26th May (6 Weeks)
Mon 28th May – Sat 2nd June Half Term
Mon 4th June – Sat 21st July (7 Weeks)