A miniature set model for ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ (2011) sits in one of our prototype Playboxes – shaped like the thrust stage of the Festival Theatre

Through our partnerships with several local primary schools we have developed a series of Playboxes; teaching resources which draw on our emerging archive. These have been designed to support teachers across the whole curriculum, from English and Maths through to Science and P.E, using the Theatre’s productions, buildings and rich history as a stimulus. While they have been designed with Key Stage 2 in mind, they are useful to a much wider range of students.

There are now three fully developed Playboxes, based around the themes of Performance, People and Construction. Each box can be used in a host of different ways to best suit the teachers methods and syllabus.

Each Playbox comes in its own interactive and engaging box and contains a range of things from the archive, props store and from the cupboards of our technical team. Each box contains some digital content (such as sound effects or scanned photos)  on a memory stick and an iPad, which also provides a way for students to capture their work to share with what we hope will be a growing Playbox community. A secure Playbox website is also available to provide a further discovery option for teachers to use and also as a platform for sharing work and approaches between classes using the boxes.


Items from the archive relating to a single production which draw on the range of work needed to present a professional show. There are four past Chichester Festival Theatre productions to choose from, Terra Nova, Macbeth, 101 Dalmatians and The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. Classes have used this box to develop their own play scripts, design their own costumes and sets, explore the themes and content of the play itself as well as to explore the qualities of light and sound and how these can be manipulated.


Items from the archive relating to seven real individuals who have helped shape Chichester Festival Theatre since its founding in 1962. Each individual represents a different role, each of which is vital to the organization. Classes have used this box to explore teamwork, how to make things happen and to think about their local area in terms of what they’d like to improve as well as to develop research and presentation skills.


Items from the archive relating to the design and construction of Chichester Festival Theatre and its restoration in 2012 and working on and around a thrust stage. Classrooms have used this box to look at the properties of different materials, how to seat people in different configurations and to think about designing their own theatre as well as exploring their local history.


For more information read our article Introducing Playboxes by Dale Rooks or contact us at [email protected]