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GOGA project putting Liverpool youngsters centre stage

Get Out Get Active partner Liverpool City Council partnered with 20 Stories High as part of an outreach project. The project was for young people who may not feel connected to the cultural offer in the city due to multiple barriers or lack of support on offer. Especially those currently not engaged in the theatre offer in Liverpool City and those would benefit from support to be more active.

Group of young people on stage in a theatre.

The group was supported to create a performance that connects their stories. After this the group had some more time with the artists to develop performances further, before then sharing their performances on the Everyman main stage.

Below is what Leonisha Barley, a participant, said about the experience:

“My name is Leonisha, I am 28 years old and I live in Dingle, Liverpool. 

I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in 20 Stories High Actor’s Training Programme from March to May 2023. 

I have always enjoyed and had a passion for drama and performance as it
gives the audience a space in which they can feel seen and connect their own experiences with the story being told on stage.

I also love acting because I believe theatre is a great way to bring about social change whilst also entertaining an audience. I took a hiatus from acting to focus on study and work to be financially stable. When I found out about 20 Stories High Actor’s training programme I thought it would be a great way to get back into acting and improve on my acting skills. 

In the past I had taken acting classes, but I had to drop out due to the cost. The fact that the Actor's Training Programme was a free programme and covered such a range of acting techniques was fantastic. I was unemployed whilst I was taking part in the programme so it was really great to be able to improve my skills over a ten week programme without having to worry about how I’d be able to afford it. 

We started with a meet and greet which involved pizza and watching an amazing theatre show at the Everyman together. This created a relaxed and friendly environment which continued throughout the rest of the ten weeks that we were together during the programme. I came away from the course having made lovely friends with the other participants and I feel I now have a network of other actors as well as directors and producers that I hope to continue to work with during future projects. 

We had weekly workshops with amazing world class professionals, and I learnt a vast amount of fundamental acting skills and techniques. I've improved on and have a better understanding of areas that I was less confident in. I really enjoyed workshops on TV and screen, heightened text and scene study. I am also really grateful to have learnt how to break down a script, how to make acting decisions based on punctuation as well as the differences in techniques when acting for TV compared to stage. I gained so many experiences and skills from doing the course that I wouldn't have otherwise.

As well as the practical skills we were learning during the weekly workshops we were lucky enough to receive amazing mentoring from industry professionals during separate sessions. Focussing on access and well-being, media marketing and professional development. I was so impressed with the way that 20 Stories High had the wellbeing of the participants at its core throughout the whole ten weeks of the programme. By the end of the programme I was grateful to have gained an improved state of wellbeing as well as confidence to go into the acting world. 

We had a scratch night at the end of the ten weeks which was an opportunity for us to share what we’d learnt to an audience which included industry professionals as well as friends and family. This was really exciting as it was a chance for me to perform completely self-directed work to an audience for the first time. I also learnt how to work with a tech team and gained confidence in sharing my vision and directions for my performance. 

Since completing the programme, I have had opportunities to audition at The Everyman Theatre and Valley Community Theatre. I am also loving my new roles of Project Coordinator and pastoral support at 20 Stories High and have recently finished writing my first full length play based on the book the ‘Windrush Betrayal’.

Taking part in the course has meant that I’ve gained a network of other emerging actors and creatives as well as industry professionals. It has opened a number of doors for me and improved my wellbeing and financial situation. It is a course that I would definitely recommend to people who are hoping to gain skills and confidence in acting and performance and or be part of a group of other creatives in an environment where you feel supported and cared for.”

Our current GOGA activities ended in December, but thanks to the local partners and their dedication to sustainability the GOGA way will continue through GOGA in Action. We are in conversations with potential funders to develop and grow the programme. If you would like to help us continue to change lives, then please contact us on

About Get Out Get Active 

Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is a programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Activity Alliance is the creator and lead partner. The programme is funded by Spirit of 2012, Sport England and London Marathon Foundation.  

Find out more about Get Out Get Active here.