Helping young people to grow through theatre.

The Big BrumWho are they?
BIG BRUM THEATRE COMPANY.

Where are they?

Birmingham  

What do they do?

Run Theatre in Education programmes in schools and colleges in the region.

How big are they?
Turnover of around £230,000.

What did they receive?
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional upgrades.

The outcome?
Improved productivity at the charity, with new computers running the latest operating system.
 
Based in Birmingham, the Big Brum Theatre Company is an established charity that runs Theatre in Education (TIE) programmes, bringing the dramatic arts to the young people of Britain’s second city and the surrounding region.

“We perform theatre and drama to children – mainly in schools and colleges,” explains Dan Brown, the charity’s General Manager. “In the main, these children are from backgrounds where theatre simply wouldn’t reach them. It is often a unique experience for them.”

Whilst undoubtedly providing a quality artistic experience, Big Brum’s programmes are carefully formulated towards the educational and developmental needs of its audience. “It’s been shown again and again that theatre can help children’s ability to think, to learn, to comprehend language,” says Dan. “We prompt the child to consider morality, ethics; to think about their place in the world. For them, it is an opportunity to think about the big questions; a space to explore their own humanity. And that space doesn’t really exist within ‘normal’ education.”
 
 
 
 
With eight staff, split equally between administrative and artistic roles, the charity maintains an office as per any small theatre company. “We use computers for all the day to day functions: finance, planning, marketing etc. IT also powers our more specialist areas such as our booking strategy and fundraising,” says Dan.

A recent donation of new PCs left the charity with a small quandary – new computers but no software.

“We were able to upgrade to new computers via the recently disbanded Government agency BECTA. So we replaced our antiquated PC’s,” explains Dan. “It’s sometimes easy to find people giving computers away – companies upgrade and have old equipment to spare. But licenses and software – that’s different.”

The charity was considering migrating its existing old software to the new equipment. “And our old stuff wasn’t cutting edge when we got it!” remarks Dan. As it was, the Theatre discovered that it could acquire brand new Windows 7 licenses on a donation via CTX.

“We were looking for places that offered a charity discount when we found CTX. And it was a very simple process. I do a lot of applications for funding, and in comparison it was extremely straightforward,” he reports.

“As people upgrade, you get left behind. Our old PC’s were running at the limit; they were slow and struggling with the software. Upgrading with Windows 7 has improved our productivity and thus our level of service. We wouldn’t have been in a position to do these upgrades without CTX.
 
 
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