The Importance Of Theatre In Education

2076 Words 9 Pages
Education and learning is often associated with institutionalised frames such as schools. There are many debates regarding whether the traditional school curriculum with its standard formats of textbook learning is the most inspiring and productive way for young people to learn. Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre created the Theatre in Education (TiE) movement in 1965, as an ‘educational outreach using theatrical performance and drama workshops to explore issues of cultural, social, political and moral significance’ (Turner, 2010). Learning through mediums such as theatre and performance can enhance young people’s learning dramatically. During this essay I will discuss the benefits of TiE programs as creative and active educational tools, and give …show more content…
His production The Children (Bond, 2000) focused on young people’s learning of social and global issues around the world, as well as lessons of personal understanding. During this particular TiE program the children were cast as actors in the performance and were involved in a two-week intensive rehearsal period with Classwork Theatre Company. It was first performed on the 11th February 2000 by sixteen school children aged fourteen and fifteen at Manor Community College in Cambridge. However due to its overwhelming success the program was taken on tour, visiting schools around the UK, encouraging different students to take part. The play was based on the classic Greek story of Medea, which tells the story of a woman who seeks revenge on her ex husband and his new partner. She forces her children to commit murderous deeds for her, and then kills them for the ultimate revenge. Whilst in the original Greek story, Medea’s children are silent and submissive to authority, in Bond’s performance the children are given a voice to speak about their situation. Students also took on the role of the traditional Greek chorus, whose role was to comment upon the actions in the play. Bond often explored deep social issues by drawing parallels from mythical stories, and in this instance particularly focused on the mistreatment of Medea’s children. Helen Nicholson explains that, in an interview about …show more content…
How a Theatre in Education program is presented visually is vitally important when encouraging engagement and learning. Anthony Jackson strongly believes that theatre will be ‘effective educationally only if it’s effective aesthetically’ (Jackson, 2007, 160). The aesthetics of theatre is something that many directors and creators of TiE programs feel passionate about, especially when engaging with a younger audience. Herbert Read stated that Theatre in Education should be largely an education of the senses, sight, touch, and hearing. (Read, 1963, 31). Read believes that how a play or workshop looks, feels or sounds is vital for a clear understanding of the information being portrayed. These sensory elements are not normally included in standard learning methods and can therefore create an experience that stands out from the educational norm. John Dewey commented upon how knowledge is transformed in an aesthetic experience. He suggested that it becomes ‘something more than knowledge because it is merged with non-intellectual elements to form an experience worthwhile as an experience’ (Dewey, 1980, 290) and therefore the student’s learning is likely to stay more prominently in their minds. The artistic choices of a Theatre in Education project are also extremely important. The way the company presents the subject matter can influence how engaged the audience

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