Digital Theatre Plus – a unique online theatre education resource for schools, colleges and universities – has launched its new website www.digitaltheatreplus.com.
Digital Theatre Plus is an online learning resource from Digital Theatre, who work with the UK’s leading theatre companies to capture the best of British theatre authentically onscreen. Digital Theatre Plus offers a new online approach to experiencing and learning about theatre, and can help break down the cost, time and geographic barriers faced by many educators and their students.
Complementing existing feature productions, from the Royal Shakespeare Company, Young Vic, Almeida Theatre, Royal Court and the West End, are feature-length interviews with some of the best-known actors and leading theatre practitioners working today.
We've all been there: an expectant hush falls over the audience as the houselights go down, only to be shattered by the sound of distorted music from a CD player which is then abruptly cut off as the curtains open.
Bitter experience has shown that, all too often, sound is the last element to be considered in a typical school production.
In some cases this is simply a result of limited technical resources, but in others it’s due to a lack of understanding of the importance that sound can play in any production.
With reality TV shows helping to make dance more popular than ever before, one Midlands firm is helping studios to welcome more to the dance-floor.
Mirrors for Training, the UK's leading supplier and installer of dance studio mirrors, has launched a new double-sided portable mirror solution for rooms that are unable to house fixed mirrors.
This latest innovation from the Wolverhampton-based company means its clients can make the best use of their space, in some cases, doubling the number of classes they can run at any one time.
Many people think that drama is just about improvisation, or performing, but it is actually a powerful teaching tool that can inspire learning across the curriculum. Drama and literacy have always been cosy bedfellows – theatre and plays are the performance arm of drama and are often a natural progression to its processes. Many drama lessons use literary texts – poems, letters, quotations – as a stimulus and writing in role is a recognised and valuable aspect of drama work. But the value of drama as a teaching tool expands across the curriculum and can help children to explore and understand a wide range of themes, issues and subjects.
Most schools don’t have a designated drama studio but some have recently begun to convert old classrooms, or mobile classrooms, into drama spaces. These are my top tips for creating a drama studio:
- The whole room should be painted black. Including the ceiling! This is so that (a) any lighting can be used effectively; (b) there are no distractions; (c) it's practical and (d) it provides a blank canvas as a backdrop for any work.
- Install blackout curtains or blinds. This is to ensure that no one is distracted by pupils seeing in (or out). It also provides a bit of a sound barrier and, again, allows for a blank backdrop.
At the core of all drama is the concept of shared experience: of sharing thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions and information. Drama also, by its very nature, encourages participants to explore personal and social issues and builds self-esteem. But drama is at its most effective when used in the primary classroom to support and enhance thinking and learning.
For example, when reading and discussing the traditional story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, drama could be used to explore behaviour by placing certain characters from the story on the ‘hotseat’ – this can involve either the teacher or pupils working in role.
The dramatic film based resource ‘Young Offender: Freedom or Detention?’, addresses behaviour and offending problems for teenagers, and has become such a popular resource that it now has its very own website: www.youngoffender.co.uk.
The purpose of the site is to show people what others are doing and to become a forum for exchange of ideas and good practice.
The Young Offender resource uses the film 'Lee’s Story' to explore the choices, decisions and actions of a 17 year old repeat offender and the ensuing consequences. This is a powerful drama that raises many issues, making it a valuable resource for every school. Complete with a detailed teacher book and lesson guides, the resource can be used to support a broad range of provision. This is why we have created its own website, to provide a showcase and an opportunity to share ideas.