Campaign launched in support of regional theatres

MTM_logo_redA campaign entitled My Theatre Matters! has been launched to encourage support of local theatres. The initiative is being led by Equity, The Stage and Theatrical Management Association (TMA).

The Stage editor Brian Attwood says: ‘Many theatres are facing reductions, and in some cases complete cuts, in support from their local authorities. It is the single biggest threat currently facing our industry.

‘While there are many enlightened councils out there who continue to support their local theatres, we fear there will also be many who see them as an easy target at a time of cuts. We need to show that theatres aren’t an easy target, but are public services that are really valued by their audiences.’

The campaign responds to continuing funding cuts by local authorities which are having a damaging effect on regional theatres around the country. In January 2013, theatres and museums in Sheffield were hit by cuts of 20% from the city council; Newcastle City Council announced that it would stop funding theatres and arts venues in March, instead instigating a fund worth only 50% of previous financial support; and in the same month, Westminster council confirmed that it would cut all funding to the arts by 2014/5.

The My Theatre Matters! campaign can be followed via Twitter (@theatre_matters), Facebook (www.facebook.com/mytheatrematters) and their website (www.mytheatrematters.com).

To read the full story, subscribe or buy a digital copy of Teaching Drama Summer 1.

PERFORM 2012: The round-up

PERFORM 2012 took place on 9–11 March at London’s Kensington Olympia. It is the sister event to MOVE IT, a dance event for performers, students and teachers. The event was busy, with many young students eager to dance and perform at the three-day event.

PERFORM was given its own corner of the hall, and was designed for those with interests in theatre and drama. There were big names exhibiting, such as Spotlight, The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Equity and The Stage. There was also a large selection of other college and performing institutions, talking to potential students and teachers about their courses and facilities. Companies were present not only to sell their products and courses, but also to provide advice and guidance to people considering a career in theatre.

There were a number of useful seminars running throughout the weekend, led by some very interesting and influential industry representatives. Teaching Drama attended ‘Teaching and the performing arts’, which was taken by Stagecoach course director Veronica Bennetts and founder Stephanie Manuel.

They talked about Stagecoach’s teacher training course, which can either help new teachers develop their skills, or provide a refresher course to teachers with more experience. The course, which runs twice a year, is now full until November – a testament to its popularity. Veronica Bennetts spoke very passionately about the need to teach creatively and to keep the initial enthusiasm students have at 3–4 years old through to the upper end of primary school.

Another useful seminar was ‘Drama school auditions – a guide to drama teachers’, which was leadby a former senior director at RADA, Ellis Jones (head of acting at RADA from 1993–2003). Also there to offer advice on the audition process was Lovesong actor Edward Bennett.  Both men provided useful tips and hints for preparing students for auditions.  With some audition panellists seeing 3000 students a year, this was a useful insight into what can help a student to stand out from the crowd.

Over the weekend there were also some hands-on, practical workshops available. There was an acting workshop for the under 12s, a workshop on essential voice warm-ups and an introduction to unarmed stage combat for anyone looking for an adrenaline rush.

While the major dance stage did occasionally impose upon the intimate talks taking place in smaller rooms, it did give the event an exciting atmosphere. PERFORM is not as big as MOVE IT, but this in fact becomes one of its benefits, as it gives students, teachers and performers the opportunity to network and chat to important figures in the industry.

So, if you’re a teacher with students considering drama school, or you yourself are thinking about further study through an MA or teaching course, come along next year and find out all you need to know from the people in the know.

www.performshow.co.uk

Ticket offer for Perform 2012

As a sponsor of PERFORM 2012, Teaching Drama is delighted to offer you and your students an exclusive £8 ticket deal for the event.

To get your discount click here.

PEFORM is for anyone looking for a career in the drama industry; teachers, actors and backstage artists can attend seminars, workshops and talk to the 40 exhibitors in attendance at this years event. There will be leading drama schools such as Central School of Speech and Drama to talk to, along with industry professionals like Equity to offer their advice on future career  choices. There are 50 workshops on offer, including a seminar on ‘teaching and the performing arts.’ To find our more visit www.performshow.co.uk