Primary workshops for young people’s production at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre young people's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2008 (Credit: Alastair Muir)

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s young people’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2008 (Credit: Alastair Muir)

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is running a set of in-school workshops for primary-age students to accompany their latest production The Winter’s Tale re-imagined for everyone aged six and over.

The play, running from 29 June to 20 July at Regent’s Park, is a condensed version of Shakespeare’s original text, using music, movement, storytelling and visual elements to engage young audience members. The production has been directed by Ria Parr, who has previously directed a young people’s production of King Lear at the Young Vic.

The workshops have been devised by Sarah Gordon, artistic director of the Young Shakespeare Company. The sessions introduce young students to The Winter’s Tale’s story and characters, as well as to Shakespeare’s language. The workshop’s content is applicable to literacy and creative arts in the curriculum.

The sessions are suitable for primary students in Years 3 to 6, and take place before students see the production, available to book between 10–28 June. An education resource pack is available for teachers to download from the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s website before the workshop.

Winters tale High res for print - RESIZEDTo book, call 0845 673 2151 or email education@openairtheatre.com. For more information about The Winter’s Tale re-imagined for everyone aged six and over and other productions in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s 2013 season, visit http://openairtheatre.com.

School building guidelines incorporate drama spaces for the first time

Building guidelines to include requirements for drama spaces

For the first time, the department for education has included performance and rehearsal spaces within building guidelines for both primary and secondary schools.

The guidelines recommend that primary schools have a studio for rehearsals and a hall space capable of hosting performances. They also state that secondary schools should include a studio space, equipped with a storage area for performance materials such as prop, set and costumes. The guidelines will also endorse that the studio is located near to a multi-functioning hall with moveable seating for audiences.

The government organisation Education Funding Agency developed the new guidelines in consultation with the Theatres Trust. The recommendations will be used by building contractors developing new or existing schools.

Director of the Theatres Trust Mhora Samuel told the The Stage: ‘We need good facilities to be able to teach drama, but it goes far beyond teaching – it’s about placing theatre experiences at the heart of every child in school.’

The news comes as drama faces an uncertain future in schools when its place in the primary curriculum was thrown into doubt with its exclusion from the primary draft.