Friday, 27 June 2008

The Emperor's New Kilt

It's been a week of meetings. Mostly for information giving, with thoughts now turned towards September and the new academic year.

Richmond borough has a strong forum for teachers and educators. It gives The Orange Tree, Richmond Theatre and, increasingly, ourselves an opportunity to talk to the local schools and colleges about future projects - this means the education and outreach work from all three creative institutions is created in dialogue rather than offered as an imposed product. Of course our programming offers stimulus for work, but it's the teachers who are genuinely working the chalk face and are in the best position to feedback, suggest the themes and timings for project work and lead the partnerships.

Last night's meet was at Richmond Theatre and was followed by a smashing show The Emperor's Kilt devised by Wee Stories and produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, which was inventive, playful, irreverent, political but also moving, beautiful and rhythmic. I went with Louise, our administrator, and two of her children Emily and Jamie, who were both completely knocked out by the show. I think this is great children's theatre where the gap between artist and educator is, as it should be, completely erased.

Earlier in the day we had a workshop with Andy Cannon, who is one of Wee Stories directors. He really pushed the Dorothy Heathcote notion that a drama lesson, whatever its content, should be a theatrical event in its own right and that a good teacher was simply a good friend who could tell you or show you something that perhaps you knew already, but needed reminding of.... It's a great definition isn't it?

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