School hosts annual Drama Teachers’ Conference

School hosts annual Drama Teachers’ Conference

The School of Performance and Cultural Industries recently hosted the third annual Drama Teachers’ Conference, bringing teachers together from across the region and marking the School’s ongoing commitment to arts education.

Delegates represented schools from within the local area of Leeds but also came from as far afield as Manchester, Cumbria, the Midlands and Wales. The day was also attended by representatives from Leeds Playhouse, York St John University and educational consultants IVE, as well as the 11 – 19 Learning Improvement team at Leeds City Council.

The conference opened with a keynote speech from the Artistic Director of the Leeds Playhouse, James Brining, who addressed the challenges facing the arts across sectors, both educational and industrial. Drawing on his own background as a Theatre in Education practitioner, he gave a rich contextualisation of the impact of the current state of creative arts provision in schools on the theatre industry and the Leeds Playhouse, in particular.

Delegates were offered practical sessions on site specific performance (Head of School, Professor Alice O’Grady), adapting text through physicality (Dr George Rodosthenous), using mobile phones as creative tools (Dr Scott Palmer and Dr Maria Kapsali) and using costume to explore character (Dr Joslin McKinney).

The School’s research and unique specialisms in applied theatre and theatre in education made it the perfect host for a conference with education at its heart. The event addressed the squeeze on the arts in schools in a positive and proactive way, bringing teachers together, providing important network opportunities and a chance for teachers to re-energise their own practice by working in partnership with HE and industry. The conference marks the School’s ongoing commitment to arts education nationally.

The School of Performance and Cultural Industries is now exploring opportunities for introducing a CPD programme for teachers and planning the fourth Drama Teachers’ Conference in July 2019.

For more information please contact the Faculty of Arts Humanities and Cultures’ Arts Education Engagement Officer, Kathie Hunter, K.M.Hunter@leeds.ac.uk