Stage Set for STC School Drama program in regions05.05.2015
Sydney Theatre Company’s executive director, Patrick McIntyre says the company is thrilled the reach of STC’s School Drama program has extended into regional NSW through a new, strong partnership with Murray Arts and HotHouse Theatre.
Following the delivery of the program in Broken Hill, STC approached Regional Arts NSW to discuss other locations that would have the infrastructure to give the program the highest chance of success.
With the location of HotHouse Theatre, Australia’s leading regional theatre company; tertiary, secondary and primary educational institutions and a strong regional arts community, Murray Arts was identified as an ideal location.
Mr McIntyre said STC’s School Drama, now in its seventh year, is a unique program where a teaching artist works alongside a primary school teacher, sharing their experience in using drama as a pedagogy in the classroom.
‘In 2015 we’re now going to be working with three schools and six teachers from the Albury Wodonga area which builds on STC’s regional delivery in Broken Hill and the Blue Mountains,’ he said.
Over the years, STC’s School Drama has expanded with over 100 teachers now participating across Greater Sydney (a ten-fold increase since 2009). The program has also been extended interstate, with the State Theatre Company of South Australia and Flinders University partnership now entering its third year.
For the first workshop day, 15 teachers from around the region joined STC, HotHouse Theatre and Murray Arts in the professional learning day.
The three places for the regional pilot program were highly sought after with nine schools expressing an interest for the three available places. Springdale Heights, Lavington and Rutherglen Public Schools were selected for the program.
Teachers who attended on the day said networking with professional drama teachers in Albury Wodonga was a highlight and they had gained valuable skills to develop constructive drama exercised to enrich children’s literacy development in a fun and creative way.
Leading academic and School Drama partner, Professor Robyn Ewing from the University of Sydney said a number of Australian and International studies have proven that children who are embedded in quality arts experiences do better academically, do better from a social point of view and are more rounded emotionally.
STC Education Manager, John Saunders said it was a fabulous day.
‘I felt very welcomed to the area at Murray Arts and HotHouse and the program is off to a great start,’ Mr Saunders said.