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Opportunity knocks I
have been led by some of the content in this issue of Drama & Theatre to contemplate the role of the theatre critic. In Bardwatching on page 12 you will find news of a furore caused by respected theatre writer Michael Billington in recent weeks, while on page 30 my interview with Lyn Gardner led me to reflect on the need for a critical audience to be demographically commensurate with the public audience – so that the voices on whose opinion we might base our decision whether to see a production match up with the variety of people making that decision. We often write in these pages about the paths to careers for young people in parts of the theatre industry that take place on or behind the stage, but we focus a little less on opportunities in the wider arts world (such as arts reviewing), and even less on the opportunities a drama education can offer outside of that world altogether. This issue has a ‘student careers and opportunities’ focus and as such we touch on some of those things – with an announcement of a new award for a young theatre critic (page 30); and an exploration of non-arts careers that can be enhanced by the skills honed in a drama education (page 16). That said, I’m inspired by Liam Harris of the NATD who offers an incisive opinion column on page 11 about the need for a child-centred education: ‘Education should not follow the whims of the economy, but the needs of the young people we teach,’ he says – and he is right, it is sad that we should feel a need to justify our subject by the careers it might lead to: what happened to education for education’s sake?
Having said which, this is the ‘student careers’ issue and so we also look at opportunities within the theatre world: backstage at organisations such as the Newbury Watermill (page 29) and on-stage via theatres including the Almeida and many others across the UK (page 19).
You’ll also find all the new regular sections in this edition, including strategies and plans for teaching, and the introduction of 11 plays for you to consider for performance or study.
As I wrote in the first issue of Drama & Theatre in August, I am extremely keen to hear from you – should you have any feedback, requests, suggestions, or should you be interested in contributing to the magazine, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish you an energised and inspired second half of the Autumn term.
Sarah Lambie, Editor
Twice each term of the academic year, Drama & Theatre brings you practical strategies, lesson plans, and inspiration to enhance your teaching. Whether you teach in a school context at primary or secondary level, lead extra-curricular drama workshops, or give private tuition, D&T is an invaluable resource written for teachers by teachers, playwrights and practitioners.
Autumn Term 2 2019/20 Drama & Theatre 5