By Rhian Bennett
The Drama Teacher Conference took place at the National Theatre at the end of February, with over 140 drama teachers, from Inverness to Plymouth, attending.
The Drama Teacher Conference is an opportunity for teachers to come together to collaborate and learn with some of the UK’s most exciting theatre practitioners, writers and directors. The conference aims to inspire teachers to explore new ideas and hear from experts in the field about all aspects of theatre to inform their own approach in the classroom.
Over thirty workshops, panels, talks and masterclasses took place during the event, with this year’s contributors including:
Director Emma Rice on playful directing and collaborative working.
Playwright Inua Ellams on adapting classic texts.
Kane Husbands exploring physical theatre and ensemble working.
Director Elayce Ismail on devising techniques and stimuli that can be used in schools.
A panel discussion on the role and impact of drama teachers with actors Ruth Wilson, Anne-Marie Duff and Lucian Msamati.
The event also included practical workshops exploring lighting, stage management, sound, video and set design, as well as backstage tours to see behind-the-scenes at the NT.
Florence Wright, a teacher at Salford College said on the day, “It is so important to be inspired and energised in your subject; that is what this Drama Teacher Conference does for us teachers. It gives you the opportunity to be a student again, to be purely creative and share this learning with your students back in the classroom.”
Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning at the National Theatre said, “We recognise the huge importance of drama teachers who play a vital role in schools and support students to gain life skills for whichever career they choose. We are committed to supporting teachers across the whole of the UK and our annual Drama Teacher Conference welcomes teachers from across the country to the National Theatre for two days of practical workshops with leading contemporary theatre practitioners. It’s a chance for teachers to network, develop their artistry and skills, and tell us what they need from their National Theatre to support inspiring theatre-making in schools. This is always a personal highlight of the year.”
NT Learning supports teachers across the UK to inspire creative learning and ensure drama and theatre-making remains a key part of a broad education. State schools can now sign up to National Theatre Collection to access the best of British theatre in the classroom for free. To find out more about these opportunities visit NT Learning at: www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/learning