Students create theatre to educate schoolchildren

Posted on: 28 March 2015

Student actors from Oldham College are taking two ‘Theatre in education’ performances into local schools to encourage effective learning around the issues of bullying and drinking.

For a week, from Friday 27h March until Thursday 2nd April, the first and second year students on the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts will communicate key messages to young people in an engaging way. Following a six week rehearsal period, the 16 – 18 year old students will use performance to make sensitive issues more accessible for schoolchildren to understand.

One group of actors are creating a performance piece based around excessive drinking and drinking at a young age. They are showcasing this at Mahdlo and three secondary schools - Oldham Academy North, Saddleworth School and Waterhead Academy. Another group of actors will perform a piece on bullying at Mahdlo as well as three primary schools - Whitegate Primary, St Hilda’s and Mills Hill.

Miranda Parker, Course Tutor in Acting and Musical Theatre, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for pupils and students alike. It educates schoolchildren on issues they need to be aware of as well as offering them a glimpse of the theatre world. During that week, our students are not timetabled with any classes and work as though they were professional actors. Creating a piece of work and performing it in front of a real audience provides them with a flavour of working life as an actor, reflecting the College’s ethos of preparing students for the world of work. This type of ‘theatre in education’ work is a realistic way for actors to gain regular employment.”

Oldham College’s Extended Diploma in Performing Arts is designed to help students gain the qualifications and skills required for work or further training in the performing arts industry. It enables them to train in a variety of acting styles, techniques and performance work, with experienced tutors in a professional environment. As well as a wide range of performance opportunities, the College helps students to form links with potential employers, theatre practitioners and agents. Students have good access to an impressive range of learning resources and specialist industry-standard facilities including drama and dance studios, recording and TV studios, rehearsal rooms, computer suite and fully equipped professional theatre.