Today I want to give a shout out to a couple training and learning opportunities that are happening, physically or online, in the coming year.
Teaching – and learning – theatre in an international context is an immense privilege. Many of you reading Theatre Room, students and teachers, will be doing so in this setting. As a result, it is likely that you have heard of ISTA, the International Schools Theatre Association which is an international arts organisation, a global community of young people, teachers and artists that operates on every continent. ISTA began life in 1978 with just one High School Festival in Europe. Today ISTA holds over 30 annual Festivals and training programmes worldwide, with a membership of more than 200 schools.
My own school have been members for many years and it is a vital part of how we promote theatre in our school and connect with theatre makers across the region. In the last couple of years ISTA has launched a summer training programme for young people (aged 15 to 19), called The Academy, which is a two or four week intensive international summer theatre Festival, held in the south of France. It is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in all things theatre, training and working with professional theatre practitioners from around the world. I’d be there in a flash, but sadly. I’m slightly (ahem) above the upper age limit. Click the image above for more details.
The other opportunity I’d like to mention is a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) taking place in March. A MOOC is an online course (usually free) with unlimited participation and open access via the web. They are becoming an increasingly popular way to take short courses in a globally accessible way.
This MOOC is an introduction to physical actor training, with a focus on biomechanics. It takes place over three weeks with participants expected to commit 4 hours per week. It is being led by an old friend of mine, Jonathan Pitches, who is Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Leeds in the UK. Again click the image above for more information.
Future Learn, which is hosting the above MOOC is also hosting two others in the new year that may be of interest to theatre makers, young and old. Firstly there is Shakespeare’s Hamlet: text, performance, and culture, where academics from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford Upon Avon introduce aspects of the most famous play ever written – its origins, texts, and history. The other is Shakespeare and his World which explores Shakespeare, his works and the world he lived in.