Connect Comfort and Uplift

Schools Digital Playmaking Festival

6 min read

Connect Comfort and Uplift

6 min read

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The Grand Creative Learning Team have been busy working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and local schools to stay connected and continue with our partnership work to inspire young people to perform and learn through active engagement with Shakespeare.

We have been working in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company and local schools for 10 years and so we were determined that a little thing like a global pandemic, was not going to stop our remarkable partnership activity. However, none of these accomplishments would be possible without the outstanding teachers who lead the learning and participation in their schools, inspiring their students and being imaginary advocates for Shakespeare’s works.

Blackpool Grand Theatre in partnership with our lead associate school, Our Lady of the Assumption, have continued to organise a programme of events online, to inspire school staff and enthuse students. Teachers have taken part in three dynamic online training sessions as well as being introduced to our bespoke Story-Led Resilience™ pedagogy. The Grand has also produced specially designed learning resources for use with our chosen Shakespeare play for this year, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

 

Schools Digital Playmaking Festival Video

 

 

With the continued uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were unable to plan safely for a Summer sharing event to celebrate the incredible work of staff and students during these unprecedented times. It was therefore an easy decision to transform our sharing platform onto a digital stage. Our 12 RSC Associate schools have had the opportunity to take part in online playmaking workshops with RSC directors and actors. “Just playing together in the space has reminded me what fun and joy we have using Shakespeare’s text!” quoted Mrs Hotchkiss from Our Lady of the Assumption. Mrs Grout from Park Community Academy said, “The children have loved it!”. Our Creative Learning Producer and lead for our RSC partnership work Jo Cleasby stated, “It has been a long time since I heard so many children giggling and seen them working together with such enthusiasm! The opportunity for pupils to learn actor, rehearsal room, drills and participate in vocal warm-ups led by an RSC Actor, is so inspiring. Then to be given creative challenges from an RSC Director and receive instant feedback and tips is incredible.”

 

Schools Digital Playmaking Festival 2

 

All schools filmed their edited extracts of text from the Fairy Kingdom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They have then been professionally blended, by our fantastic local filmmaker, Jake Powell. The final short film produced by our Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre cluster of schools will feature on the RSC website from early July. We are sure you will agree that the film shows how much enthusiasm and skill our local young people have for Shakespeare’s words.

 

Schools Digital Playmaking Festival 3

 

As always, we fully appreciate the amazing dedication and willingness of our incredible teachers to go above and beyond to make this all possible, to raise the aspirations of our young people and give them such happy memories of learning and performing Shakespeare.

“We are incredibly proud of this film and the work of the schools, our team at Blackpool Grand and our colleagues at the RSC. Our joint commitment to offering local children opportunities to express their creativity and share it with others is reflected in this wonderful film. It has uplifted and connected us all through a time when we have felt isolated.” Celine Wyatt; Head of Creative Learning.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Creative Learning Team and future RSC partnership work, contact; creativelearning@blackpoolgrand.co.uk

 

 

Images with the kind permission of Blackpool, Park School

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