Teachers' Theatre Club

Photo
Photo by Kirsty Robertson

As an experienced teacher I have sought an opportunity like this for a long time now. This opportunity excites me greatly as it opens a line of communication which may help structure the types and choices of performances available to our young people. I work in a deprived area of Edinburgh and as a proactive artist myself and a full time Drama teacher I am always looking for opportunities for my learners.

—TTC1 participant

Teachers' Theatre Club (TTC) is a new 3-year project run in partnership between Imaginate and Edinburgh Festival Fringe that aims to encourage Edinburgh’s teachers to see more live performance, develop their critical thinking skills, become more confident in discussing this with their students and in turn, inspire their classes to do the same.

We have just had a call out to recruit teachers for TTC2 (2020-21), we will list those teachers here by the end of March 2020.

TTC1 (2019-20) have just completed their year, this is what their programme looked like:

Visits to Edinburgh International Children’s Festival

The group saw three very different shows: Us/Them (Bronks and Richard Jordan Productions), The Invisible Man (Theatre Artemis) and This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (Stellar Quines). Teachers not only watched the productions but also took part in Q&As and discussion sessions with artistic directors and performers from the companies. There was also plenty of time for socialising, networking and soaking up the festival atmosphere!

Visits during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 

The Fringe programme was made up of six shows, all selected from a shortlist by the teachers and seen over two full days: Buzz (Kopergietery), Burgerz (Travis and Hackney Showroom), Bromance (Barely Methodical Troupe), Electrolyte (Wildcard), Louder is Not Always Clearer (Mr and Mrs Clark featuring Jonny Cotsen), and Who Cares (LUNG and The Lowry).  Again, teachers took part in facilitated discussions with the creative team of all six performances, met with a theatre critic - Gareth Vile - to talk about how he critiques and writes about performance, and had social time together to talk about the work.

Photo

Visits to performances outwith the festivals

As well as seeing performances, teachers got the opportunity to meet some of Scotland's key industry professionals including artists, designers, programmers, critics and production staff. Teachers taking part in the project benefit from:

  • Sessions counting towards staff CLPL requirements
  • Using critical thinking skills in an arts setting
  • Enhancing the learning experiences of their learners
  • Increased confidence in engaging with live performing arts
  • Developing a network of arts professionals and organisations

The 2019 Teachers’ Theatre Club members are:

When applying to be a part of TTC, I saw it as interesting CPD. I never thought for a second that it would give me so much more. Over the course of the project I have engaged in discussions with a wide range of professionals in the arts, experienced theatre that I would never have thought to go see myself and discussed how I would use these shows with my pupils. I have laughed, cried, debated and been comfortable in talking about what I have both liked and disliked about performances. However, what has taken me by surprise is the camaraderie I have experienced. I didn't expect to leave this project with new friendships and fantastic group of people that I know I can call upon to go see a show with me. I hope this project runs for many years to come and I urge as many teachers as possible to experience this. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.

—TTC1 participant

Emily Bowerman – Tynecastle High School
Amanda Carmichael – Canal View Primary School
Jacqui Crawford – Queensferry High School
Norry Leonard - Victoria Primary School
Serena Jagpal – Pentland Primary School
Tanya McLaughlin – Corstorphine Primary School 
Lisa Macleod – Royal High Primary School
Judith Neeson – Forrester High School
Ann Russell – Woodlands Special School
Fiona Walker – Bonaly Primary School

Each TTC member is also asked to bring a colleague to each session - ideally someone who is not currently engaging with the arts, or lacks confidence in how to talk about performance. We hope everyone goes away from the sessions inspired to bring live performance into their school and with a new skill or piece of information to share with their class.

Teachers' Theatre Club is part of Imaginate's Inspiring Schools programme and is supported by the PLACE programme, funded by the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals, and supported and administered by Creative Scotland.