Regional Schools Celebration

10 June 2010

'The Regional Schools Celebration really brings our Stand up for Shakespeare manifesto to life'

Twelve schools to perform on the RSC stage in the third Regional Schools Celebration

Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 July 2010
The Courtyard Theatre
Stratford-upon-Avon

286 children from 12 primary and secondary schools across England have been invited to perform in the Royal Shakespeare Company's Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in a celebration of their work on 5 and 6 July. All the schools are in a long term partnership with the RSC as part of its Learning and Performance Network.

The children are aged between 5 and 17, and the schools are from St Leonards-on-Sea in East Sussex, Dover and Ashford in Kent, Birmingham, Nelson near Burnley, Bradford, Kirk Smeaton near Pontefract, Plymouth, Hereford, and St Helens near Liverpool. A list of the schools taking part can be found in the schedule towards the end of the release.

The performances are inspired by one of three Shakespeare's plays: The Winter's Tale, As You Like It or Julius Caesar. Each school has portrayed a different character's journey through their chosen play.

Hosting the celebration will be Debbie Korley, an actor in the current RSC ensemble and Chris White, who has worked with the RSC as both Assistant Director and Education Practitioner.

Jacqui O'Hanlon, the RSC's Director of Education said:

"All the schools attending the Celebration are part of our Learning and Performance Network, a programme which enables us to work in long term partnership with primary and secondary schools across the country. All the schools have performed in regional festivals in their own areas and they're bringing with them the stories of how their local communities have been inspired by Shakespeare. The Regional Schools Celebration really brings our Stand up for Shakespeare manifesto to life with our youngest performers aged five proving there is no age limit to enjoying Shakespeare."

If you would like attend the Celebration or require further information, interviews or photographs, please contact Nada Zakula on 01789 412622 or Dean Asker on 01789 412660.

nada.zakula@rsc.org.uk or dean.asker@rsc.org.uk


The Schedule

Monday 5 July
2.45pm – 5pm (each school performance lasts approximately 15 minutes)

Helenswood School, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex
Following the Plebeians from Julius Caesar
28 pupils, Year 9, aged 13-14

Green Park Community Primary School, Dover, Kent
Following the character of Perdita from The Winter's Tale
20 pupils, Years 3 and 4, aged 7-9

The Towers School and Sixth Form Centre, Kennington, Ashford, Kent
Following the character of Silvius from As You Like It
17 pupils, Years 10 and 11, aged 14-16

Barrowford School, Nelson, Lancs.
Following the character of Caesar from Julius Caesar
24 pupils, Years 1 and 2, aged 5-7

Queensbridge School of Visual and Performing Arts, Moseley, Birmingham
Following the character of Antigonus from The Winter's Tale
14 pupils, Year 10, aged 14-15

Hall Green School, Hall Green, Birmingham
Using the Seven Ages of Man speech from As You Like It as inspiration
27 pupils, Year 6 pupils, aged 10-11

Tuesday 6 July
2.45pm – 5pm (each school performance lasts approximately 15 minutes)

Challenge College and St Joseph's Catholic College, Bingley, Bradford
Following the characters of Brutus and Portia from Julius Caesar
22 pupils, Year 10, aged 14-15

Kirk Smeaton C of E Primary School, Kirk Smeaton, Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Following the character of Rosalind from As You Like It
38 pupils, Year 2-6, aged 6-11

St Boniface's Roman Catholic College, Plymouth, Devon
Following the character of Orlando from As You Like It
17 pupils, Year 7-12, aged 11-17

Lord Scudamore Foundation School, Hereford
Following the character of Perdita from The Winter's Tale
25 pupils, Year 1, aged 5-6

De la Salle School, Eccleston, St Helens
Following the character of Mark Antony in Julius Caesar
24 pupils, Year 7, aged between11-12

Hollywood Primary School, Birmingham
Following the character of Silvius from As You Like It
23 pupils, Year 5, aged 9-10

Notes to Editors:

  • Further information on each of the productions, and quotes from some teachers and some pupils available on request.
  • A photographer will be taking pictures throughout the Celebration
  • The RSC's Learning and Performance Network (LPN) was established in 2006 with a recruitment of state schools from around the country into a three year partnership with the RSC. 53 hub schools, primary and secondary, are involved in the partnership, each becoming a leading school in the teaching of Shakespeare in their region. Teachers from these schools embark on a unique programme of professional development, undertaking Post Graduate Certificates in the teaching of Shakespeare, through English and Drama, run in conjunction with the University of Warwick. These co-ordinating schools work with a cluster of other schools in their area, giving students opportunities to explore Shakespeare's work through performance.
  • In creating the LPN the RSC has realised a longstanding ambition to develop an infrastructure which facilitates a deep and sustainable engagement with our work for both teachers and students.
  • Stand up for Shakespeare is the RSC's manifesto for Shakespeare in schools which has three simple aims: To start Shakespeare earlier, see live productions and to do Shakespeare on their feet as actors do, not sitting behind a desk. The Regional Schools Celebration is Stand up for Shakespeare in action.

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