Students from Stratford-upon-Avon College will help to stream our critically acclaimed 2022 production of Richard III into hundreds of classrooms this week.

The broadcast on Thursday (24 November), marks a welcome return of our Live Schools’ Broadcast programme, which paused during the Covid-19 pandemic. The programme streams filmed versions of our shows for free into any school in England that registers with our website.

Using the film of the production that is shown in cinemas worldwide, college students split the recording into three parts and then work with staff from the college and professionals to produce live ‘wrap around’ segments including an introduction and a live Q&A.

Before the show starts, the RSC’s Sophie Hobson is joined by Associate Director, Aaron Parsons, for an ‘in conversation’ interview to provide context for the play and the production. After the show, Sophie hosts a live Q&A with actors Rosie Sheehy (who played Anne in Richard III) and Micah Balfour (Hastings). Pupils are invited to send in their questions via email.

A purple lit screen and a lot of filming equipment in front of a film set
Filming wraparound content for a schools' broadcast
Photo by Jamie Graham © Jamie Graham Browse and license our images

The Stratford-upon-Avon College students are studying a combination of Digital Media, Graphics, Photography and Technical Theatre. This project forms part of their Collaborating with Industry work experience placement. They work in teams to:

  • Monitor and choose questions for Sophie to put directly to the actors during the live Q&A.
  • Work with college staff to take on camera operator and vision mixer roles, making sure the broadcast is screened to a professional standard.
  • Make sure the stream is online and running as efficiently as possible as well as preparing alternative audio and video feeds in case one feed becomes redundant.

Lecturer, Sophie Jolly, said “This is an incredible opportunity for our students to put theory into practice. The RSC’s schools’ broadcasts are watched by thousands of pupils all over the country so it’s important that our students work to a very high level to deliver. Much of the technology we use is standard within industry, giving our students the practical skills to understand the environments they might encounter in their career, as well as working to a high professional standard that comes from working with one of the most high-profile theatre company in the UK.”

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