How glad I was when towards the end of last year in November the editor of The Stage suggested that we start an Education and Training blog.
I’m sure I don’t need to spell it out. Education and training underpins almost everything the performing arts industries do - very little new talent would be coming through at the bottom without all the teaching and development work offered to children and teenagers, and of course that includes the whole range of backstagers as well as the onstagers.
Aspiring professionals need training, actors need to train and backstage workers or performers often want or need to top up their training. And, at the same time, theatre companies, venues and other organisations work very hard to provide professional-led education opportunities to learners of all ages and at all levels. Many trained professionals work as educators too - which squares the circle, as it were.
All of which is why The Stage is so deeply committed to spreading the word about performing arts education in all its forms.
Each week in the paper we devote several pages to training and the paper covers many education matters in all its sections.
And now there’s this twice-weekly blog. As 2009 ends I notice that it sailed through its centenary last month. This blog about blogging (and other things) is the 118th.
2009 has been a good year on the performing arts education front. I’ve written and blogged about Glyndebourne, RSC, National Youth Theatre, Intermission St Saviours, National Theatre, Ambassadors Theatre Group, Trestle, Graeae and dozens of others. I have featured several new drama schools, new courses in existing drama schools, the vexed question of how to fund training, awards, scholarships, training franchises, conferences, courses, careers fairs, dozens of training books… and a whole lot more.
Did I mention books? The Stage itself is now publishing education e-books as an indication of its ongoing commitment to this vital part of the sector. The Stage Guide to Schools for Young Performers 2010/11 is just out. My colleague John Byrne’s The Stage Guide to Performing in Casinos is an excellent book. Earlier in the year we published our series of five guides to working backstage with an introductory book and titles on Craft & Construction, Costume & Makeup, Lighting & Sound and Stage Management. There are more of The Stage Guides in preparation.
You could call it ‘Education, education, education…’
Happy New Year, happy learning and training and do post lots (and lots) of comments here in 2010.