New RSC Touring and Education Partnership

Peter Lathan

imageFrom April 2012, the RSC begins a new touring and education partnership with five regional theatres: Hull Truck Theatre Company, Newcastle Theatre Royal, York Theatre Royal, Hall for Cornwall and Nuffield Theatre, Southampton.

The partnership will build on the success of the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network (LPN), which currently has nearly 400 schools in areas of social and economic disadvantage, teaching Shakespeare in active ways which inspire young people. The partner theatres will use the successful ‘hub school and cluster’ model to run three-year programmes with schools in Hull, Middlesbrough, York, Cornwall and Southampton, offering training, development and performance opportunities for artists, students and teachers, supported by RSC practitioners.

It will also allow the RSC to take its work right into the heart of communities, into both schools and local theatres. Building on the success of recent Young People’s Shakespeare tours of Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors, a new RSC YPS production of King Learwill tour all five locations this autumn (dates to be announced). Adapted and directed by Tim Crouch, this latest 70-minute production will be an introduction to Shakespeare for students who are least likely to access this work. As previously announced, this production will also play in New York in a collaboration with Park Avenue Armory. The RSC has been creating these edited versions of Shakespeare’s plays for young audiences aged 8 and upwards since 2008, as a way of transforming student experiences of Shakespeare.

Headline activities for the programme include:

2012/13

  • Professional development of teachers and theatre staff through the RSC’s post-graduate qualification (PG Cert) in teaching Shakespeare and school-based training provided by RSC practitioners.
  • Young People’s Shakespeare King Lear residency at partner theatre and hub school

2013/14

  • All the hub and cluster schools work with the RSC and their local partner theatre on a collaborative artist-led project.

2014/15

  • Each group of schools runs a local Shakespeare performance festival, hosted by the partner theatre, to share and celebrate what they’ve learnt. Lead teachers will work with the RSC and the partner theatre to develop work which will come to Stratford as part of the RSC’s national Learning and Performance Network celebration.