Touchstone Shakespeare Theatre is a small company of professional actors established in 2001 whilst working at the Royal Shakespeare Company. They provide Shakespeare and drama workshops to young people of all ages and particularly to those with special educational needs. Their endeavour is artistic as much as it is educational and performances are collaborations between actors and pupils.
“…you have enthused so many children that are often completely turned off by a normal school curriculum.” Margaret Raw, Teacher, Abraham Moss High School, Manchester
TST believe Shakespeare is still relevant to young people today and his powerful language provides a channel to express and articulate their feelings. Their aim is to help unlock young people’s creativity to enhance communication and language skills, raise their self-esteem and confidence, and where appropriate support their educational achievements. Although Shakespeare is still at the heart of much of their work, it is by no means their only area of concentration.
Unlike many companies TST don’t stage performances for young people. All their activities involve pupils in a fun and focussed workshop environment.
• They incorporate a varied range of theatrical styles and performance skills into their sessions, including mime, clowning and improvisation.
• These exciting techniques provide a novel basis and fresh approach to teaching a broad range of subjects: from issuebased themes such as anti-bullying and cooperation to subjects like Film Genres and War Poetry, or simply supporting curriculum areas such as Literacy.
• Their sessions require only a clear space (no desks, paper, pens or textbooks!) so all pupils are engaged in and can benefit from their unique, innovative sessions.
• The workshops take place at your school and every workshop is tailor-made following a consultation with the teacher to discover the specific needs of the group.
Young People with ASD – TST has a long-standing relationship with a Special Secondary School in Bromley where they have worked intensively with a group of children with ASD since 2003. The innovative techniques, games and exercises that they employ have proved extremely effective in dealing with the challenges associated with Autism. Work on A Midsummer Nights Dream culminated in the production of a film that can be purchased as a teaching aid from the National Autistic Society.
TST Film projects – TST also run film projects. Their facilitators have specialist filmmaking skills and the projects suit a range of young people because they facilitate roles in front of and behind the camera. A previous film project with excluded and disaffected teenagers produced a unique version of Macbeth, inspired by their own knowledge of gangs. Another group of socially withdrawn students drew on their experiences of bullying to create their very own adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.
- Innovative, interactive workshops tailored to your needs
- Practitioners are experienced professional Actors
- Fully CRB checked
- High practitioner to pupil ratio
- Extensive experience with SEN, particularly ASD
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