Drama workshop inspires Sunderland youngsters

Southmoor Academy students taking part in the session.
Southmoor Academy students taking part in the session.

Students and teachers in Sunderland were able to bring Shakespeare to life when they took part in a special drama workshop with Donmar Warehouse.

The production company and NT Theatre Nation has produced Shakespeare Trilogy on Screen Roadshow which aims to inspire and engage youngsters.

Students were able to engage with the resources provided by  Donmar Warehouse and NT Theatre Nation.

Students were able to engage with the resources provided by Donmar Warehouse and NT Theatre Nation.

The roadshow celebrates the fact that screen versions of the Donmar Warehouse’s all-female Shakespeare Trilogy are available to watch for free in all schools across the UK via the National Theatre’s in-schools service.

Set in a women’s prison, the productions - directed by Phyllida Lloyd - asks: ‘Who owns Shakespeare?’.

The films are accompanied by the Shakespeare Trilogy on Screen website which features over 200 resources, designed to support the teaching of Drama, English and PSHE.

As part of the roadshow’s national tour, Donmar Warehouse and NT Theatre Nation visited youngsters and teachers from Southmoor Academy, on Ryhope Road, Sunderland.

Students were able to perform the text as part of the workshop session.

Students were able to perform the text as part of the workshop session.

The session aimed to make Shakespeare accessible to young people and to provide teachers with resources that would be helpful for them to teach the syllabus that they are taking their students through.

Phil McCormack, Donmar education manager, said: “We wanted to find a way of sharing the artists and the creative process behind the productions with young people.

“What we have done is create a website of more than 200 resources and 48 films made with the creative team that work to unpack the plays.
“The resources are designed to help teach English, Drama and PHSE.

“We are trying to find as many different ways as we can to support teachers and students.”

The Donmar Warehouse and NT Theatre Nation produced Shakespeare Trilogy on Screen Roadshow visited Sunderland students.

The Donmar Warehouse and NT Theatre Nation produced Shakespeare Trilogy on Screen Roadshow visited Sunderland students.

Year 10 pupils from the school worked with one actor and around two directors during the workshops.

They looked at clips of the films and how it is translated from stage to screen.

They also looked at links it has to modern day and the effect it has on the audience.

The students then performed the text back at the end of the session to the groups taking part.

Students taking part in the Donmar Warehouse and NT Theatre Nation produced Shakespeare Trilogy on Screen Roadshow ar Southmoor Academy.

Students taking part in the Donmar Warehouse and NT Theatre Nation produced Shakespeare Trilogy on Screen Roadshow ar Southmoor Academy.

Around 10 teachers also took part in the sessions.

Phil added: “The young people were absolutely brilliant and it was great to see how quick they were to adapt to the text.

“Their teacher Julie Wilson was also really up for the challenge and really engaged with it.”