So this may well be the final instalment of my mini-series detailing the art’s great benefits. That is no promise however as I may think of many more advantages (or the government will make another horrendous decision about the arts which is 99% certain to happen). In any case I wanted to start with this one talking about student’s access to live performance which is in light of the government’s recent decision to cut funding for theatre trips (the blighters!).
As a company that intends to workshop in schools part of what we do is use performance to deal with issues that could be considered taboo, or just aren’t taught in class. Things like, e-safety, drug dangers, sex education and radicalisation are all issues that can be difficult to negotiate in a classroom environment. All of us, whether you are still at school or have left, will have some experience of watching performance that educates you on one of these issues.
Performance can present real life, it can evoke real emotion, make you laugh or cry. Performance can ground these issues in the every day instead of reciting case studies or statistics (although it can also do that, not that I’m biased). Performance will be the closest a person gets to the actual thing without experiencing for themselves or seeing it first-hand in real life. Taking that away from young people will only hinder their education. Now I know it won’t get them a good grade- which as we know is all those in charge care about- but it will EDUCATE them, PREPARE them and PROTECT them. Isn’t that all any of us want?
Maybe I just sound like I am trying to justify what I do, but then again if I didn’t feel like what we as a company do didn’t help, well we wouldn’t be doing it. Access to live performance is irreplaceable as it is also access to knowledge, things that we need knowledge about regardless of our personal interests or career choices. It is mind boggling that the subject that is malleable, flexible and can give young people real world preparation is the subject of cut after cut after cut. Maybe that’s just me, though I’d like to think that it wasn’t…
Keep it clean, keep it comic