What it's all about
Pupils hoping for top marks on drama questions at GCSE or A level have an advantage if they can see it staged, writes Jerome Monahan. And if that staging is professional, even better. Stage on Screen provides performances of set plays on DVD and soon for download via YouTube.
"Stage on Screen starts with fully fledged theatre productions, which are filmed during the run," founder Phil Rees explains. "Two versions are created: an unedited wide shot showing the entire production from a single vantage point and an edited `filmic' version, created by editing footage from five cameras."
The current captured plays are Doctor Faustus, The Duchess of Malfi, Volpone (pictured) and The School for Scandal at the Greenwich Theatre, London.
Production director Elizabeth Freestone knows that some key ingredients will be lost to those downloading the edited versions from YouTube. But she says it is a boon for pupils to be able to see actors' faces and gestures in close-up as they speak or react to others' words.
"The Stage on Screen productions feature top actors," says Steve Eaton Evans, head of performing arts at Queen's College Taunton, "and there's enough of the theatrical even in the edited versions to give students a perspective on a play they are reading in class - added to which the DVDs also feature interviews with the director, production and lighting designers."
Stage on Screen productions are rarely cut, putting pupils who see them at a distinct advantage.
For more about Stage on Screen, visit www.stageonscreen.com.
Jerome Monahan provides Inset and pupil enrichment workshops in schools nationally and internationally.