Theatre amp; Education

17th April 1998 at 01:00
Sean Connery and David Pugh, producers of the West End box office hit "Art" by Yasmina Reza, are offering free matinees to young people on May 21 and June 18. It's the first time a commercial theatre producer has offered free performances in a bid to attract new audiences.

The project is being administered by The Mousetrap Foundation, set up by the producer of the world's longest-running play, which is providing a teacher's study guide with a selection of group discussion topics and innovative activities for GCSE and A-level students. After the matinees, the cast will answer students' questions. The Theatre Museum's education department is collaborating in the project, offering student workshops before the play.

Teachers are also being encouraged to take groups to a contemporary art gallery, to investigate some of the issues raised in the play. Contact Susan Whiddington, the Mousetrap Foundation on 0171 836 4388.

One of Britain's oldest surviving Theatre in Education companies (29 years and still going strong), Greenwich and Lewisham's Young People's Theatre, is winging its way to Taiwan, where five members of its artistic and educational team will run a seminar and course on TIE. While funding bodies in the UK have allowed TIE to wither on the vine, other countries are just discovering its value. During GYPT's two-week visit, the company will introduce Taiwanese participants to the history and methodology of TIE. The company starts in Taipei before moving south to Tainan, where it will run an intensive four-day course for teachers, students and community theatre workers.

Salamander Theatre Company celebrates its 20th year of providing "dynamic and progressive educational theatre to schools" with two new touring plays for junior school pupils. "Boys and Girls Come Out to Play" is a performance and workshop on bullying. "Vackies" looks at the experiences of young evacuees during the Second World War. Both shows run from May 11 until July 10. For more information, contact Salamander Theatre on 0181 994 4969.

Rainbow Theatre Productions is touring the following plays to schools in London and the south this term: "Pinocchio", "Treasure Island", "Robin Hood" and "Roman Invasion". It is also offering workshops on Victorian children, children in the Second World War, the child in ancient Greece, the First World War and theatre techniques. For more information, contact Rainbow on 01903 203 598.

Grown-up actors playing toddlers playing grown-ups is how you'd describe "Baby on Board", a musical comedy about parenthood by Mary Stewart-David, directed by Alan Ayckbourn at his Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, running from April 23 to May 23. Bookings on 01723 370 540.

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