Touring on the internet
Pilot Theatre's website gets more than 60,000 hits a month and offers a fascinating look behind the scenes of a touring company. Pilot is based in West Yorkshire and produces fast-moving, vibrant work for young audiences. Shows such as Lord of the Flies and Rumble Fish, the cult US novel, embrace much new technology on stage. Mini spy cameras let audiences see live action from different angles, and detailed DVD graphics are projected on to the set.
The website has a regularly updated timeline that follows a production through planning stages and there is extensive background information, plus video clips, on four past productions. The progress of Unsuitable Girls, a new play now out on tour, has been on display since early January.
Pilot Theatre's next project will be a stage version of Blootide, the new Melvin Burgess novel.
Year 11 drama students at St Peter's RC school, in Solihull, study Pilot's plays as part of the curriculum. Drama teacher Dot Emm says: "Our young people use the website for background research for their GCSE portfolios and for finding a stimulus for their devised pieces. It's also particularly useful for children who cannot express themselves so well in writing but who are articulate. At the same time my high achieving students are getting a tremendous amount of detail from it."
At the Old School in Nuneaton for pupils with behavioural difficulties, Alison Black has used the website to stimulate work in computer design, music and drama. Some pupils have used movement, some have tried a piece of art and some have made slides to project images on to a performance space.