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Drama Success Stories
Like many Drama teachers, finding exciting and modern resources to engage students was one of Lucy Cammack's primary aims when she found Digital Theatre+.
“What I wanted was something current and modern – particularly the Frantic Assembly,” she says. “That was one of the first reasons why I wanted to look at Digital Theatre+, because I thought: how am I going to grab them? How am I going to get them on board? How am I going to get them to think creatively like this?”
Head of Drama,
Within the new GCSE and A Level specifications, one major requirement is access to live theatre performances. As much as it is important to be able to visit the theatre, I felt the level of detail within the students’ answers lacked depth. Digital Theatre+ helped address this issue by allowing me to teach a live theatre production while also revisiting the play as many times as required. The opportunity to pause a particular moment and offer in-depth ideas behind proxemics and expressions is something I now couldn’t live without! The quality of the performance is exceptional, giving students the best possible audience perspective and this is something that is really exciting for them.
Head of Drama,
We received a free trial of Digital Theatre+ and were incredibly impressed with the content and accessibility of the platform. We were hoping it would allow students who couldn’t afford expensive trips access to theatre in the classroom and at home, and we were also in need of lesson plans that were accessible and could be adapted for a variety of students– both these challenges have been addressed. We wanted Digital Theatre+ to spark debate and allow students to discuss theatre in a variety of different genres and styles, and this has developed over the years with more and more resources being added to the site.
Head of Drama,
We have used Digital Theatre+ with all of our year groups. For our GCSE students, analysing and evaluating live theatre is essential to their academic success and having access to productions like Things I Know To Be True has been invaluable. The actor interviews, supporting notes and the ability to easily watch specific extracts of the play have been superb. Our oldest students, studying the BTEC in Performing Arts, use the platform to watch and explore as many different performances as they possibly can! Digital Theatre+ has opened the door to many theatrical experiences that our students would not otherwise have had access to.
My students love Digital Theatre+! They love that it’s so current and that they can access it at home. They like that I’m not stressed out, searching for lessons and ideas and that I can experiment and try these new pre-made lessons. We had a discussion on live theatre vs movies and they all agreed live theatre was best, so to have high-quality live theatrical performances in their entirety to show them is awesome.
My dream was to find a platform that included different styles and genres from various theatre companies and Digital Theatre+ was the solution. I’ve been able to see the difference in how each of my students perceives theatre and creative performance, it’s been very powerful. Digital Theatre+ has worked to include resources on all of the facets that go into making a production and as a result, my students have felt empowered by their newfound knowledge. They are more willing to be risk-takers. My students’ work is richer and more personal because they feel they have made new discoveries.
English Success Stories
For English teacher Isobelle Mason, Digital Theatre+ has supported her to increase engagement in the classroom and help students develop a deeper understanding of the texts studied.
"You can't go wrong with the value of having plays performed in front of students and having them understand the importance that this is a play," she said. "Having that play immediately in front of you really helps student understanding."
Using Digital Theatre+ as a flipped learning tool encourages our pupils to think more independently and to develop what we have established in lessons. The top level marks are achieved through critical and explorative
thinking; the resources on Digital Theatre+ enable our pupils to look outside the text rather than getting caught up in translating or explaining them.
English Department Chair,
My students are more engaged because they can actually see and hear the actors’ performances. They have learned to pick up on the varying productions’ nuances, especially why certain directors decided to emphasize or de-emphasize specific scenes. They have also learned that plays are attainable because they now have access to these productions without paying for tickets to watch them.
Digital Theatre+ provides a wide variety of excerpts that I can use when teaching plays and the variety of productions makes it simple to show individual scenes from plays interpreted by different theatre companies. For example, when studying the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, there are both traditional and contemporary versions available presented in both proscenium and thrust stage venues. It is so helpful for students to see the breadth of variety that is available in the interpretation of these scenes.
Head of English,
Kimberley, South Africa
Digital Theatre+ brings drama to life! With more and more students diagnosed with learning barriers, the visual presentations make the
teaching of plays much easier. As an English teacher, I am able to SHOW my students their drama texts. Ideally, plays should be seen and not read. The fact that I am able to access every one of our prescribed texts on Digital Theatre+ is particularly valuable.
Head of English,
New South Wales, Australia
Being able to build a complete understanding of much of our syllabus is something that a Digital Theatre+ subscription can assist with. Students are very positive about how it helps with their engagement of Shakespeare and we no longer need to pursue the issue of how language can be a barrier. It has enabled us to free our time in the classroom for deeper engagement with the text.
Language and Literature Teacher,
I love that my students could experience live theatre at their fingertips. There are so many options for them to watch when it comes to performances, as well as interviews and analysis. When studying a play, the students can experience different perspectives by viewing several different performances. I was pleased to see how many of my reluctant students had positive things to say about viewing the productions. Many of these students had not gone to a live show before.
Higher Education Success Stories
Access to a wide range of theatre styles is a key challenge when teaching Theatre and Performance, as Literature Professor Sandra Adell found before joining Digital Theatre+.
"I think it's so helpful that students see and hear people on the site who have different accents, who speak differently. That helps to open them up to what's happening in other parts of the world. It widens their understanding," she says.
"I don't know another platform that is as vast as this is. It's just my go-to place."
Senior Lecturer in Applied Theatre & Community Performance,
Royal Central School of Speech & Drama
There’s a financial aspect, so Digital Theatre+ has been incredible as a teaching resource but also for the students to be able to access a wide range of performances. Then there’s the accessibility aspect, as for some people getting to the theatre can be quite challenging. It’s had an impact in terms of the number of students we’ve been able to take to the theatre, it has felt more equal – students have been able to access a wider range of theatre. Fundamentally, we have been able to see more theatre which has been excellent.
City University of New York
As a Theatre Professor, the use of Digital Theatre+ is essential. It gives students of diverse backgrounds access to world class performances that represent different cultures and perspectives. With a variety of productions, students have the ability to watch performances from all over the world they would usually not have the opportunity to see. In addition, the educational resources help students engage more productively with the plays as well as helping add support to instructors. With this platform, everyone benefits.
Senior Lecturer in Drama & Performance,
London South Bank University
The biggest thing is access to excellent work that students might not be able to afford to go and see, which is important to a lot of our students. Also, the possibility of watching great performances from the past. To have work that’s well filmed and high definition is really valuable. [Plus] the access to interviews in combination with the performance is really useful: seeing the journey the artist went on, hearing about their process, and seeing the results. It’s not just seeing the performance, but hearing how it was made directly from the artist, for students to make those connections is really valuable and persuasive.
Associate Professor in Performance Studies,
London South Bank University
I can really see how the students’ view and understanding of theatre has changed. In the pandemic, they almost started obsessively watching shows; it definitely has improved the student experience and their access to materials. As a teaching resource, it’s also very easy to use and navigate. The platform is also useful for students approaching the end of their programme, putting them in touch with work which is valuable and important, and prepares students for a career in theatre. As theatremakers, it’s so important that we nurture our curiosity, and Digital Theatre+ definitely offers that as a platform.
Dr Elena Marchevska
Performing Arts Liaison,
Columbia College Chicago
Students are using Digital Theatre+ as part of their course curriculum. From what I can see in my library instruction classes, once students see the wide range of resources available to them, [they] do searches for their own projects and enrichment. There is such a range of productions and the interviews with actors, directors and all practitioners have been an incredible resource. I am constantly encouraged by the inquiries from students and faculty as they are working on projects and finding materials in Digital Theatre+ that support their work.