The Big Drama & Theatre Education Online Debate: "Getting our act together".


Hosted by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Gusto Group, and supported by Arts Connect, GETTING OUR ACT TOGETHER was attended by .

This free online event is aimed at teachers, lecturers and theatre educators in schools, universities and theatres and features national and international figures sharing their thinking on the challenges and opportunities facing the sector and young people.

Confirmed speakers include Robin Pascoe, President of IDEA (the International Drama and Theatre Education Association) and Senior Lecturer in Arts and Drama Education at Murdoch University, Australia; Tim Boyes, Chief Executive Officer, Birmingham Education Partnership; Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Theatre Director, Author and Co-Founder of Black Lives Black Words; and Jenny Sealey, Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre the UK’s flagship disabled-led theatre company.

“This online conference is a landmark event for all of us engaged with drama, theatre and young people in that it launches this Alliance - the first time that all major membership associations have come together to lobby and advocate for drama and theatre with children and young people. It provides an opportunity to virtually meet and learn from each other, to seek inspiration from our keynote speakers and to Get Our Act Together”.

Participants will be invited to join small break out discussion groups focussing on a variety of topics including decolonising the curriculum, teacher training and higher education, teaching drama in schools, and the challenges facing theatres. Other contributors include Matthew Milburn, Executive Headteacher at Saddleworth School, playwright Roy Williams, drama therapist and lecturer Sam Adams and Tracy Brabin MP, Shadow Minister for Cultural Industries.


15th July 2020, 16:00-18:00

How to register
Click here

The Drama and Theatre Education Alliance is an unfunded organisation seeking to unify many voices and further the outstanding campaigning and lobbying efforts of each member association.

We are asking for donations to attend the conference to help us fund our work and pay guest speakers for their valuable time and expertise to lead key note and break out sessions.

Please do give what you can to help raise awareness and seek genuine change for drama and theatre for children and young people.

SCHEDULE (may be subject to change)

16.00: Steve Ball

Welcome and introduction to the Drama and Theatre Education Alliance.

16.04: Bhavik Parmar, Chair


16.09: Simelia Hodge–Dalloway, founder/CEO 'Artistic Directors Of The Future'; Founder 'Beyond the Canon'; Co-founder Black Lives, Black Words International Project'; Black play specialist; Theatre Director,

Presentation focused on decolonising  the curriculum


16.20: Tim Boyes, CEO of Birmingham Education Partnership (ex drama teacher, former HT)

Current challenges and opportunities re drama in schools

16.31: Jenny Sealey, CEO/ Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre, the UK’s flagship disabled- led theatre company.

Current challenges and opportunities re theatres

16.42: Robin Pascoe, President of IDEA the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association and a member of the Presidential Council of the World Alliance for Arts Education WAAE

Current international context, teacher training/HE and challenges and  opportunities ahead

16.52: Break out groups

17.22: Invited guests respond (5 minutes each) to presentations and key issues emerging from break out groups:

  1. Matthew Milburn: Executive Headteacher at Saddleworth School

  2. Roy Williams, playwright 

  3. Sam Adams, drama therapist and lecturer 

  4. Tracy Brabin MP, Shadow Minister for Cultural Industries.


18.00: Ends