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Press Release: Are you Seizing The Day?

The Drama and Theatre Education Alliance initiative puts drama and theatre centre stage!

Seize The Day, by the Drama and Theatre Education Alliance (DTEA), is a national initiative from the 20th – 27th March aimed at raising the profile of Drama in schools and of Theatre for young audiences.

Over 80 schools, universities and theatres have registered to run workshops, classes and performances, but it is believed many more will actually be participating; inviting their local MPs, mayors, councillors, school governors and press to attend. By engaging with those who influence how much funding and support is given to Drama and Theatre, the DTEA hopes to influence their future decision making and raise the profile of the subject and art form.

While all arts subjects have seen reduced student take up in recent decades, there has been a 24% decline in the number of students taking GCSE Drama between 2010 and 2020 alone. As part of the Creative Industries, the fastest growing sector of the UK economy which outperforms Oil and Gas, Life Sciences, Aerospace and Automotive industries combined, this downward trend poses a seriously threat to the future of the sector.

The Covid pandemic had a devastating impact upon children and young peoples’ health and wellbeing, and on the theatres that produce work for young audiences. The positive impact of Drama is well documented as a subject which can help children express themselves and improve their wellbeing.

The DTEA believes that access to drama and theatre is a right, not a privilege, and advocates for the inclusion of Drama in the National Curriculum alongside Art and Music, recognising that many schools have no Drama provision or access to high-quality theatre experiences.

On 25th January 2023, Seize The Day was officially launched at the House of Lords at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Children’s Media And The Arts. Chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin, the APPG provided a valuable platform for the DTEA to engage with all members of the group and members of both houses.

Between 20th – 27th March 2023, to coincide with World Performance Week* and culminating in World Theatre Day, participating artists and organisations will teach, rehearse, workshop and perform, engaging with and inspiring children and young people.

About the DTEA

The DTEA is an alliance of 14 national associations that work in drama and theatre for, with and by children and young people. The DTEA was formed in 2020.

The three key objectives of the Alliance are:

1. The inclusion in the curriculum of Drama as a Foundation Subject in the National Curriculum with the same status as Art and Music;

2. The entitlement of every child to at least one annual engagement with professional theatre.

3. A drama curriculum and theatre repertoire that is more representative of the UK's diverse population.

The DTEA unites member’s calls for improved access to theatre for young people and greater recognition for the teaching of Drama in schools.

* About World Performance Week, 20-27 March 2023

World Performance Week is a concept initiated by ASSITEJ, an international association supporting drama and arts education around the world. The week includes several “World Days” including

  • March 20th, ASSITEJ World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People (and the campaign “Take a child to the theatre”)

  • March 21st, UNIMA’s World Puppetry Day,

  • March 22nd, World Mime Organisation’s World Mime Day

  • March 27th, ITI’s World Theatre Day, which is also celebrated by other associations, such as IATC, IDEA, AITA/IATA and others.

Further information

Hashtags: #SeizeTheDay #DTEA

Social Media: @DTEAlliance

Press and Media Links - 2022

Highfields School performed Avenue Q - Express & Star

Letter from Catherine West MP to Nadhim Zahawi - read more

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