World Theatre Day
for Children and Young People

Friday 18th March 2022.

Now, more than ever, we need to get the message about the value of Drama and Theatre Education with children and young people to Government, MPs and school governors.

 

Drama in schools and universities in England is in crisis. Between 2010 and 2017 there was a 24% drop in students taking GCSE Drama. The government has reneged on promised funding for arts subjects in schools and slashed  funding in higher education. The Covid pandemic has had a devastating impact upon theatres that produce work for young audiences.  

On 18th March, we've organised events across the UK, inviting teachers in schools, lecturers in universities and drama schools, youth theatre practitioners and learning officers in theatres and arts organisations to invite their local MP to come and visit them with the aim of involving all 533 English MPs. We are aiming to have one event in each constituency, and we encourage you to tailor the invitation to meet your local circumstances and passions.

Participants have been asked to invite their MPs, ideally with invites coming from the children and young people themselves, to attend either new or existing work, such as:

  • A short performance by children and young people in a school

  • A cross curricular drama project in a school.

  • A drama-centred assembly

  •  A youth theatre performance in a local theatre or community setting

  • A student production (or extract) in a university, perhaps with a local school invited to attend

  • A professional performance for children, young people and families in a theatre, school, library or community setting.

Friday 18th March is timed to coincide with ASSITEJ's World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People on 20 March. 

World Theatre Day
Why?
Drama and Theatre with children and young people matters!

"Children need to go to the theatre as much as they need to run about in the fresh air. They need to hear real music played by real musicians on real instruments as much as they need food and drink. They need to read and listen to proper stories as much as they need to be loved and cared for. 

The difficulty with persuading grown-up people about this is that if you deprive children of shelter and kindness and food and drink and exercise, they die visibly; whereas if you deprive them of art and music and story and theatre, they perish on the inside, and it doesn't show.” 

Sir Philip Pullman

Our Objectives

The three key objectives of the Alliance are:

 

  • The inclusion in the curriculum of Drama as a Foundation Subject with the same status as Art and Music;

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

  • A drama curriculum and theatre repertoire that is more representative of the UK population.

Get involved

It is not too late to get involved!

We know that there are classes, workshops, and performances going on across the UK every day.

 

We know that children and young people will benefit from doing drama and watching theatre. We know the impact this can have on them as they continue to grow, learn and develop, and how the effects can be long-lasting.

 

We therefore ask you to join us tomorrow, to document these events, to share them with us and with your local MP, councillors and press, to shout about the impact these events have on you, your community and the people involved.

 

So, just do what you do - only shout about it!

  • Film it, photograph it, document the event.

  • Interview those who take part and those who watch - get them to tell you why drama and theatre is important and the impact it has had on them.

  • Read our press release, create your own, and share it, along with our manifesto, with your local press, your MP, councillors and school govornors.

More information:

  1. Check whether your MP has been invited.

  2. If your MP is not listed, Invite them to your school, university or theatre. Use this link to find your local MP.

  3. View our template invitation letter in Microsoft word or PDF

  4. Register at Eventbrite. Help us track of your event by supplying as much information as possible when registering.

  5. Invite your local newspaper or radio station.

  6. Post about your event on social media and in newsletters to your community. See our sample social posts template here and use the #SeizeTheDay.

  7. Review the NGA & ACE Guidance for School Governors on the teaching of Drama in schools and share throughout your school community

  8. Read our #SeizeTheDay campaign briefing note for schools.

  9. Download and print the Drama, Theatre and Young People Manifesto and petition to hand to your MP 
  10. Film the event and send it to us dtealliance@gmail.com via We Transfer or similar platforms. Please seek the permission of parents of any children filmed.

  11. Whether your MP or local press are able to attend or not, please share videos, photos, participant and audience testimony to them in lieu of a personal visit.

  12. Let us know how it went by replying to the email we will send you on 21st March.  

  13. After the nationwide events on 18th March, we will work with Change.org to create a petition demanding that DTEA’s three objectives are debated in Parliament.

 

For further information contact Steve Ball, Chair of DTEA drsteveball@hotmail.co.uk, or dtealliance@gmail.com

MPs
 

If your MP is not listed below, please find your MP here and invite them to visit you to experience your event.

Invited MPs:

  • Liam Byrne MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill - Hillstone Primary School - confirmed!

  • Suzanne Webb MP for Stourbridge - Peters Hill Primary School - confirmed!

  • Ed Davey MP - Coombe Boys School in partnership with National Drama & Frantic Assembly - pending

  • Matthew Pennycook MP - Greenwich schools via Theatre Workout - regretfully declined but with support

  • Steve Brine MP - Winchester and Chandler's Ford - University of Winchester - Pending

  • Catherine West MP for Hornsey and Wood Green - Collage Arts in Haringey - confirmed!

  • Stuart Anderson MP for Wolverhampton South West - Highfields School - Declined but local press covered it.

  • Bambos Charalamous MP for Enfield Southgate - Chicken Shed Theatre - confirmed!

Press Coverage etc.

Letter from Catherine West MP to Nadhim Zahawi - read more

MP Responses