World Theatre Day 26/03/2021

World Theatre Day

Over a year since theatres went dark, #WorldTheatreDay serves as a reminder of the important role the arts have in our community, on our mental health and on our education.

"Biologists have argued that the formation of creativity was the most important step in human development and that society cannot move forward without creative people."

Kidderminster College have a renowned Creative Industries department, supporting and mentoring students in Dance, Musical Theatre, Music, Performing Arts and Acting; we create the performers of the future, the West End script-writers of tomorrow, the entertainers, the next generation of box office smashes. From developing a creative voice and confidence, to teaching us about history and emotions, performing arts are integral to society and have been so for centuries.

With the devastating effect of COVID on theatres, concerts, live performance and music, it is, of course, a worry that some may no longer consider a career in the Creative Industries a viable option. Yet despite this, we have all turned to arts for comfort, normality and hope.

Whether it be a new TV drama, a favourite song on repeat, a much loved replay of a musical or a dancing reality show; the performing arts have given us light and that desperately needed connection throughout the multiple lockdowns we have endured.

And without theatres or post-16 qualifications like Music, Media, Acting, Dance and Musical Theatre there is a real possibility that future generations will be deprived of the very thing that has kept us so resilient over the past year.

Transferable Skills

“…The Coronavirus has sharpened our teaching skills and broadened the range of skills we teach as our students are now experts at working productively in an online environment.

A skill like this is what we call a transferable skill. I believe transferable skills are not always counted when people discuss the merits of teaching various subjects. But I think they are the most important. The current obsession with STEM subjects forgets the fact that most of us don’t actually work in the areas that we studied at college or university. It was in fact the transferable skills we learnt that were most important in helping us join the workplace. Knowing that date the Magna Carta was signed or the amount of electrons in a Helium atom whilst useful, are not in my opinion, as important as being able to organise yourself, set targets, develop people skills, understand how to use technology, develop business skills or entrepreneurship.

And these skills will be very important in the future because the Coronavirus is going to fundamentally change not only the nature of the workplace, but the workplace itself. And as certain jobs die away other, new professions will emerge. And the ability for the current generation entering the workplace to be able to bend and adapt to this must be at the forefront of our education system.

– ANDY EDWARDS, KC Music//MAS Records Tutor

"UK’s Creative Industries contributes almost £13 million to the UK economy every hour"

Gov.uk

The Importance Of
The Performing Arts

“Since man first told stories theatres have played a central role in communities. We have a need to come together to share experiences and during the last 18 months theatres and community performance venues have struggled as no other sector.

The first to close and the last to open, the impact of Covid on theatres is likely to be lasting. However, we continue to tell stories and produce performances and will in time return to the buildings that have housed a community’s artistic history.

A new post covid performance world will have to change and adapt as audiences seek out different experiences. At Kidderminster College we have a creative industries section that have been at the forefront of UK actor training for over 40 years, pioneering new courses, giving opportunities to young performers from previously marginalised groups and always adapting and changing to reflect the times in which we live.”

“A new post covid performance world will need new young voices to represent a generation who have been adversely affected by the Pandemic. New voices need training and places to be trained in, places like the Creative Industries section at Kidderminster College where giving creative opportunities to young people is at the heart of what we do.

Building technique is essential and actors at Kidderminster College are introduced to the techniques that they will need to sustain them in their journey through Higher Education and into the industry itself. As well as solid technical foundations we believe in giving the young actor responsibility to direct short productions, to write original work that is produced in our theatres and to explore a variety of performance mediums such as performance to camera and community theatre.

The latter giving the young artist the opportunity to create original work for communities that more than ever need to be heard.”

NIGEL HOLMAN, KC ACTING TUTOR

Economic contribution of UK arts & Culture: 37,250 jobs

The Arts and Wellbeing

The most important aspect of education is personal well-being. Skills mean nothing if you do not have the confidence, self-belief or self-organisation to utilise those skills. And for some young people mental health issues can be overwhelming as they move from childhood to adulthood, with all the pressures and stresses that entails. I believe that the art subjects are the most important way of helping young people through these problems. It is more effective in my opinion than pills or even counselling. Harnessing a person’s creativity and refining it aligns all those inner voices and can turn all the catastrophizing and self-loathing into a force that is able to bring order to the outside world, as opposed to chaos to the inner world.

This is the real value of creative subjects. Courses that teach music (as well as art, acting, dance etc) can really help a certain section of young people who would not do so well in a normal academic environment. They can develop personal skills, an understanding of the value of creativity and a variety of transferable skills that I have described above.

– ANDY EDWARDS, KC Music//MAS Records Tutor

Generation Z

Among adults who made their own art, the most commonly reported reasons were to feel creative or creatively inspired or to learn something new.

Arts.Gov

We are living in the digital age; the upcoming generation have known nothing but the instant access information via a tablet or a phone; they are the digital natives. This in turn, is altering the performing arts as we know it.  YouTube personas, Tik-Tok creators, Twitch streamers, podcasters….these are roles and career aspirations that are all becoming the norm and our Creative Industries provision is adapting towards Generation Z’s thirst for innovation and relatable communication.

From learning how to to present themselves effectively online to how to edit videos utilising smart phones and accessible editing software, both generation z’s past times and aspirations all centre around the Performing Arts integral  future within society.

And it all starts with the theatre.

The KC Theatre