Prestigious theatre Curve has five De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students heading into schools to engage a new generation in performing arts.
Students with the Curve team
As part of an ongoing partnership between DMU and the award-winning venue, the five students will teach teenagers about Curve’s upcoming production of My Beautiful Laundrette.
Final year Performing Arts students Katie Holtom, Karina Kinsey, Robyn Whiteoak and Tom Inglis and Drama student Emily Crick are working with Curve professionals Andy Reeves, Charity Muiruri, Akshay Sharma and Michelle Vacciana to put together workshops which will be taken into four city schools to teach 120 pupils about the play and its themes.
The 15 and 16-year-old pupils will then come and see My Beautiful Laundrette and the DMU students will then run an after-show Q&A between the schools and the production’s cast.
The students have returned to DMU a month early to dedicate their time to this opportunity.
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Student Katie says it is perfect for her as she wants to look at a career behind the scenes rather than in the limelight.
She said: “I love the idea that this is a springboard into a potential career. I am so excited to be involved.
“It is a significant thing we are doing. Any experience at university is a great experience but this is a project with Curve! Not only are we associated with a great theatre but we are learning from professionals as well.
“With Performing Arts, we are often working to be in a piece of theatre. I am not working towards a career on the stage but working behind the scenes so this is perfect for me. Working with kids is going to be such a rewarding experience.”
Emily, who is about to start her third year studying Drama, added: “I am so excited. I have already worked in schools. I created my own workshops and used drama in schools to resolve bullying issues.
“This opportunity takes it a stage further using professionals to teach us the best ways to work with schools.
“I have been coming to Curve since I was a little girl but we never had professionals come into the school and tell us about the theatre. We will be teaching the children something I wish I had done which makes me even more passionate about succeeding.”
Andy Reeves, Head of Learning at Curve, said: “The beauty of this project its that it is all about learning in the real world. The students are helping to put together workshops relating to our production of My Beautiful Laundrette
“Working with professional artists whose speciality is education and workshops they will be taught about going into schools and educating and inspiring 15 and 16-year-old pupils.
“They will gain vital experience and this will give them a real insight into what it is really like to work creatively as an educator
“This is all about learning on the job and I am really interested to see how these five DMU students rise to the challenge and watch the relationships they develop with the pupils and the theatre.
“Education through the theatre is hugely important. Curve is a charity and is in Leicester for everybody, not just those who can afford tickets.
“So we want to work with school children who have that creative muscle to flex and give them the opportunity to do that.
“Education without creativity could lead to a pretty grim future for our young people. Without going into the politics, opportunities in the creative arts are being squeezed in schools so we need to produce more and more prospects for them.
“Of course, we hope these pupils will become theatregoers, but this is not a marketing exercise, it is an education exercise.”
The stage play My Beautiful Laundrette is based on the film script by Hanif Kureishi, which was nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 1987. It focusses on the complex and sometimes comical relationships between the English and Pakistani communities in Thatcher’s London.
Posted on Tuesday 3rd September 2019