Theatre in Education: what is it?

Theatre in education may have had its heyday in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, but, in various permutations, and not always under the same name, continues to be vital, innovative and inspiring practice for many concerned with the use of drama and theatre for educational purpose.

tie1So the definition of TIE in the second decade of the twenty/first century has necessarily altered and widened in response to a changing world, and the marked cultural differences in how TIE is used, adapted and developed in different parts of the globe.
In fact, by the 1990s, TIE was clearly no longer a British phenomenon. But “learning through theatre”remains the governing theme. Key TIE characteristics such as participatory engagement, social learning through role play, work with young people in both formal and informal educational settings, and the pivotal position of innovative theatrical forms within the process.
TIE began as a definable movement in Britain in the mid-1960s in direct response to the needs of both theatres and schools. Essentially TIE seeks to harness the techniques and imaginative potency of theatre in the service of education. The aim is to provide an experience for young people (and increasingly, adult population) that will be intensely absorbing challenging, often provocative, and an unrivalled stimulus for further investigation of the chosen subject in and out of school. But it is formal innovations that have given TIE its special quality and made its appearence upon the British “alternative theatre” scene so significant. On the the major and most effective features of TIE is the structured active participation of the young people in the drama. What most TIE projects share it’s commitment to placing their audiences at the centre of their own learning, pressing home challenges while simultaneously communicating the belief and trust that they are sufficiently intelligent and sensitive to think and act autonomously to find their own solutions. (this practice incidentally pre-dates Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed by some years).
The most important innovation in what we might term “classic TIE” was undoubtedly the concept of the TIE programme, and it is this element that has distinguished TIE most obviously from other kinds of young people’s theatre. The TIE programme is not a performance in schools of a self-contained play, a “one.off” event that is here today and gone tomorrow, but a coordinated and carefully structured pattern of activities, often devised and researched by the company, around a topic of relevance both to the school curriculum and to the young people’s own lives, presented in school by the company and involving the audience directly in an exprience of the situations and problems that the topic highlights.
There some difference king of young people’s theatre:
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Apllied theatre is a broad umbrella term to describe “a wide range of participatory, socially engaged, often politically inspired, non-traditional theatre practices”. In some cases the term TIE has been deliberately replaced by applied theatre to blur boundaries for the purpose of inclusion.
Theatre for development (TDF) refers to the use of theatre and drama workshoptechniques for development purpose, most commonly (but not exclusively) deployed by non-governmental organisations (charity for example) operating in Third World countries. While much of the work is overtly instructive, even propagandist, promoting specific health or lifestyle changes, (especially in relation to HIV education), increasingly practices have become oriented more towards participation, a bottom-up rather that top-down approach.
Theatre of the oppressed (TO) is a system of participatory theatre methodology developed by brasilian director and activist Augusto Boal, the the audicnce is the spect-actor, and in Boal’s own words it is a “rehearsal for revolution”. Its different forms inlclude image theatre, forum theatre and rainbow of deisre.used to address individual, internal oppression,
Children’s theatre and theatre for young audience (TYA) are both terms that refers to the professional performance (in theatre or in schools) of self-contained plays for young audiences. Children’s theatre typically caters for the younger audiences (up to about thirtenn years of age) while TYA frequently embraces the teenager years. This category includes the work of national touring companies, productions by local repertory or TIE companies, and those of the building-based children’s theatre.
Which is the one you’re interested the most?

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