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Speaking with Teachers in Barcelona

A Report from a Meeting with Teachers

The main issues arising and shared at the meeting were:

1. Theatre habits:

  • In general, in all schools, the language teachers (Catalan, Spanish and/or English) or Physical Education teachers are the most interested in, and sensitive to, the Performing Arts.
  • They tend to be the ones basing activities based on Theatre or encouraging Theatre practice (both within and outside of school hours).
  • One of the common concerns is the process by which productions are selected for Teenagers to watch and the criteria that areapplied by decision makers.
  • In most schools, the teachers or the teaching body choose based on different criteria. These can be economic factors – they might choose performances with discounts or according to specific offers received by the Arts Centre. Proximity can be a factor (in the cases of Arts Centres located in small towns the options are few and the lack of mobility makes regular Theatre attendance difficult). Decisions are sometimes made by inertia with teachers choosing the most commercial or ‘obvious’ options. In general, the teaching body or the management team choose and teachers receive little prior information about the productions. It is unusual to ask the pupils about their tastes and preferences. However, the Board of Teachers of the Institute Ramon Berenguer IV told us that they had consulted with pupils about the different options available, recommending various performances. The pupils made their own choice, so going to the performances outside school hours and having to comment on them afterwards was to be a compulsory activity.

2. The relation between the teaching environment and Performing Arts spaces.

  • It is crucial to find different options and formulas for connecting with different Performing Arts spaces in the vicinity, so Theatres are not too far from schools.
  • Example: Different spaces directly linked to Arts Centres that have benefited from recent aids from the Neighbourhood Plan of the City Council of Barcelona: Sala Carlos Díaz – Institut Besós), Sala Teatre Mar a Mar – Escola Bárkeno.
  • It is possible to use different set ups and Theatre contexts to try different formulas and co-programming pilot tests, incorporating the teenagers into decision-making and choosing programmes.

3. Different proposals.

1. What do teenagers want to see?

  • The Board of Teachers proposes asking the pupils this question directly – which can be via debate or questionnaire. Presenting a questionnaire at the beginning and end of the project allow s you to evaluate the impact of the work. The Google Forms platform could be used for this, with the following types of question:

-What type of show would you like to see?
-What show have you seen recently that you liked a lot?
-What show have you seen recently that you didn’t like at all?
-When you go to the cinema, you watch a trailer/teaser. When you go to a concert you listen to the music beforehand on YouTube or Spotify. How do you prepare to go to a Theatre, Dance or Circus production?

2. For inspiration with experiences and other success cases, LV proposes inviting professionals from different disciplines and areas who already work with young ‘advisors’ or ‘programmers’ so we can learn from them for our mutual benefit.

– For example, Filmoteca de Catalunya- AbaoAqu.

3. Since there are generally few resources and little time to explore the play with pupils before going to see it – as well as to explore the play after seeing it – we asked the group to think about what constitutes good practice when choosing a play and going to the Theatre with pupils.

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