We've Been Nominated for The Stage School Of The Year 2016

Posted on 19 January 2016

We’re delighted to announce that the Belgrade Theatre has been nominated for the 2016 Stage Award for ‘School Of The Year’.

The nomination recognizes the Belgrade Theatre’s ground-breaking Acting Out programme which works with young people to help them achieve a qualification in Performing Arts. Acting Out was recently the subject of a major new documentary aired as part of the BBC’s On Stage season earlier this year narrated by Alistair McGowan.

Theatre in Education, established by the Belgrade Theatre in 1965, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. The ground-breaking initiative was developed to provide a free service to schools that used theatrical performance and workshops to investigate social, cultural and political issues. Since its inception in 1965, TiE has engaged with schools across the UK, and the globe, and remains a crucial and urgent tool with which to engage children and young people with the world around them by using theatre.

The Belgrade dedicated 2015 to delivering a series of events celebrating TiE, including festivals of work for young people and a conference exploring the relationship between theatre and education attended by leading practitioners from across the sector. The achievements of TiE and the movement and practices it has inspired made a compelling case for the significance of the Coventry venue.

The Belgrade Theatre has continued to pilot ground-breaking initiatives within the field of participatory arts practice and is currently home to one of the most active Community & Education programmes in the UK. Aside from TiE, the Belgrade undertakes comprehensive work with the communities and young people of Coventry, putting emphasis on engaging with young people at risk of exclusion from school or who struggle with mainstream education.

Various programmes, including the organisation’s pioneering Acting Out scheme and ongoing workshops, have brought the Belgrade’s work to 82% of secondary schools and 62% of primary schools in the city during the last three years.

Belgrade Artistic Director, Hamish Glen, commented, ‘’2015 was a landmark year for the Belgrade Theatre and for Coventry. The invention of Theatre In Education at the Belgrade Theatre in 1965 not only positioned the Belgrade’s work at the centre of the social and community life of the city, it provided a spark for a revolutionary new theatre movement which spread across the globe and which continues to shape how theatres engage with young people today. Giving young people the opportunity to build their confidence and develop their own voices through drama, whether as artists or as active citizens, remains at the very heart of our work as a theatre and we are delighted that The Stage have chosen to recognize this impact of this work as part of the annual industry awards in 2016.’’

Since 2011, The Stage Awards have reflected the industry’s best performing theatres and theatre makers. The open nomination process allows anyone to elect their favourite buildings, schools, companies and individuals, while a new industry focus group helped steer this year’s shortlist. The final cut is selected by a panel of senior editorial figures at The Stage and aims to celebrate the finest theatre achievements of the past year. This year’s shortlist was announced on December 24, 2015 with final winners unveiled at The Stage New Year Party, to be held at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on January 29, 2016.

The Stage School of The Year award is open to stage schools, drama schools or any organisations offering performing arts education. This covers all age rangers and education levels from stage schools for young children to degree and post-graduate education.

You can find out more about The Stage Awards here.