2011-04-25

The Drama and Theatre Manifesto

The Drama and Theatre Manifesto recognizes a common sense of purpose and a shared belief in the contribution drama and theatre makes to the quality of childrens lives in school and beyond. It is a call to action to young people, parents, teachers and theatre practitioners to unify their efforts and ensure that young people have access to drama and theatre.

The Manifesto is centred on three core beliefs, any or all of which might be already be part of your work with and for children and young people. Alongside these core beliefs is a series of specific objectives, some of which we are achieving already and others that we need to work towards in order to secure the things that we believe in.
The Manifesto will only be successful if it is endorsed by individuals and organisations across the sector and brought to the attention of those who have the power to influence and support the achievement of its aspirations.
The umbrella organisations and national associations will come together for the first time in September 2011 to share evidence on the impact our work has on young peoples lives and on society as a whole. We need to build a body of both quantitative and qualitative evidence from case studies, personal stories and statistical data in order to make it difficult for policy-makers and statutory funders to ignore the unique contribution that drama and theatre, within the context of access to a broad spectrum of cultural activity, makes to young peoples lives.

History

In 2008 the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) brought together a group of people from across drama, theatre and learning to explore ways of working together in order to raise the profile of our work. Funding was secured from Arts Council England to commission a study into the feasibility of a drama and theatre manifesto for children and young people.
Views were sought from a sample of people and organisations working across the entire sector. There was general consensus in support of the creation of a sector-wide strategic alliance and a statement of common purpose that could unite the sector and advocate for our work at the highest level.
At a meeting of representatives from the sector in December 2009 an elected body was established the Tactics and Action Group (TAG). Its remit has been to take the process forward, taking carefully considered action in ongoing consultation with the sector. The TAGs first step was to create five succinct and unifying aspirations that all those who provide drama and theatre education for young people might adopt.
Known individuals and networks in the sector were consulted directly on the appropriateness of the aspirations and this Facebook page was created to encourage further dissemination of the aims and to widen the network of responses. Responses to the consultation were received via three mechanisms: comments on the Facebook page, completion of a Survey Monkey survey and via email.