CORE THEATRE ARTS LAB
With 30 years’ experience in the industry, we have identified a strong need to train young people (min age 16) primarily from the Christian community to be spiritually robust, develop a strong identity and pursue excellence in order to impact our culture and society as the prophets did in the Old Testament, and as Jesus did through his storytelling.
In addition to Christian community, those who benefit are; gifted people who are educationally or academically disadvantaged can find a place here that they may not find elsewhere, as entry to our school is by audition with no qualification requirements; it also benefits those outside the church who are drawn to the professional and spiritual ethos of the school, thirdly we are currently establishing partnerships with organisations seeking to provide training and employment for ex-offenders and those young people who for behavioural or other reasons have not finished schooling.
CORE’s Unique Methodology
CORE’s approach to teaching is based on the following methodologies:
- Viola Spolin (1904-1994) was a pioneer in the development of theatre games and improvisation in Chicago and Hollywood. Acclaimed by the magazine Film Quarterly, her improvisational techniques changed the very nature and practice of modern theatre. These techniques have also influenced the fields of education, mental health, social work and psychology. She won many awards in her lifetime for her contribution to professional, educational, community and children’s theatre.
- Augusto Boal (1931-2009), a Brazilian dramatist who created the Theatre of the Oppressed, a form of interactive theatre intended to transform lives as spectators become performers, acting out solutions to social problems.
- Jerzy Grotowski (1933-1999) was known for experimenting with many different aspects of theatre: spiritualistic, ritualistic and physical and also the nature of role and the relationship between actor and spectator. He invented the term 'Poor Theatre'; a style of performance that got rid of all extraneous parts of theatre but relied on skill of actors. He worked in unconventional spaces and used the physical skill of his performers rather than costumes and minimal props to become other significant objects.
- Additional influences and teaching methods are based on methods of Uta Hagen, Adam Darius and Hollywood Casting Director Michael Shurtleff,. students are given additional insight and comparatives with other methodologies (e.g. Brecht, Artaud, Theatre of the Absurd)
Whilst the methods of Stanislavsky, Hagen and Grotowski are very prevalent in UK drama schools, the Spolin and Shurtleff methods, whilst very well known in the USA, is only currently used in one other acting course in the UK. This combination of methods and the special emphasis on physical theatre makes CORE’s school unique in the UK.
A Kingdom-based Approach
The primary positive and unique impact of CORE’s methodologies focus on intrinsic character and identity development of the individual which includes; supporting differentiated learning, kinaesthetic and experiential learning, dealing with failure, experimenting and exploration within a non-judgmental and safe environment, positive role modelling, a culture of student feedback and self-reflection, problem-solving and lateral thinking, self-discipline and freedom of physical, emotional and spiritual expression. There is a strong emphasis demonstrated by tutors on the kingdom principles of equality, kindness, support and tough love, resulting in proven healthy mental, physical and spiritual outcomes.
The Apprenticeship Model
The primary focus of the theatre training in CORE is to prepare students for the industry. The ‘apprenticeship’ approach is a biblical precedent; giving the student practical training alongside the ‘master’, and an outlet to ‘try out’ in the market place. CORE students are trained in how to audition, to improvise, to present themselves well, to speak in public and then are put into our performing companies productions and given experience in various roles such as backstage, stage management and performance to develop their practical experience. External work experience is also encouraged and we provide practical workshops in holiday breaks.
Our Directors/Tutors Danny and Mary Scott, have 30 and 25 years’ experience (respectively) in performance and educational settings, both privately teaching courses and in institutions including RADA, Mountview, Academy Drama School, Goldsmiths College, Stagecoach, Pauline Quirk Academy, Oxford Royale Academy and a number of institutions internationally. They have regularly been awarded Ofsted level 1 (excellence) in teaching. They have also worked in numerous other youth contexts: NCS (The Challenge), London youth projects (e.g. XLP), youth detention centres, schools on special measures (SE London) and youth prisons. Through these experiences they have identified many of the issues facing young people today.