I used to think I was lucky having ISTA friends and colleagues come visit us in Cornw…
Schedules are an aspect of ISTA that everyone has an opinion about and that’s mostl…
This week’s story is less a rant and more a cautionary tale. Last week for some unk…
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3... 2... 1... Houston we have lift-off...
The 29 festivals for the 2015-2016 ISTA year have been successfully launched!!!
POSTED ON: Wed Apr 29 11:44:38
Could you make Drama the heart of The International School of Penang? Details of a drama teacher vacancy here: http://t.co/p4P2AfvmCl
POSTED ON: Tue Apr 21 08:10:14
ISTA are excited to announce the full time appointment of Ian Pike as event coordinator for TaPS and IB workshops http://t.co/uJ7BJYcOcc
POSTED ON: Mon Mar 09 12:13:47
Discovery College Hong Kong are advertising for a Head of Drama to lead a high-functioning Drama department http://t.co/p4P2AfvmCl
POSTED ON: Fri Feb 27 09:33:41
RT @Lisa_o_leary: Get a glimpse of ISB MS drama Students at ISTA, Shanghai, in this latest video https://t.co/7ef4kcn9Ob @ISB_MS @share_IST…
POSTED ON: Wed Feb 25 10:48:21
I used to think I was lucky having ISTA friends and colleagues come visit us in Cornwall, hardly a place one passes through. So you can imagine my delight, time and time again, when members of the same group of people happen to chance on a few days in Perth – the most isolated city in the world and definitely a city people don’t pass through often.
Except Moira (Arthurs) who stops off in Perth annually on her way through to London to staff our TaPS events for us. So I was blessed with her company for a couple of days this week. Always a treat as we have been friends since 1997 in Hong Kong – and have, as families, hooked up regularly whether it be in Cornwall, Devon or Perth. Our children are like cousins and we both cherish the relationship.
While here, naturally, conversation flowed to ISTA and the forthcoming high school festival in Hong Kong where Moira will be AD. I mentioned that since the trustee meeting in June I had been meaning to put a document together to supplement ‘The idiot’s guide to being an AD’ and sitting out in the sun one day last week, we did just that together (always easier than on your own.)
We chatted about a number of issues we want Artistic Directors (ADs) and then student ensemble leaders (SELs) to focus on this year to improve our service even more. Areas that perhaps we haven’t been terribly clear on before; or that reflect a real tension at festivals that we want to get sorted; or areas where we think we’re clear but really we’re relying on that age old notion of telepathy which isn’t hugely successful. We have feedback from last year to address, new artists on board who know nothing of our past and experienced artists who we’d like to nudge in a particular direction. It’s about this growing consistency and really meeting the needs of students and teachers as well as ensuring our mission is absolutely being met in practical terms.
So below is a little list we came up with – summarized for this news bulletin but will be embellished for all ADs to chat to artists about during the planning day. I’m really excited we’re clarifying so much and huge thanks to Moira for her wonderful company and ideas.
• Our pedagogy is about process over product. The 2-3 minutes of product emerges from the ensemble process and doesn’t determine ensemble content from the outset. What is the implication of this for SELs?
• Our ensemble work focuses on student ownership. All material explored comes from the students. SELs introduce, guide, nudge, steer, shape, help frame and students leave a festival with a sense of owning the material created.
• Framing is key. Often students leave a festival saying “I don’t know why we did that?”. How can ADs and SELs frame learning moments making the journey and individual tasks super clear?
• Reflection – we will be getting rid of the 20-minute re-group in ensembles after the final sharing this year. Instead we’ll be working with SELs to build in key moments of reflection throughout the entire festival experience.
• Sometimes we hear the comment “There just wasn’t enough time in ensembles”. We’ll be working with ADs and SELs this year to plan material in line with the number of hours we have to get rid of any feeling of being rushed. How can SELs best deliver a well planned and manageable ensemble process where material and content is ‘right’ for the amount of time we have?
Not a completely comprehensive list of our discussion but a taster for you… Let the festival year begin.