Theatres as Sites of Learning: Theatre for Early Years Audiences

Miles, Emma and Nicholson, Helen (2019) Theatres as Sites of Learning: Theatre for Early Years Audiences. In: Education and Theatres. Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education, 27 . Springer, Cham, pp. 273-286.

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This chapter asks what children learn from attending the theatre. The research project that informed the chapter followed a group of nine children aged between three and four, who visited Polka Theatre in South-West London a total of seven times over one year. The children watched theatre made specifically for their age group – often referred to in the UK as ‘Theatre for Early Years Audiences’- a genre which has seen a proliferation in recent years. Focussing on the performance of Grandad, Me and Teddy Too by Sarah Argent, this chapter critically interrogates the dynamic between young children’s participation in theatre as audience members and their learning, as well as situating TEY within the context of wider theatre practice. In doing so, it considers both curriculum-centered learning outcomes and those analysed through the lens of Elizabeth Ellsworth’s theories of learning as relational, sensory and somatic. The chapter argues that, although targeted outreach work may form part of a theatre’s educational work with children, it is essential to consider the performance experience itself as a key site of learning.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Theatre for early years, Learning, Participation, Young children
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 11 May 2020 11:16
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:07

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