Book a theatre production for your school and it will touch the lives of your students for years to come. There is a certain magic that only theatre can create which reaches out and grabs onto us all; regardless of age, gender, background and religion. As long time theatre professionals (over 32 years!!!) and past teachers, our experience has taught us a thing or two about how to best book your in-school educational theatre production. So let’s take a look at our top essential tips:
YOUR TIME IS PRECIOUS!
An experienced school theatre company will have visited thousands of schools and know exactly what is required from the first initial phone call, to when they leave your school grounds and wave goodbye. We know that any school day, week, month, term, year is always going to be B-U-S-Y, so we ensure the experience is hassle and stress-free. When you choose an experienced school theatre company, like Brainstorm Productions, you’re not only getting a great experience for your students but also the reassurance and peace of mind that everything will be managed professionally including:
- Call us for FREE using our freecall number 1800 676 224
- We are here to help! We have a dedicated team of Tour Coordinators who are always just a phone call away and ready to discuss your needs, available dates or your school’s past shows
- Free posters. Free colouring in pages (for primary schools)
- A newsletter insert and permission slip template
- FREE teachers resources with song downloads and e-friendly cross curriculum activities
- Actors screened to work with children
- Detailed risk assessments
- Professional Work Health and Safety training
- $20 million in Public Liability insurance
- Compliance with the Departmental Code of Conduct for Visitors
- All material free from copyright or Intellectual Property restrictions
THE TOUGH ISSUES
While the experience of an in-school theatre production should entertain and engage kids, it should also deliver important messages and provide life skills that relate to your school’s teaching and learning programs. Brainstorm Productions programs tackle the important issues facing our kids today including the consequences of cyber bullying, risky behaviour, negative relationships, violence, prejudice, depression, eating disorders and substance abuse, to name a few. Consultation with school counsellors, teachers and education professionals ensures the material is psych safe and appropriate. Each performance provides insights into how students can control their own behaviour. Sound good? It Is! But don’t take our word for it, read our many positive student and teacher reviews – click here.
Look for school theatre companies that cast young, professional, energetic and vibrant actors. Why? Students will relate better to the on-stage experiences of the actors if the characters look, sound and move like the students in the audience. There’s also another good reason behind choosing young energetic actors and that’s to ensure they don’t represent ‘authority’ and are able to slip beneath the ‘sceptical’ radar that many students display whenever there is a newcomer in their space. A young cast is also in tune with the issues surrounding the use of technology and popular culture, which can be very beneficial when interacting with students.
Great live theatre performances should integrate a range of art forms to engage and connect with students. Everything from dance, physical theatre, comedy, narrative, acrobatics, humour and music should be used to create a powerful sensory experience that will help instigate change and strengthen positive student behaviour. The use of original music specifically recorded for a production is an important key feature of Brainstorm Productions plays. Teachers also have access to the songs via download for use in the classroom and this is a great way to continue to highlight the important key messages from the performance.
A successful in-school educational theatre performance should not start and end with the play. Because Brainstorm Productions is an educational organisation, we know that the learning needs to continue and be reinforced in the classroom. That’s why we work hard, using extensive research and teacher feedback, to develop a suite of sophisticated, curriculum-based lesson plans for each of our plays including interactive whiteboard activities and an original song download.
Since Brainstorm Productions inception, our company has been based on a firm ethical foundation. Our plays all have positive intrinsic messages that are communicated without ever preaching or being overly serious. Brainstorm Productions is also mindful of treading lightly upon the earth and in 2013 was awarded the Greenfleet Huon Award for consistently offsetting our carbon emissions for the past 5 years.
We’re also proud to be the official ‘R U OK? Day’ school partner, ‘Stay Smart Online’ partner, ‘Privacy Awareness Week’ partner and winners of the ‘Award for Excellence for Performances in Schools’ from NSW Department of Education and Training (winner for 10 consecutive years) and an ‘Australian Violence Prevention Award’ from The Department of Criminology. We are also a business that understands the importance of contributing to those less fortunate and this is apparent by the number of charities we support including Bear Cottage, OXFAM, Youth off the Streets, Amnesty International, Salvation Army, Doctors without Borders, unicef and UNHCR.
One measure of a great school theatre company is their ability to captivate an entire year or school for a full fifty to sixty minutes. Look for companies that freely supply testimonials, references and reviews from students and teachers. “Fun”, “freaking awesome” and “hilariously funny” are just some of the words used by students to explain Brainstorm Productions shows.
When St John Vianneys School teachers tell us “Brilliant! Enthralling! Actors were outstanding! Maintained every child’s attention for the entire performance, including kindy! Children said it was ‘awesome, excellent, interesting, intriguing, loved it!!’ Children showed empathy towards the characters. Great messages about positive feelings and behaviour. Thank you! 10/10.” or we hear from Richmond Primary School teachers that a show was “Awesome! Children were completely engrossed! Actors were thoroughly engaging and captivated children’s attention from start to finish. Fantastic content presented with enthusiasm and confidence. Great mix of drama, movement and song. Q & A was great because they had a natural connection with the students. 10/10.” we know we’re doing something right. To read more testimonials, click here.
There’s one thing that we will always come back to when talking about booking school theatre companies, and that’s finding the good ones. Experience, friendliness and professional staff are all essential but you’ll be able to tell the best from the rest by what fellow teachers have had to say. We are ethical, independent, inclusive and affordable, which is why 99.7% of teachers recommend Brainstorm Productions*.
*Of the 1200 feedback forms received from January to June 2014 – 99.7% of teachers said that they would recommend Brainstorm Productions to other schools.