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Royal Shakespeare Company

Overview

Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) research revealed that school pupils have negative attitudes to Shakespeare because too much teaching concentrated on the text of plays ‘on the page’ rather than as drama and performance. In a bid to change attitudes to how Shakespeare should be taught in schools, the RSCĀ  launched a campaign calling for more training and support for teachers enabling them to use theatre-based approaches, making the plays come alive for young people.

 

Strategy

Communications Management worked on the “Teaching Shakespeare: Time for Change Campaign” campaign to improve practice in the teaching and learning of Shakespeare, and to help the RSC position itself as a serious player in the education sector, and not just an ‘arts’ organisation. Stakeholders targeted included Government, teaching unions, teachers, teacher training organisations and key education press and national education correspondents.

  • Support was gained from leading RSC actors, alumni and supporters to act as campaign advocates. This included TV actor with popular appeal, David Oyelowo.
  • A symposium chaired by Libby Purves was used to formally launch the campaign in Stratford.
  • Other members of the panel included actor Chuk Iwuji, Phil Beadle and Dr Bethan Marshall of King’s College London. Representatives from a wide range of organisations including TDA, QCA, Ofsted, schools, colleges, universities, drama schools, theatres, unions, associations and charitable trusts had a chance to share their views.

 

 

Results

  • In the early stages of the campaign, more than 37 high quality, in-depth articles were generated, communicating the key campaign messages. Highlights included an edition of the TES which was dominated by the campaign issue, with the front page news story, an in-depth feature and an opinion column. There were also features on BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Education Online News, The Sunday Times, The Times, the Daily Mail, The Independent on Sunday, The Independent and the Evening Standard.
  • Meetings were set up with ministers and advisers in within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to discuss future funding needs.