Theatre in Education

About Theatre-in-Education

This page aims to answer some of the questions that are asked most frequently by students working on projects or assignments about T.I.E.

So what is T.I.E.?

Theatre-in-Education is acknowledged to have started as a separate art form and educational activity at the Coventry Belgrade Theatre in 1965. A group of actors, teachers and social workers were brought together to create a community outreach team, to establish the Belgrade within the growing conurbation of Coventry. The late 60s and 70s saw the flowering of the participatory form of Theatre-in-Education, but also the beginnings of its decline. It would be contentious to say that today T.I.E. no longer exists in England, but it is accurate at least in that the term is now used as an umbrella definition for any theatre work that takes place in schools.

Theatre-in-Education (T.I.E.)

Work done by professional actors, predominantly in schools. Its primary aim is to use theatre and drama to create a range of learning opportunities across the curriculum based on a single stimulus. Usually these programmes work with no more than two classes and there will be a significant amount of participation and interaction with the audience. Typically the programmes last for at least two hours and include elements of performance, work in role, and debate. They are supported by printed resource material and some training for participating teachers.

Educational Theatre

Performances of plays by professional actors in school or community settings aimed at young people and with a specific educational aim, often supported by INSET and resource material and sometimes including a participatory workshop.

Young People’s Theatre

Plays designed for children of a specific age-range, which do not aim to address a single issue. Often based on traditional stories, these plays offer a much broader base of follow-up opportunities in schools than traditional T.I.E. They are often suitable as family shows in smaller theatre venues, as well as for touring schools. Many of the children’s theatre companies operating today, including Roundabout, primarily produce this type of work.

Children’s Theatre

Usually performances targeted at younger pupils in schools or theatre buildings. The content is likely to be populist in nature and the performance will seek some token involvement from the audience.

Theatre-in-Health Education

Programmes of work that may use performances, in-role participatory workshops and/or active learning techniques to deliver precisely targeted Health Education objectives. Often funded from outside the education system and sometimes working with adults as well as school students and pupils.

Want to find out more? Learn more about the changing aims in TIE, funding and sponsorship by downloading the PDF located on the right-hand side of this page.