Dulwich College International (DCI) today announced a new partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company Education for seven of its nine schools in Asia.
The collaboration offers students aged 10 to 18 years a wide array of opportunities to deepen their understanding of Shakespeare’s works through tried and tested strategies from the RSC’s rehearsal rooms. The first year programme will include residencies at the schools by RSC artists, tailored student workshops, and access to the RSC’s online resources as well as RSC performances in the UK and Asia. The programme culminates in student performances across the DCI network.
“Visual and Performing Arts are central to a Dulwich education,” said Fraser White, Executive Chairman and Founder of DCI. “I am excited that we have been able to develop this partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, one of the world’s leading and most renowned theatre companies. It adds an extra, valuable dimension to our students’ learning, taking it beyond the confines of the classroom.”
Commenting on the partnership, Director of RSC Education Jacqui O’Hanlon noted, “We are committed to a long term partnership and meaningful cultural exchange and are therefore delighted to be working in partnership with the DCI schools in Asia. Shakespeare’s work belongs to the world; it offers us the opportunity to explore human experience in all its guises, and like all great works of art, helps us understand ourselves, each other and the world we live in. At the RSC we place a special emphasis on sharing the inheritance of Shakespeare’s work with children and young people and our educational approaches are inspired by the work of RSC actors and directors in the rehearsal room. There is a wonderful tradition of drama practice and literary study in DCI schools and we are really looking forward to contributing to that in the coming months.”
In addition to student activities, the RSC will offer a structured, residential programme of Professional Learning, supported by online resources, for drama and English teachers across the Dulwich network. In future years, activities for students and teachers will include residencies in the UK, writing and producing plays, workshops on performance and stagecraft, and more professional learning elements.
DCI Director of Schools Brian McDouall added, “This partnership will help students understand many of the complex themes Shakespeare addressed in intimate and creative ways. These themes are still relevant today and keep Shakespeare relevant around the world.”
The first activity took place recently in Shanghai, where four RSC artists took part in DCI’s annual Shakespeare Festival, featuring student performances of Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest and Hamlet, and conducted a tailored, residential three- day Professional Learning programme for 30 of the group’s drama and English teachers.
Both DCI and RSC Education hope to extend workshops to students at nearby local schools, working with them to create performance pieces, which in China may be in both English and Chinese.
DCI schools participating in the first year are Dulwich College Shanghai, Dulwich College Beijing, Dulwich College Suzhou, Dulwich College Seoul, Dulwich College in Singapore, Dulwich International High School Suzhou and Dulwich International High School Zhuhai.