By Lena de Casparis
The 2008 Southwark Theatres’ Education Partnership (STEP) performing arts festival will engage over 2,000 Southwark schoolchildren in the next fortnight.
Now in its fifth year, the annual event opened last Monday at the Peckham Theatre, where some of STEP’s 40 partner organizations, including The Young Vic, showcased their work.
During the jam-packed fortnight there will be over 60 workshops, performances and events taking place throughout the borough’s schools and in theatres.
Lucy Williams, Head of Creative and Performing Arts at The Charter School in Dulwich said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to extend their skills in a variety of ways, particularly in relation to learning about the industry.”
STEP young critics is one of the signature programmes of the festival. This year theatre critic Michael Billington spoke to young people at the Charter School in Dulwich about how to write a good review.
Using Billington’s advice, young critics will now be given the chance to see some top performances at local theatres and write their own reviews. Their reviews will be edited by professional critics and made into a publication, which will be distributed after the festival.
Southwark Councillor Lewis Robinson said: “This programme will inspire young drama students to learn what it takes to be a good critic – it would be great if the next Michael Billington came from our borough.”
The Festival’s climax is the STEP Youth Theatre Showcase, which puts young people centre stage as both comperes and performers for the evening on Friday 21 November at 6.30pm at the Unicorn Theatre.