To celebrate International Arts Education Week, we take a look at a different but powerful way to engage school students in Shakespeare.

21 May 2019

The importance of the arts in education cannot be underestimated. It encourages creativity and innovation and helps expand imagination and promote our culture and identity.

The Bell Shakespeare in schools touring program gives a modern twist to traditional plays and performs them in towns and cities across the country, exposing students to Shakespeare's great works in an entertaining and dynamic way.

'What we find is that once a student can hear the work being spoken, then they can go back into their studies with a better understanding of what these words on the page mean, what the energy behind it means, what it's like to be performed,' said Bell Shakespeare Artistic Director Peter Evans.

'We find that students who are engaged with the arts and stimulated in that way can apply it to all other areas of their life. Shakespeare's like a catalyst for all sorts of other things. It's great drama and the stories are fantastic, but thematically, it's about politics. It's about power. The plays are about love, about romance, they're about history,' said Peter.

Bell Shakespeare Executive Director Gill Perkins said 'that in every school there's someone who comes up afterwards and says you've opened a door to my imagination'.

'Not every student likes sport. There should be a place and an opportunity for students who want something else,' said Gill.

'It's as much about young people seeing other young people doing something they're passionate about and I think what we find is that it really resonates in classrooms and school halls around Australia. There is a window. There's a possibility. There's something to aspire to.'

John Bell's vision has always been for his company to have a strong education role and to ensure the work is accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

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