ISTA 2020 – Join us on the journey

6 August 2020

As we continue to respond to the current teaching and learning environment, we are delighted to introduce 4 new ‘offers’ for international theatre educators and their students. We have taken time over the summer months to develop, prototype and pilot these new ways of working. Our new online events have been adapted from our existing face to face events and:

• remain consistent with our mission and pedagogy and;
• seek to maximise the opportunities afforded to us through an online platform.

On an annual basis many teachers book an ISTA artist in residence. Where travel circumstances permit this will be ‘business as usual’ and we invite you to bring an artist into your school. Where this is not possible we invite you to book an ISTA artist to work with your students through an online platform. These online AiR events are already up and running so please click here to get a taste of how this is working and how it might work for your students.

We know from conversations with many of you in recent months what you are missing most and what your students will miss come September is the opportunity to work ‘live’ with an ISTA artist. It’s easy, accessible and can be tailor made to your curriculum and theatre programme.

For questions, further information or to book an AiR online please email

We have now ‘opened the doors’ for you to book your TaPS online experience. For your DP Theatre students the learning outcomes replicate those of a TaPS event, we are simply delivering the experience differently. Consisting of 11 x 90 minutes sessions that combine slideshows and activities with ‘live’ interactive workshops with your ISTA artist, TaPS online will provide a unique experience for your students to work intensively with an ISTA artist, an ISTA master class leader and gain essential understandings of the DP Theatre course.

For further details and to book your TaPS online course, please click here.

Monthly professional development online workshops

Following the hugely successful online workshops and conversations that took place from February through to May this year; as well as our summer season of workshops, we have now programmed 8 x 90 minute workshops for you that will take place between September and December. Each month we will be producing one workshop for all MS and HS Theatre teachers as well as one workshop specifically for DP Theatre teachers. Here is a taster for you and to find out more information (including specific dates and times) and to book your place, please click here.

Working with text: a guide to preparing students for the Director’s Notebook with Simon Bell
Thursday 10th September 2020
DP Theatre teachers
In this practical workshop, we will explore a range of exercises focussed on the exploration of a text. These exercises are specifically designed so students can acquire the necessary skills and understanding to successfully approach the creation of their Director’s Notebook.

Dynamising Distance Drama with Sofia Martyn
Thursday 24th September 2020
All MS and HS Theatre teachers
Description: In this workshop we’ll explore making distance-drama lessons more practical and collaborative by adapting games and activities that will move the students away from a desk and laptop into exploring their space to enhance their performances.

Digital devising: collaboratively creating and presenting original theatre online with Dinos Aristidou
Wednesday 7th October 2020
Audience: DP Theatre teachers
Description: A practical experience of digital devising. In this workshop we will examine different strategies and tools for collaboratively creating and presenting original theatre online.

Teaching diverse content in today’s curriculum: using Playback for embodied empathy and confidence with Naima Thompson
Thursday 22nd October 2020
Audience: All MS and HS Theatre teachers
Description: As theatre practitioners and educators we have the number one toolbox to do the imminent self-reflection and sensitivity to microaggression present in the spaces of learning.

Going solo: digitally creating and presenting solo theatre work with Dinos Aristidou
Thursday 12th November 2020
Audience: DP Theatre teachers
Description: A practical experience of creating and presenting solo pieces online. In this workshop we will examine different strategies and tools to help students develop and perform fully produced solo work.

How do we talk about this? with Fenella Kelly
Thursday 26th November 2020
Audience: All MS and HS Theatre teachers
Description: This workshop will explore how to apply a range of theatre techniques and strategies to address challenging issues and topics.

Navigating your journey through the world of Theatre traditions with Fenella Kelly
Thursday 3rd December 2020
Audience: DP Theatre teachers
Description: This workshop will explore how to practically and physically research an unfamiliar theatre tradition remotely. The focus will be in the process of learning conventions of Kathakali and will include top tips on documenting processes and filming the research presentation.

Directing young people: Theatre as Game with Simon Bell
Thursday 10th December 2020
Audience: All MS and HS Theatre teachers
Description: The workshop will be a practical exploration of directing practice, specifically aimed at engaging young performers. We will focus on John Wright’s approach to directing as a complementary practice to psychological methods. The workshop will provide exercises which can be used when directing online, at a social distance or in regular circumstances.

Studios online

In July we piloted our first Studio online focussing on Concept based learning for the MS Theatre teacher. 14 teachers joined us (with a further 10 on our waiting list!) and our global ensemble was spread from Singapore across to Vancouver and Bogota, with a further 9 countries in between. Led by ISTA artist and consultant Dinos Aristidou the 6×2 hour sessions celebrated all that is ISTA – collaboration, interaction, relationship building and was, in turn, infused with warmth, support, affirmation, care and a good dollop of humour.

Thank you so very much for all your work. Every ISTA experience is precious and illuminating and this course was no different. In such a short time I was able to envisage a clarity that has been eluding me so far in my limited drama teaching experience. There’s a seeming dichotomy of simplicity and richness in the elegant architecture of concept based learning, and I feel that I can now practically go forward in my planning with far greater purpose and dynamism thanks to the experience of this workshop.

Dinos was a master illuminator. His guidance through the course was so precise, supportive, structured and relevant at every turn, and his graceful generosity made each participant feel valued and part of the learning.

Katie Black, Vienna International School, Austria

This pilot was a very eye opening experience because it really started to show what we can achieve via Zoom. I think it was beneficial to all of us for so many different reasons. I imagine many people will turn to training now for support, inspiration and feel that they are being productive towards their teaching and learning.

Sofia Martyn, Baku, Azerbaijan

Along with our Concept based learning and Developing a MS Theatre curriculum Studios, we are now commissioning 4 new Studios. These will be rolled out as Studios online, in different regions, during the 2020-2021 year. We will announce our Studio online season at the beginning of October.

Coming soon:

• Authentic assessment for the MS Theatre programme.
• Creating inter-disciplinary units of work and cross-curricular projects.
• Drama in the primary school.
• Drama for social justice.