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Inspiring the artists and audiences of tomorrow

Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School Assistant Principal Joel Batalha explains how our award-winning Education Hub has helped teachers and students.

Our award-winning Education Hub provides a trove of resources that educators and students can access for free. Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School Assistant Principal, Joel Batalha, details how these important advancements create new possibilities for access to theatre.

When did you first become engaged with Melbourne Theatre Company’s Education Hub?

As a theatre educator who has been a supporter of Melbourne Theatre Company for 20 years, I was honoured to take part in an interactive teachers’ workshop in November 2022 to see how inclusive and accessible the hub would be. COVID really stretched the way in which we access resources and shows, and the Education Hub has allowed students statewide to access high quality resources and educational support.

In what ways do you feel the Education Hub helps support students’ learning?

The Hub is a great companion resource for students engaged with a particular learning area. For remote or underprivileged schools who cannot offer a rich extracurricular program, the virtual tours are an excellent way for young people to engage with a professional theatre company. Students can not only tour facilities but also tour the set designs to get a sense of how these shows come together.  From traps, lifts to revolves and simple things like a mixing desk, it’s helpful for young people to get a sense of theatre technology and how it assists staging a production.

 The Hub excels at educational resources for listed shows within the school curriculum, but also with mini packs for shows that are not listed for study. For Year 12 students, the ability to revisit these resources – and even rewatch productions – has been a valuable addition to revision when they might see a show in March but the exam is not until November. I love that Melbourne Theatre Company makes education a priority because they see the value in engaging and inspiring the next generations of theatregoers to keep our wonderful industry flourishing.

What kind of feedback have you received from students and/or teachers using the resource?

I’ve heard from staff at regional and remote schools that this resource allows them to be on an even playing field in what they can offer students. A couple of my students have since been inspired to begin a career beyond the stage and acting. I students who are now looking at a stage management career and others considering a design career. They were able to learn there’s more to theatre than learning lines and performing. Some have volunteered for local theatre companies and wanted to assist with set building and costumes. They’re also getting more involved behind the scenes for our productions.

I know a resource like this doesn’t happen without the support of both Melbourne Theatre Company staff and the generous Donors who value education as a way of sustaining our theatre by inspiring our young people to love theatre. The Education & Families team is one of a kind and their dedication to making this priority a reality should be commended. 

Your support is vital to continue the extraordinary work of our Education & Families team. Please consider making a donation to Melbourne Theatre Company today.

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Published on 26 April 2024

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