YORK theatre-in-education company Mud Pie Arts are launching Drama For Recovery workshops, marked by a cycle ride to every primary school in York on April 14 and 15.
The start of a new school term brings the promise of the return of visiting artists, York drama practitioners Nicolette Hobson and Jenna Drury, who want to help York children recover from a stressful year through drama games.
Drama For Recovery comes as a response to teachers reporting that some children are struggling to adjust to life back in school, finding problems in working together and concentrating on tasks.
Calling on more than 20 years’ experience in education and youth theatre, Mud Pie Arts understand that regular drama games can build skills in co-operation and focus.
“Drama is the ideal tool to build life skills such as teamwork and empathy,” says Jenna. “We know that drama lets children express their creativity. After a time of feeling powerless, our form of play gives children a voice and a choice. It’s powerful stuff! Plus, of course, our sessions are often full of laughter, which is a great stress-buster for all of us.”
Mud Pies Arts are inviting teachers to book a day of drama that will include every child in the school. “Teachers will have the opportunity to learn the simple games, so that, with regular bursts of drama play, all children will benefit,” says Jenna.
“What’s more, this week I’ll be delivering our leaflets to all 63 state primaries by pedal power! From Stensall to Wheldrake, Rufforth to Elvington, that’s over 55 miles of local lanes.
“We want to show our commitment to education with this gesture of determination. Luckily, we live in a wonderfully compact, green city!”
Mud Pie Arts also will offer primary schools a teaching package for eight to 11 year olds to build resilience through Operation Last Hope,a fantasy role-play that requires the children to complete a quest to rehabilitate an endangered species.
Nicolette and Jenna created the films, audio and resources for this scheme, after being awarded a micro-commission in January from IVE at Arts Council England.
Mud Pie Arts wasted no time in lockdown, writing and recording open-ended Cloud Tales and posting them as a free resource on their website. They have taught remotely and won commissions to make storytelling films for home schooling, and these stories and the duo’s film, Meet Florence Nightingale, are still available to all.
Schools can contact Mud Pie Arts to discuss bespoke drama or storytelling workshops. “We hope teachers will welcome artists back to schools soon,” says Nicolette. “It is possible to do this safely. The arts are essential for child development and well-being, after such a long year of disruption to young lives.”
To contact Mud Pie Arts, go to: mudpiearts.co.uk.
Did you know?
MUD Pie Arts deliver drama-based curriculum workshops and interactive storytelling performances to children aged three to 11 throughout Yorkshire.