Theatre in Education

In close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Cyprus Theatre Organisation promotes drama in education in various ways. The organisation of the Theatre School Games and their support with a variety of other actions is one of the core activities of the Department of Theatre Development. Among them, is the organisation of seminars for the training of teachers involved in theatre in education, as well as providing advice and information on relevant issues, the introduction to new says of presentation of theatre in schools (such as “classroom plays”) and innovative methods for teachers (such as THOC-IDEA workshops).


Pancyprian School Games of Contemporary Theatre and Ancient Drama in memory of Panagiotis Sergis

Background

The first attempt to organise a school theatre festival was made in 1982 with the appointment of a special joint committee of THOC and the Ministry of Education aiming at enhancing theatre instruction and integrating theatre in education.

Following a thorough assessment of ten school performances presented in a number of districts and evaluating the existing major deficiencies in the island’s theatre background, the committee decided it was essential to establish a firm theatre infrastructure. This long-term but substantial procedure is still ongoing.

In 1991, the 2nd School Theatre Festival was organised, established now as an annual institution and in 1994 it was named Pancyprian Theatre School Games. During the period 2007-2011, the competition section was repealed and the awards were replaced with the provision of advice together with a detailed report regarding the performance by an Experts Group. The purpose of this essential change in the philosophy of the Games was to strengthen theatre education. Between 1992 and 2008, one of the performances was selected each year to represent Cyprus in the Panhellenic Artistic Games. Since 2002 the Games have been held in memory of Panagiotis Sergis.

Twentieth Pancyprian Theatre School Games

In 2009, the anniversary event to celebrate twenty years of the Theatre School Games hosted sixty-four schools of secondary, technical and private education.

The Games were held in three geographical regions (Lefkosia, Larnaka/Free Ammochostos, Lemesos/Pafos) with the Expert Committees selecting a performance from each region for presentation at the Latsia Municipal Theatre on 27, 28 & 29 April 2009.

The following performances were staged:

  • Neil Simon’s Fools, by Kykkos Lyceum
  • Ntinos Spyropoulos’ Golfo forever, by the Pancyprian Lyceum of Larnaka
  • Sergi Belbel’s A moment before, by Polemidia Lyceum

As part of the celebrations, an educational theatre trip to Greece was organised between 1 and 3 May for the three schools selected by the Expert Committees, the students of which had the opportunity, among other things, to attend a performance in Athens and to visit the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus.

As a culmination of the 20th Games, theatre workshops for students and teachers participating in the Games were held in Cyprus, with the American expert James Thomas Bailey. The workshops took place between 5 and 12 May in Lefkosia, Paralimni (for Larnaka also), Pafos and Lemesos. During his stay, Mr. Bailey also gave workshops for primary school teachers, which were attended by more than 680 teachers and students. Material from these workshops can be found here.

The Games today

Today, more than sixty schools across the island participate in the Games, with performances of contemporary theatre and ancient drama as follows:

Contemporary theatre

The Games are held in three regions: Lefkosia, Larnaka/Free Ammochostos and Lemesos/Pafos. A separate Judging Committee is set up for each of the three regions, which awards the Best Gymnasium Performance Award and Best Lyceum Performance Award.

Αncient Drama

The Judging Committee attends all performances in all regions and decides for the Best Gymnasium Performance Award and Best Lyceum Performance Award.