The Role of the Theatre Through The David Brownlow Theatre at Horris Hill School

Time: 14:00 - 14:45

Date: Week 2: 26-30 April

Synopsis

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Since Ancient Greece, a theatre has been a space for community-building: a place to see and be seen, to speak and to listen. Drama encourages empathy for others, emotional growth and a sensitivity to physical movement and space. Headmaster of Horris Hill preparatory school in Berkshire, Giles Tollit has always believed that the ability to stand in front of his peers to speak, act, sing or play is a critical building block in developing self-confidence and self-esteem, attributes which will last a lifetime. Encouraging young people to look at emotions, thoughts and motivations from another’s perspective could not be a better way to set them up for their future lives, development of their personalities and prepare them for the wider world.

In 2016, the idea for a dedicated theatre in the grounds of Horris Hill was conceived, an extraordinarily ambitious project. When the school commissioned Jonathan Tuckey Design our brief called for a multipurpose performance space to enhance the curriculum, in recognition that performing arts improve pupils’ confidence, grasp of languages, debating skills, oratory and aptitude. Beyond this the aspiration was that the theatre would become the metaphorical and literal centre of the school campus. The new theatre, built of cross-laminated timber, comprises a 160 auditorium, an outdoor amphitheatre and entrance portico. It sits harmoniously within the wooded setting of the campus, creating a civic presence in the school and offering a state-of-the art purpose built space for pupils of the school and the wider community to participate in immersive classes in all aspects of theatre; drama, music, lighting, production and design.

Giles Tollit and Jonathan Tuckey will make a joint presentation exploring ways in which the development of a new theatre at Horris Hill strengthens the school community and presents an opportunity to welcome others into the school.

Speakers

  • Jonathan Tuckey Architectural Designer - Jonathan Tuckey Design
  • Giles Tollit Headmaster - Horris Hill School

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