What is The Bear Educational Theatre? - The Bear Educational Theatre is an international travelling theatre company. It specializes in teaching English through interactive theatre shows and other innovative techniques.
What does the Bear Educational Theatre do? - The Bear Educational Theatre supports English teaching by producing interactive educational theatre performances and workshops for schools. The performances are produced with professional teacher/actors and are designed to be watched by groups of school students.
The Bear Educational Theatre is exceptional because of its pedagogical quality, its ability to travel and its reasonable prices. The theatre performs in schools as well as in theatres. It focuses on doing work that is entertaining, that has genuine pedagogical value and that is available to all.
Our Philosophy – The main priciples guiding the activities of The Bear Educational Theatre are:
- We provide students with a positive learning experience.
- We make people feel good about themselves. - We make our activities accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
How Our Activities Reflect Our Philosophy
The Bear Educational Theatre aims to support teachers in schools by offering their students an unusual, positive and motivating learning experience. Traditional school teaching necessarily places students in a passive relationship to the subject being taught. It also places a certain focus on what students do not yet know through regular testing and reports etc. The Bear Educational Theatre compensates for this by focusing only on the positive, emphasizing what students can dorather than what they can't.
Students experience an interactive show in English, they understand it, and they enjoy it. They also have a positive meeting with English-speaking people from different countries, including native speakers. This experience motivates them to keep learning English by making them feel confident about the skills they already have.
The above philosophy is in three parts. The positive learning experience comes from the interactive shows we produce. The second part, making people feel good about themselves, should be reflected not only in the shows, but in the contact people have with the theatre at all levels. Finally the fact that we travel, play in different spaces, not only theatres, and keep our prices as low as possible, makes our work accessible to a wide audience.
Our Interactive Shows for Schools – Playing shows in schools is our most common activity. On a typical day a team of three actors will drive to a school in the morning and they will play two or even three shows in that school, often different shows of different levels for different groups of students. Shows are usually played in the morning at a time that is convenient for the schedule of the school. Each show has it's own teaching materials so that, if they wish, teachers can work on the play with their students in the classroom before or after the visit of the theatre.
The History of The Bear Educational Theatre – The Bear Educational Theatre was founded in 1996 by Mr. David Fisher first produced the play The Bear by A.P.Chekhov with local theatre group, Misery Loves Company. This show had an evening premiere in Divadlo v Celetne in Prague, but it was designed to be played in schools and had teaching materials to help teachers work on the text of the play. A new play, Pirandello's The Man With The Flower in his Mouth was produced for schools the next year. The year after that came Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and then The Rocking Horse Winner by D.H.Lawrence.
By the year 2000, the Bear Educational Theatre was already becoming popular with schools in and around Prague and there were occasional tours to other parts of the Czech Republic. The year 2000 was especially significant, partly for the development of the first show for young learners (Jackie and the Giant) and mostly for a change of focus from creating individual yearly projects to building a full-time theatre with a steady repertoire. Since then the theatre has steadily grown to the point where it now has 14 different shows which are played regularly to hundreds of schools across the whole of Europe.