As a retired drama teacher with many years experience, I wholeheartedly agree with what Dr Geoff Ridman has to say (Letters, 6 May). Over the years many parents have questioned the place of drama in the curriculum, saying: “I don’t want my child to go on stage.” I would then explain that the purpose of drama in schools was not to produce the actors of tomorrow, but to give every student the opportunity to explore a wide range of subjects. The hope and aim was to help young people grow in confidence and enable them to express their views in a thoughtful, articulate and challenging fashion. Perhaps this aspect worried the authorities.
All the world may be a stage, but there are those who are happy only to stick to an acceptable script; They don’t want too many hecklers.
Dr. Readman (quoting Mark Rylance) was so right about teaching drama in schools. It should be noted that bias towards STEM subjects to the detriment of humanities in our universities is also a cause for concern. Staff in various English, History, Theology and Archeology departments have recently been threatened with redundancy. Lecturers feel that it is better that these departments are closed and it is only a matter of time before non-Russell Group institutions revert to technical colleges.
Many vice-chancellors come from business backgrounds and run their universities this way, preferring to spend money on property rather than scholarships and denying working-class students (who may have limited choice of universities) the chance to study the arts. You don’t need an Eton education to appreciate Homer and Virgil.