Theatre and Professional Practice
We, the undergraduate students of the practical course Theatre and Professional Practice at Coventry University, ask the University to extend the second semester till 1st of June 2021, thus replacing the practical teaching lost due to the extended duration of the government-mandated ban on face-to-face lessons on campus, as caused by circumstances relating to the deteriorating situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.
The modules of the course, on which we are supposed to “learn skills of theatre making to help develop a strong portfolio of practice through the use of practical exercises”, are built upon foundations of practical work, physical collaboration and team work, thus requiring the physical presence of a group of students in class or independently, therefore meeting the conditions for full-fledged teaching. Practical workshops as well as rehearsals, which consist of the professional preparation of a theatrical performance subsequently presented to the public, cannot be completed online without losing the quality or the overall spirit of theatre and the course.
The solution proposed by the University (online teaching) does not suit us and is at the expense of our education to the point that the fundamental objectives and outcomes of the course, as specified and presented by the University, which were the reasons for our interest in it, are not being met. We are convinced that this transfer of hours to an online environment is not appropriate, even across the University, as it is causing a deep drop in student satisfaction, which was 98% in recent years.
We believe that the proposed solution - extending the end of the semester till 1 June 2021 allowing us to take exams by the end of May 2021, thus mitigating the lockdown period without any face-to-face teaching - will lead to us being able to receive the practical content that is so integral to our course and look to be able to perform theatre in front of a limited group of people. Therefore, we will no longer be inhibited from receiving the best content possible enabling us to create our strongest potential performances and in turn, upholding the name of the University to the best of our abilities.