Memorial for Bill Kenwright from The RYTC

The RYTC team was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and patron Bill Kenwright CBE. 

Bill was a partner, father, grandfather, great friend and patron. He will be missed by many and this is testament to his giving nature and impact on the theatre and creative arts space. The team wanted to honour his legacy and influence with this memorial page.

The RYTC’s Artistic Director started her career in Bill Kenwright’s work family. Bill told her to go and open her own youth theatre, because ‘being creative is so important for our kids!’ His mantra… “go and do it”!! And if “it” is right – then you can’t fail.”

To name only a fraction of the awards and achievements Bill received are the notable honour of a CBE in 2002, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Theatrical Management Association in 2008, and an honourary BBC Radio 2 special episode of Friday Night in 2017 broadcast from the London Palladium itself. Bill was nominated for a London Theatre Critics’ Award for West Side Story and a Tony Award for Blood Brothers.

This multi-award winning career saw Bill’s West End productions constantly in notable venues such as the RSC, Dominion, Palladium, Apollo and many others. Ensuring his legacy as one of the UK’s most successful theatre producers.

Bill embodied the spirit of empowering young people through creative opportunities. His legacy will be felt and continued through the many groups and communities he supported with the mission of providing opportunities to local young people. Bill made his community and generations of people richer through experiences such as finding like minds, getting creative and fostering confidence in young people.

The RYTC in memory of Bill will continue to “go and do it” as his legacy will continue to empower our team, kids and encourage everyone to be creative.

Our thoughts are with Bill’s family at this difficult time and also with the many people we know he impacted for the better.

Theatre has been a part of human culture for centuries, and its role in education is becoming increasingly recognized. Drama provides numerous benefits for students, including the development of communication skills, creativity, critical thinking, and empathy.

In this blog, we will explore the reasons why drama should be a key part of every school curriculum.

1. Communication Skills

One of the most significant benefits of drama is its ability to develop communication skills. Through theatre, students learn how to communicate effectively with others, both verbally and non-verbally. They also learn how to use their voices and bodies to express themselves, and how to listen and respond to others. These skills are essential for success in all areas of life, including personal relationships and professional settings.

2. Creativity

Another key benefit of drama is its ability to foster creativity. Through theatre, students are encouraged to think outside the box and to explore new ideas and perspectives. They learn how to take risks and to experiment with different approaches to problem-solving. This kind of creativity is essential for success in any field, from the arts to business and beyond.

3. Critical Thinking

Drama also helps to develop critical thinking skills. Through theatre, students learn how to analyze texts, interpret characters, and make connections between different ideas and themes. They also learn how to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different arguments and perspectives. These skills are essential for success in academic settings, as well as in personal and professional life.

4. Empathy

Finally, drama helps to develop empathy. Through theatre, students learn how to understand and empathize with the experiences and perspectives of others. They learn how to see the world from different viewpoints and to appreciate the complexities of human emotions and relationships. This kind of empathy is essential for success in all areas of life, from personal relationships to social justice advocacy.

5. Teamwork and Collaboration

Drama also helps to develop teamwork and collaboration skills. Through theatre, students learn how to work together to achieve a common goal. They also learn how to compromise and negotiate with others to create a cohesive performance. These skills are essential for success in both personal and professional settings.

6. Confidence and Self-Esteem

Participating in theatre can also help to boost students’ confidence and self-esteem. Through theatre, students learn how to express themselves and their ideas in front of an audience. They also learn how to handle constructive criticism and feedback. These skills can help students feel more confident in themselves and their abilities.

7. Cultural Awareness and Appreciation

Drama can also help to promote cultural awareness and appreciation. Through theatre, students are exposed to different cultures, perspectives, and experiences. They learn how to appreciate and understand the differences between people and cultures, and how to find common ground. This kind of cultural awareness is essential for success in today’s globalized world.

8. Emotional Intelligence

Drama also helps to develop emotional intelligence. Through theatre, students learn how to identify and manage their emotions, as well as the emotions of others. They learn how to express themselves in a healthy and constructive way, and how to empathize with others who may be experiencing different emotions. Emotional intelligence is an important skill for success in all areas of life, from personal relationships to professional settings.

9. Memory and Recall

Participating in theatre can also help to improve students’ memory and recall abilities. Through theatre, students are required to memorize lines and stage directions, and to recall them during a live performance. This kind of memory exercise can help to improve students’ overall memory and recall abilities, which can be useful in academic settings and beyond.

10. Personal Growth

Finally, drama can help to promote personal growth and self-awareness. Through theatre, students have the opportunity to explore different characters and perspectives, and to reflect on their own thoughts and feelings. This kind of self-reflection can help students develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world, and can contribute to their overall personal growth.

In conclusion, drama should be a key part of every school curriculum. It offers numerous benefits for students, including the development of communication skills, creativity, critical thinking, empathy, teamwork and collaboration, confidence and self-esteem, and cultural awareness and appreciation. By incorporating theatre into the school curriculum, educators can help students develop these essential skills and prepare them for success in all areas of life.