Include more BME writers, academics urge drama schools


Drama school courses should feature more works by black and minority ethnic playwrights to prevent students from those backgrounds feeling isolated during studies, leading academics have said.

Speaking at a forum held by London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama to discuss the experiences of its BME students, the academics recommended the school instil in its teaching a “very strong” element of black, Asian and other ethnic approaches to broaden its theatre training and ensure students do not feel excluded.

However, Hajaz Akram, principal of the Academy of Asian and Ethnic Dramatic Arts, said this problem was not exclusive to Central, but that “all arts institutions and organisations” should review their polices.

He told The Stage: “This is a debate that everyone has to have. I think it’s shocking [that so little BME work is being studied] but the solution is easy. It is down to the institution to take responsibility and change it right at the top. You need to change the syllabus and include more black and ethnic writing so that students from BME backgrounds can experience it and so can everyone else.”

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