Meet Andy Reeves, our Head of Learning Development
Name: Andy Reeves
What is your job title? Head of Learning Development
What kind of things does your job typically entail?
Quite a lot! It’s my job to set and guide the overall strategy for the Learning Department, and lead the amazing team who deliver it. I work with colleagues from all areas of the trust- Marketing, Business Development, Collections, Finance…all of it really. Often my job is about meetings, planning and working groups- but I like to run the odd workshop when I can!
Why do you think learning about Shakespeare and his work is important to us today?
All kinds of reasons. Not least because I fear that arts and humanities subjects are really being relegated in importance in our current education system, and Shakespeare offers a way to improve that. But mostly because Shakespeare’s work gives us some of the most powerful, unique and timeless encounters you can find anywhere in literature.
What is your favourite Shakespeare related experience- at SBT or elsewhere?
A tricky one! Probably directing ‘Macbeth’ for Leicester Curve Theatre’s Young Company a few years ago now. It was great to work with professional lighting, set and sound designers on a full-scale production- but mostly great to see the young people aged 16-19 go through a journey, from being wary of the language and difficulty, to realizing what a gift Shakespeare’s roles are for any actor lucky enough to get to play them.
What are the challenges, do you think, in bringing Shakespeare to life for contemporary audiences?
There’s no denying many people see Shakespeare as elitist, difficult and boring- often before they even begin. I think it’s a shame most young people’s first encounter with a Shakespeare play is to sit in rows reading it… we should think about what the word ‘play’ can mean….
At SBT though we are very lucky to have the amazing Shakespeare family properties, which really help bring the work to life. I love bringing school groups to Mary Arden’s farm, it is an inspirational place in which to learn!
Finally- what is your favourite joke? Doesn’t have to be Shakespearean…
Q: What should you do if see a space man?
A: Park in it man!