SDTN Online – Spring Summer Programme

Teaching Technical Theatre Online 

With 2020/21 academic year coming to a close, SDTN’s successful online CPD sessions continue this time concentrating on the challenges of teaching online during the last year. The programme is delivered by professional teaching staff from secondary school, college and higher education institutions who share with us their challenges of teaching online during the last year. We asked them, what worked – what will you keep doing, and ultimately – what can you not replicate online, and it needs to be in person?   

We have created a series of pre-recorded & live CPD sessions focusing on the challenges on teaching performance, technical & production arts with great resources for you to use in your own practice. 



What’s On:

Thurs 22nd April Janet Westwater from Bearsden Academy (pre-recorded) 

Thurs 29th April Andrew McGregor: Directing 1 (live) 

Thurs 13th May Debbie Hannan and Andrew McGregor: Directing 2 (live) 

Thurs 20th May Chris Aberdeen and Tim Childs from Edinburgh College (pre-recorded) 

Thurs 27th May Gary Gardiner: Devising (live) 

Thurs 3rd June Edward McGurn: Voice (live) 

Thurs 10th June Clare Hibberd from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (pre-recorded) 

 Thurs 17th June Mona Kastell: Ecoscenography (live) 



Tickets are available through the RCS website here.


One Event – £10  

Three Events – £25 (SAVE £5)  

Eight Events – £55 (SAVE £25)

You will be sent a Zoom link for your session the day before the event, please contact if you do not receive this.

Please note, some these sessions are pre-recorded, therefore we are inviting you to email us your questions ahead of the recording.  Please email before 13th April if you would like your questions to feature in the pre-recorded sessions.

For all live events, there will be the opportunity to ask questions in person at the end.



SDTN Online with Janet Westwater from Bearsden Academy 

When: 22nd April 2021, 5pm
Where: Streaming Platform (pre-recorded) 

Janet Westwater is a Principal Teacher of Guidance, Teacher of Drama & lead teacher for the NPA Technical Theatre.  

Janet will take us through her challenges of teaching technical theatre in a secondary school setting during the year 2020/21. What worked? What she will keep using. We will ask, has her practice changed forever?  

In this session Janet will cover:  

  • Pathway into teaching 
  • Making a Gobo 
  • Creating sound effects 
  • Set model box 
  • Areas of the stage 
  • Types of staging 
  • Lego set 
  • Set & lighting 

SDTN Online with Andrew McGregor: Directing 1 

When: 29th April 2021, 5 – 6.30pm
Where: Zoom (live) 

Andy McGregor is a Scottish director, playwright and composer. In this session Andy will focus on directing students for SCQF level 6 and below. However, all are welcome to attend. 

In this session Andy will cover: 

  • Choosing appropriate and interesting texts suitable for candidates’ abilities 
  • Enabling students to develop suitable character 
  • Casting 
  • Enabling an understanding and demonstration of text 

SDTN Online with Debbie Hannan and Andrew McGregor:  Directing 2 

When: 13th May 2021, 5 – 6.30pm
Where: Zoom (live) 

Andy works with NTS & RCS where he leads the Shakespeare in School module. Debbie trained at RCS and as a Trainee Director at the Royal Court. Recent credits; Overflow (Bush Theatre); Little Miss Burden (The Bunker); The Panopticon (National Theatre of Scotland). This session can be attended as a stand-alone session or paired with Directing 1 to deliver a greater understanding of this area. 

In this session Debbie and Andy will focus on:   

  • Different techniques both Andy and Debbie use to deliver successful performances  
  • How they have adapted to translate their practice online  
  • Effective but differing ways of producing exceptional performances with both students and professionals 
  • Take you through what has worked for them, new ways of working and what they think is here to stay post COVID 

SDTN Online with Chris Aberdeen and Tim Childs from Edinburgh College 

When: 20th May 2021, 5pm
Where: Streaming Platform (pre-recorded) 

SDTN are delighted to be joined by Chris Aberdeen, Course co-ordinator HND Technical Theatre & Production Arts and Tim Childs, Learning Assistant in Technical Theatre. 

They will take us through the challenges of teaching technical theatre in a college setting during the year 2020/21. How the pandemic impacted the team’s ability to deliver. What worked? What they will keep using. We will ask, has their practice changed forever?

In this session Chris & Tim will cover: 

  • Pathways into teaching 
  • Pre-COVID delivery model 
  • ETC EOS lighting  
  • Teaching lighting online 

SDTN Online with Gary Gardiner: Devising 

When: 27th May 2021, 5 – 6.30pm
Where: Zoom (live) 

Gary Gardiner is a Lecturer in Contemporary Performance Practice (Arts in Social Context) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and an advisor and assessor for the nationally accredited Arts Award and works extensively in schools. 

In this session Gary will cover: 

  • Exploration of the practice of devising in a contemporary academic setting 
  • Collaboration 
  • Available platforms students can use to deliver their ideas stretching them beyond the traditional set boundaries of devising 
  • Help students respond to themes and issues of the chosen text 
  • Develop characters 
  • Use a complex range of performance skills and communicate to an audience 


Note: This session is for those working with students at SCQF level 6 and below. However, all are welcome to attend. 

SDTN Online with Edward McGurn: Voice 

When: 3rd June 2021, 5 – 6.30pm
Where: Zoom (live) 

Edward McGurn is from The National Centre of Excellence for the Teaching, Practice and Research of Voice in Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  

 In this session Edward will: 

  • Equip participants with an understanding of getting the best out of their students’ vocal techniques in both examination conditions and performance 
  • Introduce the principles of an effective vocal preparation process for those teaching Drama and those studying the subject 
  • How to achieve strong vocal presentation in a performance or assessment 
  • Explore relaxation, posture, breath, muscular support, and storytelling with easy-to-follow vocal exercises 

SDTN Online with Clare Hibberd from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 

When: 10th June 2021, 5pm
Where: Streaming Platform (pre-recorded) 

Clare Hibberd is a Sound Lecturer on the BA Production Technology Management course. She will explore some of the techniques that the staff engaged with. From Online performances to staging a socially distanced Musical, and the lessons learned on the way.  

At the start of the first lockdown in March 2020, production work at RCS needed to quickly move online. In the following months, methods were developed to allow students to continue engaging in their studies.  

Clare will take us through the challenges of teaching technical theatre in a higher education setting during the year 2020/21. What worked? What she will keep using. We will ask, has her practice changed forever?  

In this session Clare will cover: 

  • Pathway into teaching  
  • The immediate response to teaching production during the first lock down 
  • Lessons we have learned along the way and productions that students are currently working on  
  • Future plans for production work  
  • 3 examples of videos made to teach hands-on activities in lighting, sound and stage technology 

SDTN Online with Mona Kastell Ecoscenography 

When: 17th June 2021, 5 – 6.30pm 
Where: Zoom (live) 

Mona Kastell is an ecological designer for performance. Placing nature, wellbeing, interconnectivity and authentic community engagement at the heart of her creative process, using natural materials and found objects. Mona will take us through the guiding principles that model her work, share case studies and you will have a chance to try out your own skills in this practical session. 

In this session Mona will cover:  

  • Pathway into the industry 
  • Principles of eco scenography 
  • How to get started 
  • Put your own project into action 
  • Q&A 
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