National Convention of Youth Drama 2020 – John McCann

In the run-up to the 2020 National Convention of Youth Drama, we’ve asked some of the speakers to tell us a little more about their sessions and why they would recommend them to attendees.

Playwright and actor John McCann will present a session called Rehearsals for the Revolution, a practical workshop exploring the enduring power of theatre and performance as a crucial means of protest.

What will your workshop at DramaCon cover?
A piece of theatre should never confirm what we already believe. As theatre-makers, like good historians, we have a duty to complicate narratives, to not provide the easy answers.

As audience members we should be challenged to have empathy for a character, an action or an opinion we abhor.

What’s this got to do with social change?
Only everything. A book, a play, a song, performing, being creative; these things may not change The World, but they might just change your world. How your world interacts with The World is where real change can happen.

As Ghandi said: ‘If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do’

Rehearsals for The Revolution examines the potential for change when performing collective and individual acts, looking at specific examples from the US, Ireland and Scotland.

John presents his session at 12.15pm on Fri 20 March 2020 as part of the National Convention of Youth Drama at Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow. Booking is open at


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