The Drama Classroom: Action, Reflection, Transformation

The Drama Classroom: Action, Reflection, Transformation

The Drama Classroom: Action, Reflection, Transformation

The Drama Classroom: Action, Reflection, Transformation

Synopsis

How can teachers incorporate drama into the curriculum? What drama activities are especially successful? How do teachers know when students are learning in, through and about drama? Teachers who are new to drama, or those wishing to refresh their knowledge and ideas, should find practical answers and guidance in this text. The book introduces the work of Cecily O'Neill to demonstrate the entry points to drama lessons, the pre-texts, and how educators need to introduce lessons with challenging material. He then uses the work of David Booth to highlight one aspect of drama - storydrama - and how it can be used as an effective learning medium across the curriculum.

Excerpt

Drama praxis refers to the manipulation of theatreform by educational leaders to help participants act, reflect and transform. At the core of drama praxis is the artful interplay between three elements - people, passion and platform - as leaders and participants strive towards aesthetic understanding.

People

Drama is a collaborative group artform where people transform, act, and reflect upon the human condition. In drama, people are the instruments of inquiry. Stanislavski, the great Russian theatre director, made this very clear. 'People', he suggested, 'generally do not know how to make use of the physical apparatus with which nature has endowed [them].' The physical self is at the centre of a dramatic encounter and students in drama should be educated in how best to manipulate their 'instrument' (Stanislavski, 1949, p. 35).

Shakespeare's character, Hamlet, is well aware of the critical role the human instrument plays when signing meaning. Hamlet's instructions to the players prior to the performance of 'The Murder of Gonzago' capture the skills the actors must bring to their parts:

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as

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