Theatre as Research – A Mysterious Mix
AbstractThe Australian Curriculum mandates that Arts will be taught as part of the Foundation to Year 10 program in schools. My background as a Theatre-in-Education performer and as a Drama teacher has informed an approach to doing research with children, which involves making up plays about local stories. Firstly, local folk are interviewed and their anecdotes are recorded as data. The children then analyse and interpret the data, as a group, with the help of their teacher. It is then synthesised into a written play script. I have found this Theatre as Research approach to be a wonderful tool for integrating the teaching of local history with the Arts. It also has potential to strengthen community bonds and enhance inter-generational communication. Once the play has been created, the storytellers are invited as audience members to see their lives played out on stage.
The paper will relate examples of how I have performed ethnographic Drama with various secondary and tertiary students to facilitate and present research. It will then offer a step by step approach for doing Theatre as Education.
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