At this time of national ‘lock down’ during the coronavirus pandemic, when the similarities to prison life resonate most strongly, it is entirely fortuitous that this issue of Drama Research publishes two articles whose focus of study is the use of Drama and Theatre with inmates in prisons: one in the UK and one in the USA.
The improvement of critical thinking through Drama Education for students in the fifth grade of Primary school
The aim of this article is to demonstrate how an intervention programme based on Drama education techniques can improve the critical thinking skills of students in the fifth grade of Primary school.
There has been little research examining the balance between process and product in children’s arts education. In this study, Mantle of the Expert, the ‘drama in education’ approach of Dr. Dorothy Heathcote, MBE (1926-2011), has been explored as a method to create a non-scripted theatre performance with seven children between the ages of eight and ten years old.
Commedia dell’Arte has many different interpretations and incarnations: from Art Deco Pierrot-led romantic ballet, to masked and carnivalesque renaissance bawdy, and sometimes heavily politicised, comedy. It can be quite an uncertain thing to define both onstage and within the classroom.
This article is written about thirty years after a drama lesson which left an indelible mark on the writer. The lesson involved elements of Teacher-in-Role, Man in a Mess and Mantle of the Expert (Heathcote and Bolton 1996).
The mental health crisis is thought to affect 10-20% of children and young people in the world (World Health Organization, 2019). It is clear that this is something that needs addressing in many ways, but importantly in schools.
No More Thoughts and Prayers: What the Performance of Youth Protest in Real-World and Online Communities Might Tell Us About the Future of Theatre for and with Young People in the United States of America.
In this article I want to consider where we, as theatre educators and youth theatre professionals, place our bodies and with whom we build our affective ties.
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Using Shakespeare’s Plays to Explore Education Policy Today: Neoliberalism through the lens of Renaissance humanism
The utility of Shakespeare’s plays as a means to explore our present socio-economic system has long been acknowledged. As a Renaissance playwright located at the junction between feudalism and capitalism, Shakespeare was uniquely positioned to reflect upon the nascent market order. As a result, this book utilises six of his plays to assess the impact of neoliberalism on education. Drawing from examples of education policy from the UK and North America, it demonstrates that the alleged innovation of the market order is premised upon ideas that are rejected by Shakespeare, and it advocates Shakespeare’s humanism as a corrective to the failings of neoliberal education policy.
By Sophie Ward. Reviewed by Tom Harrison.
The Routledge Anthology of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Performance brings together a selection of particularly memorable performances, beginning with Nell Gwyn in a 1668 staging of Secret Love, and moving chronologically towards the final performance of John Philip Kemble’s controversial adaptation of Thomas Otway’s Venice Presever’d in October 1795.
This volume contains a wealth of contextual materials, including contemporary reviews, portraits, advertisements, and cast lists. By privileging event over publication, this collection aims to encourage an understanding of performance that emphasises the immediacy – and changeability – of the theatrical repertoire during the long eighteenth century.
Edited by Daniel O’Quinn, Kristina Straub and Misty G Anderson. Reviewed by Trevor R. Griffiths.
Incapacity and Theatricality: Politics and Aesthetics in Theatre Involving Actors with Intellectual Disabilities
Incapacity and Theatricality acknowledges the distinctive contribution to contemporary theatrical performance made by actors with intellectual disabilities. It presents a close examination of certain key theatrical performances across a variety of different media, including John Cassavetes’ 1963 social issues film A Child Is Waiting; the performance art collaboration between Robert Wilson and Christopher Knowles; and the provocative pranksterism of Christoph Schlingensief’s talent show mockumentary FreakStars 3000.
Tracing a global path of performances, Incapacity and Theatricality offers an analysis of how actors with intellectual disabilities have emerged onto the main stage, and how their inclusion calls into question long-held assumptions about both theatre and intellectual disability. By Tony McCaffrey. Reviewed by Paul McNamara.
Urban theatre can be described as theatre made with or by those whose lives are marked by the urban landscape and its social limits and possibilities. At the heart of this text lies the question of how theatre can illuminate the urban and how theatre is illuminated by the urban. The city, like a play, is a space where everything adopts multiple meanings. It is an objective thought and a subjective experience, a charged and symbolic thing, as well as a real, material, lived reality.
Edited by Kathleen Gallagher and Jonothan Neelands. Reviewed by Nicola Abrahams.
Much has been written within the tradition of drama education and applied theatre around the premise that drama can be a force for change within both individual lives and society more broadly. However, little has been published in terms of charting the nature of this relationship. By combining theoretical, historical and practical perspectives, this book unpacks and explores drama’s intrinsically entwined relationship with society more comprehensively and critically.
By Kelly Freebody and Michael Finneran. Reviewed by Helen Murphy.
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