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Marks on paper : exploring literacy through theatre - impact of performing on literacy and upgrading… Andruske, Cynthia Lee 1993

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©MARKS ON PAPER: EXPLORING LITERACY THROUGH THEATRE -IMPACT OF PERFORMING ON LITERACY AND UPGRADING STUDENTSbyCynthia Lee AndruskeB.A., Simon Fraser University, 1986A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENTOF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE,ADULT, AND HIGHER EDUCATIONWe accept this thesis as conformingTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA29 April 1993© Cynthia Lee Andruske, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission .(Signature)Department ofAdministrative, Adult, and Higher EducationThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDateDE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTThis work explored the impact that performing in the literacy play Marks on Paperhad on adult literacy and upgrading students in British Columbia, Canada, from 1989-1992.The findings suggest that through performance learner/actors experienced an increasedpositive self-image and an increased awareness about illiteracy . Often this translated into asense of empowerment resulting in transformations in perspectives and actions for thestudents.The research design was a historical case study of Marks on Paper . The playexperienced three phases in its history : Chinook Touring Theatre, Literacy Players, and theirfour spin-off productions. Three data sources were used : 1) twenty-two audio-taped,semi-structured, open-ended interviews of the learner/actors ; 2) documents collectedfrom the groups included play programs, newspaper clippings, journals, learner eventreports, personal scrapbooks, photographs, and props; 3) observations made as a participant-observer from both videotapes and live events.Three major categories emerged from the research . First, in terms of PSYCHO-SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS, performing in the play enhanced the players self-image andcreated a sense of belonging. SOCIO-POLITICAL PERSPECTIVES were manifested inraised awareness, empowerment, and transformation/action . Finally, the play hada SOCIO-EDUCATIONAL impact in terms of learning and teaching.The findings of this research have implications for self-understanding, understandingothers, raising awareness, problem-solving, teaching, and learning . The play provided thelearner/actors with the opportunity to explore their performing capabilities, inter-personaliiskills, and perceptions of illiteracy in the classroom, informal settings, rehearsal, and publicperformance . This helped increase self-confidence in the learners . The play was used as aninstrument for learners to work in groups and to network with peers. Theatre like Marks onPaper can provide a voice for students to create dialogue, solve problems, and createawareness about illiteracy. Also, theatre encouraged students to work on their own behalfwith professionals and the community to seek solutions for illiteracy.iiiTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract	iiList of Tables	 ixList of Figures	 xAcknowledgements	 xiDedication		 xiiiPART ICHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION: COMMENCING THE JOURNEY 	 1Introduction	 1Marks on Paper	 2The Domain of Theatre	 3The Problem	 4Overview of the Thesis 	 6Summary	 9CHAPTER 2 EXPLORING THE RESEARCH DESIGN 	 10Introduction	 10The Design	 11The Dramatic Players	 12The Casts	 15Literacy Players - Abbotsford 	 15Heartbeat Players - Victoria	 16East Kootenay Community College Learners - Cranbrook . 16Life Is Freedom For Everyone Learners - Williams Lake . 17Continuing Education Learners - School District #28 -Quesnel	 18The Data Collection	 19Interviews	 20Reflecting on the Drama	 28Reliability and Validity	29Summary	 32ivCHAPTER 3 EXPLORING LITERACY	 34Introduction	 34The Roots of Universal Literacy	 35The Gutenberg Explosion	 36The Military Connection 	 39The UNESCO Connection	 40"The "Right to Read"	 42Canada	 45The Canadian Context	 45British Columbia	 50The B .C. Context	 50Community Awareness Raising Strategies 	 52Historical Update for the 1990s	 55Summary	 57CHAPTER 4 LIFE AS ART	 58Introduction	 58History of Theatre	 60Greek Theatre	 60Shakespearean Theatre	 61Middle-Class Drama	 64Realistic Theatre	 64Brechtean Theatre	 65Drama in Education	 69Brian Way	 69Dorothy Heathcote	71Theatre in Education 	 80Popular Theatre	 83Paulo Freire	 84Augusto Boal	 67Popular Theatre in Canada 	 94Summary	 98CHAPTER 5 FIRST STEPS : MARKS ON PAPER - THE EARLYYEARS - APRIL 1979 - JUNE 1979	 101Introduction	 101Gathering the History	 102Reviewing the Phases of Marks on Paper 	 102PHASE I: CHINOOK TOURING THEATRE 	 103Setting the Stage	ABE Conference 1980: "State of Adult Literacy in British103Columbia	 109vAdult Literacy Consultation - March 1987 	 110Communications Technology and Literacy Conference -May 1988	 111Summary	 112CHAPTER 6 REBIRTH OF MARKS ON PAPER	 113Introduction	 113PHASE II : THE LITERACY PLAYERS - MAY 1989 -JUNE 1992	 114Preliminary Events	 114"Literacy: The Next Step" - May 31, 1989	 116Background to Literacy B .C. Founding Meeting	 123Literacy B.C . Founding Meeting - March 9, 1990 	 126Background to Provincial Learner Conference 	 129Provincial Learners' Conference - June 19, 1990 	 134Literacy 2000 Conference - October 19, 1990	 139Events During October, 1990 - December, 1990 	 143Events During January, 1991 - December, 1991 	 144Canada Literacy Volunteer Award	 146Closing Down	 147The Promise: Mouat School - April 1, 1992	 148Return to the North : The Next Step - March 27, 1992	 152Full Circle: Graduation - June 25, 1992	 154Summary	 155CHAPTER 7 SPIN-OFF PRODUCTIONS : THE RIPPLES	 156Introduction	 156PHASE III : SPIN-OFF PRODUCTIONS - JUNE 1990 -MAY 1992	 157The Heartbeat Players - March - June 1990	 157East Kootenay Community Learners - April 19, 1990 .	.	. 163Life Is Freedom For Everyone (L .I . F . F . E.) - 1991Continuing Education Learners - District #28 -. . . . 167May 7, 1992	 171Summary	 174viPART IICHAPTER 8 EXPLORING PSYCHO-SOCIAL IMPACTOF MARKS ON PAPER	 175Introduction	 175The Impact	 176PSYCHO-SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS 	 177Self-Image	 178Increased Positive Self-Image - "I'm Happy with Me!" 	 180Self-Esteem - "It increased My Self-Esteem! -I Feel Good about Myself!" 	 181Self-Confidence - "It Encouraged Me to Be More Open ." 184Pride - "I Look, Feel and Act Differently ."	 186BELONGINGNESS	 189Personal Relationships - "We're Like a Family ."	 190Relationships with Others - "Brotherhoods"	 193Verbal Knowing - "I Forgot My Glasses ."	 195Non-verbal Knowing Through Body Language - "I'dBandage a Hand ." 	 196Summary	 199CHAPTER 9 SOCIO-POLITICAL IMPACT OF MARKS ON PAPER 	 200Introduction	 200SOCIO-POLITICAL CHARACTERISTICS	 200RAISED AWARENESS	 202Self-Perception - "What It's Like"		 205Self-Realization - "That's Me! That's My Reflection in thein the Mirror!" 	 208Awareness of Others - "You're Not Alone!"	 226Societal Perceptions - "We're Like You!"	 230Raising Awareness in Others - "Walking in Someone Else'sShoes "	 238EMPOWERMENT		 247Gave Voice - "You're Not Alone!" 	 248Created Ownership of Role - "That's Me!"	 251Taught Teamwork - "We Worked as a Team!"	 255Created Commitment to the Play - "Spread the Word!"	259Created Ownership of the Play - "That's OUR Play!" 	 261TRANSFORMATION/ACTION		 264Meaning - "You're Not Alone!"	 265Catharsis - "It Hit Close to Home!"	 269Emotions - "It's Like Coming Our of a Closet or Shell!	272Beliefs and Attitudes - "You Can Take a Chance"	 276vii"You Can Do It!" 	 276ACTION	 281Networking - "We Got to Know Each Other!"	 284Impact of Audience - "I Got Sensitized to Them!" 	 288Modelling for Other Learners - "You Can Do It Too!"	. 293Helping Other Learners - "I Don't Want Others to FeelLike I Did!"	 295Summary	 297CHAPTER 10 SOCIO-EDUCATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF MARKS ONPAPER	 298Introduction		 298Perceptions of Learners and Learning - "I Knew I wasSmart!" 	 300Perceptions of Teachers and Teaching - "You're Supposedto Care to Know and Understand How to Teach Me! " 308Summary	 315CHAPTER 11 REFLECTING ON MARKS ON PAPER	 317Introduction	 317Reflecting upon the Road Taken	 318The Path	 320The Theatre Curtain Goes up on Learner-Theatre	 320Heathcote's Influence	 321Boal 's Influence	 327Projecting the Implications 	 332REFERENCES 	 336APPENDIX A Marks on Paper by John Lazarus	 344APPENDIX B PHASE I: Chinook Touring Theatre 	 377APPENDIX C PHASE II: Literacy Players	 393APPENDIX D PHASE III : Spin-Off Productions	416LIST OF TABLESTable 1 .	Impact of Marks on Paper on Learner/Actors	 176Table 2 .	Psycho-Social Impact of Marks on Paper	 178Table 3 .	Conceptions of Learner/Actors' Self-Image	 179Table 4 .	Conceptions of Learner/Actors' Sense ofBelongingness	 190Table 5 .	Socio-Political Characteristics ofMarks on Paper	 201Table 6 .	Impact of Raised Awareness ThroughMarks on Paper	 205Table 7 .	Conceptions of Empowerment Experienced byLearner/Actors	 248Table 8 .	Impact of Transformation/Action onLearner/Actors	 265Table 9 .	Changed Actions of Learner/Actors Inspiredby Marks on Paper	 283Table 10 .	Socio-Educational Impact on Learner/Actors	 299Table 11 .	Socio-Educational Conceptions ofLearners/Actors	 300ixLIST OF FIGURESFigure 1 . Process of Segmenting Culture into Dramatic Activities 	 74Figure 2 . Process of Focusing the Dramatic Moment 	 75Figure 3 . Process of Relating Dramatic Focus toUniversal Human Experience	 76Figure 4 . Marks on Paper 1979 - 1992 	 103Figure 5 . Personal Outcomes Resulting from Performance ofMarks on Paper and interaction with Personal Network 	 202Figure 6 . Process of Focusing Cultural Activities into Literacy	 323Figure 7 . Process of Focusing Literacy into Marks on Paper	 324Figure 8 . Focusing Literacy Through Marks on Paper into Well of HumanExperience	 325xACKNOWLEDGEMENTSAs I look back over my graduate years with fond memories, I realize how manypeople have helped me through this delightful and serendipitous process of exploration . Theirassistance and caring attitudes have made this research even more valuable and exciting.First of all, I want to thank Chris, Lisa, Burc, Marg, Dominic, and Mitch (LiteracyPlayers) for their enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment for three years to our version ofMarks on Paper. You helped me realize how important capturing our history of Marks onPaper's was to me. You were also part of my ongoing goal to blend theory and practicetogether. Thank you for sharing our adventures with the play . I would like to thank mycolleague, Wendy Watson, for taking the chance to co-produce and co-direct the play withme. Also, I am indebted to all of the learner/actors who participated in this research . Diana,Michael, and Stacie (Heartbeat Players) took time to talk to me during a whirlwind tour ofVictoria as did their director, Harry Lewis . Lorne Lane was sympathetic to having thelearners' voices heard when she arranged interviews with Tony, Irene, Cathy, and Malcolm(East Kootenay Learners) . Without every having met me, Shanon graciously arrangeddiscussions with Literacy Is Freedom For Everyone (L .I.F .F.E.) Learners : Patricia, Brenda,Barb, and director Sandy Alaric. Liz Popkey ensured that I met with Gerry, Wes, Val, andLynne during my hasty visit to Quesnel . I am indebted to them for sharing openly, freely,and enthusiastically their very personal experiences in our "brotherhood" of the play.Playwright, John Lazarus, has been very generous in sharing his time and experienceswith me as I have explored his play Marks on Paper . Also, I had the pleasure of meetingxiDavid Thomas who originally wanted to use theatre to raise awareness about literacy issues.He has watched as others have continued "to spread the word" of this play so dear to him.My supervisor, Roger Boshier, deserves special commendation and appreciation, forhe has allowed me to explore the real thesis I always had in mind . Your constant help andcomments to "get on with it" have been invaluable . To Patrick Verriour, I am most gratefulfor the time you spent reading the interview transcripts . I have enjoyed your experienceddramatic perspective . You have been very kind in sharing your wisdom and time so freely.Gordon Selman holds a special place for me as he was the person who received my initialinquiry about adult education. His friendly invitation to join the department will always beremembered.My thesis buddy, Rosemary Taylor, merits particular acknowledgement for theendless hours we shared discussing our works in progress . Without this interchange of ideas,I would not have been able to get through the thesis process. Many thanks go to SharanMerriam for allowing Rosemary and me to audit her course . Through her conversation witha purpose, Sharan guided me at a crucial point during the research process . A heartfeltmention goes to Diane Nosaty for translating my pencil scratchings into laser drawings.The most thanks go to the person who has shared this process most intimately withme: my friend, my companion, and my husband, Brian H. Coulter. Dear Bri, you have beena source of strength and great stability as you watched me set my course for the M .A. Youhave shown immeasurable patience and love as I have explored my quest . I have appreciatedyou giving me room to seek my own path . Now, dear Wuds, it is time for me to "come outto play" with you for awhile .xiiDEDICATIONThis thesis is dedicated toChris, Lisa, Mitch, Marg, Burc, Dominic,Michael, Stacie, Diana,Tony, Cathy, Irene, Malcolm,Wes, Gerry, Lynne, and Val,and, most of allto my husbandBrian H. Coulter .CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTION: COMMENCING THE JOURNEYI shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.—Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken (1916)IntroductionIn 1979 a bold and novel attempt was made to use theatre to raise awareness aboutadult illiteracy . After being influenced by Ross Kidd's writings about popular theatre inAfrica, in 1979, David Thomas, Coordinator of the Adult Basic Education Program, atNorthern Lights College in Fort St . John, British Columbia, sought to use theatre to raiseawareness about adult illiteracy in the North . At the time, Thomas wanted to improveawareness of the Adult Basic Education Program within the widespread and isolated collegeregion. The objective of the project was "to deliver educational services to functionallyilliterate adults . . .," (Thomas, 1978, p . 2), "to provide information to the adult public aboutABE services available. . .," and "to encourage target population adults . . . to improve their12level of basic education," in order "to identify trainable volunteers for Basic LiteracyPrograms and establish a tutor-training course" (Thomas, 1978, p . 3) . He wanted toexperiment with some novel way to raise awareness and to promote social change in respectto the issue of illiteracy. His goal was to attract literacy learners to encourage them to attendclasses, upgrade their education, and let them know that they were not alone.In consultation with Brian Paisley and Ti Hallas of Chinook Touring Theatre atNorthern Lights College, they decided that a play about illiteracy would be an idealinstrument to attract literacy learners and to recruit volunteer tutors . Finding that no suchplay had yet been written, they commissioned Vancouver playwright John Lazarus to write aproduction, later titled Marks on Paper, about adult illiteracy within B .C.Marks on PaperMarks on Paper depicts the lives of ordinary people performing everyday tasks.However, one difference is present in this play : these individuals are illiterate and are tryingto cope in a print dominated world . The vignettes portrayed are the stories collected fromliteracy students at Vancouver Community College in Vancouver, British Columbia.The play illustrates the novel and creative ways intelligent people cope with and hidetheir illiteracy . Marks on Paper also provides the human side of illiteracy, for it depicts thesuffering, frustration, fear, and loss of human potential and dignity for all of society . Theplay creates dramatic tension that forces the viewer to reflect on the issues portrayed in thescenes. Any one of the vignettes in the play may appeal to the emotions and perceptions of3individuals in the audience and create an avenue for the viewer to reflect on what it would belike in that situation if a person had literacy problems . For the illiterate, the productionprovides a vehicle for seeing his or her problems on stage . This public presentation illustratesto the individuals that others experience this problem, that they are not stupid, and that ifthey choose, means are available to learn to read and write.As well as creating reflection in the audience, the play provides a means for theilliterate to gain a sense of identity and history with others and allows the illiterate to reflecton his or her situation . This reflection and identification with others then can lead theindividual to consciously choose to act or not act on the issue of illiteracy . Thus, the playappeals to all levels and perceptions of viewers within the audience.The Domain of TheatreMarks on Paper, based on the lives of illiterate adults, enjoyed sporadic bursts ofpopularity from 1979 to 1980 while performed by professional or amateur actors . The use ofthe professional actors was not to last long . In 1989, Marks on Paper was produced for thefirst time at a provincially and federally funded learner event and thus ushered in a newphase with a unique dramatic twist . During this learner event, the play was performed by agroup of non-professional literacy' and upgrading students2 (later named the LiteracyThe terms literacy students or literacy learners will be used throughout this thesis tosignify those adults who may or may not be enrolled in formal tutoring,literacyclasses, or programs . These terms will refer to adults who have problems withreading, writing, and numeracy that influence their quality of life negatively .4Players) . After the initial performance, the Literacy Players' version of Marks on Paperexperienced an unexpected growth in popularity . For three years, the Literacy Playersperformed throughout B . C. for educators, prisoners, members of community agencies,various local communities, businesses, labour organizations, and, most importantly, literacylearners. In addition to promoting awareness about literacy issues, the Literacy Playersgenerated at least four learner spin-off productions and a number of amateur presentations ofthe play .The ProblemAs more upgrading students, instructors, and literacy learners began performingMarks on Paper throughout B .C., I became intrigued by the widespread appeal that the playhad for such a varied audience . I was curious why untrained upgrading and literacy learnerswould perform publicly . Why would literacy and upgrading students put themselves in such avulnerable position by publicly dramatizing a play involving illiteracy? In some circlesilliteracy is seen as a deficiency and incurs a social stigma. Also, I began to theorize onwhether or not performing in this play had any further implications for working with otherliteracy learners and in raising awareness about illiteracy in general . Furthermore, why wereliteracy and upgrading students becoming so committed to performing a play about illiteracy?(Some had been presenting the play continually for up to three years .)2 Upgrading students are those individuals enrolled in adult basic education classes.They have not received a public high school Grade 12 diploma.5Moreover, I felt this play was unique . One phase has created many spin-offproductions as learners took the play and "made it their own. " I began to query what it wasabout the domain, the medium, and the learner/actors individually and as groups that createdso many spin-off productions . Since not much had been written about this type of theatre,and much less about adult literacy learners and theatre, I began to believe that this play andthe individuals who were performing it were unique and that the story of Marks on Paperand the learners/actors3 had to be told from the perspective from one who had been closelyinvolved with the play . I did not want to see the story lost, only to be discovered later bysomeone else, for I think this play makes a significant contribution to the literature and to therecruitment and teaching of learners . Moreover, the play has an affect on how learnersnetwork with each other and understand their personal growth.This play invites learners to tell their own stories . Marks on Paper is different fromReading the Signs written by Jim Betts in Ontario for International Literacy Year in 1990.Betts' play was a professional musical production performed by actors from Young Peoples'Theatre and not by literacy or upgrading students . Thus, despite some attempts withinCanada to write plays about illiteracy, nowhere have I found a literacy play like Marks onPaper which has taken hold and lasted for so long (1979 - 1992).Marks on Paper has been popular for thirteen years . This study began as a quest toexamine how theatre can raise awareness about illiteracy. However, the purpose of this studysoon expanded to investigate the notion that theatre has an impact on learner/actors . Thus,Learner/actors refers to the literacy and upgrading students who performed in Markson Paper. The term will be used to refer to these students throughout this thesis .6the prime purpose of this thesis was to explore the impact that performing in Marks on Paperhad on the literacy and upgrading learner/actors in productions throughout British Columbiafrom 1989-1992 .Overview of the ThesisThe thesis is divided into two parts . Part I covers the research design and traces thehistory of literacy, theatre, and the phases of Marks on Paper which provide a context forunderstanding this thesis . Part II discusses the impact of Marks on Paper on thelearner/actors . It also outlines the implications of the research.Chapter 1 introduces a particular and conscious effort within British Columbia to usetheatre to raise awareness about illiteracy and to let illiterates know that they are not alone.This was done through the play Marks on Paper . As well, this chapter mentions that spin-offproductions of Marks on Paper were performed by literacy and upgrading studentsthroughout B . C. These productions served as several cases for examining the impact thatperforming theatre has on learner/actors.Chapter 2 outlines how the data was selected, gathered, and analyzed . As well, thischapter discusses some of the limitations that quantitative research might pose in contrast toqualitative research.Chapter 3 traces the historical development of literacy and adult basic educationwithin Canada and British Columbia which led to literacy becoming a federal and provincialissue of public concern. Moreover, the growing consciousness of the literacy issue is7explored in social, political, and economic contexts which set the stage for the growth andspread of Marks on Paper.Chapter 4 documents the history of the development of theatre . This chapter exploresdrama in education and the use of popular theatre . The literature review borrows from anumber of areas. It seeks to combine the relevant theories to fill the gap for teaching adultliteracy learners . This grounding in theatre sets the stage for the remainder of the thesis.Chapter 5 traces the early history of Marks on Paper from 1979 to 1987 . It introducesthe circumstances that led to the play's creation . Through a series of interviews with themajor players in Marks on Paper, the chapter outlines its effect on awareness during the late1970s throughout the 1980s.Chapter 6 introduces Phase 2 of Marks on Paper (1989-1992) . Here was a novel useof theatre by untrained non-professional theatre people. Instructors and literacy andupgrading students performed and toured Marks on Paper throughout B .C . at learner eventsto raise awareness about adult illiteracy . At this time, it was the first use of theatre byliteracy and upgrading students in British Columbia. Finally, the chapter highlights pivotalevents and circumstances that led to the spin-off productions of Phase 3 in the differentregions of British Columbia.Chapter 7 traces Phase 3 of Marks on Paper, consisting of the spin-off productionsthat evolved from the Literacy Players (Phase 2) . Although spin-off productions of bothprofessionals and literacy and upgrading students emerged throughout the province, the focusof this thesis is specifically the student productions that surfaced from 1989-1992 . Phase 3 ofthe play began in 1990 and lasted until 1992 . To date, student and instructor productions of8Marks on Paper are still originating from the Literacy Players (Phase 2).Chapter 8 provides a thick, rich description of the analytical findings of the Psycho-Social effects of Marks on Paper . Further, it discusses the categories and subcategories thatemerged from the data as it was collected from the learner/actors . These categories examinethe effects of Marks on Paper on the self-image of learner/actors and their sense ofbelonging.Chapter 9 explains the Socio-Political impact of the play on the literacy and upgradingstudents . This chapter also explores the impact theatre has for raising awareness aboutilliteracy through critical reflection . In addition to raised awareness, the chapter highlightsthe sense of empowerment and transformation/action the learners experienced.Chapter 10 features the conceptions of learning and teaching that learner/actorsdiscussed throughout the interviews . They emphasized different learning styles and settingswhere learning occurs . They indicated that learning does not necessarily occur in aconventional educational environment . Furthermore, they reiterated that they felt they wereintelligent, but they often had personal problems that hindered their learning, reading, andwriting capabilities . The implications of these conceptions are highlighted in this chapter too.Chapter 11 concludes the thesis by presenting the concept of learner-theatre asderived by blending Dorothy Heathcote's techniques and principles from drama in educationand Augusto Boal's concepts and techniques from popular theatre . Learner-theatre hasimplications for exploring other issues that affect learner/actors, especially literacy learners.The chapter highlights areas for future research about theatre and literacy and upgradingstudents . Also, Chapter 11 summarizes the contributions this study made by exploring the9impact of performing in Marks on Paper on literacy leaner and upgrading students.SummaryChapter 1 has attempted to explain the rationale for studying Marks on Paper. It hassketched out an overview of the thesis . Chapter 2 will provide an overview of the researchdesign chosen for investigating the impact Marks on Paper had on literacy and upgradingstudents .PART ICHAPTER 2EXPLORING THE RESEARCH DESIGNWe shall not cease from explorationAnd the end of all our exploringWill be to arrive where we startedAnd know the place for the first time.—T.S . Eliot Four Quartets, Little Gidding (1943)IntroductionPart I of the thesis provides a background for exploring the impact of Marks on Paperon adult literacy and upgrading students through the case study method (Chapter 2) . Chapters3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of Part I will trace the historical roots of literacy, theatre, and the phases ofthe play . The history will provide background information for understanding the impact ofMarks on Pa= on the learner/actors and its social relevance during the 1980s and 1990s.Chapter 2 begins Part I by presenting the framework used to explore the question.The research design and its implementation for analyzing the learner/actors' understanding oftheir participation in Marks on Paper will be further described in this chapter . The case studymethod was chosen for this investigation . The approach used was qualitative and interpretivein an attempt to understand the students' perceptions of the play's influence.1011The DesignThe research design provides a framework through which the analysis can unfold . Forthis study, a historical qualitative case study of the play Marks on Paper was selected . Thetime period under observation in British Columbia covered 1989 to 1992 . A qualitativeinterpretation was selected, for it could reflect the meaning of the experiences of thelearner/actors . "Qualitative research strives to understand how all the parts work together toform a whole" (Merriam, 1991, p . 16) . Since the topic was extremely personal for manylearner/actors, the qualitative method was thought best for capturing the meanings andinterpretations of the student casts (Marton, 1986; Marton & Saljo, 1976) . Because I was tobe the primary data collection instrument, only a qualitative method would allow me to bethe "primary instrument for data collection and analysis" while observing the learner/actors(Merriam, 1991, p . 19).In addition to the qualitative approach, I chose the case study because its objective isto explore "the interaction of the significant factors characteristic of the phenomenon . Thecase study seeks holistic description and explanation" (Merriam, 1991, p . 10) . Furthermore,"The focus of research in a case study is on one unit of analysis . There may be numerousevents, participants, or phases of a process subsumed under the unit" (p . 46). This lastcriteria especially fits the play Marks on Paper, for the play has experienced three phases iqits history plus at least four spin-off productions from the second phase . Moreover, 34learner/actors performed in the various groups from 1989 - 1992 . As well, a total of nineinstructor/director/actors have been involved with this play during the same time period . Thecase study provided the research parameters, for as the play began to grow in popularity and12more groups began to perform the play, it became clear that the project might becomeunwieldy and grow beyond the bounds of a single study.The PlayersInitially, I had wanted to use all the players from the productions of Marks on Paperover its thirteen year history as the sample pool for this study . However, when I discoveredthat the play had been performed by a total of at least eleven groups, including professional,amateur, and upgrading and literacy student actors, I knew that criteria needed to beimplemented to further restrict the study's boundaries . Otherwise, over 55 people spreadthroughout primarily British Columbia from Fort St . John (in the north) to Abbotsford (in thesouth) to Victoria (in the west), and to Cranbrook (in the east) would need to be interviewed.Therefore, criterion-based selection was the best method for choosing respondents . Goetz andLeCompte define criterion-based sampling as selection that "requires that the researcherestablish in advance a set of criteria or list of attributes that the units for study must possess"(1984, p . 73).Thus, as I began to look closely at all of the groups that had performed Marks onPaper, my criteria began to evolve. Firstly, except for the original production, I decided thatthe performers in the play must be literacy learners or upgrading students as opposed toprofessional, paid, or amateur community actors . After all, I was exploring feelings,emotions, beliefs, and perceptions ; thus, I wanted to discuss the play with the learner/actors.I had perceived them to be extremely moved by their involvement in Marks on Paper . I was13curious as to why they felt so emotionally involved and committed to the play . This is out ofcharacter for literacy and upgrading student . However, in addition to the students, the groupsoften consisted of instructors who had no theatre training . These instructors performed awide variety of tasks various tasks for the groups : acting, directing, coordinating, producing,or supporting the different learner casts . Since the instructors were such integral and caringmembers of the casts, they too were selected for the study . Secondly, the learners had to beenrolled or had to have been enrolled in upgrading or literacy courses within their respectivecommunities at the time that they began performing the play . Thirdly, the performing groupshad to have performed at least once for a public audience . These criteria eliminatedinterviewing people from productions performed in 1980 by professional actors and twoproductions in 1987 by Vancouver Community College and Capilano College acting studentsas well as at least three other community amateur theatre productions from 1990 - 1992 . Also,this removed the need to interview two high school drama classes that had performed theplay for two learner events and for other high school students in 1991 and 1992 respectively.As well, these criteria omitted groups that had attempted to perform the play but had notdone so publicly.Despite these criteria, an exception was made for one group that had not made apublic presentation. This group of learners had had their performance cancelled one weekprior to their public learner event due to a cast member's illness (see Appendix D) . Thisgroup was primarily learner-driven as opposed to the other groups. In other words, unlikeother productions where instructors had recruited students to act in the play, this groupconsisted of learners who had sought out and convinced an amateur director to help them14with Marks on Paper. Since this initiative was so different from the other learner groups, Ifelt that they might offer valuable insights into the research despite their not meeting this lastcriterion of having performed once publicly . Because the focus of the research was todetermine the impact performing in Marks on Paper had on learner/actors, I felt that a groupthat had been learner motivated to present the play might have some contribution to make tothe larger picture of this exploration (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984 ; Merriam, 1991).Thus, I was left with five groups that met the criteria despite the one exception . TheLiteracy Players of Abbotsford (1989) were the first to have literacy and upgrading studentsperform the play. The Literacy Players performed 24 productions from May 1989 - June1992. Moreover, they generated motivation and confidence to encourage the creation of fourspin-off productions . These included the Heartbeat Players of Victoria that presented Markson Paper four times from March - June of 1990 . The East Kootenay Community CollegeLearners of Cranbrook performed the play once in April of 1991. The Literacy Is FreedomFor Everyone Learners (L .I . F . F . E.) of Williams Lake attempted a production in the springof 1991 . The final group included in this research is the Continuing Education Learners fromSchool District #28 in Quesnel . To date, they have performed the play once in May of 1992.In addition to the learners associated with each production, instructors, directors, orproducers who were involved with the various groups were involved . These people acted,directed, produced, or provided support and guidance for the learners . Moreover, theseindividuals were part of the cast in one way or another as mentioned . The purpose ofincluding these people was to see if they perceived the impact on the students to be similar tothe ones the students themselves described .15The CastsLiteracy Players - AbbotsfordThroughout 1989 - 1992, the Literacy Players eleven students had performed in Markson Paper with two co-producers/co-directors. Of the eleven performers, three womenstudents, Lisa Clark, Chris Grimson, and Marg Short' had been with the group consistentlythroughout its history, and Mitch Smith had been with play except for a one year absencewhen he had moved away. As well, Wendy Watson and I as co-producers/co-directors hadbeen with the group since its inception and had replaced cast members of the play whennecessary.At the time this research was conducted, of the 11 students, Wayne Hubley and NeilTanner could not be located for interviews . Bryan Wiebe and Connoly Whitworth were alsonot available for interviews . Whitworth had never been enrolled in literacy or upgradingclasses, so he did not meet the criteria of being a literacy or upgrading student . Of theremaining seven, including Dominic Brear, Burc Colins, and Sherrie McNeil, all hadperformed in the play publicly at least once. As well, these seven learner/actors met thecriteria for inclusion in the research. Also, Brear, Clark, Colins, Grimson, McNeil, Short,and Smith willingly agreed to be interviewed. The other co-producer/co-director, WendyWatson, was interviewed, and I have provided answers to the interview questions when askedby the learner/actors after their interviews have been conducted.' The names of the students have been used with their permission .16Heartbeat Players - VictoriaFrom March to June of 1990, the Heartbeat Players had a cast of five literacy learners(four females and one male) for their four performances . The group was directed by aprofessional director, Susie Turnbull, who has subsequently moved to Ontario . InstructorHarry Lewis helped produce and direct the play . As well, he performed the role of the maleinstructor in the play.From the Heartbeat Players, I was able to interview Michael Booker and Stacy andDianna5 , two of the four women from the learner cast . I was unable to contact two of theliteracy learners myself or through the help of the Read Society or Project Literacy Victoria,for these students had moved away and had left no forwarding addresses . Although letterswere sent to them asking for their participation, I had to assume either that the letters neverreached them, or that they did not want to participate in the interviews . As well, Iinterviewed the instructor, Harry Lewis, the producer/director/actor.East Community College Learners - CranbrookFive fundamental adult basic education (ABE) students (two females and three males)were involved with performing one scene of Marks on Paper : "Standing up to Read" in Aprilof 1991 at East Kootenay Community College . The rest of the play was performed for thelearner event by the Mount Baker High School drama classes . A volunteer tutor played therole of the teachers for the scene . Furthermore, the ABE instructor, had acted as facilitator,director, and producer for the one-day production for her fundamental students.5 The names of the two women have been altered for reasons of confidentiality .17The ABE instructor Lorrie Lane arranged interviews with Irene McKay, CathyD'Andrea, Malcolm Potter, and Tony Trozzo 6 . As well, Lane was interviewed twice . Dueto an illness, the volunteer tutor was unavailable for an interview. The other man had movedaway, so he was no longer available.Literacy Is Freedom for Everyone (L .I.F.F.E) - Williams LakeAlthough the L.I.F.F.E. Learners were not able to perform Marks on Paper due to asudden illness of a cast member, I decided to interview this group because they werecompletely learner-driven . Only the unforseen illness had prevented the performance by thisgroup in the spring of 1991 . Eight literacy students had been involved in this production(seven women and one man) . As well, this group had convinced a local director and herassistant to help them with the production of this play . Otherwise, all publicity, ticket sales,and arrangements had been arranged by the learners themselves.Shanon Doncaster' from this group organized the interviews with the cast, director,and assistant director . Four women learners, Patricia Abe, Barb Bertrand, and BrendaQuesnelle, including Doncaster, from this group were interviewed . Of those not interviewed,the man was working, one woman was too busy, one woman was too shy, and one womanwho had agreed to be interviewed never showed up . I spoke to Sandra Alaric, the director.However, time proved to be a constraint when I was in Williams Lake, so I had to cancelmy interview with her assistant so that I could talk to people from the Quesnel production.6 The students' names have been used with their permission.All names have been used with the permission of the literacy learners .18Continuing Education Learners - School District #28 - QuesnelIn April of 1992, I had heard that the Continuing Education Learners of Quesnelmight perform Marks on Paper . Although I had sent announcements to the newsletters forLiteracy B.C. and the Adult Literacy Contact Centre, I received no response from theQuesnel cast or any other groups . However, one learner from Williams Lake alerted me thatthe Continuing Education Learners had performed Marks on Paper at the College of NewCaledonia in Quesnel for a learner event which she had attended . Once I was aware that theproduction had taken place, I contacted the instructor, Liz Popkey.To date, this group of four ABE students, one instructor, and one administrator haveperformed the play once . Popkey set up interviews with the students with only three days'notice. I interviewed three women students : Val Anderson, Gerry Beaulieu, and LynneTheedie8 . The only male student, Wes Giesbrecht, has also participated in an interview ashas Popkey. When I was in Quesnel, Anderson and Theedie were unavailable, so later Iconducted their interviews over the telephone. They are the only two students whoparticipated via the telephone9 . The administrator, Peter Walsh, was on holidays, so he wasunable to participate in the research . Popkey and Walsh played roles similar to theirprofessional roles . As well, they were students in the classroom scene . Plus, Popkey directedand produced the play.Thus, at this time, 22 learner/actors, one professional director, and five instructors8 Students have given permission for their names to be used.As I had suspected, the telephone interviews were more difficult for students had not metme. Moreover, we did not have the normal conversational and interpersonal clues presentin face-to-face interviews .19have participated in this research out of the three professional directors, 33 learners/actors,and seven instructors. These participants in this research have been selected by theirwillingness to participate . The Marks on Paper production by the Literacy Players generatedfour spin-off productions: Heartbeat Players, East Kootenay Community College, L .I.F.F.E.Learners, and Continuing Education Learners - School District #28 . Most of thelearner/actors discussed the influence of the Literacy Players on them for attempting toperform in their own production of Marks on Paper.The Data CollectionIn qualitative data collection, the researcher needs to be able to explore and discoverthe phenomenon under scrutiny . In order to investigate the phenomenon fully, the researchermust collect enough data from sufficient sources before the analysis process begins . Once thedata collection commences, the researcher starts exploring and unlocking the secrets of thephenomenon layer by layer through the analysis of rich, in-depth, detailed descriptions thathave been gathered through compilation and sorting . However, the data collection andanalysis are interactive and continue until, if not beyond, the writing process . As well, theseprocesses slip and slide together . The lines are blurred, for analysis occurs throughout thedata collection . By continually analyzing the data throughout the interviewing, the researcheris able to refine the questions in order to get to the centre of the circle of the layers ofmeaning. However, along the way, a process of discovery and exploration unfold as theinterview transcripts reveal their meanings within and across interviews .20Once the subjects had been chosen based on the aforementioned criteria, I was readyto collect my data . The three types of data collection that yield the richest and thickestdescription for analysis in qualitative analysis include : interviews, observations, anddocuments . I chose these three techniques for capturing and triangulating the perceptions ofthe learner/actors.InterviewsTo explore the impact theatre has on learner/actors, three methods were used tocollect data . The primary method was the interview. Documents collected from each spin-offproduction were used to supplement the interviews as well . (Some of these can be found inthe Appendices .) Finally, observations of the learner/actors from videotapes and liveproductions further complemented the information from the interviews.Since I sought to elicit intimate feelings from the respondents about the impact ofMarks on Paper, I selected the interview as the principal means of capturing theirperceptions . Through the interview technique, one may discover the perceptions andmeanings of others which are not overtly visible to us . According to Bogdan and Biklen(1992), "The qualitative researcher not only has to know how to work with and collect data,but has to have a good sense of what data are" (p . 105). Moreover, through this type ofinterviewing I, like other researchers before me, established a personal relationship with thelearner/actors . Marks on Paper was particularly suitable for establishing a relationship, for itwas an experience we had all undergone in one way or another as groups or as individuals.According to Patton (1980, p. 196), "The purpose of interviewing is to find out what is in21and on someone else's mind ." He states further thatWe cannot observe feelings, thoughts, and intentions. We cannotobserve behaviours that took place at some previous point in time.We cannot observe situations that preclude the presence of anobserver. We cannot observe how people have organized the worldand the meanings they attach to what goes on in the world--wehave to ask people questions about those things . The purpose ofinterviewing, then, is to allow us to enter into the other person'sperspective . The assumption is that perspective is meaningful,knowable, and able to be made explicit . (1980, p . 196)While conducting interviews, I used semi-structured questions. They had been writtenbeforehand to remind me of the points that I wanted to cover . Therefore, the respondentswere usually asked the same questions . I used semi-structured interviews to gathercomparable data across subjects . However, the order of the questions was kept flexible to usethe interview as a conversation with a purpose. By the end of my interviewing, I had begunto learn how to converse with a purpose . The questions were open-ended to allow for greaterdiscussion between the respondent and myself. Sometimes this engendered repetition ordigressions off the topic . However, at other times the open-ended questions allowed me tofollow new lines of conversation that uncovered new understandings and perceptions aboutMarks on Paper . Thus, the learner/actors shared their personal insights and touchingexperiences with me during the interviews as we explored the impact Marks on Paper had oneach and every student.To test the interview questions for clarity and language and to get a sense of thelength of the time that the interviews would take with literacy learners and upgradingstudents, I conducted a pilot interview on a learner/actor. Furthermore, I carried out asecond pilot on an instructor to triangulate the questions and ensure that I was covering the22same introductory information as well as the same kinds of questions in both types ofinterviews and not leading the respondents . Before I met with the majority of therespondents, the questions were revised again . After I became familiar with the interviewquestions and the process, they became more consistent with Webb and Webb's notion of theinterview as a "conversation with a purpose" (quoted in Merriam, 1991, p . 71-72).In the one and a half to two hour interviews, students were asked a variety ofquestions about Marks on Paper to explore the impact performing had on them. Before theinterview began though, the respondents were put at ease through informal conversation aswell as introductory questions . Since the research process calls for human subjects to fill outa form of consent, I had to be extremely sensitive to the reading levels of the learners if Idid not know them as well as my own cast . Thus, to avoid embarrassment for the students, Ieither checked with the person who had set up the interview or discretely questioned thestudent about the form . For learners who found the form cumbersome, I read it aloud tothem while I pointed to the text . Once the formalities were over, I covered questions thatasked respondents when they had first seen the play, the length of time they had beeninvolved with its production, and other questions of this nature . We also discussed thescenes, the meaning, the characters, and the process the learners went through to learn toperform their roles . Furthermore, we talked about what the students had discovered, theimpact of the play, the influence the play had on them, whether they noticed a change intheir feelings, beliefs, and attitudes about illiteracy . As well, we examined theatre as amedium to raise awareness about literacy issues and whether literacy is necessary in today'sworld . Thus, a wide range of questions were covered to explore the impact the play had on23the individuals.All interview data were audiotape recorded . To put the respondents at ease, I madejokes about the tape recorder by saying that it was helping me since my brain was beginningto fail after talking to so many people . Once the tapes were completed, they weretranscribed. Then, the written transcripts were analyzed for common themes that mightemerge from the data . The majority of the interviews were conducted over a twelve weekperiod; however, some had been carried out previous to or after the twelve week intensiveinterviewing . The interviews were transacted in-person, for I surmised that literacy learners,especially, would be nervous about being questioned over the telephone.To ensure consistency in this qualitative study of the learners and upgrading students,I travelled to Victoria, Cranbrook, Williams Lake, and Quesnel to ensure that therespondents were comfortable with the interview process . The upgrading students inAbbotsford were also all interviewed in-person . However, some of the instructorsparticipated in telephone conversations . The sessions for literacy and upgrading students tookplace in people's homes or familiar college and school classrooms . However, I did conducttwo learner interviews by telephone ; otherwise, I would have had to forfeit theirparticipation .Interviews with instructors occurred in colleges, schools, or office settings.The documents used to supplement the interview findings included both public andprivate. Public documents encompassed newspaper articles, play programs, minutes ofmeetings, a learner event report written primarily by learners (Learners Talking to Learners),and any other public write-ups about the play . For private documents, I collected letters,scrapbooks, student journals, and other personal writings . Additionally, props worn and24made by different groups were analyzed. Some photographs were given to me as well . Someof this data collection had begun prior to this research, and more intensive documentcollection ensued after this study commenced . (See the Appendices for these documents .)To further corroborate the interviews and documents, I used the technique ofobservation. This included observation of the learner/actors in live productions or videotaped productions of Marks on Paper. Field notes accompanied by observer comments werekept to explore the impact that performing in the play had on the interview participants.According to Bogdan and Biklen (1992, p . 107), the researcherrenders a description of people, objects, places, events, activities,and conversations . In addition, as part of such notes, the researcherwill record ideas, strategies, reflections, and hunches, as well asnote patterns that emerge . These are fieldnotes : the written accountof what the researcher hears, sees, experiences, and thinks in thecourse of collecting and reflecting on the data in a quantitativestudy.Merriam (1992) points out that the process of observation has three phases : entry, datacollection, and exit. The first is gaining access to the site. "Gaining entry into a site beginswith gaining the confidence and permission of those who can approve the activity . This stepis more easily accomplished through a mutual contact who can recommend the researcher tothe `gatekeepers' involved" (Merriam, 1992, p . 91) . Gaining entry to the field was not adifficult task since I had been involved with the play for three years, and I was knownthrough my contact with Marks on Paper . Also, I was active in two provincial organizations,Literacy B. C. and the Adult Basic Education Association of B .C., and Project LiteracyAbbotsford-Matsqui . Therefore, gaining access through gatekeepers who were learners orinstructors was a relatively easy step since I was an insider .25Because I was the co-producer/co-director for the Literacy Players, people kept meinformed about the different productions of the play presented throughout B .C . To date,people still alert me if they are attempting to perform the play . Literacy learners andinstructors were especially helpful and forthcoming with information and participation whenthey learned that I was writing a thesis about Marks on Paper. Moreover, they invited meinto their homes and communities and provided me with documents so that I could share intheir experiences of Marks on Paper . I was invited to see live performances and tapes of thedifferent spin-off productions of the play . All participants and learner/actors were extremelyhelpful . Without their help and consideration, I could not have understood the impact ofMarks on Paper so fully.Access to participants in the spin-off productions was gained in a number of ways.First of all, with the Literacy Players, I simply asked them if they would participate in myresearch since I had been working with them for three years in the play . The HeartbeatPlayers in Victoria were contacted directly and then interviewed at the Project LiteracyVictoria office in Victoria . With the East Community College Learners in Cranbrook and theContinuing Education Learners - School District #28 in Quesnel, I got in touch with theinstructors who had organized the productions, learner events, and performances . TheL.I.F .F.E. Learners and their director were contacted through a learner who set up all of theinterviews in her home in Williams Lake before I arrived.The next stage involved collecting data. During this phase, one must determine thestance one may take as an observer . This may range from complete participant to completeobserver . Patton (1980) best describes the fine balance a qualitative researcher should attempt26to take as an insider and as an outsider during the study:Experiencing the program as an insider is what necessitates theparticipant part of participant observation . At the same time,however, there is clearly an observer side to this process . Thechallenge is to combine participation and observation so asbecome capable of understanding the program as an insider whiledescribing the program for outsiders . (p. 128)Prior to commencing this research, I was a total participant in the Literacy Players asa co-producer/co-director. Also, I was a stage manager, publicist, crew, actor, friend,instructor, and advocate for the students . In addition to performing various tasks with mycolleague, Wendy Watson, in a number of roles for Marks on Paper, I also worked with heras an instructor at the University College of the Fraser Valley in addition to the otherpreviously mentioned positions I held . Thus, my relationship with my colleague as well aswith the students was multi-faceted and multi-dimensional . In other words, the relationshipwas a constantly evolving one . When I finally decided to engage in this research, I realizedthat I would have to constantly check my relationship to those involved with Marks on Paperif I hoped to provide insights into the experiences of all involved with the play . Thus, assoon as my research commenced in earnest, I began to question my motives and reactionsduring the interviewing and observation processes to remain as objective as possible withinthe context in order not to influence either the Literacy Players or participants in other spin-off productions.During the interviewing and observation processes, I had to remain mindful that theplay was extremely important to learners and upgrading students . It had provided them witha vehicle to tell their stories, had given them a voice about their experiences of illiteracy,and had an impact on their lives in some way . Moreover, learners as well as those involved27with the spin-off productions were generally very possessive about the play, and they sawMarks on Paper as their own . Furthermore, within each performing group, differentdynamics had evolved and developed between the members of the groups . Thus, I had to becontinually conscious of maintaining confidentiality about how groups may have felt abouttheir members and other groups performing the play . At times, I had to be extremelyconscious of the meaning and impact this play had for all those who saw it as their own.After data had been collected through my observations, the next stage was for me toexit the field . Leave-taking was performed in a variety of ways . For the groups outside ofAbbotsford, it was a matter of physically departing from the geographic location andreturning to my home. Once I had returned, I sent all participants thank you cards as anexpression of my appreciation for their participation in my research . Furthermore, Ipromised that when the study was completed I would ensure that literacy centres in thedifferent locations throughout the province would receive a copy of my findings andconclusions.Exiting the field with the Literacy Players was a bit different . We had been trying toput our version of Marks on Paper to rest for at least three or four months ; however, thishad proved to be very difficult since our group was still in demand throughout B . C . Ourformal leave-taking from the provincial network of literacy was facilitated when ourpresident at the University College of the Fraser asked us to perform one last time for theCollege's graduation ceremonies . After receiving awards at the 1992 graduation for our threeyear commitment to literacy through the performances of Marks on Paper, we finally put ourversion of the play to bed .28Reflecting on the DramaThe true process of discovery begins in the field, and it is a serendipitous journey.Qualitative researchis emergent : One does not know whom to interview, what toask, or where to look next without analyzing data as they arecollected . Hunches, working hypotheses, and educated guessesdirect the investigator's attention to certain data and thento refining and/or verifying one's hunches . The process ofdata collection and analysis is recursive and dynamic. Butthis is not to say that the analysis is finished when all thedata have been collected . . . . Analysis becomes more intensiveonce all the data are in, even though analysis has been anongoing activity . (Merriam, 1991, p. 123)During the interview process, I began to compare data from different interviews inorder to focus and narrow the original purpose of this study : to explore how theatre can beused to raise awareness about adult illiteracy . However, while reviewing the initial data, Imade the decision to focus more specifically on the impact theatre had on learner/actors inperformances of Marks on Paper . The process of refocusing reduced the scope of the studyto five groups that had performed the play instead of performing groups, organizers,audiences, historical figures, and others who had seen the play during its thirteen yearhistory . Once the data to be reviewed was downsized, the study became less overwhelming,After narrowing the focus of the study, the next step was to scan and reread thetranscribed interviews, fieldnotes, and documents to isolate striking aspects of the data tobegin a "primitive outline or system of classifications into which data . . ." were sorted into"patterns and regularities . . ." that were then " . . .transformed into categories" (Goetz &LeCompte, 1984, p. 191) . The basis of these categories were units of information whichincluded phrases, sentences, or paragraphs (Merriam, 1991) . The unit of information must be29heuristic: "the unit should reveal information relevant to the study and stimulate the reader tothink beyond the particular bit of information" (Lincoln and Guba in Merriam, 1991, p . 132).Moreover, this information must be "the smallest piece of information about something thatcan stand by itself-- . . .it must be interpretable in the absence of any additional informationother than a broad understanding of the context in which the inquiry is carried out" (Lincoln& Guba, 1985, p. 345).As the process of analysis unfolds, the data indicates conceptual categories (Glaser &Strauss, 1967) . These categories represent conceptual elements which stand by themselves.According to Glaser and Strauss (1967),Once a category . . .is conceived, a change in evidence that indicatedit will not necessarily alter, clarify or destroy it . It takes much moreevidence--usually from different substantive areas--as wellas the creation of a better category to achieve such changes in theoriginal category. In short, conceptual categories . . .have a life apartfrom the evidence that gave rise to them . (p. 36)After the categories emerged, I began coding and sorting units of information intocategories according to Glaser and Strauss' (1967) method of constant comparative analysis.Then, the coded units were filed for retrieval until they were needed again . As well, copiesof the coded units of information were placed in folders under the category headings for easyaccess and review. At this stage, the importance of the data was determined by the categoryitself and not which individual had spoken the words . The goal here was to discover if theupgrading and literacy students had experienced an impact through performing in Marks onPaper and not a judgment about whether the impact on one person had been better or worseor more or less than on another person . Once the final categories emerged, I placed them ina data display table for readability .30As well as categories, the constant comparison method generates hypothesis . Thesehypotheses are generalized relations among the categories, and they often occur while theresearcher is collecting and analyzing the data in the field (Glaser & Strauss, 1967).Furthermore, "generating hypotheses requires evidence enough only to establish a suggestion--not an excessive piling up of evidence to establish a proof, and the consequent hindering ofthe generation of new hypotheses" (pp . 39 - 40).Reliability and ValidityWhen a qualitative study is conducted, quantitative researchers immediately questionits reliability and validity . Their complaints stem from the notion that they want studies to bereplicable or repeatable. In other words, the study must produce the same results if it wereconducted again . However, we must remember that in a qualitative study, we areinvestigating human behaviour . It is constantly changing and in flux . Therefore, in qualitativeresearch, we are not seeking to isolate human behaviour as laws in repeated instances.Moreover, we are not attempting to measure quantitatively the degree of change in aphenomenon such as Marks on Paper . The goal was to investigate the subjective impact onthe learner/actors and not a numerical measure . As well, one experience is not more reliablethan another . Therefore, the question regarding reliability is different in qualitative research.The focus should be are the results consistent with the data collected in that particular study(Merriam, 1991). Rigor for reliability in qualitative research can be ensured if triangulation,peer examination, audit trails, and a statement explaining the researcher's experiences,31assumptions, and biases are followed (Merriam, 1991) . Although this will not ensurereplicability, it will assure that the results are consistent with the data collected in thatparticular study of a human phenomenon . That is the real question, for conditions, people'sinterpretations, and investigator's interpretations change . However, these changes do notdiscredit qualitative research . We must look for the results to be consistent with the datacollected.As well as reliability, quantitative researchers question the validity of qualitativestudies . After all, even a quantitative study may be reliable but not valid . The question hereis to what extent can the findings of the research be applied to other situations . In otherwords, how can it be generalized . In quantitative research, especially, random samplingenhances this range of confidence in generalizability . However, when dealing with humansbecause of their very person and changing nature as individuals, statistical generalizations arefallacious. Even the quantitative interpretation of statisticians is symbolic according toMerriam (1991) . Therefore, the goal of the qualitative researcher is to understand theparticular in depth . Any generalization can be a working hypothesis . Merriam (1991) pointsout that by attending to the particular, concrete universals will be discovered . In fact, thegeneral lies in the particular . Particular situations transcend into the general . Moreover,"People look for patterns that explain their own experience as well as events in the worldaround them" (Merriam, 1991, p. 176) . By thoroughly understanding and having knowledge ofthe particular, then we may uncover and see the likeness of strange and new contexts(Merriam, 1991) . Therefore, this question of validity changes as does the notion of reliability.We must remember that the goal of qualitative enquiry is to understand the particular in32depth . "To enhance the possibility of a case study's results generalizing . . ., the investigatorhas to provide a detailed description of the study's context" (Merriam, 1991, p . 177) . Thegeneralizability for other readers can be improved by providing a thick, rich description.Then, others can decide if the situation can be applied to their research . Moreover, multi-sitedesigns can maximize the differences among the sites . This also allows other investigators todetermine if the case is useful . As well, modal or typical categories can be established todescribe the occurrence . Then, this may be compared to all other cases. Finally, samplingwithin the study can be used . If the investigation is large enough, a sample could be takenwithin the cast to determine the generalizability (Merriam, 1991).Thus, what once seemed to be a problem with reliability and validity is no longer . Infact, reliability and validity in qualitative research are reflective of the approach . Qualitativeresearch is another perception and dimension from which to view the phenomenon.SummaryThis chapter has provided an overview of the case study design and the frameworkfor exploring the impact of Marks on Paper on learner/actors . Also, it introduced the criteriafor selecting participants. As well, the reader was alerted to the methods of collecting andtriangulating data used in this process : the interview, the document, and the observation.Finally, limitations mentioned by quantitative researchers about qualitative studies wereaddressed.This chapter has provided the framework for discovering the wealth of perceptions ofthe learner/actors as they experienced Marks on Paper . It also provided the case study33method used to bound the research . These perceptions will be introduced and shaped intocategories in Chapters 8, 9, and 10 of Part II.Chapter 3 will begin the first of a series of chapters tracing the historical context forunderstanding Marks on Paper . This chapter begins the historical outline by exploring theroots of literacy internationally, in a Canadian context, and within British Columbia .CHAPTER 3EXPLORING LITERACYHe chose to include the thingsThat in each other are included, the whole,The complicate, the amassing harmony.—Wallace Stevens, Notes Toward aSupreme Fiction. It Must Give Pleasure, VIIntroductionAs I became acquainted with literacy learners, I discovered that many had neverheard the term "illiteracy. " For many their first introduction to the term was when theyentered literacy or upgrading programs . I was told by a number of participants that they hadbeen distressed about their learning problems, but when they had heard the term illiteracy,they began to panic . They had become frightened because of the prefix il- which means notaccording to Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1986) . However, the literacystudents understood ill to mean sick. Many of them told me that although they knew they hadsome learning problems, they were shocked to find out that society considered them to besick. Therefore, I felt that exploring the history of literacy was important for me as aninstructor, but it was also important for learners . Thus, out of respect for students andlearners associated with the play, I will attempt to use the more acceptable term literacyrather than illiteracy . However, where clarity of meaning is required, I must rely on the nowunacceptable term to those in the field : illiteracy.3435The purpose of this chapter is to describe the historical, political, and economiccontexts within Canada and British Columbia which laid the ground for Marks on Paper.These contexts are the backdrop against which the stage was set for Marks on Paper togerminate from 1979 - 1980, to grow in 1987, and to flourish and bloom from 1989 - 1992.This chapter defines literacy . It culminates with the latest formalized definition passedin The National Literacy Act of 1991 in the United States (which will be used as thedefinition for this thesis) and with the official Canadian definition in 1991 in Statistics'Canada research : Adult Literacy in Canada : Results of a National Study.The Roots of Universal LiteracyThe global interest in literacy campaigns and the designation of an international yearor decade of literacy are a relatively new phenomenon . In the case of the campaigns, thefocus has been to create a new literate person for a new society within a particular country.In the second case, the objective has been to ensure that every individual throughout theworld has the right to become literate . In many societies, such as the Chinese and theKorean, the educated person has always been revered . In these societies, education has beenseen as a way to better the individual and the family's physical comforts as well as theirstatus within the community . Literacy has also been used for religious purposes and as amark of distinction for the more educated classes . Lately, literacy has also been used topromote political and ideological beliefs.Prior to the notion of universal literacy, information tended to be communal36knowledge and was transmitted through oral discourse. Information was publicly shared andrecorded through oral histories. The Greeks in 700 B .C. and later the Romans were the firstcivilizations to begin to transcribe oral language for general circulation (Havelock, 1976;Willinsky, 1990) . With this innovation, writing developed an intellectual world of its ownwhich reflected a new order of technology, rationality, history, and recording (Havelock,1976; Olson, 1977; Thomas, 1983 ; Willinsky, 1990) . According to Havelock (1976, p . 19),literacy "is a social condition which can be defined only in terms of readership ." TheGreeks were not as pejorative with their use of many terms, such as uneducated or illiterate,that we attach negative connotations to today.They spoke only of men who were musical or unmusical, educatedor uneducated, and with good reason . It was sensed that literacyand cultivation were not necessarily synonymous . The Greek workgrammatikos came into use only in the fourth century, to mean aman who could read, without necessarily implying that this skillwas synonymous with education. The Romans, a more bookish people,who relied for their higher education on a knowledge of Greek, alanguage they read strenuously, whether or not they could speak it,exploited the concept of the litteratus, `the man of letters,' thatis, a reader of letters, and also of his converse the illiterates, aman without `literary' culture. In a modem Western society, `illiterate'is used to identify that proportion of the population which, becausethey cannot read or write, are presumed to be devoid of averageintelligence, or else underprivileged . It is therefore pejorative,signifying those who have been left behind in the battle of life,mainly because they are not bright enough . (Havelock, 1976, p . 3)The Gutenberg ExplosionDuring the fifteenth century, the German goldsmith, Johann Gutenberg, invented theprinting press with movable type. This breakthrough allowed the printing of the different37European vernaculars. The common discourse of the people could now be spread throughoutEurope and gave rise to a new political and social awareness amongst the masses (Willinsky,1990) . Along with this new awareness, the new literacy "was the source of story, ballad, tractand sermon, and it brought to the people a new source of hope, dismay, laughter, and tears"(Willinsky, 1990, p . 177) . In essence movable type,had been able to supplant two thousand years of handicraft,giving to alphabetized speech a new dimension both quantitative,in the sense that the written word was now duplicable with speed,but also qualitative in that letters could at last escape thebondage of scribal style and whim and could become standardizedand legible as never before. (Havelock, 1976, p . 77).During the Reformation, people in the parishes became exposed to the explosion of avariety of pamphlets made available through the invention of the Gutenberg Press(Johannson, 1981 ; 1987; Olson, 1977 ; Harman, 1987) . During the 1600s, parish priests beganthe first so-called literacy test for children . It sought to determine the ability of children toread texts from the holy Bible . The priests were testing two criteria : whether the childrenwere learning the Bible through reading and whether the parents were teaching the word ofGod (Stevens, 1987 ; Resnick and Resnick, 1977).Teaching children to read while they were learning the catechisms of the differentchurches stopped short of becoming a full-time school program (Gawthrop, 1987) . However,teaching of literacy through the catechisms became entrenched in church legislation . Perhapsthe greatest contribution of teaching literacy skills to children was not in the teaching, but it"turned fledgling church institutions into instruments for a full-scale literacy campaign . . .,unmistakable by the 1550s, toward the coordination and direction of primary education bycentralizing political and ecclesiastical authorities" (Gawthrop, 1987, p . 32) .38Transmission of literacy through religious doctrines was also conducted by missionaryreligious orders throughout the New and Old Worlds . Often, the texts were transcribed intothe group's native language. Christianity was not the only religion to encourage literacy, forIslam used the Holy Koran to promote reading among young men throughout Africa andSoutheast Asia (Coombs, 1985) . However, before Christianity or Islam, Judaism had used thewritten word to spread the dogmas (Harman, 1987).Throughout the late seventeenth century, authors such as Jonathan Swift and DanielDafoe sought to establish a language academy to promote correct English usage . Not untilthe late eighteenth century was such an attempt successful in England . By 1780, schoolingwas provided for the children of the working class (Willinsky, 1990) . During the 1800s, theworking class had become a potential political threat for the elite, so they identified literacyand education as a way to integrate the working class into the mainstream way of life . Theybelieved this would assure social and moral stability and development . Thus, the goals ofsociety would be maintained and the social order and hegemony ensured (Graff, 1979;Harman, 1987 ; Willinsky, 1990) . Historically, the spread of literacy has been similar acrossnations .First, the written word is the exclusive possessionof an elite . It is then extended by rote memorizationto a larger audience, frequently in a language otherthan the vernacular . . . . When a larger number of peopleeventually have access to reading and writing, powerrelationships are likely to change dramatically . Initiallyonly reading was taught in schools . (Limage, 1986; 1987, p. 296)If knowledge is not taught in schools, people seek other means to acquire it . Then, graduallythe knowledge is incorporated into the schools ; sometimes, though, this is with great39reluctance on the part of those who control schooling (Limage, 1986 ; 1987).The continued promotion of literacy throughout the 1800s and well into this centurywas largely dependent on the social, cultural, and economic climate within specific countries.In fact, the elite in some countries such as England and France questioned the utility of thepeasants knowing how to read more than just what was necessary to their daily tasks(Thomas, 1983) . Thus, the interest in and the rate of literacy varied significantly fromcountry to country. At the turn of the century, Alfred Binet at the Sorbonne in Paris devisedthe Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test to determine the intelligence of children (Wallechinsky &Wallace, 1978,p . 438) . The IQ test was widely used during World War I (1914 - 1918).The Military ConnectionDuring WWI, literacy testing began . Interest in illiteracy increased because of theimplications it had for the military . The American military believed that its personnel neededto be able to understand written instructions in order to perform tasks necessary for nationalsecurity. Although literacy testing had begun during World War I, a new component wasadded to this interest : testing for functional literacy . The convenient measuring standardestablished to determine literacy level was whether the individual had completed the fifthgrade (Resnick & Resnick, 1977 ; Harman, 1970 ; Harman, 1987 ; Hunter and Hannan, 1985) .40The UNESCO ConnectionSince its inception in the 1940s, UNESCO's initial interest in literacy had a differentfocus than the functional standard of the military . UNESCO's emphasis was on theempowerment of the individual. Through empowerment, the person could use reading,writing, and numeracy in order to improve the quality of life . This improvement would occurdue to greater participation in a more creative and fuller life . Moreover, increasedparticipation would allow the individual to actively shape daily life in the order that he or shefelt was best (Levine, 1982).UNESCO's commitment to literacy, research, and programming stemmed from theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights adopted on December 10, 1948 . Article 26 statesEveryone has the right to education . Education shallbe free, at least in the elementary and fundamentalstages. Elementary education shall be compulsory.Technical and professional education shall be madegenerally available and higher education shall bemade equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.(in Limage, 1986; 1987, p . 299)Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, literacy was seen as an importantcomponent that would stimulate modernization, economic development, urbanization anddemocracy (Levine, 1982). This new component added another dimension to the notion ofliteracy: community development, self-development, and the individual's ability to functionwithin a community (Darville) . Now, an interest was being generated in literacy worldwidebecause of its assured association with economic development.In 1961, UNESCO proposed a bold campaign (World Campaign for UniversalLiteracy) to eradicate illiteracy worldwide . However, by 1964, it was abandoned because the41goals were not being met . Firstly, it was too costly a program to implement . Secondly,literacy was becoming selectively focused on the agricultural and labouring sectors of society(Gillette, 1987) . Furthermore, another factor that led to the demise of the program was thatnationalistic literacy efforts had already been attempted by many governments . Theseattempts had not succeeded in promoting general literacy within the populations of the homecountries (Levine, 1982 ; 1986) . Despite the lack of success, valuable lessons were learned(Coombs, 1985; Gillette, 1987) . The goal of a revised strategy was to improve the literacyskills of individuals with a strong emphasis on economic and technical orientation (Gillette,1987) . This new proposal was the Experimental World Literacy Program. It illustrated theworldwide focus on economic and social development of individuals motivated to developtheir home countries . As well, literacy was clearly linked to economic and technologicaldevelopment. This new knowledge would enable the individuals to participate more fully incommunity life and assist the community achieve economic objectives (Coombs, 1985;Gillette, 1987).By the mid-1970s, UNESCO had begun evaluating successful efforts and lesssuccessful . During the 1975 Persepolis International Symposium on Literacy, problems werenoted . The notion that literacy is a panacea for economic problems was questioned . Thebelief that literacy programs could be `imposed' from outside the community was also put indoubt (Graff, 1979). A new view of literacy began to emerge . It had to be embedded withinthe economic and social cultures (Hunter and Harman, 1979).While these discussions were occurring at the international level, others werebeginning to take place within industrialized countries . "The recognition that sizeable42numbers of adults in industrialized countries are unable to read or write to a level enablingthem to fully participate in their societies is a fairly recent date" (Limage, 1986 ; 1987,p. 299) . For example, in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, social actionand community groups were beginning to advocate literacy through "Right to Read"campaigns.The "Right to Read"The first attempt to establish a universal "Right to Read" began during the 1970s whenthe U.S . Commissioner of Education endeavoured to establish a universal literacy campaignin the United States . These efforts brought the literacy issue to the attention of the Americanpeople . At the same time, functional competency literacy tests were being devised in order todetermine the threshold differences between the literate and the illiterate to cope in everydayAmerican life (Levine, 1986; 1982; Harman, 1987 ; 1970).The "Right to Read" campaigns in the United Kingdom began in the 1970s through theBritish Association of Settlements . This organization and others like it had their roots in thevoluntary and charitable organizations which had begun in the nineteenth-century tocompensate for the lack of social and labour legislation in order to alleviate the sufferingcaused by rapid industrialization (Limage, 1986 ; 1987) . Historically, students fromCambridge and Oxford had delivered instruction to the working poor within the areas wherethey lived. Over time, the British Association of Settlements delivered basic literacy andnumeracy programs . By the 1970s, this organization led the way in demanding a national43commitment to their charter entitled "A Right To Read : Action for a Literate Britain"(Limage, 1986 ; 1987; Levine, 1986) . They demanded that the Government of the UnitedKingdom commit to eradicating adult illiteracy by 1985 . This campaign also raised questionsabout how reading was taught in schools . This propelled an investigation since a link hadbeen made between adult illiteracy and how reading was taught in the schools . As well, anational literacy awareness campaign should be implemented at the same time, and it shouldnot be hindered by usual funding restrictions . Thus, a national body and special fundingshould be established to ensure the success of the program . Through the awareness-raisingcampaign, volunteer tutors would be recruited as well as adult illiterates . Lastly, othersectors (business, unions, media, publishers, social and community welfare) of the populationwere encouraged to get involved and support the efforts of the campaign through funding oridentifying needs (Limage, 1986 ; 1987) . Despite problems, the three-year campaign was asuccess . Moreover, it had established a precedent in the Western industrialized countries of apublic awareness campaign . As well, it had implemented services for adult illiterates andwould later be used as a model for other Western nations.However, UNESCO's 1972 Third International Conference on Adult Education inTokyo, Japan, was the event that was to have the greatest influence on government officialsand American adult educators, for this conference changed the focus of literacy from theuniversal to the local level (Darville, 1989) . The conference introduced American educatorsand government officials to what had been going on at the international level . The outcomewas a greater interest in literacy and how instructors could develop and assess materials tomeet their students' needs. As a result of this conference, the Ford Foundation funded World44Education, Inc . to study adult literacy in the United States . A publication funded by WorldEducation, Inc ., Adult Literacy in the United States (1979) by Carman St . John Hunter andDavid Harman, localized the definition of literacy rather than set up a universal or nationalstandard of literacy . By localizing definitions of literacy, autonomy is given to the needs ofparticular literacy programs within particular communities as opposed to the national orglobal community.Much of the history of literacy indicates that it is relevant to and varies from situationto situation and context to context within a society (Lewis, 1953 in Graff, 1979) . Moreover,literacy skills depend on changing situational needs, demands, and uses for literacy (Graff,1979). People meet and respond differently to the real or perceived demands they feel societymakes of them within the material, economic, social, and cultural contexts of their lives . Thepressure to become more literate can be self-imposed or demanded of the individual byfamily, co-workers, or others significant to the individual within society (Graff, 1979) . Thispressure also depends on the ability of the individual . According to Arnove and Graff (1987),literacy is almost never itself an isolated or absolute goal.It is rather one part of a larger process and a vehicle for thatprocess. Literacy is invested with a special significance, butseldom in and of itself. Learning to read, possibly to write,involves the acquisition or conferral of a new status —membershipin a religious community, citizenship in a nation-state . Literacyoften carries tremendous symbolic weight, quite apart from anypower and new capabilities it may bring . The attainment of literacyper se operates as a badge, a sign of initiation into a select groupand on a larger community. (p. 7)Furthermore, according to Darville,Definitions, conceptions and measurements of literacy are not justspeculative exercises or statements of an ideal . Conceptions ofliteracy are reflections (possibly distorted reflections) of45practices of and plans for reading and writing in society.Conceptions become practical in setting the terms and tone ofpublic discourse, in providing rationales for policy, in settingthe categories in which programs are to be accountable, in thesorting of adult students into programs, and in framing thepreparation of learning materials . They are not neutral, and arenot irrelevant . (1989, pp . 15 - 16)CanadaThe Canadian ContextUntil recently, illiteracy was not seen as a significant problem in Canada . In fact,illiteracy as a national issue had only emerged within the last ten years . Selman and Dampier(1991, p . 166) claimed thatHistorically speaking, illiteracy has been considered as acondition afflicting immigrants and the less well educated,i.e. those who never attended school or who dropped out alongthe way. The earliest attempts at attacking illiteracy includedprovision by the state for the compulsory education of youth andalso the provision by voluntary organizations of language trainingfor immigrants and basic literacy skills for others.At the time, illiteracy was not considered a problem . According to Selman and Dampier(1991), as illiteracy was uncovered, the extent to which it was effecting Canada's economicand social development caused concern . This changed view about illiteracy occurred becausegovernment was willing to accept "the responsibility for overcoming adult illiteracy so that itis now shared between the individual and the society at large, and with this acceptanceprovision of public funds has been made for the necessary remedial education" (Selman &Dampier, 1991, p. 166) .46This evolution in thought began during the 1960s when the federal government beganto recognize that illiteracy was a problem . The federal government then initiated funding ofremedial education as a component of vocational training through the Adult OccupationalTraining Act of 1967 (Selman & Dampier, 1991) . Other programs were soon to follow . Thus,began the government's more active role in funding and supporting upgrading and literacyprograms.During the 1970s, community and social action groups sponsored in Canada, theUnited States, and the United Kingdom "The Right to Read" campaigns . In turn, thesecampaigns were springing up all over the country . As well, in 1972, the Third InternationalConference on Adult Education sponsored by UNESCO had drawn further attention toliteracy as an issue even for industrialized countries, such as Canada.Although Canada supported literacy and education initiatives and often took aleadership role as a member of UNESCO, it was not until 1986 that literacy became anagenda item for the federal government . By the time the October 1, 1986, Speech from theThrone was delivered, many advocacy groups, labour unions, community groups, andorganizations, such as The Movement for Canadian Literacy, the Canadian Association forAdult Education, World Literacy of Canada, and others had become concerned with the issueof literacy in Canada. The Speech from the Throne indicated that literacy was an agenda itemfor the federal government of Canada . Also, advocacy and community groups felt that ifCanada was taking a role internationally on adult education, then it could do so at home . TheConservative government promised to "`work with the provinces, the private sector andvoluntary groups to develop resources to ensure that Canadians have access to the literacy47skills that are the prerequisite for participation in our advanced economy" (White &Hoddinott, 1991, p . 7). True to its word, in 1987, the federal government established aNational Literacy Secretariat under the Department of Secretary of State (White &Hoddinott, 1991) . As well, $1 million was set aside for literacy initiatives . Furthermore, theDepartment's first task was to develop a national strategy to reduce illiteracy throughconsultations with labour, education, community, and volunteer groups as well as withprovincial and other federal government departments.These moves by the federal government led the voluntary sector to solidify andconsolidate their actions . Through the efforts of the Movement for Canadian Literacy,national organizations throughout Canada formed a coalition and launched a nationwideliteracy awareness campaign through the Globe and Mail and Macleans, by addressing an"open letter to the Prime Minister, the Provincial Premiers and the Territorial GovernmentLeaders" (Selman & Dampier, 1990, p . 169) . This committee of national organizations mettwice: December 5, 1986 and January 23, 1987 . It produced The Cedar Glen Declaration(1987, p. 2) noting the right to learn "should be a priority in public policy at all levels ." OnJanuary 23, 1987, this committee recommended to both provincial and federal governmentsthat1.	Basic education (grades 1-12 or the equivalent) be madeavailable to all Canadians without discrimination, includingon the basis of age, sex, and place of residence.2. Any upper age limit in the definition of students where suchexists in laws governing the provision of basic education beeliminated.3.	There be equality in provision of adult basic education relativeto provisions for children and youth, thus bringing all laws into48conformity with the equality section of the Charter of Rights andFreedoms. (p. 2)During the consultations, careful not to offend the provincial governments, the federalgovernment included the Council of Ministers of Education in the consultation process . Atthis time, "the Council embarked on its own survey of the issue and followed this publicationwith the provincial response outlining provincial measures already being taken to eradicateadult illiteracy" (Cairns, in Selman & Dampier, 1991, p . 169). According to White andHoddinott (1991), the Council of Ministers of Education indicated that the provincialgovernments were also concerned with illiteracy . Although figures are not readily availablefor previous years, provincial expenditures for 1987-1988 had increased to $265 million(White & Hoddinott, 1991, p . 7).In 1987, Toronto, Ontario, hosted an International Seminar on Literacy inIndustrialized Countries . The outcome of this conference was a commitment for illiteracy tobe attacked globally (Darville, 1989) . September 8, 1988, was designated as InternationalLiteracy Day in order to raise awareness.In September 1987, Canadian illiteracy became a focal point through the SouthamNews Survey by Peter Calamai: Broken Words: Why Five Million Canadians Are Illiterate(1987) . This had a significant impact on all levels of government. It claimed thatapproximately five million Canadians could not read, write, or use numbers well enough tomeet the demands of today's society (Calamai, 1987).In addition to the startling statistics, the Southam Survey provided a definition --"the ability to use printed and written information to function in society" (Calamai, 1987,p . 7) . Furthermore, this report sought to explain the causes of illiteracy . During the same49month, the United Nations declared that 1990 was to be International Literacy Year (White &Hoddinott, 1991).The Southam Survey caused grave concern in the business as well as the educationcommunity . The survey further supported the case of advocacy and concerned communitygroups. Due to Canada's involvement in UNESCO and its profile as an industrializedcountry, the Southam results caused grave concern for Canada's ability to competeeconomically and provide an improved quality of life for its citizens . Furthermore, theSoutham Survey stimulated Statistics Canada to undertake two studies on adult illiteracy inCanada .On September 8, 1988, International Literacy Day, the Prime Minister announced theallocation of $110 million for five years to be used for literacy initiatives with voluntaryassociations and program initiatives with provincial governments (B.C . Provincial LiteracyAdvisory Committee (PLAC)) . At the same time, the business community commissioned theCanadian Business Task Force on Literacy to conduct its own study to determine if thealarming findings in the Southam Survey had substance and implications for the businesscommunity . This research had equally startling results . The Canadian Business Task Forceon Literacy calculated "the annual cost of adult illiteracy to be $10 billion - from industrialaccidents, unemployment costs, retraining" (Provincial Literacy Advisory Committee, 1989,p. v) .The Southam Survey, the Canadian Business Task Force on Literacy, Canada'sinternational stance on adult education, and the work of the advocacy and community groupshad set the stage for illiteracy to become a national issue within Canada . The target date50appeared to be 1990 : International Literacy Year.British ColumbiaThe B.C. ContextThe national concern about illiteracy was reflected within British Columbia duringthese heady times for literacy advocates . On International Literacy Day, September 8, 1988,the Minister of Advanced Education, Training and Technology (The Honourable BruceStrachan) commissioned a province-wide investigation by a diverse fifteen person ProvincialLiteracy Advisory Committee . The scope of the report was the first of its kind in Canada(B.C. Provincial Literacy Advisory Committee (PLAC), 1989) . The mandate of thecommittee was1.	Designing an effective provincial strategy to meet the challengeof adult literacy in British Columbia.2.	Mounting an effective awareness campaign on the issue of adultliteracy.3.	Innovative and practical approaches to literacy program development.4.	Developing a Ministry policy on adult literacy.5.	Plans for celebrating the United Nations International Literacy Year in1990 (PLAC, 1989, p. vii).Once its research was completed, the committee made 34 recommendations to coverall areas of adult illiteracy in B . C. in the report : Opening the Doors to Lifelong Learning:Empowering Undereducated Adults (1989) . This study indicated that a concerted andorganized effort was needed province-wide to ensure that adults receive literacy and51upgrading skills . For the purpose of setting the social and political context in B .C . from 1975to 1992, only those recommendations that have a bearing on the topic of this thesis, theliteracy play Marks on Paper, will be mentioned.1. The Minister of Advanced Education, Training andTechnology (MAETT) acknowledge responsibility for,exercise a leadership role, and coordinate effortsin the development and provision of literacy programsand support services in the province.2. The MAETT declare adult literacy an area for immediateaction and a priority program concern for the next five years.3. MAETT allocate funds annually for each of the five priorityyears to promote public awareness of the issues related toundereducated adults.4. MAETT mandate and fund all colleges to serve as the primarycatalysts for the organization of community-based literacyservices for adults in the communities of their regions.5. Provincial funds be available for a variety of ongoingprofessional development activities and training events forliteracy instructors, coordinators, tutors and learners inthe province . ..6. Funds continue to be set aside for purposes of fundinginnovative demonstration projects and the other projects tobe cost-shared with the Department of Secretary of State ofCanada through the National Literacy Secretariat.7. There be an ongoing Provincial Literacy Advisory Council toaddress literacy issues, to oversee the awarding of grants,to monitor and report regularly on the progress of the literacystrategy (PLAC, 1989, pp. 71-75).Although The PLAC Report gained widespread public and government attention, thiswas not the first time that the Ministry of Education of B . C . had studied the issue of adultilliteracy. During the 1970s, two other reports had been commissioned by the Ministry of52Education: Report of the Committee on Continuing and Community Education in BritishColumbia (1976) and Discussion Paper 01/79 : Report of the Committee on Adult BasicEducation (1979). These reports had paved the way for interest in literacy and adult basiceducation for adults within the province. At this time, literacy and adult basic upgradingwere not considered to be social issues, nor were they covered adequately within theeducation system . Moreover, concerned educators were aware that a segment of thepopulation was having problems adjusting to the new demands of new technologicallyinnovations in the Canadian work place . Furthermore, many educators realized that anorganized effort was needed province-wide to ensure that adults receive literacy andupgrading skills . Thus, with more attention and funds focused on illiteracy, all sectors withinB.C . were more open to the novel literacy strategies that were to be initiated during the late1970s and throughout the 1980s and 1990s.Community Awareness Raising StrategiesAs the B .C . government began to emphasize the importance of literacy, moreeducational institutions, social agencies, and community organizations began deliveringliteracy and upgrading programs. However, as early as 1986, the Adult Basic EducationAssociation of British Columbia (ABEABC) had begun to promote greater awareness aboutliteracy through a variety of activities . The ABEABC is a provincial organization whosemembership includes instructors, administrators, and other interested individuals concernedabout adult basic education.As a result of a joint effort to raise awareness about literacy between Project Literacy53U.S . (PLUS) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the American BroadcastingCompany (ABC), interested Canadians were invited to attend a meeting to respond to theplanned U.S. programming campaign by the Canadian Activities (KCTS/9 Seattle) manager,Justine Bizzocchi (Hodgson, 1987) . The outcome of this meeting was the formation of a taskforce called Project Literacy B.C. (Hodgson, 1987) . After the initial meeting, Norma Kidd,the President of the Adult Basic Association, assumed the role of coordinator and chairpersonfor the task force (Hodgson, 1987) . The goal of this task force was to raise awareness aboutadult illiteracy in British Columbia . Its first project was an interactive awareness raisingcampaign through public broadcasts about literacy issues (Hodgson, 1987) . As a result ofestablishing different goals for PLBC, the task force broke away from the initial goals of thePLUS project to meet the needs of British Columbia and began the formation of a neworganization. Although it had a different mandate, PLBC still participated in the September1986 broadcasts.As a result of the initiatives by Project Literacy B .C., an Adult Literacy Contact andReferral Centre was established. (At this time, the ABEABC was the umbrella organizationfor PLBC. Often differentiating between the two groups becomes blurred during these earlyyears, for Norma Kidd, the President, was the dedicated chairperson to both groups.Eventually, Project Literacy B .C. spun away from the ABEABC to become Literacy B.C . in1990.) Before this occurred, an information package and resource kit was distributed(Hodgson, 1987) . As well, other media events, such as the Walk-For-Literacy held in StanleyPark in October, 1986, were held to promote awareness and attract a larger membership forPLBC (Hodgson, 1987) .54In March 1987, with funding from the Department of the Secretary of State, theAdult Basic Education Association and Project Literacy B .C. sponsored the Adult LiteracyConsultation in order to begin a dialogue province-wide to illustrate "the relationship betweenilliteracy and other social issues" (Clague, Darville, Hellofs, & Selman, 1987, p . 3). "Thepurpose of the Adult Literacy Consultation, held . . .in Vancouver, B.C., was to increaseawareness among decision-makers of the impact of illiteracy and to involve them indiscussing and developing practical solutions to the problem" (p . 1) . During theConsultation, "one hundred and fifteen delegates from business, labour, media, communitygroups, governments, and education (including a strong group of learners) were broughttogether to consider collaborative strategies which could be implemented in communities, atwork sites, by media programming, and through public education" (p . 1).Project Literacy B .C .(PLBC) and the ABEABC were successful in accomplishingtheir initial goals of raising awareness through public broadcasting, media, and communityevents, establishing a directory and publicity materials, and creating a contact centre . Insteadof folding after its successes, PLBC held consultations with project literacy groups that hadbegun to emerge province-wide to determine the fate of PLBC . Finally, the decision wasmade that the time had come for Project Literacy B.C. to leave the nest of the ABEAssociation and become an organization in its own right with different goals and objectives.In March 1990, Project Literacy B .C . formally became Literacy B .C . at the foundingmeeting in Vancouver. The spin-off organizations of Literacy B .C. would promote awarenessabout illiteracy within the local communities throughout B .C. and work with thesecommunities to seek local solutions for addressing illiteracy . As well, the goal of this55organization was to serve as a grassroots organization to raise awareness and to provide avoice for learners. It would also be a means for learners and community project literacygroups to network . Often, these spin-off organizations provide funds and tutoring services forliteracy learners . These non-profit societies work in partnership with libraries, business,colleges, and other community organizations for literacy.As a result of the lobbying efforts of Project Literacy B .C., in the fall of 1987, theSecretary of State, and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training allocated agrant of $20,000 for literacy learner events bo be held throughout B .C . The purpose of theseevents was to provide a higher profile for community literacy groups, activate learners insetting goals for their learning, and provide a safe place for learners to discuss their needsand concerns around literacy (Bate, 1988). These learner events would provide a medium forliteracy learners and their supporters to see and perform Marks on Paper.Historical Update for the 1990sThe lobbying efforts of the Adult Basic Association of B .C . and Literacy B.C.,community groups, labour, and business have kept literacy on the provincial agenda.Moreover, public discussions on literacy has continued throughout B .C . through continuedpublic awareness campaigns broadcast on Channel 8 and media events such as the yearlyPeter Growski Invitational Fundraising Golf Tournament . As well, provincial and federalSecretary of State cost-shared projects continue to provide funding for unique programsthroughout B .C. Yearly literacy learner events flourish throughout the province with learnerstaking on more responsibility for organizing and reporting the events .56In 1989, a Provincial Literacy Coordinator was hired for the government . Althoughthe Provincial Literacy Advisory Committee Report was unanimously approved in theLegislature in May 1990, to date only a few of its 34 recommendations have beenimplemented by the government . Currently, the ABEABC and Literacy B .C . are lobbying tohave the PLAC Report implemented . As well, these organizations are seeking aninterministerial task force to examine adult basic education in B .C. with continue andsustained funding for all programs (ABEABC Meeting Notes, 1992).Moreover, since the Southam Survey in 1987, Statistics Canada has undertaken twosurveys of adult illiteracy within Canada : Survey of Literacy Skills Used in Daily Activities(1989) and Adult Literacy in Canada: Results of a National Study (1991) . The second studyformalized a definition of literacy to reflect daily life . Statistics Canada (1991, p . 14) definedliteracy as "the information processing skills necessary to use the printed material commonlyencountered at work, at home, and in the community ." The results of the report indicatedthat 16% of Canadians have reading skills "too limited to allow them to deal with themajority of written material encountered in everyday life" (1991, p . 9) . In numeracy skills,"24% of Canadian adults do not possess the necessary skills to meet most everydaynumeracy requirements" (p . 11). A further 14 percent have limited numeracy skills.Although public awareness has been raised and studies done to substantiate theSoutham Survey, an official policy on literacy has not been forthcoming like thebreakthrough in literacy legislation in the United States. During the Bush administration inthe U.S., legislation on adult literacy was formalized in The National Literacy Act of 1991 . Itdefined literacy as "an individual's ability to read, write, and speak English, and to compute57and solve problems at the levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and insociety, to achieve one's goals, and develop one's knowledge and potential i10 (Highlights ofthe National Literacy Act of 1991 [Highlights], 1991, p . 1) cited in Quigley, 1991, p . 169 -170) .Although Canada still needs a national policy on literacy, the issue of illiteracy as aconcern for Canadians has gained acceptance . Thus, in the initial stages of awareness raising,by 1989, the curtain was about to go up on Marks on Paper whose seeds had been sownduring these fertile times of awareness raising throughout B .C ., Canada, and the world.SummaryThe goal of this chapter has been to highlight the history of literacy globally andwithin Canada and British Columbia. This has been necessary so that the reader mayunderstand the streams that merged onto the stage within Marks on Paper.Chapter 4 will trace the origins of theatre . This will provide an overview of drama ineducation and popular theatre in order to set the stage for exploring the impact of Marks onPaper.1°This definition will be used for literacy throughout the thesis .CHAPTER 4LIFE AS ARTAll the world's a stage,And all the men and women merely players.--ShakespeareIntroductionThe inability to read and write effects self-esteem and self-confidence if people hidetheir illiteracy from others. Living with the fear of being found out can have devastatingconsequences for individuals' self-perception . As well, a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence may prevent individuals from building satisfying relationships with others . Thiscan effect the social fabric of the workplace, school, and leisure.Society's perceptions of illiterates affect their performance throughout daily activities.Illiterates often tend to live lives of quiet desperation . They are afraid to speak out becausethey fear they are the only ones who cannot read or write . The fear of being labelled asilliterate results in feelings of frustration, fear, and isolation which ultimately effects the livesof the individuals hiding their lack of skills . Consequently, these people generally do notenjoy the full range of opportunities that would enhance their quality of life in a democraticsociety . Therefore, in this sense, they are oppressed and keep past and present experiencesbottled up. Only when they discover others like themselves, or when they are taught byunderstanding and caring instructors, do they realize the necessity to take responsibility for5859rectifying their inability and accepting their earlier choices not to learn to read and write.Once these realizations are made, then they are on the path to self-acceptance and renewedself-esteem . Although often ignored, illiteracy indirectly effects society when theseindividuals are not able to utilize their capabilities to the fullest.To encourage illiterates or undereducated adults to return to school or explore theircompetencies, unorthodox techniques are needed to reach them. One method to engage theirinterest is through theatre . Therefore, a background context for understanding the impact oftheatre on literacy and upgrading students must be explored . Since no one theory couldreadily explain the utility of drama for understanding the influence of theatre onundereducated adults, a number of theories must be borrowed from teaching drama tochildren. This had to be combined with the use of popular theatre and adults in lessdeveloped countries . Together, drama in education and popular theatre provide a basis forunderstanding how theatre could affect undereducated adults . Thus, the purpose of thischapter is to explore the literature on theatre to discover just where Marks on Paper fits intothe picture of professionals teaching drama to children and trained and professional animatersassisting oppressed peoples in identifying and solving their problems . Neither drama ineducation nor Boal's true popular theatre are sufficient alone to explain the impact of theatreon literacy and upgrading students . Consequently, a blend between the two is necessary. Thismay very well be specific only to literacy and theatre . The Literacy Players and their spin-offproductions are learner-theatre . Since theatre has been isolated from society's mainstream, abrief history of its importance is necessary to understand that this has divorce has not alwaysbeen the case .History of TheatreSince early history, drama, puppetry, dance, song, and music have been used inrituals, festivals, and celebrations in both traditional and non-traditional societies . Thesechannels established communication between members of society as well as those in reveredpositions. Moreover, beliefs, morals, values, actions, customs, histories, and ways ofknowing were transmitted from generation to generation without the use of print or a writtenmedium . These pathways established a means of teaching as well as a way to learn for thecommunity different from formal teaching and learning settings.As well as establishing a means of communicating, teaching, and learning, drama,puppetry, dance, song, and music provided a way for people to preserve the status quo andan equilibrium within the community. Moreover, these channels could be used to problem-solve new situations that threatened the community before situations arose where novelproblem-solving skills were needed . Thus, throughout history, theatre and drama have beenused for entertaining, teaching and learning, communicating, and problem-solving.Greek TheatreAccording to Hermassi (1977), the original focus of the Greek tragedies was toengender recollection of a collective past of the polity and bring it to consciousnessawareness . Moreover, the goal of the drama was to unite the sacred and the profane on stageas enacted by humans instead of the gods . "Those urgent questions that . . .theatre could makeconscious in the collective memory reflected the most deeply felt needs of collective life, thelife of the polis, and were in this sense fundamentally political" (Hermassi, 1977, p . 17) .61Consequently, theatre depended upon the public's recollections and its perceptions ofthose memories in order to make meaning. Thus, the purpose of Greek tragedy became " . . .tostructure the vision of the audience" (p. 18). Similar to the Greeks, theatre now too" . . .attempts to enhance our visual field through exposure to other visual worlds that surpassour limited physical experience, transforming the sight of spectacle into insight" (p . 19). Aswell, theatre goes beyond physical experience and allows us to engage in the mentalperceptions of others to gain insight and learning about the conditions, situations, andexperiences of others that we ourselves would not have time or the access to experience.Shakespearean TheatreDuring the fourteenth century, street theatre was common throughout England . Streetscame alive as actors portrayed legends, histories, and allegories to celebrate the arrival ofvisiting sovereigns or important political or church figures . In addition, many tapestries,carved panels, and paintings were displayed throughout the city streets to commemorate thesecelebrations. In effect, the public often participated in theatre enacted on the streets of theircities .By the fifteenth century, hundreds of theatres had been built in London to capture thisinterest and demand for theatre . Other cities in Europe, such as Antwerp, Lyons, and Paris,had begun to build stationary theatres to fulfil the demand for plays.During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the theatre began to change . This wasthe result of the state of flux English society was undergoing. The church and the new age ofscience were locked in a battle for moral authority of the populace who had previously62readily accepted the dogmas of the church prior to the Reformation . These changes had beenushered in during the Reformation . Moreover, with the invention of the printing press, new ,religious dogma, like those of Martin Luther, could be easily introduced and publicized tothe people to create a schism between the established church and the general populace . Also,the invention of the printing press had made available to the population more information thatwas germane to their daily lives including written materials for entertainment . Similar to thecomputer of our day, the printing press introduced new information of all types at a rapidrate never before available to the people . This new information explosion contributed to thestate of flux of the times.As well, by this time, commerce and trade had expanded and grown since thethirteenth century when much of the population had been shackled by feudalism . Now, a wellestablished merchant and professional class had begun to emerge in addition to a labouringand domestic class of peoples. The standard of living was continuing to rise while thepopulace became socially mobile due to their increased economic standards . The theatremade no class distinctions in audiences since anyone who could afford the penny entry wasadmitted to the performances.In addition to the changing standard of living and power of the church and state, theaudiences were on the threshold of changing in nature as well . Until this time, the audiencesconsisted of people who were used to a communal lifestyle rather than to privacy . Moreover,they were accustomed to listening since most people could not read or write rather . Duringthis time of transition when Shakespeare was writing, the theatre became a way for people tosee what was going on in society. As well, it gave them a preview of the new society to63come. Theatre could be used as a focus or mirror for people to understand their positions androles in these changes.In 1551, the government began to censor the material in the plays of the day . At thistime, the government began to license plays so that a play could be censored by the King,Privy Council, Lord Chamberlain, or the Master of Revels (Hermassi, 1977) . Thegovernment wanted to ensure that the plays were not usurping political authority . In additionto the licensing, limits began to appear on the number of playhouses allowed in the city, forthe Crown was anxious about the problems these large groups of people could cause whenthey gathered in theatres . These raucous groups could be perfect breeding grounds forsedition, disease, or fire.When the Lord Chamberlain's men were turned into King's men in 1603, theirallegiance and identity with the street audiences changed dramatically (Hermassi, 1977) . Aswell, in 1608, the Blackfriars Company, to which Shakespeare belonged, was transferred tothe private court stage. This was to have a dramatic influence on theatre, for it was nowbecoming a private domain instead of a public performance . The private theatres wereexclusive, for the audiences were charged high admittance prices, the theatres were smallerand darker so that dramatic illusion could be created for a small audience, and theperformances were held inside where audiences were seated, and the subject materialconsisted of romance or royal power . As these private theatres became more exclusive, for,in essence, they were being created for the aristocracy, the concept of the audience changed.These audiences became a part of the performance like the actors . Thus, theatre was on itsway out as a public institution . As well as being a reflection of the new audiences, this64schism depicted the new social order where the individual was becoming alienated from therest of the society and the church as an organization . Individuals were now isolated entitiesdependent on the new political order . This was also reflected as labour was making atransition from the master craftsmanship to the notion of the mass labour force in factoriesand mills . Individuals were losing their identities and being absorbed by the anonymousinstitution.Middle-Class DramaThe late seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth became known as thecentury of middle-class drama. During this time, audiences in German, English, and Frenchtheatres consisted of primarily members of the bourgeoisie . The themes of these plays werechance catastrophes and the kindness of humanity . No longer did the audience participate inthe performance. The theatre content became respectable and non-controversial (Hermassi,1977) . In essence, the divorce between audience participation and the performance and theirrelationship to society in general had become complete . In part, journalism, popularpropaganda, and mass sentimentality contributed to the demise of audience participation, fornew forms of entertainment and information were in direct competition for the audience'sattention and leisure time.Realistic TheatreDuring the 1830s, a movement began towards more realistic theatre. By 1875, realisttheatre had emerged and was characterized by creating the illusion of reality on stage and65" . . .the theatre as the reproduction of a specific environment" on stage (Hermassi, 1977, p.157) . Although this theatre further disassociated individuals from the collective memories ofsociety by treating the audience even less as participants by not even acknowledging theirpresence as observers of the drama on stage, it also provided some hope . With the emphasisof the individual character and portrayal of life, the individual could begin to explore his orher place in the world through discussion . Now, the collective history could be rediscoveredon the stage through the characters and their relationships to each other and to society.During the early 1900s, this exploration became politically oriented as the playwrightsbegan to associate with revolutionary movements . These revolutionaries sought to establishnew political and social orders . Thus, audiences through the playwrights began to engage inpolitical theatre throughout the world in such places as Ireland, Russia, Japan, France,Germany, New York, China, India, and Burma to name a few . Increasingly, theatre wasused to promote the new political order and alert the populace to the evils of the governmentsthat the revolutionaries were trying to overthrow . Thus, political theatre became the norminternationally in the struggle to establish a new order.Brechtean TheatreInfluenced by Russian composer-director Meyerhold in the early twentieth century,Bertoldt Brecht established a new direction in dramatic purpose as well as dramatic themes inthe theatre. Brecht was to be a turning point in the history of theatre and direct it once againinto a new venue that was to remember its Greek roots . According to Epskamp (1989, p. 47)" . . .in Brecht's eyes the theatre had become an institution, a business that placed profits66above the two functions he himself thought essential for all theatre : the drama ought to be arealistic portrayal of current reality, and it had to communicate insights into that reality ."Firstly, Brecht changed the direction of theatre because he sought to include not only theeconomic and social classes of the audience's own society, but he included these classes ofall other societies as well . Furthermore, Brecht wanted to expand dramatic action to embracethe individual and the community in addition to religion and politics and the tensions createdby their interactions (Willett, 1964 ; Hermassi, 1977; Kidd, 1980) . Finally, Brecht influencedthis change by requiring in style and architecture that theatre become more open and flexibleto include material from other cultures and eras to create understanding of others (Willett,1964 ; Hermassi, 1977).Brecht saw change as positive, and he used the theatre to discuss it as a means toexplain the world. Moreover, Brecht was constantly revising his plays in consultation andcritiques from others . Brecht borrowed extensively from the productions of others andincorporated their writing into his own plays (Willett, 1964 ; Hermassi, 1977). For Brecht,theatre was not to be used as an ideological weapon but as a political tool for education(Willett, 1964, Hermassi, 1977 ; Kidd, 1980). He sought to break down the wall between theactors and the audience . He felt that the actors were becoming too distanced from theaudience; thus, Brecht sought to have the actors reach the audience by forcing individuals tpcritically reflect on the drama in order to elicit new meanings applicable to their daily lives(Epskamp, 1989) . Part of this education was to evaluate the existing political order critically.According to Brecht, theatre is political both when it seeks to maintain and promote thestatus quo in support of the ruling class as well as educate for change (Willett, 1964) . Brecht67sought to raise the awareness of the audience through theatre (Willett, 1964; Kidd, 1979;Kidd, 1980 ; Epskamp, 1989) . For Brecht, " . . .the choice of viewpoint is also a major elementof. . .art, and it has to be decided outside the theatre . Like the transformation of nature, thatof society is a liberating act ; and it is the joys of liberation which the theatre of a scientificage has got to convey" (Willett, 1964, p . 196).Brecht's goal in theatre was to challenge an audience to be critically reflective andinvolved in social issues of liberation . Brecht abhorred a passive audience ; he soughtengagement and participation from the audience in the drama . He wanted their awarenessraised. Brecht wanted the ruling class as well as the ruled in the audience to question theissues of freedom and justice that they took for granted or thought did not effect them(Willett, 1964 ; Hermassi, 1977; Kidd, 1979; Kidd, 1980). Brecht believed his second task wasto engage the audience in collective seeing and recollecting and fathom their cultural historyin order to change their current reality (Willett, 1964 ; Hermassi, 1977; Kidd, 1979 ; Kidd,1980) .Despite his lack of success, Brecht remained undaunted in his efforts, for he felt thattheatre is political by its very nature since it was and is meant to reflect the collectivememory of humanity . As well, theatre was and is a place for seeing a workable picture ofthe collective life in the world whether it is a the community, state, national, or internationallevel . Also, theatre is political because it must reflect the changing world within whichhumanity is located even more so today with the technological innovations that make theworld an international and global community .68Theatre must make possible the enactment of the complex social transformations thatare taking place within the world . Furthermore, a new type of audience is emerging that isonce again engaged in the quest for political consciousness, " . . .for collective orders andsymbols through which they would begin to relearn and recollect a thwarted humanity"(Hermassi, 1977, p . 201). This new audience would participate in and critically interpretpublic life . As well, these audience members would explore unrealized potentials in humansand investigate the alienating components within the society that alienate and prevent thesehumans from realizing their full potential (Willett, 1964 ; Hermassi, 1977; Kidd, 1979 ; Kidd,1980) . Humanization would be interacting processes in reality (Willett, 1964 ; Hermassi, 1977;Kidd, 1979; Kidd, 1980) . According to Hermassi (1977, p . 210), the purpose of drama is" . . .to remind a society of its obligation to act in terms of its constructive well-being, not as aself-interested power among nations but as a large community among other collectivitiesburdened by equally painful pasts and confronted by equally pessimistic futures ." Therefore,theatre's continuing purpose will be to present persuasively or critically both to the higherand lower classes images of power created through the imagination of the playwright whichseek to maintain the status quo or create social change . Consequently, theatre will continue tobe " . . .a powerful tool for altering the world as we see it, and thereby the world as weexperience it" (Hermassi, 1977, p . 211).Theatre has been an ancient tradition for most cultures . It reaches into history andspans time and continents to link peoples of the world together for ritual, ceremony,communication, teaching, and enjoyment to connect us to the universality of being human.Although theatre had once been a dominant part of community life, today it is treated69differently . Furthermore, through theatre's evolution, it has served diverse purposes,audiences, and participants . Brecht attempted to return theatre to mirroring reality forproblem-solving and connecting individuals to their collective roots of humanity. Marks onPaper is a modern effort to link individuals to their "well of universal experiences ."Additionally, it attempts to depict an issue for critical reflection and community solutions.However, Brechtean theatre is not the only lens for viewing Marks on Paper . Elements forunderstanding the play must be selected from drama in education and popular theatre beforethe picture is complete .Drama in EducationThe literature did not provide a suitable explanation for understanding adults whowere neither professional nor amateur actors . Furthermore, no mention was made of arelationship between undereducated adults in North America who were not oppressed peoplesof the Third World or children in classrooms . Thus, initially, drama in education had to beexplored to draw upon other elements for explaining the association between theatre andlearner/actors.Brian WayDrama in education is concerned with teaching children . According to Bolton (1984),two similar, yet divergent, influential streams exist in this field : Brian Way and DorothyHeathcote .70Generally, the words theatre and drama seem to be interchangeable . However, Wayprovides a starting point for understanding the relationship between drama and theatre . Hesays`theatre' is largely concerned with communication betweenactors and an audience; `drama' is largely concerned withexperience by the participants, irrespective of any functionof communication to an audience . (Way, 1967, pp . 2-3)Way centres on direct experience for answering questions instead of havinginformation provided to the child . According to Way, the inquirer is ledto moments of direct experience, transcending mereknowledge, enriching the imagination, possibly touchingthe heart and soul as well as the mind. (1967, p . 1)Way's goal is to lead the child to natural self-discovery and self-fulfilment through drama.Moreover, he believes that " . . .drama is concerned with the individuality of individuals, withthe uniqueness of each human essence" (1967, p . 3). Way seeks to release "the real me" inthe child (Bolton, 1984) . Trained teachers are a vital component in the drama, for they guideand stimulate the process of self-discovery and development of each individual child (Way,1967) . According to Bolton, when Way's approach to teaching drama first emerged, it filleda gap, for Way looked at the whole child . As well, Bolton (1984) feels that Way hasprovided a way to teach life-skills to children through drama . Since the focus of this thesiswas not to engage in the argument about methods of teaching drama or child development,Way's child-centred self-discovery through drama model must be set aside . After all, Markson Paper casts are adults and their primary goal was not self-discovery although it was anoutcome of performing . However, Way's notion of self-discovery provides a vehicle forunderstanding how adults too could discern their yet unrealized capabilities . Also, Way71contributed a valuable differentiation between drama and theatre . Moreover, the concept ofdirect experience in seeking answers was important to this study, for it reminds us of thesignificance of touching the hearts and the very core of others through personal yet commonexperiences.Dorothy HeathcoteAn in-depth overview of Dorothy Heathcote will complete the picture of drama ineducation. Heathcote's theory of drama encompasses universality of knowing in experience,speech, and movement in relation to performance . For this thesis, Heathcote seemed toexplain many of the questions and experiences that arose during the performances oflearner/actors in the Literacy Players and the spin-off productions throughout B .C . Althoughshe, like Way, is child-centred, Heathcote is able to bridge the gap between literacy andupgrading learner/actors and children . Her dramatic process can be applied to adultlearner/actors as children.According to Wagner in her book, Dorothy Heathcote: Drama as a Learning Medium(1976), Heathcote does not employ role playing, socio-drama, psychodrama, or creativedramatics . Heathcote seeks to consciously employ " . . .the elements of drama to educate--toliterally bring out what children already know but don't yet know they know" (1976, p . 13),Moreover, Heathcote transcends space and time by transporting the distant past experiencesof humanity into the present "through imagined group experience" (Wagner, 1976, p . 14).Through children, Heathcoteuses drama to expand their awareness, to enable them to look atreality through fantasy, to see below the surface of actions to72their meaning . She is interested, not in making plays with children,but in, as she terms it, burnishing children through the play . Shedoes this not by heaping more information on them but by enablingthem to use what they already know . (Wagner, 1976, p . 15)Moreover, Heathcote feels that drama is not the exclusive domain of trained dramaspecialists . It can be used as a learning medium by all classroom teachers (Wagner, 1976).Heathcote's points can contribute to explaining the impact of Marks on Paper on literacy andupgrading learner/actors . She confirms why I had felt that non-professionals could usetheatre . Heathcote believes that drama has a purpose for non-specialists . Moreover, I amconvinced that in certain settings the untrained can use theatre to reach the audience.Further, Heathcote maintains that individuals use drama throughout their lives freelyto deal with unsettling events or new experiences . Most of us, rehearse situations before theactual event takes place. By dramatizing the experience prior to its occurrence, we are ableto cope with novel situations in order to control or contend with them (Wagner, 1976).In addition to rehearsing or dramatizing events, Heathcote notes that we also learn toidentify with experiences by dramatic living through of troubling or overwhelmingincidences. Heathcote believes that by dramatically living through something like the death ofa loved one, we are able to gain new insight by identifying with the event through reflection.Heathcote takes the dramatic experience through identification and reflection even further.She seeks to transcend the individual circumstance of the present time and place and unitethis unique experience with the universal reverberation with all humanity through the ages(Wagner, 1976, p. 19) . Heathcote elicits these responses by evoking decisions from thechildren as much as possible . Thus, she captures the interest of the students not by being theone who is in control but by taking on many different roles and attitudes as teacher as called73for in the drama. Some of her roles or registers as teacher include the following : "one-who-knows; would-you-like-to-know ; I have-no-idea ; suggester-of-implications; interested-listener;I'll-get-what-you-need ; it's-no-use-asking me; devil's advocate; and going-along registers"depending upon the demands of the children (Heathcote, 1971, p . 51 ; Wagner, 1976, pp . 38-41) . For Heathcote, a teacher. . .creates learning situations for others .' That is, . . .energiesand skills are at the service, during the professional situation,of. . .pupils. A teacher's rewards come because those energies flowinto other people and therefore can make the return journey throughthe teacher's own intake ability from . . .classes . The total person ateacher is, is employed in this task, properly filtered through theprofessional principles and duties . What he (sic) knows he (sic) requiresto communicate. What he (sic) is is his (sic) means of achieving this.(Heathcote, 1971, pp . 42-43)Through similar activities individuals enact daily, Heathcote establishes a relationshipfor children to illustrate that others have faced the same perplexing questions or life eventsthroughout history . Thus, she institutes a constant in a situation which transcends time, socialstage, and age (Northwestern University, 1974 ; Wagner, 1976) . Heathcote calls this way offinding material for classroom drama Brotherhood Codes (Wagner, 1976, p . 48). Accordingto Wagner (1976), Heathcote believesOne value of the Brotherhood Codes is that it enables you totranscend quickly the notion that drama is acting out stories.Because any story is about relationships among people, you willfind dozens of different dramas underneath the top layer of anystory, underneath the story line. Each separate drama is the linkbetween the story and the brotherhood of all those who have beenin that same situation. (p. 49)74Moreover, this exercise helps the class reflect on the many brotherhoods they are in contactthrough different times in history and different cultures (developed and less developed) whohave experienced the same task or question (Northwestern University, 1974 ; Wagner, 1976).To further focus the drama, Heathcote uses two techniques before she drops thedrama to the universal for students : segmenting and funnelling (Northwestern University,1974 ; Wagner, 1976) . In segmenting, as shown in Figure 1, the subject for the drama isdivided into different aspects of the individuals' lives . The number of segments depends onthe number of dimensions explored in the culture . The segments may vary from drama todrama. Figure 1 illustrates the possible variations of division for a drama.Figure 1 . Process of Segmenting Culture intoDramatic Activities(p3b) by BJ.W e;1976, Washington, D.C . Nato lC t r , to	w p A l A. r :. , z. A£eod. . o n a444 (W tGd	Adapt d .;	H. it,75By questioning the children, Heathcote chooses one particular segment to begin thefocus of the drama (Northwestern University, 1974 ; Wagner, 1976) . The segment must suitthe needs of the class so that they may begin exploring the topic through symbolic meanings(Northwestern University, 1974; Wagner, 1976) . This process is illustrated in Figure 2.Figure 2. Process of Focusing the Dramatic MomentAfter selecting the focus, Heathcote challenges the children dramatically to understandthe experience of others through their own (Northwestern University, 1974 ; Wagner, 1976).Heathcote intervenes or assumes a role to encourage the children to think about theimplications of their actions and get in touch with their feelings.This deepening of the level of the drama is the one thing classescannot manage without a teacher, and the one thing Heathcote is76committed to effecting . Without this dropping to universal humanexperience, Heathcote sees no point in drama in education.(Wagner, 1976, p . 58)Consequently, Heathcote has the children drop to the universal human experience as shownin Figure 3 . For Heathcote, the children's recognition of the experiential association is theultimate goal of the classroom drama . She seeks to have the children gain deeper insight intothe importance of the event or decision . This type of drama is different than the theatreexperience where the audience is supposed to take upon themselves the act of reflection.Moreover, the end of the process in theatre is the dramatic focus.Figure 3. Process of Relating Dramatic Focus toUniversal Human Experience77The entire dramatic process involves the cooperation of the children and theirwillingness to "buy into" the drama . For the drama's success, the children must believe in it.This is a cooperative venture between the teacher and the children . It is not a top-downauthoritarian process, for the teachers acts as a guide, participant, onlooker, and questioner.In other words, "Controls come out of mutual respect and the class's willingness to respondresponsibly to controlling questions, because they are committed to a work which they see asclearly theirs and which matters to both them and the teacher" (Wagner, 1976, p . 66).Heathcote's goal is to build belief for each child through identification of theindividual with the person or situation in the drama (Wagner, 1976 ; Bolton, 1984) . What isimportant is that each person believes in the creation of an activity or object (NorthwesternUniversity, 1974; Wagner, 1976; Bolton, 1984) . Without this personal belief, dropping to theuniversal will be very difficult if not impossible . Thus, from the outset of the dramaticprocess, Heathcote has each child personally contribute to the creation of the drama . Bystarting within the drama instead of outside by merely providing descriptive informationabout the situation, Heathcote is able to engage each child . By starting within, she capturesthe imagination of each child and then gradually has the children reflect on the attitudecreated in the role.Not only does Heathcote attempt to capture the belief of the children, but she alsoseeks to capture the feelings and emotions of the children . This way, they truly empathizeand feel with other people. For Heathcote, " . . .the feeling . . .is what makes the drama vital.Out of this the children can spin threads into an intricate net of elaboration, a web of theirown making in which they can catch new experience and relate it to the center" (Wagner,781976, p. 70) . Once the child believes and holds attitudes, then identification with the situationcan occur. Heathcote (1971) maintains thatOnce a class identifies with the people in a drama, their driveis released, and the situation becomes what Heathcote terms`educationally explosive .' The learners can then fare forwardinto new insights and fresh soundings of the situation in whichthey find themselves . (Wagner, 1976, p . 70)In addition to creating belief through attitudes and feelings, movement is another wayto internalize belief for Heathcote (Wagner, 1976) . Heathcote acknowledges that nonverbalsignals and movement are extremely important to children and babies . After all, they havedeveloped a long history of survival on their ability to interpret nonverbal movements whenthey are young . She feels that unspoken signals go deeper into our understanding than do theverbal cues . However, for normal social interactions, we combine both the nonverbal cuesand verbal speech for communication with others (Heathcote, 1971 ; Wagner, 1976) . As well,in the drama, both words (right hand or verbal knowing) and movement (left hand or non-verbal understanding) are important . However, often movement is the easier of the two toenter into the creation of belief. Movement is part of the whole ; plus, it is focused in thepresent . Consequently, it stays longer and is able to tap into a deeper understanding.Furthermore, abstract creation of objects of situations through movement requires thatchildren "get inside" of the event or thing in order to portray it dramatically . This is verytime-consuming ; however, when used in combination with speech, new dimensions of cultureand history can be understood and known . Thus,Movement gets at what you cannot state verbally. It produceswhat all persons hold in common . It also produces all the ritualsof a culture . Movement gives you more than one image at a time;it is not linear. Like photography or graphic art, movement brings79you juxtapositions and relationships that explode into new revelations.(Wagner, 1976, p. 165)Therefore, for Heathcote, the dramatic process must combine intellectual andemotional knowing into what she calls "the left hand of knowing" (Northwestern University,1974; Wagner, 1976; Bolton, 1984) . It is unlike the right hand which is tidy, fenced-ininformation placed into structured and ordered categories . It taps into the swirling inter-relationships between the intellect and the emotions where all facets grow together and aretaken into account . Nothing is excluded. In the left hand knowing everything is included;" . . .there is no distinction between weed and flower, useless and useful" (Wagner, 1976, p.166) . All facets of intellect and emotion are needed for dropping to the universal of our linkwith humanity throughout time.Thus, even though Heathcote's primary focus is children, her techniques and beliefshave utility for explaining Marks on Paper. For Heathcote, dramatic process can be used toexplain the creation of belief through attitudes, feelings, and movement illustrated by thelearner/actors in Marks on Paper. Plus, Heathcote illustrated the importance of creating agenuine personal interest in the drama . As well, she showed that the process could draw onwhat people already knew in cooperation through the process of discovery assisted by ateacher in many different registers . Consequently, I became cognizant how the dramaticprocess through segmenting and focusing could guide individuals to drop into the universalwell of knowledge and experience . Moreover, I reflected on Bolton's insights aboutHeathcote when he wrote that she acknowledges the importance of intuition and the ability tooscillate between the concrete and the thematic (Bolton, 1984) . He stressed that this quality80made Heathcote unique . Even more important than the ability to switch between the concreteand the abstract, Bolton contends that. . .more fundamental than this is her view of the scientist's andartist's conception of knowledge . According to her material objectsof the world provide the common source of that knowledge . Drama isbut one way in which society makes sense of the material world . Toknow an object well is to earn the right to celebrate it . (Bolton, 1984, p . 59)Theatre in EducationThe literature on performing theatre and education in relation to children providedmore background on the use of theatre . Some of the material could be applied to adultliteracy and upgrading students and community groups.In 1965, Theatre in Education or TIE appeared in Coventry . It was an offshoot ofBelgrade Repertory Theatre (Redington, 1983) . Gordon Vallins and Anthony Richardson werethe creators of TIE. They saw theatre as a catalyst in a two-way process to present problemsin a creative way which would ultimately contribute to and benefit the entire community(Redington, 1983) . Like TIE, the originators of Marks on Paper and the later learnerproductions sought to present a play to diverse communities (whether in schools, amonglearners' groups, business, educators, or others) with the goal to illustrate that illiteracy is aproblem for everyone . Similar to TIE productions, Marks on Paper serves as a catalyst forpeople to own the problem of illiteracy and seek creative solutions for the issue within theircommunities.TIE emerged as a separate entity from regular theatre or classroom drama teachers .81It was funded separately through the Education budget so that TIE was a joint venturebetween education and theatre authorities (Redington, 1983) . The purpose of TIE is to" . . .educate, widen pupils' horizons, and lead them to ask questions about the world aroundthem, as well as entertain" (Redington, 1983, p . 1) . It combines both theatre and educationaltechniques to teach and encourage students to learn how to problem-solve.The TIE teams of actor-teachers devise or write and research the programs that theytake on tour to schools . The objective of the programs was to engender the ability to seecause and effect and how it relates to the present world . Thus, students are actively involvedand influence the problem-solving process with the guidance of experienced actor-teachers.Also, the actor-teachers help the students practice problem-solving techniques in thepresentations (Redington, 1983). TIE stimulates children's imagination through dramaticaction. Moreover, they learn through discovery and by experiencing the event relevant totheir age group . This encourages problem-solving skills and language development . Plus,they learn the process of questioning and discussion for solving complex issues in co-operation with others . Some drama in education methods (mime, role-play, improvisation)are used too (Redington, 1983).In addition to educational elements, Theatre in Education had theatrical components.For example, traditional elements of plot, character, and conflict are used in the programs.However, students influence the path of the program through decision-making during thecourse of the action. Another technique used is empathy . Involvement by children in theaudience is elicited through identification with characters . Thus, empathy and characters areused to raise students' awareness about outcomes of moral issues . Moreover, the topics of82the programs generally contain important social and political issues which has been discussedthoroughly by the TIE group during the research and writing processes . Plus, some theatricalaids, such as lighting, costumes, sounds, and sets, are used . However, these are not majorcomponent of the production. Ultimately, the goal of TIE is to " . . .involve the pupils, interestthem in the subject-matter, lead them to see its relevance to the world around them, andmotivate them to learn more" (Redington, 1983, p . 7).Through her research, Redington (1983) found The Report on Drama in AdultEducation. Redington's discovery confirms that as early as 1926 adult educators understoodthe utility of drama for stimulating intellectual curiosity for new learning . Also, it linkedusing drama as a means to illustrate common experiences of adults . Further, itsuggestedthat the value of drama, or play study, lay in the fact that itdealt with humanity in all its most common and varied forms, andat the same time it gave scope for unlimited imagination . TheReport also pointed out that drama could be an excellent gatewayto different subjects, leading students to other forms of literatureand stimulating an intellectual curiosity which would lead to thestudy of subjects in which the students had previously shown littleinterest . (Redington, 1983, p . 17)Although this report noted the significance of drama for developing and stimulating learningin adults, the call was never formally answered for adults . However, this furthercomplements the success experienced by Marks on Paper from 1979-1993, for adult literacyand upgrading students took the challenge to perform in a medium new to them. Moreover,diverse event organizers requested that Marks on Paper be presented to varied audiences forawareness raising, problem-solving, critical dialogue, and role modelling .83Even though teaching adults formally through theatre did not occur, the use of theatreas an educational medium gained credence in the United States during the 1930s . UnderRoosevelt's New Deal, the Federal Theatre Project was used to create employment duringthe Depression (Redington, 1983) . The themes of the Federal Theatre productions began asproblems and were generally socio-political in content . As well, the plays presented apolitical perspective for problem-solving . Thus, theatre for dramatization of problems bynon-professionals had its roots in this Federal Theatre Project in the United States althoughtheatre by non-professionals never gained recognition in mainstream theatre . It was alwaysmarginalized political or guerilla type theatre . The Federal Theatre Project, Theatre inEducation, and Marks on Paper are all related . All sought to pose questions of society anddemand changes through action, reflection, or raised awareness while highlighting politicaland issues . Moreover, they all focus on the use of theatre for education by non-professionaladult actors for .Popular TheatreDuring the 1930s in the United States, Roosevelt had funded the Federal TheatreProject under the New Deal . However, to date no thriving mainstream theatre exists thatfocuses on socio-political issues. Although pockets of community programming anddevelopment projects have become more popular during the past five years . Only within thelast couple of years does theatre in North America and especially Canada appear to beutilized more. Generally, community programming and development project theatre is run by84professionals, and it had its grounding in popular theatre. For the past 28 years theatre hasbeen used has been used extensively as "an educative medium for social change anddevelopment" in developing countries (Epskamp, 1989, p . 11) . However, pockets of populartheatre have appeared in the East and in the Maritimes in Canada from time to time . Beforea few of these are mentioned, we must look at the roots of popular theatre abroad and radicaladult educator Paulo Freire to better understand its connection with Marks on Paper.Paulo FreireIn order to fully understand popular theatre, radical Brazilian adult educator PauloFreire must be mentioned . His work is important to this study, for he proposed a new way ofworking with and relating to illiterates during the 1960s in Recife, Brazil . His theory ofconscientization and empowerment have had many offshoots in education as well asinfluential in working with oppressed peoples all over the world.Freire devised an educational methodology that took into account the language,environments, histories, political, social, and cultural contexts of individuals withincommunities who were oppressed or lacked political power and control . In his pedagogy ofthe oppressed, the people were condemned to a culture of silence. This culture of silencemay be self-imposed through ignorance or imposed by a government or power authority thatdoes not wish to disrupt the status quo by dealing with or answering to a critically thinkingpopulace . The culture of silence relegates people to a dehumanizing process whereby theybecome subject, like objects, to the whims of the desires of those in power around them . In85other words, the people have not learned how to take charge of their lives and the events thatsurround them (Freire, 1970 ; 1973).Freire believes that through critical dialogue conscientization or raised awareness willresult. Through the use of the language and vocabulary familiar to the people, criticaldialogue will develop pertaining to their social reality within their world . By using the realityof the people, they are able to evaluate their relationships to family, education, labour,social, and political realities . Thus, people will begin to reflect upon their current situationand reevaluate it accordingly. This critical reflection then should provide possible alternativesand solutions for problems.Consequently, Freire argues that traditional education of the mainstream culture andthe traditional teacher-student relationship promote a banking type of education . Students arefilled up with knowledge by the teacher who is believed to be the all-knowing authority . Hisalternative to banking education, is education that is problem-posing and liberating for theindividual . In essence, liberating education encourages creative problem-solving . Thisstimulates independence in the learners which gives new meaning to their lives . Plus, theprocess of change may begin with problem-posing . According to Freire (1970),`Problem-posing' education, responding to the essence ofconsciousness - intentionally - rejects communiques andembodies communication . It epitomizes the specialcharacteristic of consciousness : being conscious of, notonly as intent on objects but as turned in upon itself ina Jasperian `split' - consciousness as consciousness ofconsciousness . (pp. 66-67)Freire contends that the teacher should act as a facilitator not as an authority . Thus,the teacher learns more about his world just as the student is attempting to critically evaluate86his own world . Consequently, mutual interchange of learning and evaluating occurs for boththe student and the facilitator of the context of social reality . Social transformation shouldresult from the liberation of the oppressed through humanization, conscientization,democratization, and activization. Freire states:Problem-posing education, as a humanist and liberating praxis,posits as fundamental that men subjected to domination mustfight for their emancipation. To that end, it enables teachersand students to become Subjects of the educational process byovercoming authoritarianism and an alienating intellectualism;it also enables men to overcome their false perception of reality.The world - no longer something to be described with deceptivewords - becomes the object of that transforming action by whichresults in their humanization . (1970, p . 74)Conscientization through dialogue is suitable for in-formal education programs, suchas literacy training . In fact, it was through his work as a literacy facilitator in Brazil thatFreire's pedagogy evolved. His philosophy has since been utilized in many national literacycampaigns worldwide in developing countries . Moreover, his principles have beenincorporated into many literacy programs throughout the United States and Canada.In order to begin the dialogue with the oppressed so that they learn to read, the wordsand experiences of the people are used to generate themes for discussion . As well, picturesare shown from the community to stimulate dialogue about problems that may be affectingthe people. Thus, the problems or concerns are elicited directly from the peoples' daily liveswithin their environment (Freire, 1970 ; 1973 ; Deiner, 1981) . In addition to pictures, Freirewas in favour of using drama to elicit themes, codes, and dialogue for problem-posing togenerate dialogue to engender discussion for critical reflection (Kidd, 1979) . Thus, theatrecould act as a catalyst for discussion ; in itself, the drama was not the end . It was the87beginning of the dialogue, critical reflection, problem-posing, and action which should leadto transformation and action . Like education, theatre should be interactive for the audience.Freire believed that they should not be solely passive viewers of the action one stage . Theaudience must " . . .get on their feet, get involved, and start making their own analysis . . ."(Kidd, 1979, p . 6) . By getting on their feet and becoming physically involved in the dramaticaction, the audience would become genuinely engaged and committed to raised awareness,self-confidence, and transformation and action . According to Kidd,This discussion is not merely academic . It is a search forways of changing the situation, the social structures.The experience does not end with discussion . The audienceare challenged through the performance and dialogue notonly to identify the problem and its root causes but alsoto do something about it . So the discussion leads toorganization and collective action . In this way theatreis used not only to mirror and interpret reality, but alsoto transform it . (1979, p . 7)Augusto BoalFreire's contemporary, Brazilian director, Augusto Boal took Freire's conception ofconscientization one stop further when he united it with theatre . Boal taught at the Sao PauloSchool of drama . As well, he later became the artistic manager of the Arena Theatre in SaoPaulo (Epskamp, 1989) . As a dramaturgist, Boal had been influenced by Bertold Brecht(Kidd, 1980; Epskamp, 1989) . Brecht believed that the audience through theatre must bechallenged to critically reflect on their situation in the world around them . Theatre was thecatalyst to provoke critical thought that would lead to change . Moreover, Brecht had brokendown the wall between the actors and the audience by having actors visibly change characters88and costumes on stage . Consequently, the illusion of theatre was smashed by having theaudience watch the changes undergone by actors that usually occurred backstage behind thecurtains .While Boal was manager of the Arena Theatre, he began to use theatre as a way tomarry Brecht's ideas about theatre and Freire's notion of conscientization . Thus, he beganpresenting a series of theatrical forms to those segments of the population he felt weresocially and politically disadvantaged (Boal, 1979 ; Epskamp, 1989) . This new form was calledarena theatre.Boal experimented with theatre as an educational medium to assist oppressed socialgroups in Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and others (Kidd, 1989 ; 1982 ; Epskamp, 1989) . Over time,arena theatre evolved into popular theatre or people's theatre as it was used in nationalliteracy campaigns as a medium for educating people in language . According to Boal,There are many languages besides those that are written or spoken.By learning a new language, a person acquires a new way of knowingreality and of passing that knowledge on to others . Each languageis absolutely irreplaceable . All languages complement each otherin achieving the widest, most complete knowledge of what is real.(1979, p . 121)Ultimately, while still in Brazil, Boal and his theatrical group took the theatre to thesocially oppressed groups in factories, church societies, and cultural centres . He believed thatthey had to go to all the people, not just those who could afford the price of a theatre ticket.Thus, through the dramatic presentations, oppressed people were stimulated to create theirown plays to reflect their reality. Boal and his group maintained " . . .that one cannot play theoppressed if one does not belong to the oppressed oneself" (Epskamp, 1989, p . 52) . This wasthe reason for taking theatre to the locations socially disadvantaged people were gathered .89While working in revolutionary adult education programs, he developed populartheatre or theatre of the oppressed even further . Audience members were not to remainpassive observers watching the actors like those receiving banking education. Audiences wereencouraged to participate as protagonists of the action in problem-solving . Plus, they had themeans to apply the proposed solutions to real life (Boal, 1979; 1990) . This was image orforum theatre. The theatre of the oppressedemphasizes theatre as a language that must be spoken, not adiscourse that must be listened to . It also stresses theatreas a process that must be developed rather than a finishedproduct that must be consumed . The theatre of the oppressedgoes beyond the ordinary boundaries of theatre because itasserts the oppressed are the subjects rather than the objectsof theatre activity . (Boal, 1990, p .35)Furthermore, popular theatre specifically focuses on and is meant for liberation throughrevolution . The interests of the individuals within the community undergoing the process ofliberation must be represented . The community must perform the theatre which isincorporated into their history as a problem-solving culture (Epskamp, 1989). Liberation maybe from a political, social, or economic oppressor ; however, oppression may also occur inthe form of inability to communicate with others about moral, cultural, or religiousconventions within a community . In essence, " . . .drama that is made in co-operation with theaudience will have to find a connection to the social reality of that particular audience"(Epskamp, 1989, p . 59).Boal's popular or arena theatre is divided into four stages for transforming thespectator into an active observer. Stage 1 - Through Knowing the Body, the participantsbecome acquainted with consciously feeling their bodies . . By getting to know their bodies90through a number of activities and exercises, participants become aware of their muscularlimitations and potentials . As well, participants are able to feel and analyze social distortionsimposed on our bodies before they begin the process of breaking the oppression (Boal, 1979;Kidd, 1980).Making the Body Expressive through games is the second stage of Theatre of theOppressed . Most people are not accustomed to using their bodies for self-expression.Verbalization is generally the way people express themselves . Thus, people learn how toexpress characters through physical movement of their bodies (Boal, 1979 ; Kidd, 1980).The Theatre as Language has three sub-components . People perform the issues ratherthan discuss them . Thus, theatre becomes present and living . Knowing the Body and Makingthe Body Expressive are the preparatory stages for using Theatre as Language . InSimultaneous Dramaturgy, participants are asked for suggestions for a short scene . They areencouraged to `write' the scene which the actors perform on behalf of the `writers .'However, in this stage, the audience is invited to stop the action and provide them withalternatives or solutions for the problem . These propositions are then enacted and again the`writers' can stop the action to offer modifications (Boal, 1979 ; Kidd, 1980) . The importantpoint in this stage is that solutions, suggestions, and opinions must be performed theatricallyand not just discussed verbally . this stage begins to break down the wall between actors andspectators.In Image Theatre, the spectators express themselves directly on a theme of commoninterest by `sculpting' the bodies of other participants. The sculptor must position the humanclay right down to fine facial expressions and muscular activities . Again, speech is not91allowed; therefore, the sculptor must show the sculpture through actions and expressions thepositions the to be assumed . This process is repeated a number of times . The sculpture is animage or codification of actual, ideal, and transitional realities . Then, statues are groupedtogether in a larger sculpture and again changed to reflect new suggestions and alternativesby the audience (Boal, 1979 ; Kidd, 1980).Forum Theatre is the third degree of Theatre as Language . During this stage, theparticipants from the audience intervene directly and replace the actors . The individualsillustrate the solution by acting out the alternatives or behaviours . Talking out the resolutionis not permitted; solutions must be physically performed . Once participants have completedtheir interpretation of the situation, the actor resumes the role. At this point, anotheraudience member may enact the event in a different way or the actors may resume the sceneand now spontaneously deal with the new twist to the action (Boal, 1979 ; Kidd, 1980). Ineffect people as spectator-actors are rehearsing revolution for liberation from theiroppression . This type of theatre is not cathartic, for the audience is not allowed to passivelyfeel triumph on the stage. Forum theatre evokes action from the spectator-actors that hasbeen practised on the stage. According to Boal, "The practise of these theatrical formscreates a sort of uneasy sense of incompleteness that seeks fulfilment through real action "(1979, p. 142).Boal further states that the first three stages are rehearsal-theatre, for the oppressed donot know what the resolution in their world will be . On the other hand, most theatre isspectacle-theatre, for the outcome is know ; plus, it maintains the status quo or the position ofthose in power or the oppressor .92However, the last stage of Theatre of Oppressed includes creating a spectacle byspectator-actors : The Theatre as Discourse . Newspaper Theatre, Photo-Romance Theatre,Breaking of Repression, Myth Theatre, Trial Theatre, and Masks and Rituals are performedin settings where the audience is aware of their expected participating in the theatre as theyanalyze the different situations through action and reflection . In this stage, Invisible Theatreis the only one where the spectacle is performed in a public place and the witnesses areunaware that they are participating in theatre . In effect, the scripted invisible theatre erupts inpublic . The actors have prepared for the different types of interventions possible from thepublic . The participants react as if it were real, for they are unaware that theatre is takingplace (Boal, 1979) . Thus, the goal is to assist the participants in actively rehearsingalternative for their liberation from oppression . For Boal,The poetics of the oppressed is essentially the poetics ofliberation: the spectator no longer delegates power to thecharacters either to think or to act in his place . Thespectator frees himself; he thinks and acts for himself!Theatre is action! (1979, p . 156)Recently, Boal has looked at the oppression of North Americans . Oppressed peopleexperience mental, physical, political, economic, and social oppression . However, manyNorth Americans too are oppressed . They have just internationalized their bonds, or theyhave "The Cop in the Head" (Boal, 1990) . Oppression and oppressive mechanisms rangefrom the dominant power structures right down to the family unit or even to the mostinsignificant event or activities in people's lives . Oppression is diffused and individuals areinculcated with it through osmosis throughout daily living .93Originally, Boal contended that the actor must be of the oppressed. However, now hehas included a theatre for the oppressed in The Cop in the Head . In this theatre, thecircumstances of oppression individuals may be very different; however, spectators of theperson telling the story may feel empathy . As well, they may " . . .be in solidarity with theperson" (Boal, 1990, p . 41) . He believes thatIf an individual's farewell image or scene prompts other analogousimages or scenes from colleagues in the session, and if one buildsa model detached from the particular circumstances of each individualcase using these images, such a model will contain the general mechanismsthrough which oppression is produced . This revelation and the generalmechanisms of oppression will enable us to study different possibilitiesfor breaking the oppression sym-pathetically . (Boal, 1990, p . 41)Even if a model is not constructed, the similarities between instances will produce `sym-pathy' during the forum . Thus, a symbolic character will result from the particular instancesprovided that participants have been engaged by other cases they have seen, produced, orstudied .Consequently, multiple points of view are produced by participants . In turn,alternatives are offered to the oppressed who must reflect on the new possibilities and theirrelationships to their particular situations . Thus,If the oppressed-artist is able to create an autonomous world of imagesbased on his own reality, and play out his freedom in these images, hecan then apply everything he has accomplished in the fiction to his ownlife. (Boal, 1990, p . 40)Moreover, if this symbolic character echoes within the individual and is real to the person,the oppressed will have rehearsed the action to allow the change to occur in real life . Thusthe " . . .image of reality (must be) as real as an image" (Boal, 1990, p . 39) for the oppressedto change . The protagonist becomes both the observed and the observer in metaxis . Thus, the94oppressed will not have had to live the exact situation for alternatives to be consideredthrough critical reflection and then action . The oppressed will have to have been able toempathize and sympathize for the reflection of reality to be real.Popular Theatre in CanadaCanadians have used alternative forms of theatre to portray community problems.Kidd (1979) says when the first explorers landed in Canada they discovered that the NativeIndians incorporated theatre into their daily lives to teach, problem-solve, reinforce beliefs,and record history . Brookes offers a Canadian perspective which offered a starting point forinvestigating Marks on Paper as a form of popular theatre . He defines popular theatre asTheatre which speaks to the common man in his language and idiomand deals with problems of direct relevance to his situation.It is popular because it attempts to involve more than just asmall elite, to reach out across the class divisions and beyondthe major urban centres to a large number of people, many ofwhom have had no previous involvement in theatre.It is not `high art' occasionally toured around the boondocksbringing culture to the deprived masses . (Brookes, 1974, p . 7)Theatre was also used during the Depression . Canadian Workers' Theatre (1932-1935)was produced by unemployed workers who dramatized struggles caused by poverty, wagecuts, and unemployment . These dramatic vignettes were performed in union halls, on thestreets, and anywhere workers gathered. The rough sketches were produced and written by95the workers themselves (Kidd, 1979) . The dramatic presentation certainly was not thepolished theatre seen on stage in many theatres today . Once unemployment declined andprosperity returned, repertory theatre became popular by the 1950s.The Workers' Theatre of the 1930s was the last example of popular theatre in Canadadominated by the people themselves (Kidd, 1979) . Until recently the domain of populartheatre has been dominated by professional actors and directors . With The Farm Show,produced, improvised, and analyzed by Theatre Passe Muraille from Toronto in 1973, thecommunity docu-drama movement began in Canada . Except for two Newfoundland groups,the Mummers and Rising Tide Theatre, the collective docu-drama movement's " . . .primaryinterest is to produce theatre based on the metaphors of the community rather than to raise aspecific social issue or analysis of society as the focus for discussion, organization, andaction" (Kidd, 1979, p . 19) . Even so, docu-drama does make theatre accessible to all peoplewithin different locations throughout the various settings in Canada.After 1973, theatre was used for community development in Canada . The Mummersof St . John's, Newfoundland, Community Action Theatre of Victoria, British Columbia,were examples . Catalyst Theatre of Edmonton, Alberta, still performs community theatre fordevelopment . Drama is a means for assisting groups to focus and generate interest on aparticular issue. Through theatre, people are challenged to confront the dramatized issue.Discussion, organization, and action are the desired outcomes of the theatre event . Thedramatization may occur in libraries, basements, community halls, or at public events - inother words, anywhere people gather. The theatre troupe assists the community to highlight96the issue and mobilize participants to seek alternative for addressing the problem (Kidd,1979) .Moreover, groups, such as the Mummers, Canadian Agricultural Movement, andothers, have used theatre as a tool for raising political awareness within Canada . In theatrefor political awareness, discussion is used after the performance . During these discussions,the audience is asked for their commentary on the issues as well as the presentation of theproblem. Audiences are asked to provide alternative ways to present, analyze, and improvethe content of the play . Thus, they were able to control the presentation and composition ofthe script.Kidd's fourth classification of popular theatre in Canada is theatre as a tool forremedial education (1979) . He places Catalyst Theatre of Edmonton, Alberta, in thiscategory. For him remedial education is classified as social issues which deal specificallywith individuals . These problems include juvenile delinquency, old age, drug abuse, rape,family violence, and others . In this type of theatre, the groups under study have direct inputin developing and altering the performances . They can change the drama if they so desire,for they are responsible along with the actors for the dialogue of the play . As well asinvolvement from the development workers and theatre personnel, performances arerehearsed in public places so that the community may discuss and comment on the drama(Kidd, 1979).Kidd also categorizes the joint production between Northern Lights College andChinook Touring Theatre in Fort St . John, B.C., as remedial education. Playwright, JohnLazarus, held extensive interviews and conversations with illiterates before he produced97Marks on Paper, a play about adult literacy issues . According to Kidd, the play " . . .helped increating more awareness of the problem, in breaking down prejudice by literates and fear byilliterates, and in creating a more supportive atmosphere for adult literacy study within thecommunity" (1979, p . 30). Also, the play seemed to fall into this category because it wasused specifically to recruit both tutors and students for the adult basic education program.(Comments on Kidd's conception will be addressed in Chapter 11 of this thesis .)Popular theatre as a tool for protest and awareness raising has existed on the marginsin Canada since the 1930s . During the 1990s, it has begun gaining an even higher profile forraising awareness, highlighting public issues, and seeking input from the diverse communitiesthroughout Canada . In the remaining years of the 1990s, we will no doubt see popular theatreused more and more as people realize that non-professionals can mount dramaticperformances to problem-solve for local issues. Theatre may be returned to a higher profilewithin the community although it will probably never return to the heights that it enjoyedduring the time of the Greeks . Perhaps, its use for communicating, teaching and learning,problem-solving, and transmitting history will be renewed . Perhaps, we may even recapturethe belief that theatre is the people's artistic creation, for "It is a reflection of their ideas,their memories, and their analysis" (Kidd, 1979, p . 20) . Moreover, we will remember thatwe all have the capability to produce art through our own life experience of the mundane . Aswe begin to listen to the words of the people, maybe we will discover thatMost of our lives we don't really listen to the words around us.Working like this, hanging on every word in conversations withpeople, memorizing or taping, one begins to notice the poetryin the speech of ordinary people . Not poets cloistered in atticrooms but lobster fishermen over a kitchen table : how magic istheir choice of words . . . The whole myth of Art is autocratic98nonsense - everyone, not just the artist, speaks with poetry,breathes with music . (Brookes, 1974, p . 6)SummaryThe desire for theatre and drama reaches far back into the history of humankind whenit was part of our mundane world . It was used for communicating, teaching and learning,problem-solving, recording history, and mirroring reality . Over time, though, theatre hasbeen separated from the populace and appropriated by professional writers, directors, andactors .An attempt to return theatre to the people to reflect and analyze the mirror of realityon stage was made by Brecht . He sought to break down the wall between the audience andactors so that the audience might critically reflect on the drama in order to elicit newmeanings and alternatives for use in everyday reality . He wanted an actively engagedaudience instead of passive viewers . Brecht had far-reaching consequences, for he influenceddeeply those future generations of individuals associated with theatre and drama.One of these individuals included Brazilian Augusto Boal . He developed arena orpopular theatre which further broke down the wall between the audience and actors . He tooktheatre to oppressed peoples so that they could use it to critically reflect . They couldaccomplish this by rehearsing or acting out solutions and issues that created oppressivesituations . Along with the professionals, the audience now became writers, directors, andactors. Now, they too could influence the drama.Boal had borrowed from the ideas of radical adult educator Paulo Freire andinculcated them into popular theatre . Freire introduced to education and theatre the idea of99conscientization . Through problem-posing and critical reflection and dialogue, humans couldraise their awareness of their situation and take responsibility for altering their reality.In addition to radical adult education and theatre, this chapter presents ideas drawnfrom Theatre in Education (TIE) for children . Through TIE in the 1960s, actor-teacherscreated theatre programs based on researched material from the world around them. TIEtravelled to schools to present programs to engender questioning and problem-solving inchildren about the world around them through theatre . Moreover, the children took an activepart in deciding the outcome of the production . thus, theatre was used as a catalyst forpresenting problems and providing alternative solutions to motivate children to learn moreabout the world.Finally, drama in education is explored through Dorothy Heathcote . Her contributionto this chapter is her notion of bringing out children's hidden understanding of theirrelationship to the world . Furthermore, she believes that people naturally problem-solve andrehearse situations dramatically throughout their lives . Through drama for children, sheencourages problem-solving and evoking decisions . Moreover, through identification inBrotherhoods, creation of belief, and understanding through movement, Heathcote attemptsto get children to experience their relationships and connections to all humans in similarsituations throughout history -- dropping to the universal . Heathcote's views can be usedto understand the learner/actors in Marks on Paper and the impact the performing in the playhad on them.Drama in education and popular theatre provided a backdrop for understanding theunique status of Marks on Paper when it was first written to raise awareness about illiteracy100in B.C. Furthermore, Heathcote and the forms of popular theatre offer a framework forexplaining the impact that performing in Marks on Paper had on the learner/actor . Before theinfluence of the play can be fully understood, its early history and casts need to beintroduced . Chapter 5 reviews the creation of Marks on Paper .CHAPTER 5FIRST STEPS : MARKS ON PAPER - THE EARLY YEARSThe ever important murmur,`Dramatize it, dramatize it!'—Henry James,The Altar of the DeadIntroductionChapters 3 and 4 grounded this study in the relevant historical contexts of literacy andthe medium of theatre. Chapter 5 provides the first of a series of three overviews of thephases of Marks on Paper. It also depicts how theatre is performed by professionals. Thisprovides a backdrop for understanding why Phases 2 and 3 were so unique . These laterphases were performed by the people who experienced the problem daily, not by those whocould only surmise what illiteracy meant . Thus, Chapter 5 begins tracing how Marks onPaper grew in popularity within B.C . since 1979 . However, the play did not take hold as theoriginators and the playwright might have expected. Marks on Paper's attraction stems fromthe literacy learners and attention to illiteracy within B .C . and Canada at the time.The following chapters on the play's history trace how the play gained audienceswithin B.C. since 1979 . They include factors which allowed the growth of Marks on Paperduring the late 1980s and the early 1990s . Finally, these chapters will try to highlight therelationship between learners, instructors, community organizations, professionals,educational institutions, and others which contributed to the play's popularity . Moreover, the101102historical context provides an understanding of how a play about illiteracy could influencelearner/actors so dramatically.Gathering the HistoryThe information in the next three chapters was obtained by interviewing theoriginators, the playwright, organizers, and directors, producers, or co-ordinators of thedifferent productions . Also, historical documents, such as newspapers, play programs,letters, conference reports, minutes from meetings, and other sources, were used to collectdata. As well, I relied on my own observations and involvement with Marks on Paper from1989 to the present.Reviewing the Phases of Marks on PaperThe purpose of this chapter is to begin outlining the history of Marks on Paper . Thiswas done by dividing the play's history into three phases : Chinook Touring Theatre (Chapter5), Literacy Players (Chapter 6), and Spin-off Productions (Heartbeat Players, East KootenayCommunity College Learners, Literacy Is Freedom for Everyone, and School District #28 -Continuing Education Learners) (Chapter 7) . Figure 4 traces Marks on Paper's progressthroughout British Columbia from 1979 to 1992 . Figure 4 also only depicts thoseperformances considered pivotal for the play's use as a means to generate other productions.The performances noted are important to this thesis, for they document when the studentgroups began performing in the play history . Although it was performed in Hawaii, Alberta,and a video was shown in Ontario, these performances will not be noted in this thesis, for103they do not pertain to the upgrading and literacy students discussed herein.Figure 4. Marks on Parser 1979-1992Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3Chinook Touring TheatreFort St. JohnApr-Jun 79Literacy Players AbbotsfordMay 89 - Jun 92Dramatic ReadingVancouver - Spring 80Literacy : the Next StepAbbotsford - May 89Adult Literacy ConsultationVancouver - Mar 87Literacy B.C.Vancouver - Mar 90Heartbeat PlayersVictoria - Mar-Jun 90Prov. Learners' ConferenceVictoria - Jun 90E. Kootenay LearnersCranbrook - Apr 91Literacy 2000New Westminster• Oct 90L.I.F.F.E. Learners WilliamsLake - 91Continuing Ed . LearnersS.D. #28Quesnel - May 92PHASE I: CHINOOK TOURING THEATREAPRIL 1979 - JUNE 1979Setting the StageIn 1979, David Thomas, Coordinator of the Adult Basic Education Program, wasseeking to improve delivery of the Adult Basic Education Program for Northern LightsCollege in Fort St . John, B . C. After reading about popular theatre in the Third World andattending a workshop about popular theatre and social change hosted by the Pacific104Association for Continuing Education in Vancouver, Thomas (taped interview, March 24,1992) knew he had stumbled onto something unique for his project . He wanted to find aunique way within a Canadian context to raise awareness and promote social change aboutadult illiteracy . His goal was to attract literacy learners to encourage them to attend classes,upgrade their education, and let them know that they were not alone.During 1979, in consultation with Brian Paisley and Ti Hallas of Chinook TouringTheatre - Stage North of Northern Lights College, David Thomas commissioned Vancouverplaywright John Lazarus to write the play Marks on Paper . The play was part of the largerAdult Basic Education Project to raise awareness, develop curriculum, and initiate andprovide adult basic outreach courses (Thomas, 1978).The purpose of the project was to address the lack of public awareness about adultilliteracy and undereducation in Canada where no national program had been utilized toaddress the issue of illiteracy ("A Play that Works for Its Living," 1979). This project wasthe result of the Ministry of Education allocating monies to the Adult Basic EducationProgram of Northern Lights College. The play was designed to achieve a number of goals:to raise awareness about adult illiteracy in the North ; to show people help was available tolearn to read and write ; to recruit and train volunteer tutors to work with people on a one-to-one basis ; and to show illiterates that they were not alone (Thomas, 1978 ; "A Play thatWorks,", 1979).When Thomas approached Paisley about performing a play to raise awareness aboutilliteracy, Paisley thought the idea was unique. No plays had been written about illiteracy;thus, they had to commission a playwright, John Lazarus, to write the play (B . Paisley, taped105interview, April 29 & June 7, 1992).Although Lazarus knew had no particular previous interest in adult illiteracy when hewas commissioned to write Marks on Paper, the idea of writing a play about illiteracyexcited and stimulated him . Thus, to ensure the accuracy of information about illiteracy andto capture the essence of the subject, Lazarus (taped interview, February 7, 1992)interviewed and collected stories from students enrolled in adult literacy classes at VancouverCommunity College and Douglas College. The vignettes in the original play depict the use ofreading and writing and the coping strategies in the lives of adults as well as their memoriesof school . Much of the dialogue of the play was in the actual words of adults who wereinterviewed and from whom the stories were collected . As well, once the play was written,the material was verified with literacy students in Fort St . John (D. Thomas, taped interview,March 24, 1992).While interviewing Lazarus on a couple of occasions, I asked him how he put Markson Paper together. Initially, he began by telling me that "I have mixed feelings about how Ihandled this . Because I think at the time that I did the best that I could have done byrespecting the stories enough to take them and just slap them on the stage pretty much asthey were, with very little shaping . The themes were there in the stories . They just cameroaring out of it" (J . Lazarus, taped interview, February 7, 1992) . Lazarus said he learned alot from interviewing and working with literacy students. He has the greatest respect forliteracy students because they have managed to cope incredibly well in a literate world . Hisrespect and admiration comes out in the stories and the way that he let the stories speak forthemselves . By doing this, he left the stories open for interpretation and discussion . When I106asked Lazarus about how he would classify Marks on Paper, he replied as follows:The original stories were absolutely compelling . So all I did,really, was create a sort of thread for continuity, which wasa group of people sitting around in some sort of LearningAssistance/Adult Education situation, talking about theirexperiences not knowing how to read and with deciding to startand so on, and then kind of going into flashback, or going intothose scenes and culminating in Bonnie making the coffee . Um . ..so it was just a very loose, very flexible framework for all thestories. Which might have been the best way to go, `cause I think. . .I think what makes this play powerful is that the stories aretrue, and you can't argue with that . It's like it's . . . actuallythe model, to give it the more respectful term, is `docu-drama .'Yeah, where you take a documentary approach, but you make a playout of it . And there's companies like Theatre Passe Muraille inToronto that have created some very, very high art, I think somewonderful work. They did a show called The Farm Show . (J. Lazarus,taped interview, February 7, 1992)As well as Lazarus, both Brian Paisley and Ti Hallas indicated that they had greatrespect and admiration for the literacy students they were portraying . They indicated that theplay presented special problems for literate actors . Therefore, in order to ensure that theirportrayal of the characters in the play was accurate, the actors engaged in an intensive periodof observation and research about the experiences of illiterate adults (Paisley, 1979) . As well,they rehearsed the play in front of illiterates to check the accuracy of the stories (B . Paisley,taped interview, April 29 & June 7, 1992) . Throughout the performances, people who hadreading and writing problems would come up to them afterwards and say, "That was me!You just told my story!" Thus, the director and actors knew that they had captured theessence of illiteracy.The original hour long version of Marks on Paper toured the North successfully for acouple of seasons . The play was performed 32 times while it toured with two other plays107written for elementary and high school students . Originally, Marks on Paper had some musicin it, and human alphabet blocks were used in many of the scenes . The play was presented incommunity centres, schools, native reserves, and various isolated areas in order to raiseawareness and "to teach the community about illiteracy, and to let the illiterate know thatthey are not alone" (Lazarus, 1987, p . 1) . Through the vignettes, Marks on Paper highlighteda number of universal themes and issues for illiterate adults : fear of being found out, neverlearning to read, illiteracy being equated with stupidity, family and generational illiteracy,and frustration and vulnerability of individuals.Throughout its tours, Marks on Paper was presented in a variety of settings : nativereserves, make-shift theatres, community halls, rooms, school auditoriums, and anywherethat Chinook's Touring Theatre could be set up . Since the play was touring with two otherplays focused specifically for children in elementary and high schools, the sets and actors hadto be versatile . To their credit, they were able to appeal to both adult and student audiencesthroughout the tours. Their props were very simple . One was a three-tiered travellingplatform. As well, surrounding the stage were signs . However, these signs had just a littlepart illegible if one looked closely . This was to illustrate to literates what it was like forpeople who had problems with reading and writing . According to Paisley and Thomas, thiswas quite successful with audiences, for it alerted people to the difficulty illiterates haveinterpreting signs and reading print material . Quite often, people would come up to theperformers afterwards and disclose to the cast their inability to read and write . At this time,Thomas point alert them toward the literacy programs available in the city they wereperforming in . After all, the play toured Northern Lights' College region from Atlin to108Whitehorse to Chetwynd, Fort Nelson, and Fort St. John. In addition to the advertising donein the schools, Chinook Touring Theatre was promoted through radio broadcasts throughoutthe North (D. Thomas, taped interview, March 24, 1992).During 1979 literacy was not a high profile issue in Canada much less in the B . C.North. Furthermore, trained literacy and upgrading instructors were very scarce in theNorth. While on tour, Marks on Paper accomplished a number of goals . Firstly, it createdgreater public awareness about illiteracy (Paisley, 1979) . It recruited more volunteer tutorsthan originally anticipated for the Adult Basic Education Northern Lights College Project (D.Thomas, taped interview, March 24, 1992) . As well, illiteracy was presented positively andaccurately, and people were respected for their choice to become literate or not . Illiterateslearned they are not alone, many people have the problem, and help was available within thecommunity to overcome illiteracy if people wanted it . Despite the positive outcomes of theplay, it was not as successful as the originators had hoped in attracting as many literacystudents as had been anticipated . The primary reason for this was that in 1979 jobs wereabundant in the North because it was a boom time as a result of northern projects such asTumbler Ridge . People could earn wages of $40,000 or more with little or no education (D.Thomas, taped interview, March 24, 1992) . However, once the boom was over, people wererushing to literacy classes. Though, at this time, it was too late . Since the boom time wasover, and the recession had hit, no money was available for literacy programs (D . Thomas,taped interview, March 24, 1992).However, at the time and since the inception of the Adult Basic Education Project,Thomas had other plans in mind for Marks on Paper . He believed that the play could be109made into a film or a video and marketed throughout Canada to be utilized in the adult basiceducation and literacy field as well with other agencies and the public to raise awarenessabout illiteracy (Thomas, 1978 ; 1979) . Although this project was initiated, it never came tofull fruition.ABE Conference 1980 - "The State of Adult Literacy in British Columbia"In late 1979, Lazarus began to rewrite the play as a video-radio script (Thomas,1980a) . The rewriting of the play would ultimately pave the way for it to be used differently.At this time, Thomas began to plan a workshop on using Marks on Paper as a means to raisepublic awareness about illiteracy at the Adult Basic Education (ABE) Conference: "The Stateof Adult Literacy in British Columbia : Institutional Roles and Social Responsibilities duringFebruary 14 - 15, 1980, in Vancouver, B.C.At the 1980 ABE Conference held at Robson Square in Vancouver, a dramatic readingof the initial rewriting of Marks on Paper was performed and audio-taped . The audiencebrought together for the conference consisted of adult educators and instructors in adult basiceducation; counsellors, special educators and trustees from public schools ; faculty,administrators and board members of colleges, universities and institutes, and trainerssupervisory personnel in government, business and industry and labour.The dramatic reading of the play and workshop discussion were enthusiasticallyreceived. The discussion revolved around the potential use of Marks on Paper in theparticipants' communities as a means to raise awareness (Notes Thomas, 1980, February).Letters of support were later written to encourage Thomas to continue his efforts to produce110a video and or a film to use the play to raise awareness in both the community and amongilliterates (Griffiths, 1980; Bowmar, 1980) . As well, this presentation stimulated morerequests for the audio-tape and video clips of Marks on Paper.During 1980, Marks on Paper was presented a number of times in Alberta . However,activity around the play within B .C. decreased until 1987, for Chinook Touring Theatremoved to Edmonton, Alberta, and the cast members and originators began new projects.Adult Literacy Consultation - March, 1987The play lay dormant for seven years until 1987 when Lazarus was asked to shorten itfor a presentation at the Adult Literacy Consultation held in Vancouver in March, 1987 . Thisevent was sponsored by the Adult Basic Education of B .C . and Project Literacy B.C . andfunded by the Department of the Secretary of State . The result was a series of more adultoriented vignettes in the play which mirrored the lives of adults and their use of reading andwriting in their daily activities . The original `everyday' dialogue was maintained in thisversion .The purpose of this conference was to heighten awareness among community leadersthroughout the Yukon and B .C. and attract the interest of government, labour, business,educators, and the media to develop all-encompassing, co-operative community-basedstrategies and solutions for illiteracy (Clague, Darville, Hellofs, & Selman, 1987 ; Hodgson,1987) .During the Consultation, Marks on Paper was directed and produced by a theatre111professional ." The vignettes were performed by actors . 12 The purpose of the play was tocreate discussion about illiteracy . The play was used in conjunction with a panel and groupdiscussions to seek recommendations for dealing with illiteracy (Hodgson, 1987) . Sevenrecommendations were made as a result of the Consultation : 1) to take a morecomprehensive approach ; 2) to develop more flexible programs ; 3) to promote literacy inthe schools; 4) to encourage government leadership ; 5) to initiate cooperative initiatives inworkplace programs; 6) to promote public awareness and to encourage sensitive mediatreatment of illiteracy; and 7) to extend the Consultation (Clague, Darville, Hellofs, &Selman, 1987; Hodgson, 1987). In the recommendations, people felt community forumsneeded to stress the experiences and needs of non-readers, and Marks on Paper was citedspecifically as a way to communicate to the public and to non-readers.Communications Technology and Literacy Education Conference - May . 1988After seeing Marks on Paper at the Adult Literacy Consultation in March, RuthD'Hollander (taped interview, June 10, 1992), in her role as representative for the LowerMainland Council, International Reading Association, proposed to the International ReadingAssociation that Marks on Paper be presented at the Communications Technology andLiteracy Education Conference on May 4, 1988, in Toronto, Ontario . This would be the firstof a series of international programs to disseminate useful information aimed to improve"Frank Turner is a professional theatre person . He was paid for directing and producingthis presentation."The actors were from Vancouver Community College in Vancouver, B . C . They werepaid for the production .112understanding of learning to read and the teaching of reading at various levels and for manypurposes. Aside from a successful presentation at the conference, the outcome ofD'Hollander's efforts was a production quality video of some of the vignettes of the 1987Marks on Paper script . This video produced at Capilano College and performed by theatrestudents is in very limited circulation today . Currently, it is the only production qualityvideo made of the play.People who saw presentations of the play from 1979 - 1987 were impressed with theits message and its educational potential . Whenever the play was performed or shown, itgenerated dialogue about illiteracy . However, despite the initial bursts of popularity andattempts to produce it in various forms, Marks on Paper remained largely dormant until 1989when it was rediscovered by two members of Project Literacy Abbotsford-Matsqui.SummaryThe purpose Chapter 5 has been to highlight the intent for creating Marks on Paper, aplay about adult illiteracy . Also, the chapter identified the method used for collectingmaterial and writing the play . Initial presentations of Marks on Paper and its connection withliteracy have been traced . The early history documents a backdrop for understanding how theplay could be adopted during the decade of literacy.Chapter 6 will discuss the resurrection of the play in a different form : theatreperformed by non-professional learner/actors and their instructors to raise awareness aboutliteracy. This chapter will highlight the key performances that led to spin-off productions .CHAPTER 6REBIRTH OF MARKS ON PAPERIt is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance,for our consideration and application of these things, andI know of no substitute whatever for the force and beautyof its process.—Henry James, Letter to H. G. Wells (July 10, 1915)IntroductionAs outlined in Chapter 5, Marks on Paper lay dormant from approximately 1980 until1987 . During that time, interest groups, educators, business, government, and others werebecoming aware of the impact of illiteracy . Thus, when Marks on Paper reappeared in 1989,it experienced a rebirth as people and groups within the communities throughout B.C. wereready to hear Thomas' original intent behind the message in Lazarus' 1979 production ofMarks on Paper.The purpose of this chapter is to document the key performances of the LiteracyPlayers in Phase II that influenced other learners and instructors to perform spin-offproductions of this version of Marks on Paper. Generally, these productions have coincidedwith new experiences and insights for those involved with the Literacy Players . However,some important descriptions of settings and events were omitted because spin-off productions113114did not result from the presentations, such as the learner event held at Maple RidgeCorrectional Centre.The information in this chapter was obtained primarily through my own observationsas a participant in the productions with the Literacy Players from 1989 - present . However,my memory has been corroborated through the interviews with the students, conferenceorganizers, and the other director/producer. Also, historical documents, such as newspapers,play performance programs, letters, conference reports, minutes from meetings, and othersources, were used to collect the history (see Appendix C) . As well, I relied on my ownobservations, videotapes, and involvement with Marks on Paper from 1989 to the present.PHASE II: THE LITERACY PLAYERSMAY, 1989 - JUNE, 1992Preliminary EventsBy the end of 1987, other significant events had taken place throughout the country toput literacy on government agendas . As mentioned in Chapter 3, the government thronespeech of 1986 had highlighted literacy as a federal issue . As well, the Canadian BusinessTask Force on Literacy had studied the question . The Southam Survey had identifiedwidespread illiteracy within many sectors of Canada. The outcome of the study indicated thatat least five million functionally illiterate people resided in Canada . Project Literacy B.C.along with the Adult Basic Education Association of B.C. had engaged in public mediacampaigns. The Adult Literacy Contact Centre as well as a national Secretariat of Literacy115had been established, and the 1984 report, Learning for Life, by the National Adult Panel onSkill Development, called for a ten year program to combat adult illiteracy in Canada as wellas to assist educationally disadvantaged Canadians (Wright, 1987).In addition to professional and government sectors focusing on illiteracy, anothergroup was about to raise awareness of illiteracy: the literacy learners themselves throughlearner events. As mentioned in Chapter 3, due to the lobbying efforts of Project LiteracyB.C., funds had been allocated through the Secretary of State and the Ministry of AdvancedEducation and Job Training for province-wide learner events beginning in 1988 fordistribution by Fraser Valley College and the Pacific Association of Continuing Education(PACE). Thus, under the direction of a province-wide advisory committee, guidelines wereestablished and distributed to assist college instructors, school district teachers, and non-government organizations in hosting these events . In addition to creating greater awarenessabout literacy, the purpose of these events wasto provide literacy groups with the opportunity to gain a higherprofile in their communities, to help learners play more activeroles in setting the goals for their own learning and especiallyto provide a forum for learners to discuss their needs andconcerns related to literacy . (Bate, 1988, p . 5)Furthermore, Project Literacy B .C. set out to establish non-profit chapters of ProjectLiteracy in communities throughout B .C. to address illiteracy issues through local initiativesutilizing community resources, membership, and sponsorship rather than solutions fromoutside organizations or agencies . Project Literacy B .C., in turn, would function as anumbrella to unite these diverse groups . The goal was to make literacy a grassroots issue .116"Literacy: The Next Step" - May 31, 1989Perhaps the greatest resurgence and popularity of Marks on Paper began in May of1989 as a follow-up to the 1988 learner event, "Literacy : Exploding the Myths ." The playwas the highlight of the 1989 literacy learner event: "Literacy: The Next Step." Theconference's focus was the initiation of a local workplace program. The planning committeefelt that action and concrete programs would raise more awareness about illiteracy thanongoing discussions, for individuals often lose interest if they do not see the results of theiractions. Thus, efforts were begun to launch a workplace program.The times were exciting, 1990 had been designated International Literacy Year, andgroups throughout the province were beginning to prepare for the worldwide event.Furthermore, the Adult Basic Education Association was promoting literacy awareness withinits membership and the Adult Literacy Contact Centre located in the Vancouver area . TheProvincial Literacy Advisory Committee to the Minister of Advance Education was studyingilliteracy within British Columbia.In keeping with the increased awareness about literacy within the province, ProjectLiteracy Abbotsford-Matsqui (PLAM) devoted its efforts to raising the profile of literacywithin the community for long-term community commitments . When the two co-founders 13of PLAM were planning the format for the upcoming learner event, they discussedperforming the play Marks on Paper . After evaluating the feasibility of such an undertaking,13 Wendy Watson and Cynthia Andruske (the author) were the co-founders of ProjectLiteracy Abbotsford-Matsqui . Later, they were the co-directors/co-producers of thelearner production for the Literacy Players from Fraser Valley College in Abbotsford,B.C .117the benefits in community awareness raising and problem-solving far outweighed the risks ofpresenting a play with a cast of untrained literacy and upgrading students as actors . Inaddition to the unusual cast, the play was foreseen as a unique way to attract the diverseinterests of the community, including learners, labour unionists, educators, business people,and other volunteer groups . Also, theatre seemed to be a good medium to reach people whocould not read or write. It would appeal to recognizable symbols, meanings, and activities toall of the audience members . In fact, the play would actually complement the other activitiesthat were planned for the evening : a panel and round table discussions and a keynotespeaker. Furthermore, Marks on Paper would be a way to illustrate the problems thatilliterates have on a daily basis, the causes, and the ways they cope in a print world . Theliteracy learners on the panel and in the discussion groups would be the designated expertsabout literacy and teach others.To ensure that the students were comfortable with performing publicly on stage, theywere "auditioned" when they performed skits to poke fun at their ABE instructors at the endof year Adult Basic Education (ABE) Achievement Night . During the graduation, thestudents were watched closely . They were later to form the core of the cast for Marks onPaper .After their successful presentation of the skits before their instructors, classmates,family, and friends, Sherrie McNeill, Chris Grimson, Marg Short, and Wayne Hubleylawere recruited to perform Marks on Paper . Two others were convinced to join the cast aswell : Lisa Clark and Mitch Smith . The play appealed to the students, for many had either14 The learner/actors names are used with their permission .118known family or friends who were illiterate, or they had undergone similar problems withreading and writing . The play was especially meaningful for literacy student Lisa Clark . Atthe time she was enrolled in the Volunteer Tutor Program due to her severe dyslexia . Lisawas particulary sensitive to the vignettes in the play, for they reflected many of her own badexperiences.Once the students had been recruited, Ian Fenwick, Head of the Fraser Valley CollegeTheatre Department, was asked to direct the very first production of Marks on Paperperformed by learner/actors . As producers, Watson and Andruske were a bit nervous abouthaving students with no acting experience perform the play . Therefore, they called in aprofessional director . This was the very first time in the play's ten year history that adultbasic education and literacy students had ever portrayed the characters in the play . Marks onPaper had always been presented by professional or amateur actors . The producers were alsoa little anxious, for the group had only nineteen days to prepare for the performance beforethe learner event on May 31 to be presented to 100 people! Despite the time line and theproducers' anxiety, the students met the challenge and memorized their lines within a weekand committed themselves to attending the many rehearsals regularly . As well, the group waswilling and proud to have the opportunity to show an audience of educators, community andbusiness people, and literacy students just what upgrading and literacy learners could do . Thegroup wanted to speak for those illiterates and literacy learners in order " . . .to teach thecommunity about illiteracy, and to let the illiterate know they are not alone" (Lazarus, 1987,p. 1) .Once the play was in rehearsal and the conference planning well under way, the119literacy learners in the Volunteer Tutor Program plus the cast for Marks on Paper wereinvited to a preplanning event on May 25 to solicit their ideas for the evening of May 31.The learners wanted to contribute to the upcoming event . To show that the vignettes inMarks on Paper were not unique and to involve the students from the literacy classes in thelearner event, the students were asked to tell their stories . They wrote or dictated theirreasons for learning to read and why they could not read in the first place . The outcome oftheir efforts was a booklet entitled is Words on Paper. This booklet illustrated that priorto enroling in literacy classes, their words were just marks on paper . However, since theyhad begun to learn to read and write, the marks were now taking on the meaning of wordsjust like people speak. These booklets were distributed at the learner conference to remindpeople how essential literacy is in the home and in the workplace.In keeping with the theme of the event, workplace literacy, Keith Gray, VicePresident of the Business Council of B .C ., gave the keynote address . Gray had a particularinterest in literacy, for he had been a founding member of Project Literacy B .C . As well, hewas part of the Provincial Advisory Committee studying literacy throughout B .C. Theorganizers felt that Gray's expertise would be a valuable way to attract the interest of localbusiness people. He could emphasize the detrimental effects of illiteracy to humans and thecost to business through his expertise . Gray was not only interested in the monetary costs,but he was also concerned with the human suffering caused by illiteracy . He had beenextremely moved by many of the individuals he had spoken to over the years . Gray told theaudience that employers and unions have some common goals : communication, safety,health, and literacy in the workplace . As well, Gray emphasized that education is everyone's120business, not just the concern of educators . He maintained that we all must work as partnersin this fast-paced, technologically changing world (Community Role Stressed," 1989;"Community Role Vital," 1989a).Following Gray's address, Marks on Paper was presented to illustrate the human sideto Gray's keynote comments . Once the performance was over, the cast and producersbreathed a sigh of relief, for judging from the audience's reactions they had managed toreach the conference participants as had been hoped . The cast was also moved by their ownperformance, for some of the students were reliving their own stories on stage . Secondly,others were portraying incidents similar to those experienced by family and friends . Thirdly,these non-professionals had managed to move the audience through their emotional depictionsof ordinary individuals who had to hide daily their terrible secret : illiteracy.On the personal side, the presentation gave the cast of ABE and literacy studentsmore self-confidence in their own abilities to meet new challenges . Plus, a new bond hadbeen established between an otherwise very diverse group of students . Now, the playprovided all of the cast with a greater cause than just themselves . They were delighted thatthis was the first presentation of Marks on Paper by a group of learners.In addition to the positive reaction felt by the students and producers, the audiencehad been particularly moved by the students' performance . Literacy students commented,"That was me! You were telling my story! That was me!" Family and friends were amazedand pleased that their loved ones and friends had given such a fine rendition of the lives ofilliterates . Educators, business people, and tutors were quite impressed with the production,for most had not thought about the far-reaching and omnipresent ramifications that illiteracy121had on an individual's life . The play provided a means for literate individuals to engage inwhat it would be like not to be able to read and write . Furthermore, the play planted theseeds for all who saw it to begin to think of literacy in different ways . In effect, the play hadfulfilled its function to focus the attention of conference participants on the causes,consequences, profiles of illiterates, coping strategies, and possible solutions for dealing withthe issue . The play had engaged the audience in critical reflection and learning . The cast andproducers were pleased with the effect the play had in raising awareness about literacyamong community leaders for this one-time performance.Once the play had been presented, the next phase of the evening was the paneldiscussion about literacy and the workplace. Lisa Clark, literacy student and Marks on Papercast member, represented the student voice . Brian Minter, Fraser Valley College boardmember and owner-operator of Minter Gardens, responded for local Fraser Valleybusinesses. Keith Gray, Vice President for the Business Council of B .C., member of theProvincial Advisory Committee on Literacy, and founding member of Project Literacy B .C.presented the viewpoint of business in B .C. Finally, Norma Kidd, Past President of the AdultBasic Education Association of B .C., Chair of Project Literacy B.C., and member of theProvincial Advisory Committee on Literacy spoke for educators . Each member addressed thefollowing questions :1.	As a	 tell us about specific difficulties facing adultswho have trouble reading and writing on the job.2.	As a	 can you give us some ideas for solutions to theproblems facing adults who have trouble reading and writing on thejob?122Once the panel discussion was over, the audience was divided into preplanned discussiongroups in order to suggest strategies for solving illiteracy in the Abbotsford-Matsquicommunities . The discussion groups were expected to draw upon their own experiences aswell as utilize the new information that had been presented in the keynote address, Marks onPaper, and the panel discussion to make recommendations . Like the previous learner event,"Literacy: Exploding the Myths," the discussion groups consisted of equal numbers oflearners, community and business people, and educators . Again, the learners were calledupon to share their expertise about literacy . The questions that these groups discussedincluded the following :1.	What is your experience of difficulties facing adults whohave problems reading and writing on the job?2.	How can we as a community work together to solve some ofthese problems facing adults who have trouble reading andwriting on the job?The discussion between the 100 participants provided a number of solutions for thecommunity .1.	Generate more community awareness about literacy throughthe local resources and schools.2.	Identify the problem earlier in schools.3.	Educate the community about the consequences of illiteracy.4.	Make literacy a long-term community commitment.5.	Use community-based resources for solutions and fundingsources .1236. Establish a local literacy contact centre that providesinformation, a non-threatening environment, and some courses.7. Make a video about teaching and learning methods to be usedwith adult literacy students.8. Establish a local literacy in the workplace program (Andruske, 1989).At the conclusion of "Literacy : The Next Step," the participants went away with agreater awareness about literacy . As well, some business people left with a morecommitment to using community-based solutions for addressing literacy issues within theworkplace . Moreover, at the close of the evening, the local representative from the HospitalEmployees' Union offered to assist in the initiation of negotiations for a literacy in theworkplace program at MSA Hospital in Abbotsford . This had been one of the desiredoutcomes of the evening.Background to Literacy B .C. Founding MeetingBy 1990, literacy was a high profile issue internationally, federally, and provinciallydue to International Literacy Year . Moreover, in British Columbia in December of 1989, theProvincial Literacy Advisory Committee had released its report : Opening the Doors toLifelong Learning: Empowering Undereducated Adults (The PLAC Report) . The Committeerecommended that1 .	The Minister of Advanced Education, Training andTechnology should take the lead role in governmentto build partnerships in communities throughout theprovince to increase adult literacy programming .1242. The community colleges should be the communitycatalysts, with community advisory committees, toimprove levels of adult literacy.3.	Business, labour, community organizations, libraries,Native organizations, colleges,and schools havepartnership roles to play in every community.4.	Government investment in adult literacy should beincreased by 100% for 1990-91 and in lesser amountsfor the four following years.5. Government should signify its long term commitment byconfirming adult literacy as a government policy priority(PLAC Report, 1989, p . vi).Due to rising interest and information provided by The PLAC Report, education,business, government, and community organizations began a concerted effort to address theissue of illiteracy province-wide . At this time, Marks on Paper began to generate interestthrough its performance in many settings for diverse audiences.Since the initial presentation at "Literacy : The Next Step," by the student group, nowdubbed the Literacy Players by one conference hostess, many changes had transpired for thegroup that had only anticipated to perform once, or so they thought at the time . Firstly, theplay had begun to generate an unanticipated demand throughout B .C. for its performance bythe learner/actors and co-directors/co-producers . Secondly, a number of cast changes hadoccurred. Replacements were usually found in the ABE English classes . In the early days ofthe Literacy Players, new learner/actors were put under great stress, for they often hadminimal notice and limited rehearsal time before they were expected to perform with the restof the group. Thirdly, directing, producing, props and stage managing, had been taken overby Watson and Andruske. The cast assisted with other details whenever necessary .125Moreover, the concern of the group had now become how to make the play evenmore realistic for the audience . At this time, the group began experimenting with clothingand props that would assist in creating belief for the audience about the stories performed. Awooden replica of a car was added to the scene "Retardation." As well, the group becameespecially concerned with how to captivate professional audiences such as college educatorsand business people . In essence, the students and co-producers/co-directors were beginning todevelop a sense of ownership and commitment to the play . The play was becoming a co-operative group effort, for each individual had some input into the performance productions.The group was working on bigger issues now : group commitment, group history, grouppurpose, and a group cause.In addition to the development of group history and a common commitment to themessage of Marks on Paper, the student/actors and co-producers/co-directors were becomingeven more involved in promoting literacy issues. For example, Lisa Clark and WendyWatson were interviewed on STARFM and CFVR radio stations about Project LiteracyAbbotsford-Matsqui . Clark was nominated to run for member at large at the foundingmeeting of Literacy B .C . as the student voice for the Fraser Valley . Bryan Wiebe (thenewest addition to the cast), Marg Short and Cynthia Andruske were interviewed on MSACable 3 about their experiences in Marks on Paper and future performances . Watson was onthe executive of the Adult Basic Education Association of B .C., the planning of the foundingmeeting for Project Literacy B .C ., and Chair of Project Literacy Abbotsford-Matsqui(PLAM). Andruske was Secretary for PLAM.Despite the instructors' busy teaching schedules and the ongoing worry of replacing126cast who left and the students' commitments to school, family, and jobs, the group decidedto continue performing Marks on Paper. Since the play was becoming more popular and ingreater demand, and Project Literacy Abbotsford-Matsqui needed monies to begin aworkplace upgrading program that was under discussion, the co-producers/co-directorsdecided after much soul-searching to ask for a donation each time the play was performed.This donation would allow for the implementation of the program that would benefit hospitalworkers on the job . Also, it would illustrate to the cast that in addition to the awarenessraising they were undertaking through Marks on Paper that their volunteer time and effortswould benefit workers in the workplace through an upgrading program at MSA Hospital.Moreover, the co-producers/co-directors thought a donation would serve to limit the numberof requests for performances since the demand was becoming overwhelming for the volunteerefforts of the Literacy Players . The group could have committed to performing the playfulltime if it had desired.Literacy B.C. Founding Meeting - March 9, 1990Even though the Literacy Players were noticed in educational circles, the greatestinfluence of Marks on Paper was to be felt province-wide when the play was performed atthe Founding Meeting of Literacy B .C. (formerly Project Literacy B.C .) on March 9, 1990,in Vancouver, B .C. As the Founding Meeting approached, excitement and nervousness beganbuilding among the Literacy Players and the co-directors/co-producers . The group was a bitapprehensive, for this was the first time that the audience would consist of more than 100people . Furthermore, a new cast member, Bryan Wiebe, was the most recent addition to the127cast of Lisa Clark, Chris Grimson, Marg Short, and Mitch Smith who were gaining a bit ofexpertise with the play. In addition to the size of the audience, this was the first time everthat the group would perform before an audience representing all of the regions and interestgroups in B.C. Moreover, Peter Growski, host of CBC's Morningside, was to be thekeynote speaker at the event . On the evening of March 9, Marks on Paper was performedbefore 240 people at the Chateau Granville Hotel in Vancouver. Individuals in the audiencerepresented students, women, immigrants, seniors, natives, business, labour, federal, andprovincial governments . As well, universities, colleges, prisons, community organizations,and provincial Project Literacy groups had a strong contingent attending . Not only didconcerned citizens and professionals join together for this first ever conference, but theilliterates' voices were heard too . One out of every eighth participant had been or waspresently a literacy student (Literacy B .C . Founding Meeting : A Report, 1990).The audience was especially attuned to the play . Anticipation was at a peak thatevening, for some had seen the 1987 professional rendition of Marks on Paper, and otherswere anxious to see the voice of literacy and upgrading students portraying illiteracy fromtheir perspective. Furthermore, emotions were running high among the conferenceparticipants, for they were gathered for a historical event : the founding of an organizationthat would link all literacy groups and individuals throughout B .C. to promote literacyprovincially . Although many knew the importance of literacy, the voice of illiterates throughthe performance by the Literacy Players moved the audience and gave the issue a provincialface of human suffering, loss of potential, and access to a quality of life which many mightnever obtain . The participants were so impressed with the performance that they gave the128Literacy Players and co-directors/co-producers a standing ovation.Afterwards, literacy students from the audience were in tears, for they had never seena depiction of their stories on stage before. Other learners wanted to know how they, too,could put on this play . Furthermore, educators and librarians approached the co-producers/co-directors to see if the Literacy Players could perform the play at upcomingcommunity events . Students, business representatives, librarians, educators, communityrepresentatives, and others in their conversations reiterated that the play had told the story ofilliterates while making the viewer reflect on the themes and messages of play . Peopleemphasized that they had learned to look at literacy from a different perspective. Theyindicated that they wanted to improve the community for the illiterate and literate so that theymight work together.In effect, Marks on Paper confirmed what Growski articulated in his speech the nextday: we must learn to look at each political issue and decide how something even like theGoods and Services Tax (GST) affects literacy . Growski pointed out that the FoundingMeeting of Literacy B.C. was a historic moment and everyone present must organize now toprepare for the future when literacy was no longer riding the crest of the wave of popularity.Furthermore, he emphasized that literacy is a political issue in itself, for being literateempowers people and gives them choices . The vignettes that the audience had seen the nightbefore in Marks on Paper were visual testimony to Growski's words.The conference organizers seemed to have astutely planned the workshops tointerconnect with the play and the keynote address' themes and messages . The workingsessions stressed more student participation, five year strategic planning for literacy, building129regional and provincial networks, building community-based literacy groups, and enacting atutor training support network (Literacy B .C. : A Report, 1990) . Thus, the FoundingMeeting's goal was the creation of a social movement through a provincial network oflearners and community advocates . Also, the conference increased awareness about theexisting programs and groups promoting literacy throughout the diverse regions of B .C.Consequently, Marks on Paper gained enhanced provincial exposure during the FoundingMeeting . Ultimately, this assisted in the creation of spin-off productions by other learners aswell as professionals and stimulated an increased demand for the play throughout theprovince . The learner spin-off productions will be discussed in Chapter 6.Background to Provincial Learner ConferenceIn addition to generating one spin-off production from the Heartbeat Players at thetime, the seeds were planted for future performances by other groups to present and to makeMarks on Paper their own . The Founding Meeting of Literacy B .C . had reached out throughits tendrils of networks within B.C. The ensuing months were especially busy for theLiteracy Players and the co-producers/co-directors sponsored by Fraser Valley College andProject Literacy Abbotsford-Matsqui . Marks on Paper had piqued the interest of many peoplefor using theatre as a way to generate dialogue, critical thinking, problem-solving,empowerment, and ownership around the issue of literacy . Moreover, Marks on Paper wascreating an unplanned and unanticipated network of learner/actors and instructor/director/producer/organizers around the play throughout the province . This was beginning to providea cohesive link for otherwise very disparate groups . This networking through the literacy130play, Marks on Paper, would become even more pronounced after the Provincial Learners'Conference held near Victoria, B .C.In the meantime, based on their experiences and as a result of seeing a performanceby the Victoria Heartbeat Players, the co-producers/co-directors of the Literacy Players knewthat a number of changes needed to be made in the play . After watching the introduction bythe Heartbeat Players, the Literacy Players' introduction seemed a bit pedantic, boring, andprissy . The performance by the Heartbeat Players had stimulated ideas for a new introductiondocumenting the history, commitment, process, and goals of the seven Literacy Players . Byhearing the testimony of the students and co-producers/co-directors, the audience wouldbecome more fully engaged in the themes of the play, for the new introduction would addanother dimension to the stories in the vignettes . Through the revised introduction theaudience could understand the personal connection of the individuals within the group to theplay, thus, providing a further dimension of reality to the scenes . The revised introductionwould allow the audiences to dig deep into their own experiences and relate the play tosituations in their own lives.As with any group, much learning was occurring in group dynamics and organizingperformances for other conferences as well as in the performing area . Similar to any learningexperience, some situations were positive, and others negative ; however, all created greatergroup cohesion and commitment to an issue that goes beyond the bounds of any singleindividual's ego. Thus, compromises were often made while people learned to work withothers within the group and province.In addition to raising awareness and initiating an upgrading program in the hospital,131the co-directors/co-producers' concerns always centred around the well being and comfort ofthe learners performing in the play. On occasion, due to inexperience, theatre director IanFenwick was consulted to assist non-professionals in a specialized domain . The originalintention had only been to use the play for one evening of awareness raising . Now, that oneevening had turned into provincial consciousness raising, and the demand was growing.As well as the introduction, the group felt that the wooden car for "Retardation"needed to be altered. It was extremely cumbersome and costly to transport when the grouptravelled out of the Lower Mainland . The Heartbeat Players had dealt with this problem bycreating an imaginary car. The group had pretended that they were the engine by appearingto be spark plugs connected with stockings and performing the up and down motions ofpistons while making the sounds of a spluttering engine . Also, they had ended theirpresentation with a question and answer period to engage the audience in dialogue.Thus, prior to the performance at the Provincial Learners' Conference, the groupbegan to discuss creative alterations to introduce into the next production . In the meantime,the Literacy Players and co-producers/co-directors had the opportunity to see the professionaltheatrical musical touring production that had been written and was touring for InternationalLiteracy Year: Jim Bett's Reading the Signs (1990) . By talking to the professional actorsfrom the Young People's Theatre, the cast were able to share stories about their experiencesand audiences . As well, the Literacy Players had thought that the question and answer periodat the end of the performance was quite effective; they wanted to incorporate this techniqueinto their own production.Also, Reading the Signs gave the group the idea that they now wanted to take Marks132on Paper on the road. This way, the students and the co-producers/co-directors could devotemore time to organizing the events, for up to this point roles had evolved slowly and werequite loose . Since December of 1989, the co-producers/co-directors had begun to acquiretheir roles, for the professional theatre people had their regular acting, directing, andprogramming duties to keep them busy. Thus, the production had become totally volunteerand non-professionally driven.Although an attempt was made to acquire funds from the Cost-Shared AdvisoryCommittee of Secretary of State and the Ministry of Advanced Education to put Marks onPaper on tour, the request was rejected due to its cost . However, the Committee did believethat the play was a valuable tool for raising awareness throughout the province in remote andisolated areas though. With request for the play mounting and production cost skyrocketingfor Project Literacy Abbotsford-Matsqui to fund the play, the co-producers/co-directorsdecided after much discussion to request an increased donation that could be allocated to theMSA Hospital Upgrading Project while Project Literacy Abbotsford-Matsqui sought otherways to raise money. The production was taking funds needed for the initiation of the MSAHospital Upgrading Project . Thus, an increased donation would encourage the groupsrequesting the play to self-select since the Literacy Players just could not meet the demandfor performances . Although the Literacy Players wanted to accommodate all requests andperform the play for free, time, money, and resources were becoming scarce . However, thedilemma in reaching the decision to implement a substantial donation was tremendous for theco-producers/co-directors, for the ultimate goal of performing the play was to raiseawareness and create dialogue about literacy and encourage individuals to reflect on the issue133and take action . Now, the productions would be limited by the ability to make the donationto Project Literacy Abbotsford-Matsqui that had no other means at the time to raise funds forits own community literacy projects.During this year of heightened literacy awareness, the Literacy Players and co-producers/co-directors became even more personally involved with literacy efforts. Forexample, Clark had been elected as a Member at Large for the Fraser Valley Region forLiteracy B.C . She attended the Canadian National Literacy Conference in Candle Lake,Saskatchewan, where she had the opportunity to discuss Marks on Paper, reading disabilities,public awareness strategies, assertiveness training, and helping to write a mission statementfor literacy students. As well, she was taking an active role in presentations for the BookVoyage during International Literacy Year. (The Book Voyage was a book with literacystories from learners from around the world that was passed on from learner group to learnergroup so that they could read the stories of other literacy learners . When the learnersreceived the book, they incorporated their stories into the burgeoning tome .) Also, alongwith Watson and Andruske, Clark was taking an active role in initiating a learner networkwithin the Abbotsford and Matsqui areas for literacy students . During March, Andruske hadbeen elected as the Regional Representative for the Fraser Valley Region for the Adult BasicEducation Association of B .C.By late 1990, presentations by the Volunteer Tutor Co-Ordinators for Fraser ValleyCollege's Literacy Program and productions of Marks on Paper to the Board had put literacyon the College Board's agenda. The Board designated 1990-1991 as the Year of Literacy atFraser Valley College in order to promote greater awareness and programming for literacy .134Furthermore, the College Board waived all tuition fees for fundamental and literacy studentsfor the upcoming academic year, a waiver which is still in place in 1993 . As well, a series ofbusiness and literacy in the workplace symposiums later in the year would provide a higherprofile for initiation of workplace literacy programs in the Fraser Valley . The College Boardalso funded Community Literacy Outreach Workers for the Fraser Valley. (Later, thesepositions would be funded for two years by the Cost-Shared Projects through the Secretary ofState and Ministry of Advanced Education.)Provincial Learners' Conference - June 19 . 1990As mentioned before, changes needed to be made in the Literacy Players' presentationof Marks on Paper. After seeing the Heartbeat Players' performance, it was decided toattempt to capture the imagination of the audience by appealing to the audience's sense ofreality in the mundane . The Heartbeat Players had accomplished this with their novelrepresentation of the car and in the introduction. If they could do this, so could the LiteracyPlayers. Thus, the group would attempt to capture the audience's sense of belief to transportthem into other situations so that literate individuals and those who did not believe thatilliteracy caused problems could look at the character's life position from a differentperspective through the eyes of the learner/actor . One way the Heartbeat Players had drawnon the audience's memories was to use a real school bell for the classroom scene . Also, theyhad continually acknowledged the audience's presence especially in the introduction and theconclusion and sometimes throughout the play by engaging the audience directly. Mostimportant, though, was that the group seemed to be having fun and playing with the material135a bit more. They had altered the dialogue in the play dramatically because some HeartbeatPlayers had had difficulty in learning the words of the script . Therefore, the group hadtransformed some of the material into their own words which seemed to relax them a bitmore. After seeing what the Victoria group had done, the co-producers/co-directors for theLiteracy Players prepared to begin making similar changes for the upcoming ProvincialLearners' Conference . The cast was quite interested in making some alterations, for they,too, had sensed that the beginning of the play was a bit boring. Also, they felt encouraged topresent the changes that the wanted to make to other characters.The Literacy Players were also agreeable to changing the introduction . They, too, feltthat it needed to be personalized and more interesting . However, except for Clark, the groupwere not quite ready to alter the introduction as drastically as was planned . Clark wasdelighted with the changes . She is dyslexic, but her dyslexia had not been discovered untilshe had reached grade ten when she found out that she only had a grade three level reading.When Clark had been told about her reading level, she promptly dropped out of school.Now, she wanted the audience to know just how important the play was to her, and shehoped to prevent others from experiencing a similar fate . Also, Clark did not want others tohave to suffer the same shame, fear, and embarrassment that she had, so she was very happyto confide in the audience the reasons for her commitment to Marks on Paper.Although Clark was ecstatic to reveal her interest in the play, Short, Grimson, andSmith were a bit reluctant to make this public statement, for they did not consider themselvesfunctionally illiterate; they just had not completed their grade twelve and were upgradingtheir education . After a bit of discussion, the group agreed to introduce ourselves by telling136the audience why we were performing the play, what it meant to us, and if we knew ofothers who had a reading or writing problem . The introduction would remain flexible andwould vary from audience to audience so that it was impromptu instead of a memorizedscript . The new introduct