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Imagination as critical education : introducing theatre/drama into the maltese curriculum 1997

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IMAGINATION AS CRITICAL EDUCATION: INTRODUCING THEATRE/DRAMA INTO THE MALTESE CURRICULUM by CARMEL SAMMUT B. A. (Gen.), The University of Malta, 1991 B. A. (Hon.), The University of Malta, 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA JULY 1997 ©Carmel Sammut, 1997 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date ft* JoLj DE-6 (2/88). ABSTRACT This thesis is the result of my personal search to find ways to harness the creative processes of participatory theatre and process drama to create a site for critical thinking. As a teacher in my home country, Malta, I realised the limitations of our educational system that does not cater to teachers who would like to use theatre/drama as learning/teaching mediums. The position of theatre/drama teacher does not exist within the Maltese education system. Therefore, I had to opt to travel to a foreign country to find an opportunity to combine the dynamics of theatre/drama with my teaching background. My experiences in using both process drama and participatory theatre have led me to conclude that there are many commonalties between the two creative processes. In the first chapter of this thesis, I compare the philosophies of process drama and participatory theatre and how the two can be combined to create a holistic and edifying experience for all participants. Moreover, I illustrate how different theatre directors engaged in collective creations have the same beliefs as drama in education practitioners: participants/actors in dramatic processes are to rely on inner resources and confront their own realities to construct a richer fictional world. The aim of the second chapter of this thesis is to show how theatre/drama can benefit the educational sphere. Drama/Theatre combine both consciousness and physicality and thus engage the whole being of the learner both at an interpersonal and intrapersonal level. Educational drama and theatre take into consideration the different learning styles of individuals and so involve the participant through aural, visual and kinaesthetic modes that enhance the possibility of new learning and critical awareness. After looking at the characteristics of the drama/theatre teacher in Chapter three, I then proceed to propose a program aimed at Maltese educators working with 11-16 year olds using both process drama and adapted participatory theatre techniques. I suggest a gamut of activities that focus on factual learning, personal development, awareness of social issues and development of communication and theatre skills. My intention is to include students from the initial phase of the process and then to present the co-created scenarios to other students. I would like to create an "open" performance where the voices of the audience can intermix with those of the actors. Finally, in my concluding chapter I take a closer look at the implications for the Maltese educational system if theatre/drama educators are introduced into individual schools. The advantages of having both a Theatre in Education team and drama/theatre educators are exposed and explored. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Preface..... v Acknowledgements x Introduction My Search for an Artistic Learning/Teaching Medium 1 Chapter One Bridging the Worlds of Theatre and Drama in Education 13 Chapter Two Theatre/Drama as Critical Education 35 Chapter Three Educators as Co-Creators 47 Chapter Four The Program - Defending An Island's Identity 64 Program Rationale 64 Stages of this Program 66 Glossary of Strategies and Techniques 72 The Functions of the Educator in the Program 74 Audience Participation 78 Warm-up Activities 80 Program Outline 80 Conclusion Introducing Drama Educators into the Maltese Education System 115 Bibliography 123 Appendix A Teacher-in-Role Registers 129 Appendix B Suggested Books for Warm-up Activities 132 V PREFACE My own experiences in the teaching field have led me to believe that there is more to education than the mere presentation of facts to students. I have come to recognise the importance of accepting students not as receptors of my knowledge and understanding of the world but as co-creators of their own education. Once students are given an opportunity to express their desires and needs, then education takes on a new meaning both for them and educators. Unless students make sense of received knowledge through their own experiences, education will be meaningless for them. Educators become effective when they are able to step into their students' worlds and are able to find out what is important for their students. When educators realise that who is being taught is more important than what is being taught then education can take on a more human and personal dynamic meaning. In order for this humanistic type of education to take root, teachers have to step away from the role of experts. Educators have to help students distance themselves from received knowledge, to reflect upon it and question it. This is the transformation that this thesis would like to put forward: a change in both educators' and students' outlook on the role of education. In moving away from the expert stance, teachers will encourage students to question their own environment. Educators become facilitators for education rather than determiners of facts. Moreover students will no longer be memory machines which absorb facts and store them in a data bank to be rarely retrieved or after a time, forgotten. Students will process, discuss and develop facts and relate them to their own lives. Students will become dynamic participants in their own education and will be able to articulate and express what they feel and think about their environment. It is my belief that theatre/drama can aid in achieving this transformation in the realm of education. Theatre/drama can help educators combine the dynamics of thought and action in their interactions with students. The fact that education theorists have drawn the analogy between the classroom dynamics and those of the theatre (King (1986); Hardy (1977); Rosen (1980)) confirms the close relationship that theatre and drama have with education. What goes on in the classroom, like the theatre experience, can never be translated appropriately into words. The issues presented in a theatre performance have to be important for both the actors and the audience watching. An actor who does not know why or what he or she is doing in a part cannot bring across the message of the play clearly to the audience. The audience in turn needs to make sense of what is happening on stage in order for a connection between actors and spectators to be made. Similar to a theatre performance, the interaction between educator and students is of extreme importance and the curriculum has to address the needs of both teachers and students to be able to capture the essence of the classroom dynamics. Cecily O'Neill writes how King (1986) likens the effective curriculum to a theatre performance in that "both require the active participation of all those present, and to establish dialogue between the two will be the most positive way of achieving this kind of "co-creation" of the curriculum" (1989, p. 152). We, as educators, know that the Arts are considered a luxury in some curricula. This situation is unfortunate since the mediums of theatre/drama when used as learning/teaching instruments can provide the space for reflection, exploration and action. Both mediums, if used in the ways proposed in this thesis, can act as catalysts to achieve transformation and to develop personal and social skills. Students when using drama and theatre can put into words their own world views, they are able to name the issues that are important for them, and present them to others in order to expose and share their concerns. In using these artistic mediums for learning and change, students use their own bodies, thoughts and feelings and in this way transform the abstract into concrete expression. Theatre and drama can be introduced within the sphere of education either as subjects in their own rights or else as tools to enhance other subjects in the curriculum. As is shown through the program in Chapter four of this thesis, drama and theatre activities can be used to raise a myriad of issues that might not even be part of the curriculum agenda. At the same time, both mediums are flexible enough to be implemented and integrated within lessons of other subject areas. This thesis does not make a case for either stance, it recognises the benefits of both situations. There are a number of possibilities, for example, that while teaching the French Revolution as part of the History curriculum, drama and theatre can be used to make tangible the historical facts that are being taught. Through theatre and drama, students can enter into the "as if" situation by becoming participants in the French Revolution themselves and can raise issues of equality, hidden political agendas and can articulate and experience to an extent the frustrations of oppressed people. One of the aims of this thesis is to show how theatre and drama can be applied as subjects and/or as instruments to aid other curriculum areas. This thesis will interest all educators who wish to use theatre/drama as learning/teaching mediums. It is not a prescriptive handbook, but a collection of suggested activities that can act as initial impetus for further exploration on the part of students and teachers. It is hoped that this work will raise enough interest in educators who are completely new to the areas of theatre/drama, that they will seek to gain the rudimentary skills needed to use both mediums in their teaching. At the same time, it is hoped that educators who have a theatre background will find that this instrument is not only capable of entertaining people but also helps them reflect and change. The innovation in this thesis lies in the way theatre and drama are used to achieve learning. I would never have arrived at the above conclusions if I had not embarked on a personal search to find ways to combine theatre/drama and education. Theatre and teaching are important parts of my life and the realisation that I could combine both to achieve transformation and to empower students came as a long-awaited personal victory. This thesis follows the same paths that I journeyed to arrive not at a final destination but a point of departure: after finding many commonalties between the worlds of theatre and drama in education, I then proceeded to find a locus for the two within the educational sphere which then led me to examine the characteristics of the teacher who uses theatre/drama as teaching/learning mediums. In addition, I devised a program that will enable teachers in my home country, Malta, to apply the active processes of theatre/drama within the curriculum. Finally, I took a look at what the implications of introducing drama/theatre educators into individual schools would be for the Maltese educational system. This project is the result of my quest to integrate the dynamics of the intellect and corporeality into an artistic expression which can open a site for critical inquiry both on my part and all those with whom I will come into contact in the future. X ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to show my appreciation for Professor Jan Selman's contributions to this thesis. You stepped in at a critical point and with your expertise and sharp focus helped me achieve valuable insights into the creative processes of theatre and drama. Professor Peter Loeffler for his proficient feedback and constant support. My own personal proof-reader and writing style critic, my wife, Clarissa, for her patience in those moments of doubt. Last but not least, all those family members who made my experience in Canada possible through their emotional and financial support. 1 INTRODUCTION My Search for an Artistic Learning/Teaching Medium The philosopher Merleau-Ponty writes: "The world is not what I think, but what I live through. I am open to the world, I have no doubt that I am in communication with it, but I do not possess it; it is inexhaustible" (1967, pp. xvi - xvii). These words made me stop and think the very first time I read them. They are liberating words for someone who forms part of a humanity condemned to come to terms with and make meaning of its environment every day. In choosing to live rather than to exist, the individual is forced to reflect about oneself in relation to the dynamics of his/her social, emotional, intellectual and political frameworks. This is the purpose of this act of writing: it is the recognition of an "I". An "I" who has a past, who is living in the present and who has hopes for the future. This recognition of an "I" also entails a realisation of a "them" who need to understand and who might want to come into contact with this "I". This text will deal with the need to create dialogues or dialogic relationships in which the complex and varied life of individuals can come together and create a site for personal and communal reflection and liberation. Through my writing I am inviting you the reader to come into my contextual frameworks and feel free to start a conversation with my "I" which is found in these words. One word of warning before you enter: the act of writing denotes a certain "fixity" which is not the intention of the author. 2 It is Monday morning and feeling very excited. M y teacher has chosen me for the leading role in the musical the school is to present at Prize Day. I hate school, I hate leaving my mother to come to this strange place and be with strange people who constantly talk about things that I do not understand. But, I love school today and I like my teacher and I like my friends. We are going to the big hall now and there the teacher will tell us what to do. We form a circle sitting on the ground and papers start coming around. I am to be a little Maltese boy who is going to go on an adventure to meet with all the different people coming from the different countries from around the world. It is Prize Day today and I am very anxious about whether I will remember all my moves and all my words. I have practised them many times together with my friends and my teacher. The curtain is opening and I am in my first position, two people are approaching and I give a greeting . . . the curtain opens again and we all give our final bow. M y heart is beating, I run to the back of the hall to meet my parents. Friends and relatives all beam at me and give the thumbs up. I am so proud of myself, I have made everyone happy with my performance. I feel happy I am at school. The principal comes towards me and after shaking my hands tells me the good news: we have been asked to tour many schools on the island because people liked the performance very much. This was one of my greatest achievements since I have been to school, it was better than all the best grades I got in my other subjects. 3 I wait anxiously to hear my name being called from inside the green room. I look around and see the faces of those who are waiting with me. We all look at each other and sometimes smile. Some of us have come in pairs and they talk together, silently mumbling to each other, and give looks at each other. There are about twenty of us, all waiting to hear our name being called. Those who come out of the room are not allowed to talk to us and go through the E X I T and leave. Some faces I will never see again but some will become familiar to me i f ever I am called to come back here again. This is something I have been expecting to arrive for a long time. I could not come here before I was fourteen, nobody is allowed into the Manoel Theatre Academy of Dramatic Arts before they are fourteen. M y name is called. I can see myself standing up slowly from the chair and having a last look around me, the others look on as I open the door and walk into the room. Two people greet me and ask me to sit down on a chair in front of them. We talk for a while and I tell them that I am here because I feel that this should be a part of my life. Theatre has always given me a lot of satisfaction and I think that I am good and can make it. Inside I am saying to myself, "Yeah right, as i f you are the first one to tell them that. " Then they ask me to recite my monologue. M y heart is beating, my mouth is dry and I can feel myself shaking. "Don't make a fool of yourself now. Calm down and act naturally." This is my voice inside my head urging me to relax. I can actually see myself watching myself performing and hear myself say the words that I had rehearsed so many times in my room. 4 "That is all. If you are chosen you will hear from us within the next three weeks. " Days pass slowly and at ten in the morning sharp, I am vigilantly watching out for the mailman. "Today could be the day," I say to myself as the letters drop in through the mail slot. A white envelope catches my eye and I pick it up urgently. I rip it open and find a folded letter inside. Dear Carmel, We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to start the Junior Course at the Manoel Theatre Academy of Dramatic Arts. The course will commence on I was accepted. I rush into my house and scream at the top of my lungs, " I have been accepted. I am going to be an actor. M y dream has come true, I am going to be an actor. " "What am I going to do with myself? The time has come to take a decision. College is over now but I do not want to go to University just yet. I want to give myself a breathing space, really think out what I want to do. Boy time has passed so fast, it was just a breeze. Only yesterday, I started school and now it is over and as yet I do not know what I want to do with my life. Five years passed like a gust of wind trailing through the corridors of a lifetime . . . Maybe I'll find a job. " Flicking through the newspaper, I find that there is a call for Casual Instructors in Government Schools. The advert states that I have the necessary qualifications to be 5 accepted for the job. I cut out the advert and call up the Education Department and they let me know that they will send an application form for me. The application arrives, I fill it in, send it off and forget all about it for the rest of the summer. Then at the end of August a letter arrives to let me know that I am expected to report for duties at an Opportunity Centre. "An Opportunity Centre? Well what did you expect? But an Opportunity Centre? How am I going to cope? Those kids will eat me alive, I am just seventeen years old and they will be about fourteen years, I will be their older brother not their teacher. " 15th September rolls along and I am on a bus going to teach at the Marsa Opportunity Centre. Horrible thoughts pass through my mind when I recall some of the tales I have heard about these Opportunity Centres. These were centres for those kids who had not made it into the mainstream of education. They sent them there because they were too young to be able to find a job somewhere but too old to remain in the primary level of schooling. They usually came from highly abusive environments and related to others in the same way. I have tried to teach the past tense for the last week but these kids are not interested. I look at their eyes and they are lost somewhere in another dimension, they look straight through me as if there was another existence that I was not aware of behind me. This is my third month here, I am going crazy and these kids are going crazy too. There goes another paper ball flying and now I will have to go up to the culprit and try to reason out with him whether that was a good thing to do or not. 6 I am realising that these kids are very emotionally disturbed. Their experience inside the school is nothing compared to their environment outside. I know some of them are physically abused because I have seen the marks on their body and when asked about it they just tell you that it was an accident: "My dad played a little rough with me last night". Some of them just sleep on the bench because they would have gone very late to bed after they had helped their mother clear out at the pub, their father had come late home drunk and had woken the whole household or their brother had been caught doing drugs and the police had come to the house. How am I supposed to teach the curriculum to these students? The curriculum? Teach them the past perfect, the present progressive, fractions, that would be the greatest joke that I would be playing on myself. M y role here is not as a bearer of facts. I would like to try and understand their world and try my best to help them cope with their reality. I am constantly searching for an answer of how I should do that. M y principal is a very generous man, he understands perfectly what I am going through and is ready to accept any changes I make in order to try and connect with my students. The benches are all stacked to one side and the classroom has become the schoolyard during the break hour. A l l the boys are grouped and role-playing themselves during recess. We have planned together that an imaginary fight breaks out between two individuals and the rest of the drama will continue from there. This is my experiment for the day. I have put 7 aside the textbooks and the curriculum and am trying to use what I have been learning at the Drama Academy with these students. The role-play starts and I observe closely the interactions between the students. I try not to be too obvious about it so as not to intimidate them. It was quite a chore for me to convince them to allow me to watch them when they are "acting". Most of them think this is child's play and did not want to participate but when I told them that they would be themselves they finally relented. Some of them are pretending to play marbles, others are exchanging playing cards, another group is just sitting down and talking and I circle around them watching intently. Suddenly one of the boys in the "marbles" group shoves another boy to the ground and calls him a "stinking cheater", the rest of the group starts chanting "kick him, punch him, kick him, punch him". The rest of the class looks on with hesitation, not knowing whether they are allowed to join in or if this was for real. I allow the role-play to move on without saying anything. The boy on the ground suddenly springs up and pretends to give a straight punch on the nose to the shouting boy who had pushed him. The chanters raise their voices and as members of the chorus move the action on while adding to the spectacle. The two boys wanting to prove to each other how strong they are, entwine in a scuffle and lash out violently at each other. This is the moment when I call "Freeze" and, as pre-planned, the boys stop. We are now in a circle discussing together what had really happened. We talk and talk about the alternatives to physical violence. I am feeling elated that this experience has 8 worked. This is the way I will try to reach these students. I suddenly realise that theatre and drama can be used for other reasons than just to entertain. This is what I would like to do with my life. I knew then that I wanted to be a teacher, not for students to see me as the fount of wisdom but to look upon me as a friend and a facilitator who assists them in their quest to find themselves. Unknowingly I was beginning a quest, which would lead me far from the shores of home and to where the edges of theatre and drama interlock with pedagogy to create a locus for reflection and transformation. "So today I have 'Realism and Naturalism: Strindberg, Ibsen and Chekhov' and that is at 3. 30 p. m. and that will take an hour, then I have to drop this assignment at the secretary's office and return these books to the library. Then after I leave University, I can go to have a quick snack somewhere and then off to rehearsals until about midnight and then off to sleep. The next day I have class at 8. 00 a. m. " I close my appointment book and look at its cover: "The University of Malta: Daily Planner." So here I am a student once again and studying the roots of theatre and drama, the history of the English language and wrestling with psychology. In the meantime I have rehearsals every night. I am very satisfied because since I left the Drama Academy I have not had a lull in my theatre work. I love rehearsals, meeting new people from one play to another, creating contacts, laughing and working hard at creating new characters. This is the life for me. 9 Still I am not completely fulfilled since I have not found one single course, which offers to combine theatre and drama with education. It is an accepted fact that the Arts are not of primary importance in the world of education on this island. They are considered a luxury which consume precious time for teachers and students. Students are at school to become the good citizens of tomorrow who will be part of the working force, which will enhance the economy of the island. So the University of Malta does not cater to teachers who want to be innovative and creative in their work and so I have to look elsewhere in order to try and find this combination. The members of the Drama Unit have asked me to join them for a temporary position as an actor in one of their projects. Knowing that this is the opportunity for me to see theatre and drama at work in the realm of learning/teaching, I immediately accept. It is a very good script dealing with pollution and the ruining of the environment by mankind's urge to make more money and lead a comfortable life. There is space for audience participation but it does not in any way form an integral part of the action. As a matter of fact I feel that the students' participation is just an appendix to the plot of the story, whether they like it or not the. story is going to finish in that way and everyone will live happily ever after. The illusion created by the script is one of a blissful existence where humankind suddenly realises that it is in the wrong and tries to find ways how to correct its mistakes. It is an allegorical interpretation of humanity with the positive ending of a morality play. I realise how detached from reality this script is and how the students are not allowed to give 10 their own interpretation of how things look from their own perspective. I will never know what these students think because I will not be part of the discussion that will take place later on in their classroom. A chance to create a dynamic interaction with the audience is not created in this kind of theatre/drama in education project. Students are not in control and cannot see themselves create a difference. Once again I find myself striving to define what the meaning of education is for me and what this definition implies for my future teaching style. The new principal called me into his office and my heart sank. I knew what he wanted to talk to me about. The drama lessons were coming under attack. He wanted to know what went on in these lessons so that he could judge whether the school should keep them on or not. In my first two years at this church owned college, I had been very lucky to find the previous principal so open-minded. He had been looking for someone to teach drama and theatre to students and at the same time fulfil the duties of an English teacher. I fitted into that role perfectly and knew that this would be the place for me to teach now that I had graduated from University. I sat down to what was to turn out to be a three-hour meeting in which I heatedly argued that these lessons helped students in problem-solving, enhanced their speaking fluency, helped them think and also improved other areas to be found in the curriculum. Moreover drama and theatre created a community sense among students who learnt how to 11 relate in groups, share ideas and tolerate differences between each other. Finally, although reluctantly, he accepted my points of view and the drama lessons were saved for another year. I felt so frustrated by this attitude which was so common even in the teachers' staff, room. Everybody thought that drama was just playing games and putting on different costumes. I would get very hot under the collar each time they challenged me about its value. I never knew what to say exactly, I had no theory to back me up and I had no proof to show them. It was true I was still searching to find something more in my lessons. "What am I doing here? Where is this all leading? . . . Oh no they have lost concentration again . . . Right we have finished this exercise but now what? They are not going to be actors so why am I teaching them this? . . . But they enjoy i t . . . Is that enough a reason to be doing drama?.... What are they gaining?... I need to get more experience . . . What am I searching for?" These would be the questions racing through my mind before, during and after my drama lessons. I realise now that those lessons had turned into a daily routine of a circus performance and theatre sports. There was no connection between the world that was created in the drama room and the outside world. There was this missing link which I was searching for but had not found yet. That was the time when I seriously started considering my future plans to study at a University abroad. I needed to find out for myself the power of theatre and drama that I had read so much about in my books. About two years have passed since I left Malta and came to the University of British Columbia in Canada to study theatre history and criticism. In the progress of my studies two 12 courses have opened new avenues for me and have changed my perspectives on the use of theatre/drama in the realm of education and social change. In my second year of my M A program I enrolled in the "Popular Theatre" and "Drama in Education" courses. The result of my insights, my newly gained knowledge and the hopes that these experiences have raised for me in the realms of theatre/drama and education are now in your hands. This is what you are reading right now, it is the open text of a person's history, present and plans for the future which he invites you to share and adapt in accordance to your own resonances and in that way create an intertext: a new text for yourself. 13 CHAPTER ONE Bridging the Worlds of Theatre and Drama in Education This chapter will introduce the reader to the concepts of theatre and drama, as they will be referred to in the rest of the chapters of this thesis. A dichotomy has been created between practitioners of drama in education and those who advocate theatre by emphasising theatre's aesthetic characteristics over its learning/teaching capabilities. This division in outlook has come to be known as the process/product debate. By looking closer at the terms "process drama", "participatory theatre" and "collective creation" it will be argued that the process/product debate which raged in the 1970s and is still evident today does not need to exist any longer. Drama in education and theatre, with its connotations of performance, share many characteristics. Although drama activities have been included in many curricula for many years, it was Peter Slade, in Child Drama (1954), who introduced the concept of drama as a subject within its own rights rather than as an instrument to teach other subjects. Slade was concerned with allowing children's creativity to be expressed fully as this led to a deeper reflection about the self. Slade's philosophy was absorbed and extended by another drama practitioner and theoretician, Brian Way. Published in 1967, Way's Development through Drama promotes a developmental orientation to drama education. Way insisted that it not only enhanced self- reflection but also aided children in rehearsing for later life and served as an arena for them to practise for adult life. These two books became the essential guides to drama teachers who in their eagerness to put these theories into practice and give a distinct definition to their work distanced themselves from theatre practitioners. 14 An artificial barrier between drama and theatre was created since the focus of drama in education shifted more onto the learning process rather than the teaching of theatre techniques and skills. Burgess and others in Drama and Theatre: A Shared Role in Learning, observe that: 'drama' came to be perceiveOd as synonymous with 'personal development', 'self-expression' and 'interpersonal communication'. It was the development of these qualities through the process of dramatic activity that was deemed to be educationally significant; the product, performance, was not. 'Theatre' not only came to be viewed as an extra-curricular activity, but its contribution to the child's personal development was seriously questioned by drama teachers. Words such as 'actors', 'audience' and 'making a play' were a source of embarrassment to teachers and 'doing a school play' was anathema indeed (1982, p. 3). Drama came to be seen as more of a therapy than an artistic medium that challenges participants through alternatives and as a result helps to heighten the present moment for them. Slade and Way wrapped drama in a mystical shroud that hindered the realisation of the common process between theatre and drama in education. In the 1960s, Slade's and Way's modes of drama in education were challenged by Dorothy Heathcote. In one of her published letters, Heathcote expressed her worries that school drama was suffering from a tendency to create 'high priests' and that there was a need to prepare drama teachers to use dramatic activity to "challenge the children to learn" (1973, pp. 63-4). Heathcote acknowledged that both mediums essentially work through the elements of a dialectic relationship between the real world and that of the fiction created in a drama or theatre environment. She affirmed that drama and theatre depend on this negotiation in order to give meaning to their processes. In one of 15 her papers she reflected about this opposition created between theatre and child's drama: the term 'informal' and 'formal' drama suggest this. They do in fact spring from the same roots - the need of people to role-play, to enable them to measure themselves and their own experiences and viewpoints against those of others, not only in order to see where they are different, but also to discover wherein they are alike, so that they can achieve a sense of belonging, especially in those areas of living which are not capable of being communicated by words alone. Theatre in its most complex form is related to the child's first groping attempts to improvise upon an idea in that there is a natural progression from the tentative meeting of the group's ideas, through the group's achieving with those ideas a statement with form, to a theatrical presentation of a group's ideas (Heathcote in Johnson and O'Neill, 1984, p. 56). Although Heathcote's focus was more on the learning process rather than the teaching of theatre techniques, she never discarded or evaded the importance of theatrical elements inherent in her mode of dramatic activity. Following on Heathcote's footsteps, Gavin Bolton began developing a much-needed theoretical framework for drama in education practitioners. His book, aptly entitled Towards a Theory of Drama in Education, is a work in progress that makes an attempt at trying to put into writing the underlying principles of drama in education. It is important, as he notes, to realise that such a dynamic and ever changing process can never be static but is always in a state of development. Bolton gives three types of orientations offered to participants in a drama experience: Type A, Exercise;[sjc] covers many kinds of activity but tends to be characterised by a sense of purpose, clarity of outline, repeatability and defined rules. Type B, Dramatic playing, appears to be the converse of Type A, in that its existential mode has less circumscribed features. Type C, Theatre, differs from the other two in its emphasis on communication of an end-product to an audience (1979, p. 52). 16 Bolton exposes these three orientations to be able to show that there exists another type of drama, Type D: "somehow dependent upon a combination of these three" (ibid.). In this way Bolton seems to recognise that theatre is part of the dramatic process, even in an educational setting. On the other hand, Bolton still distinguishes the two mediums in their orientation when he confirms that Although we want the pleasure of enactment to be retained, it cannot remain an overriding feature; it must give way to feeling qualities appropriate to the role . . . A Type D drama teacher does not want children or adults to escape who they are - rather the opposite. He wants a quality of hyper-awareness that is generated by this very ambivalence of being oneself but adopting an attitude, not necessarily one's own, relevant to some imagined context. It is this process of seeing oneself from a different angle that is the principal purpose of drama in education (1979, pp. 57, 64). Bolton stresses that drama in education is not simply for participants to have fun in pretending to be someone else but what is important is the new gained knowledge from the experience. Therefore in his view drama in education does use theatrical elements but these are subsumed in the process in order to achieve a higher aim rather than emphasised for their own sake or because they are leading to a performance. Bolton's observation is very much in line with that of theatre practitioners who propose theatre as transformative action both in educational settings and in community environments. In fact, Bertolt Brecht, in A Short Organum for the Theatre, insists that: 'Theatre' set-up's broadest function was to give pleasure. It is the noblest function that we have found for 'theatre'... Yet there are weaker (simple) and stronger (complex) pleasures which the theatre can create. The last named, which are what we are dealing with in great drama ... are more intricate, richer in communication, more contradictory and more productive of results (Willett, 1964, pp. 180, 181). 17 Brecht derided the illusion provided by bourgeoisie theatre that allowed the audience to believe that there was a successful conclusion to every story. He wanted, like Bolton after him, theatre to provoke people into thinking about alternatives. This stance is picked up by Augusto Boal in his proposal for a popular theatre. Boal was highly influenced by Paulo Freire's philosophy of empowerment in education: teachers and students (leadership and people) co-intent on reality, are both subjects, not only in the task of unveiling that reality, and thereby coming to know critically, but in the task of recreating that knowledge. As they attain this knowledge of reality through common reflection and action they discover themselves as permanent re-creators (1972, p. 44). Boal adapted theatrical methods to help combine both the feelings as well as the intellect that he believes are crucial to the development of people's perceptions and understandings. Theatre is able to create this praxis - thinking and acting; he aimed for a theatre where participants are able not only to think but also to act. For him theatre is a dialectical process concerned with the movement of people and matter: "Theatre is change and not simple presentation of what exists: it is becoming and not being" (1979, p. 28). In order to achieve his aims Augusto Boal went on to develop his notions of Forum Theatre which he explains in Theatre of the Oppressed. In this book, he exposes his belief that both actor and audience should provide an active input into the performance. The passive role proposed by Aristotle's fourth wall where the spectator is looked upon as a voyeur to the performance needed a radical modification. For the audience to play an important part in its own change the separation between actor and spectator needed to be demystified. Boal proposed 18 his concept of the spect(actor) which meant the opportunity for people watching a performance to be able to physically enter into the fictional world created by the theatre and, by providing alternatives, try to change it. In this way, the passive onlookers become the active participants in their own change. The audience in this way does not have to accept the values of those that have put up the performance but can contribute their own views, thoughts, and contribution to the process of the performance. Boal's Forum Theatre depends on the audience's reflection and connection with what is happening in the drama presented to them. Boal's methods were utilised by a lot of theatre in education projects, especially in England by the Greenwich Young People's Theatre (GYPT). Moreover, Forum Theatre was adapted by Boal himself on many occasions when he used it in different parts of the world. In The Rainbow of Desire he explains that in countries where the basic needs are met the change demanded is more of a psychological nature and therefore the types of theatre techniques needed to bring change should also be different. Although Forum Theatre proved to be a popular type of direct participatory theatre, theatre practitioners have moved on to develop their own modes of involving the audience directly into the performance. In the rest of this chapter and other areas of this thesis, the term "participatory theatre" will refer to all forms of theatre which have the audience participating directly in the representation, that is members of the audience are allowed to intervene at moments in the process of performance. Therefore, spect(actors) are allowed to physically enter and participate into the fictional world in order to bring about individual and social change. 19 Hence, both drama in education and participatory theatre aiming at individual and social change, derive their meaning from this dynamic interaction between a person's real context and the fictional context created in the dramatic process. Participants have to be able to be in this state of in-between in order to be able to create distance but at the same be able reflect upon the fictional context using their own consciousness. John OToole notes that "in one very important sense, fictional context is a derivative from real context. It is a particular framing of aspects of the real, for purposes which relate very directly to the real, and the real network is never fully or deeply suspended" (1992, p. 51). Both actors in theatre and participants in drama in education are constantly working with the two frameworks; there might be a difference in the depth of interaction but they still have to partake of this interaction. If participants in a drama in education process are to be able to think of alternatives through role-play, they still have to identify to some extent with the character they are portraying. This identification is important for the dialectic relationship between the "me" and the "other" to be effective. Gavin Bolton insists on distinguishing between the process of "performing" and "participating" in a drama in education activity: what is required in children in drama is that they be themselves, functioning in whatever way the situation demands of them. It might require them to behave authoritatively, submissively, wickedly or shrewdly; the role might be labelled explorer, prime minister, designer or archaeologist but they will do no more but adapt functionally to the situation of the drama just as they would adapt to roles required in a game ... but it is not the skill of the performer; it is the skill of bringing oneself to function with a degree of maturity that one's normal 'life' does not demand (1984, p. 101). The disparity that he outlines seems to be rather vague and the implications seem to be promoting a facile idea of what is involved in such a complex 20 interaction. How can the participants in the drama create alternatives if they do not allow themselves to have their reality interact with that of the fictional character they are to portray? If students remain only themselves then they will only be part of the real context and will not enter into the "as if" context and the dialectic much needed for transformation to occur will not be present. A participant in a certain role, for example, as an astronaut, cannot suddenly decide to go out walking to visit the moon without having to think of the necessary equipment needed. If he or she does so then the fictional world is shattered and the element of make-believe is destroyed. My experiences as a participant of participatory theatre and drama in education give me different insights that help to contradict Bolton's notion of dramatic play. Following is part of a journal I wrote just after one of my experiences of being an actor in participatory theatre. My role was that of a graduate student who finds that he cannot communicate with his advisor and seeks help from an unwilling acquaintance. There was congruence between my real context as foreign, graduate student trying to come to terms with my environment and the fictional environment of having problems communicating with my advisor. During this experience, my state of in-between was very palpable to me: The sudden going in and out of character is very emotionally taxing and frightening at the same time. The boundaries between who you are and the character become very fluid ... in this kind of theatre the boundaries between who you are and the character become more blurred. At one moment you are you at the next instant, you must become the other. The character is in constant development and in this space between "me" and the "other" learning is occurring which enhances the character of the "other" but is giving the "me" more insights into my life. 21 If I had not pushed myself to try and think as the "other" there would have been no learning which was beneficial for me in my real world and helpful to the drama to progress in the fictional world. Augusto Boal refers to this phenomenon as "metaxis": when the [participants]... create images of their own ... reality, [they] belong to both these worlds utterly and completely, not merely 'vicariously'. Here we see the phenomenon of metaxis: the state of belonging completely and simultaneously to two different, autonomous worlds: the image of reality and the reality of the image. [They] share and belong to these two autonomous worlds: [their] reality and the image of [their] reality, which [they themselves] have created .... It is vital that these two worlds be truly autonomous. The artistic creativity of the protagonist must not limit itself to simple, realistic reproduction or symbolic illustration of the actual: it must have its own aesthetic dimension (1995, p. 43). If students do not project themselves into the "other's" reality, they will be merely demonstrating the actions and thoughts of the other person. The renowned drama in education practitioner, Cecily O'Neill, points out that "sometimes what seems to be required of participants in much classroom role play is not that they should begin to act, but that they remain themselves, even when adopting roles and functioning in whatever way the fictional situation demands of them . . . . this approach is essentially limiting, and a denial of the possibilities of the medium" (1995, p. 80). Paradoxically, it is Bolton himself who warns against this superficial tendency manifested in role-plays aimed at mimicking the behaviour of everyday It seems to me that this kind of role play usefully provides a reference point, a visual aid, for class discussion. It varies in structure from a dramatic-playing mode of simulation game where the decision-making is actually experienced, to the (more typically) simple demonstrating quality of a pure exercise where there is no question of 'living-through'. Apart from the simulation game, contextual role play is brief and episodic, often not the central activity of a lesson. It has a value for many teachers across 22 the curriculum but, paradoxically, as drama it perhaps has least educational potential (1979, p. 72). Mere mimesis does not bring about any new insights and is not art. Real life has to be transformed and transcended and alternatives have to be lived through. The determination to achieve transformation, as is the aim of drama in education, has to come from inside the participant rather than from input imposed from the outside. The kind of role-plays to which Bolton refers in the above quote are for example, life-skills teaching activities. A majority of these role-plays ask for students to play themselves in real-life situations. For example, a student pretends that he is involved in a fight during recess with a friend. The teacher reproduces this scenario to show how students should react in similar situations. Most of these role-plays already have the outcome implicit in their process, the ending is already known because the altered attitude is already laid out in the textbook. There is no sense for the participants of the unknown and the experience of finding new options as people do in real life. Drama in education raises awareness about issues but does not impose outcomes, instead it allows students to arrive at their own conclusions through the facilitation of the educator. In such a process, they need more than demonstration; they need to empathise to a certain extent with their character. The need for a degree of identification is also crucial for the belief of the whole group. Drama in education activities involve clusters of participants involved at once in the same fictional context that depends on each individual's signalling belief for it to exist and for the activity to progress. This outer appearance helps 23 each member to affirm a sense of self, although it is a fictional self, in the drama. John OToole writes that: Once the agreement to incorporate the other role-player into the dramatic situation has been made, the players need simultaneously to be the characters and signal to each other what they are doing, so that the other character may respond appropriately. This is an audience function subsumed into the purposes of the drama - without which the drama cannot continue (1992, p. 142). Moreover, a characteristic peculiar to drama in education and participatory theatre is the emphasis on the self as projected in the "other" and vice-versa. Participants in a role-play are at the same time actors and audience to their own drama. They are an "audience to their own acts and observers of the consequences of these acts. Their understanding of human behaviour is objectified through language and gesture and is available both for reconstruction and reflection" (O'Neill, 1995, p. 80). This phenomenon brings the world of drama in education close to that of theatre. One of the distinctions that practitioners of drama in education usually make between their activities and theatre is the element of performing for someone else. Drama in education practitioners would like to take away the focus from the performance aspect. Bolton explains this artificial dichotomy created between drama in education and theatre on the basis that "in a conventional theatre it operates for an audience, heightening their experience; in Type D drama [drama in education] it operates for the participants, heightening their experience" (1979, p. 75). In this statement Bolton seems to be eliminating the "in-between" condition that has been mentioned previously. One must then conclude that whether 24 participants are their own audience or act as spectators to each other, the dynamics of actor and audience come into play within the drama in education framework. The ability of the participants to split themselves into the "me" and the "other" connects the worlds of drama in education and theatre in other ways. The need for reflection to achieve transformation has not been expressed only by drama in education practitioners but also by theatre theoreticians working with these mediums for individual and community change. Bertolt Brecht in exposing his "Alienation Effect" theories was essentially arriving at a theatre that offered entertainment but also reflection. In trying to establish a new form of theatre, Brecht wanted his actors to demonstrate the characters' attitudes rather than to empathise with the characters they were playing. Later he intuited that a certain degree of identification with a character is needed if awareness of another reality is to be grasped both by the actors and the audience. In reformulating his theories, Brecht moved away from his initial position of demanding from his actors complete detachment from their part. Brecht realised that he was not aiming at a theatre without empathy; as Eric Bentley observes, "sympathy and identification with the characters are not eliminated; they are counterpoised by deliberate identification" (1967, p. 219). What Brecht demanded was a juxtaposition of empathy and distancing. The audience is lulled into empathy with the character and then suddenly something happens which jolts it back to reality and into a critical awareness. This contrast is highly reminiscent of the comic/serious abutting in the plays of Shakespeare. 25 Brecht's influence on drama in education practitioners can be seen clearly in their emphasis on creating reflective distance through their work. In the drama in education environment, the participants are also constantly in this pendulum motion of immersion in the fictional world and then being pulled back to their real context through reflection. The educator in a drama in education process mostly works in role as part of the drama and therefore has the opportunity to apply distance when it is needed from inside the drama. Even the participants find that they create an objective space between the "me" and the "other" in order to be able to stop and think: "this is happening to me but I am making this happen". Cecily O'Neill makes the following observation: The necessity of building a dramatic world, responding to developments, and taking responsibility for maintaining this world in existence is likely to demand a level of objectivity and 'unselfing' from the participants. The need to focus outwards on these tasks may work to inhibit any kind of intense identification with a single character or role. This is the kind of 'hallucinated participation' that Brecht distrusted in conventional theatre and that, in some types of role-play, may edge the explorations toward a kind of complacent self-therapy... Heathcote echoed this when she pointed out that she achieves effective drama from students by taking their minds off themselves. A further degree of objectivity in the participants will arise through the different kinds of observer-participant stances they adopt within the structure of the drama (1995, p. 90). Hence both Heathcote and Brecht aimed at the same type of alienation effect: they took participants' focus off themselves through empathy but avoided that the experience was totally subsumed by this identification, which would take away from the participants' critical awareness. Eugenio Barba, another renowned theatre practitioner and theoretician, emphasises that "the best we can do is to analyse our own personal brand of truth and stage a confrontation between the truth and our 26 own experience. In addition, this sort of confrontation involves change. In our selves" (Roose-Evans, 1984, p. 167). These words echo also those of the Polish director Jerzy Grotowski and British director Peter Brook. Grotowski, Barba and Brook all urge actors to confront characters within themselves and offer the result of that encounter to an audience. All three would have the actor be his own creator. It is not a coincidence that these three theatre practitioners have achieved their aims through collective creation. In the majority of writings about drama in education, one finds no reference to the similarity that exists between the drama in education process and collective creations in the theatre sphere. This omission is significant since it could prove to be the bridging ground between the theatre practising purists and those in the sphere of drama in education. My experience in collective creations has led me to conclude that there are no great differences between drama in education and collective creation in theatre. What differentiates collective creation theatre from other theatre forms is that it is not dictated by the form and narrative of a pre- written text. Both drama in education and collective creation theatre emerge from an impulse or source which sets off the process. This source could be a dramatic text, an idea, an event in the news or a similarly significant source. Usually in collective creation, if a dramatic text is used it acts only as a "springboard" for further developments that the actors together with the director evolve through their improvisations; the process initiates with the dramatic text but then what is called a "performance text" is developed. The actors in collective creation usually pursue the meanings and subtexts that resonate with their aims for using that source in the 27 first place. The actors in collective creation may go off into different paths and tangents than those laid out by the dramatist. Similar to what occurs in drama in education, the actors research, reflect, discuss, and focus and new learning and perceptions are discovered and transmitted. Similarities between the two worlds have led to development of the new term "process drama". Process drama is almost synonymous with the term drama in education. It had its origins in Australia and North America almost at the same time in the late 1980s ,"to distinguish this particular dramatic approach from less complex and ambitious improvised activities and to locate it in a wider dramatic and theatrical context" (O'Neill, 1995, p. xv). Process drama recognises that the words "product" and "process" are problematic since they are simplistic and do not clearly define the intricate structures involved behind them. Inherently every theatre "product" arises from a complex interaction of composition, rehearsal, and theatrical interpretation. By now it is evident that what is involved in the process of drama in education is what John O'Toole defines as "negotiating and renegotiating the elements of dramatic form, in terms of the context and purposes of the participants" (1992, p. 2). The same definition is an apt description of a collective process undertaken with a theatrical outcome in mind. My latest involvement with collective creation was in a project spurred by the common desire of a group of people who wanted to raise awareness about political oppression. The aim was to emphasise that we are all responsible for these violations. Although they might appear to happen far away from our countries (Canada, Mexico, Estonia, Malta, and America), it is surprising how if one looks 28 closer, this type of violence does exist in our countries. Our "pre-text" (O'Neill, 1995, p. xv) or source was a play entitled La Maestra (The Teacher) by Enrique Buenaventura. The text itself is only one and a half pages long and can be read in five minutes but the subtexts that emerge from this tightly written play are immense and far-reaching. All actors together with the director became involved in an intense research process into the aspects of political repression. Through the various improvisations, character interactions, readings, discussions and hours of rehearsals we produced a text that involved a variety of theatrical styles. This process is not dissimilar from that which occurs inside the classroom when using drama to achieve learning. Process and product are complementary facets of the same artistic medium. As Norah Morgan and Juliana Saxton explain "the full power of drama can only be realised when the inner world of meaning is harnessed to the outer world of expressive action. Both are and must be seen as, interdependent" (1987, p. 21). During my work in the collective creation of La Maestra, I realised that the various stages involved in creating the performance text for this project, were very similar to those I had undergone in structuring drama lessons when participating in drama in education classes. As an actor in the collective creation, I was seeking new information to help build and make sense of this fictional world, character and experience, which I was coming across for the first time. Through interactions with the other participants in role, my own research, and moments of reflection in and out of the process, I was also coming to terms with insights I was achieving through the dynamics of working in the "as if" situation. Participants in a drama in 29 education go through the same procedure of collecting material, interacting with their peers in role and then pausing for reflection that might lead to further dramatic explorations. Although not necessarily aiming at performance the same dynamics are operating in drama in education and collective theatre creations, even if at different degrees. This commonality between collective creations and drama in education puts into question the distinction made by drama practitioners (Bolton, 1979; Morgan and Saxton, 1987; OToole, 1992; Tarlington and Micheals, 1995) between the possibility of performance to be.repeated and the educational drama experience which they insist is a one-off experience. An effective drama in education process calls for scenes to be stopped, examined, reflected upon and finally repeated in order to achieve greater depth of meaning. In fact, participants in such a process are in constant process similar to rehearsals that actors in theatre go through previous to a performance. The difference lies in that educators will highlight the learning that occurs through the use of theatre skills while directors in theatre emphasise the skills themselves and other theatrical elements: the use of voice, listening in character, choosing the right costume, and using lights to create mood and others. It is true that these theatre skills and factors need to be emphasised more when participants are aiming at performance but it does not mean that they are not being used when performance is not the ultimate goal. The practitioner who is using drama and theatre to transform and bring new insights to the participants is aware that a balance has to be kept between personal learning and expression and the teaching of theatre skills. Even if the 30 process aims at performance, if the educator wants change to occur there will have to be moments for personal learning and expression and other moments where the emphasis is shifted to theatre skills. Some educators in such a transformative dramatic process dedicate a period of time to concentrate on deriving as much learning as possible from episodes developed with the participants in drama in education. During this period, dramatic episodes are documented either in the form of scripts or scenarios and these are then accessed at a later stage when emphasis shifts to the theatrical considerations needed for performance. On the other hand there are times when focus on theatrical considerations and learning occurs simultaneously. An example from the performance text of La Maestra can help to illuminate this point. The play starts with the character of the Teacher addressing the audience. As the play unfolds the audience gets to know that the Teacher had committed suicide after she had been raped by soldiers of the new regime in her country. She came back from the grave, to tell the audience her story so that it will never be forgotten and to bring awareness about the injustices happening in the world. The Teacher is the connection between the "present" of the audience and the "past" and "present" of the fiction and we opted to have her physically present on the stage recounting her story. A problem arose when we came to re-enact the scene of the Teacher's rape. This was a risky scene which all participants were uncomfortable in recreating. We had come across a staging problem that led us to improvisations that did not only give a solution but offered more insight into the psychology of victim and oppressor. All of us participating in 31 La Maestra gained more perspective on the helplessness and rage that this woman felt at being violated in such a brutal manner. Through our exploration, we decided to use a white shawl as a symbol for the Teacher. The white shawl first appeared on the shoulders of the Teacher in the first scene of the play, in later scenes the teacher danced around happily with this shawl, then this shawl fell off her shoulder where it was left on the ground until the Sergeant picked it up. His menacing, sexual playing with and twisting of the shawl was a potent symbol for the raping of the teacher. Theatre speaks through a variety of languages that are not necessarily verbal. The power of metaphors and symbols is very evident in this artistic medium. One other important factor to note about collective theatre creations is that both the director and the actors begin their journey in the same place. For example, none of us taking part in La Maestra ever knew down what avenues a suggestion might lead. Similar to the process in drama in education both student (actor) and educator (director) are moving from the known to the unknown. Peter Brook observes that: however much home-work [the director] does, he cannot fully understand a play by himself. Whatever ideas he brings on the first day must evolve continually, thanks to the process he is going through with the actors, so that in the third week he will find that he is understanding everything differently. The actors' sensibilities turn searchlights on to his own, and he will either know more, or at least see more vividly that he has so far discovered nothing valid. In fact, the director who comes to the first rehearsal with his script prepared with the moves and business, etc. noted down, is a real deadly theatre man (1968, p. 119). 32 Any good piece of theatre, even if it follows a script from beginning to end, does not involve the mere reproduction of the text. An effective theatrical production will define its own style and rhythm and a unique interpretation of the dramatist's vision. This is more evident in collective theatre, where the production can take the shape of episodes which are latched together by a common theme but which do not necessarily follow a single style or narrative. In this type of theatre the "what is going to happen next" syndrome is defied. One of the basic philosophies of drama in education is to deconstruct narratives for the subtexts involved and to allow these to interact with the participants' own personal texts for transformation to occur. It seems that both collective theatre creations and drama in education aim to engage participants and audience in the present moment and to focus on that moment from diverse aspects. Focusing on the present moment is an inherent aspect of theatre. Theatre magnifies that present moment and makes participants in the event focus on it by instilling it with a sense of tension. Tension can be achieved through many retardation techniques that are activated during the drama either by the playwright or, in the case of drama in education, by the facilitator. "Theatre is about watching ... and watching for something which is being gradually uncovered to our view, gradually defined ... and this is true for role-play, too. We know the tension between the inside and the outside of the situation and our task is to find the truth" (Cecily O'Neill cited in OToole, 1992, p. 148). Participants and audience are caught in two time frames: that of the fictional context and that of the real world. 33 All those involved in a theatrical event know that the time frame of the drama is not real but they decide to accept it as being real for the duration of the performance. Each present moment that passes away in the drama world becomes part of the fictional past and at the same time inherent in that present moment is the expectation of the future. Susan Langer came up with one of the influential notions of the 'the tension of the future in the present': Drama creates a virtual future ... Even before one has any idea what the conflict is to be, one feels the tension developing. This tension between past and future, the theatrical 'present moment'... (the perpetual present filled with its own future)... gives to ... situations the peculiar intensity known as'dramatic quality'(1953, p. 308). The element of tension is vital to engage the participants into the present moment; without tension the process becomes dull and uninteresting. In creating tension, the search for the unknown or for the desired is spurred on. Tension is also closely connected with the notion of "in-betweeness" as this space can serve for the unfamiliar to occur. Elements from the real world impinge on the fictional to create this sense of apprehension and the desire to see the dilemma to the very end. At times, it could happen that a group of actors is working with issues that have their origin in the real world, as was the case of La Maestra. and their own personal issues come into play creating a sense of tension in the fictional world. For example, in one of the dramas my students were involved in, one of the class bullies came into a difficult position when one of his victims in the real context decided to confront him in the fictional world. Pressed into keeping the fictional world alive, both boys had to work out the situation keeping to the reversed roles. For them as for the rest of the class it was an intense moment of wanting to know 34 how the drama was going to work out. In this way, theatre and drama in education depend also on the factors of tension and focus in order for them to be effective processes. One must conclude that the multiplicity of common factors that bridge the processes of drama in education and theatre do not validate the dichotomy created by the "process/product" debate. More than a question of form or structure, the difference lies in the degree of focus that one gives to theatre skills or the learning process. A balanced educator can achieve an equable relation between the two. Practitioners in both mediums need to support each other more if we want our artistic and educational validity to be recognised. Internal strife caused by rigidity on the part of those concerned with the Arts has led to lack of credibility for these mediums as means for transformation. Drama and theatre can be used to reflect and illuminate the real world. Rather than hindering each other we should be working together to introduce and strengthen these mediums in the educational sphere where they can greatly benefit all those involved in the process. The benefits derived from these mediums in the area of education will be the focus of the following chapter of this thesis. 35 CHAPTER TWO Theatre and Drama as Critical Education The philosophy of education embedded in this chapter is encapsulated in Henry Giroux's Popular Culture: Schooling and Everyday Life, that is the recognition that "schools are about somebody's story, and that story if it is to expand its possibilities for educating students to be critical rather than merely good citizens must recognise the multiple narratives and histories that make pluralistic societies." (1989, p. ix). Schools cannot continue to be seen as places where students have to bracket their identity as soon as they enter through the gates of these institutions. Effective educators have to come to terms with the idea that students want to know that what they are learning has to be worthwhile for them. Education cannot be worthwhile until it connects with the students' own stories and reality. The need to move away from the expert mode in teaching has been felt throughout the most recent years by many people working in the field. Philosophers like John Dewey and Paulo Freire and educational theorists including Peter McLaren and Henry Giroux have written about the need for educators to become conscious of students not as mere receptors of knowledge but as persons who have already begun constructing their own sense of reality before they even encountered schooling. The process of individuals' socialisation commences from the moment they come into the world. Each person in one's interactions with oneself and others starts absorbing the society around him in its multifaceted level. Society is made up of people and as a consequence a pattern of behaviour is created by these same people which everyone is expected to conform to. Starting from the family in 36 which one is born, the primary process of socialisation takes root. At this stage the social culture, norms, values and mores are imparted consciously and/or unconsciously to the small being that will be one of the citizens of tomorrow. One starts to learn what is expected of oneself and the limitations or boundaries that exist within one's social sphere. Most of our behaviour is not based on instinct but it is learned. Traditional education propagates the idea that "this is the way things should be" and there is no alternative but to conform. It is this myth of determinism that needs to be critically challenged. Louis Althusser, the French social theorist, writes that students soon realise that there is a kind of "know-how" that they need in order to be socially accepted and which they learn through the schools: To read, to write and to add - i. e., a number of techniques, and a number of other things as well, including elements of "scientific" or "literary culture", which are directly useful in the different jobs in production . . . children also learn the rules of good behaviour, i. e., the attitude that should be observed by every agent in the division of labour, according to the job he is "destined" for: rules of morality, civic and professional conscience, which actually means rules of respect for the socio-technical divisions of labour and ultimately the rules of the order established by class domination (1971, p. 132). These edicts of proper behaviour and the identification of persons with function dull the sense of other alternatives that critical self-reflection can raise to students' awareness. Students are not allowed to realise that things could be different but because they do not conform, they are immediately labelled as being "deviant". What traditional school systems do not allow is the grasping of what Bowles and Gintis call the hidden curriculum (1976). This is a subtle aspect of schooling that usually reflects those values of the dominant culture of a particular 37 society. The hidden curriculum is made up of the lining-up in the morning, the various bells which denote recess or a time to work, the "no-challenging" attitude that is expected from students by superiors, and other tacit ways in which knowledge and behaviour get constructed, outside the usual course materials and formally scheduled lessons. These are internal structures that students and teachers build inside themselves and which become part of their unconscious boundaries. Michel Foucault speaks about the "panopticon" effect that refers to inbuilt structures that a group of prisoners showed after being exposed to heavy monitoring for a long period. Foucault described how these prisoners became conditioned to react and think as if they were being watched whether this was true or not. He then makes a very powerful analogy of panopticism with the effects of the hidden subtexts of traditional education on students (1977). All educators who wish to foster critical thinking in their students suddenly come to the realisation that "education is politics ... The teacher works in favour of something and against something" (Shor and Freire 1987, p. 46). Therefore consciously or unconsciously, teachers will structure education in order to promote these personal and social agendas. Unfortunately when students come to school they may find that their reality of life does not really coincide with that which is put forward by the curriculum. Traditional education is based on the imparting of facts, as if a body of knowledge existed that an unknown entity has put up as the only truth. Paulo Freire's famous metaphor for traditional education, the 'banking' method, focused on the stifling of creative and critical thought in mass education. In'banking'-style classrooms, Freire wrote that: 38 Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorise, and repeat.. . In the banking concept of education ... the more students work at storing the deposits entrusted to them, the less they develop the critical consciousness which would result from their intervention in the world as transformers of that world (1970, pp. 58,60). Effective educators soon intuit that the curriculum that was created at a distance from the students' sphere of relating does not have any affinity with what really concerns these students. In Experience & Education. John Dewey writes that there is no greater defect in traditional education than its failure "to secure the active co-operation of the pupil in construction of the purposes involved in studying" (1971, p. 67). In this way schools ignore that who is learning is more important than what is being learnt. In this sense, education becomes an aid for students to look at themselves as thinking beings and to question the knowledge that they receive. Knowledge no longer remains a bricolage of facts but the meaning behind those facts will be delineated and deconstructed. The students gain control over what they receive as knowledge, sift through it and find resonances with their own life stories. In this way, students are encouraged to question through their own voice and those of others. They become critical thinkers and able to analyse the new facts that they interact with daily. Rather than becoming a memory machine they are turned into actors. They are able to transcend their present being and project themselves into alternatives. They are allowed to challenge the given facts and look underneath to try and find more than the surface value of the information. 39 Critical thinking involves students asking why they are learning what is imposed on them by the school curriculum. Henry Giroux mentions that: to be literate is not simply to know something; it also means knowing how to participate reflectively in the very act of producing knowledge. It also means learning the limits and partialness of specific languages, cultures, and experiences in terms of both the positive and the negative impacts they have had and might have in contributing to the construction of a democratic state (1989, p. XI). Students should start asking some of the following questions: Who wrote this knowledge? Whose voice is missing here? Why is the author/actor feeling this way? A site has to be created whereby the teacher with his or her adult experience does not block the way to the students' questioning but should look at students as the agents of their own development and transformation. Education should be the means and not the end. Educators are to become facilitators of a higher level of critical thinking. In this style of transformative education, teachers are able to hold back their knowledge and to let students produce their own knowledge. By shifting the focus back to the students, we as educators confirm that they and their contextual frameworks are important, it is a way of empowering them and to give them back their voices. In accepting that schooling is about their life and their future the emphasis changes from the importance of one truth to the realisation that truth is subjective. As Peter McLaren states, students are helped to realise that there does not exist "one discourse" but "several discourses" which challenge the impositions of the dominant ideological "idiolect" (1993, p. 382). The concept of creating alternatives is what brings the Arts and education close to each other. Imagination is what distinguishes humanity from the rest of creation. People have the ability to project themselves in "as if" situations and 40 simultaneously observe themselves in this process. It is imagination that draws people on, that enables them to make new connections among parts of their experience that suggest the contingency of reality. Imagination enhances our ability to think, reflect and in this way brings change. Richard Courtney observes that the "development of imaginative capacity and its externalised expression indicates a cognitive width - the apprehension of many aspects of a concept at the same time. It includes the ability to turn the problem round, to see one facet and to weigh it against another, and to relate all aspects to one another" (1971, p. 104). The Arts and more specifically for this thesis, theatre and drama, are able to accentuate this dialogic ability of being "in" and "outside" the present situation. The students are able to go through a process in which the facts by which they are bombarded everyday are used in order to make sense of their past, present and future experiences. Students interact with these facts, make them their own, dispute them and come to their own conclusions. Theatre and drama allow students to be in the state of "in-betweeness": being themselves but yet becoming someone else. Wolfgang Iser captures this moment: "the ability to perceive oneself during the process of participation is an essential part of the aesthetic experience; the observer finds himself in a strange halfway position: he is involved, and watches himself being involved" (1980, p. 134). This is what Augusto Boal calls the phenomena of "metaxis" when speaking about his philosophy of Popular Theatre (1995, p. 42). A space is created between the students' lives and that of the imaginary character where projections of their inner selves are safely allowed to roam free. In trying to come to terms with a fictitious character's past, present and future, the students are involved in an interaction with 41 their inner self, finding resources that they always had but were not aware that they possessed. This double vision makes students aware of contradictions, the "possibilising" they become capable of, and give their works the power to disclose the insufficiencies that they observe to the consciousness of other people they address. Students engaged in critical awareness not only transform themselves but raise the awareness of others to the alternatives that exist around them. Clar Doyle in Raising Curtains in Education emphasises that "students engage in actual plays as part of a broader attempt to understand not only themselves and their relationships with others . . . [but also] that students write plays as part of a larger pedagogical process of asserting their sense of agency and their complex connections with daily life" (1993, p. x). In the act of creation students are able to connect their education with their outside reality. Moreover, the act of creation helps them to achieve the distance much needed in order to be able to reflect and to affect change. The ability to see other possibilities helps students to start creating their own boundaries. Being able to project themselves in different situations through the use of the imagination aids them in becoming aware of what they really think. This ability to reflect about the process of thinking and the "why" certain people react in certain patterns helps students to go beyond the particular and to connect with the universality of feelings, thoughts and emotions that transcend the boundaries of cultures and societies. Peter McLaren in Schooling as Ritual Performance defines the teacher as the medium which can engage the students into familiar territory but not to lead them on to a complacent existence but to "problematise" the familiar (1986, pp. 42 170 -175). McLaren compares the educator to the "liminal servant", a term he borrowed from the famous anthropologist, Victor Turner. The liminal state as described by Victor Turner refers to an initiation or rite of passage, in which participants lose their usual role and status. In this phase of "in-between", those involved are neither what they have been nor what they will be. This in "in- between" phase is similar to the space that should be created by educators. Educators should help students to distance themselves from the present moment, enabling them to question their reality from all possible angles. The opportunity to "step back" creates that moment of awareness where students' growth occurs: they are not what they were but at the same time are still coming to terms with what they will be. Evidently, this potential for distancing is one of the most important tools that the educators have to harness in order to be effective in the education of students. The Arts enhance reflection - they create a possibility for students to distance themselves from a created reality. Students are able to step back from a fictional situation and to dissect it in its entirety. Distance helps to make what appears to be mundane and familiar seem as if it was being seen for the very first time. It is the giveness of everyday life that creates a certain numbness, which inhibits us from reflecting upon our daily interactions. This is why intentional acts ought to be undertaken to bring things within the scope of students' attention, to make situations more palpable and visible. Only when the received information "touches the students emotionally enough" will it bring "a change in attitude, a change in the value students" (Bolton, 1979, p. 32) give to these facts. It is only when acquired knowledge gains subjective meaning that students will make an effort at its 43 interpretation. Bertolt Brecht wanted to achieve this critical awareness through his "alienation effect" in theatre: he was trying to shock people back into the realisation of their reality and wanted them to avoid being anaesthetised by the "cocooning" effect of routine. I cite Maxine Greene on the insights gained through "distancing": Submergence and the inability to name what lies around interfere with questioning and learning. Dewey had something much like this in mind when he emphasised the dangers of 'recurrence, complete uniformity", "the routine and the mechanical" (1934, p. 272). What he sometimes called the 'anaesthetic' in experience is what numbs people and prevents them from reaching out, from launching inquiries (1988, p. 125). She goes on to write that for Dewey, experience only became fully conscious when meanings derived from earlier experience entered in through the exercise of the imaginative capacity. Imagination "is the only gateway through which the meanings can find their way into present interaction; or r a t h e r . . . the conscious adjustment of the new and the old is imagination" (ibid.). Aiding students to distance themselves from their environment and to look at it with a set of different eyes should be one of the aims of education. Theatre and drama, with their intrinsic quality of in-betweeness, can help achieve this space between the familiar and the unfamiliar. Both mediums juxtapose the known and the unknown to achieve a new level of critical awareness. Using the imagination not only offers opportunities for exploration and reflection but has the added benefit of experiencing other realities in a safe environment. Since students know that this is only an imaginary world they are encouraged to take risks and project themselves without fearing that they are going to be penalised. Students can do this in the fictional world of drama in that space 44 which they can call their own. Here they can rehearse for reality, try out new propositions, critique their own assumptions and know that when the "going gets tough" they can easily move out. In this fictional space, students can act out their fears and desires in symbolic form and in so doing can better assimilate these in their lives. Drama and theatre create a safety valve where students can self- disclose without feeling too threatened because it is a fictional reality anyway, a reality which is still under construction and can always be open to critique. This safety net transforms the student from a passive observer into an active performer. Alfred Schutz suggests that "only the performing and especially the working self is fully interested in life and, hence, wide-awake . . . attention is an active process, not a passive one. Passive attention is the opposite of full awareness" (1967, p. 213). Theatre and drama bring together human consciousness and the body; the participants are involved holistically in the activity and can experience more fully the responsibility of their action. Students are not stuck on an intellectual level of interaction; they can experience the results of their decisions right in front of their eyes in their own bodies and those around them. Anton Franks observes that dramatic texts and activities in the classrooms are made up of and by the bodies of students who animate and populate the drama. To create these texts, students draw from and combine the resources held within their bodies as individuals, and between them as social beings. In very particular ways, their bodies carry biological, social and cultural histories, which give insight and evidence of the internal and invisible domains of the psyche, or states of mind (1996, pp. 105 - 6). This complicity between body and mind brings the students' awareness to a more concrete level and moves them away from mere abstractions. The mind/body connection certainly ties in with what Paulo Freire refers to as the 45 "active subject". "We wanted a literacy program," Freire wrote in Education for Critical Consciousness, "which would be an introduction to the democratisation of culture ... a program which itself would be an act of creation, capable of releasing other creative acts, one in which students would develop the impatience of vivacity which characterise search and invention" (1973, p. 43). Since involvement in the creative act demands that persons derive meaning through their own social, emotional and political perspectives, it is also an empowering action. Art is a subjective creation, which depends for its development on the insights of each individual that partakes of the process. This is how theatre and drama connect the process of creation and education with the outside social practices that the students are involved in. What Barthes writes about literature can apply for theatre and drama as they too involve each student in "rewriting the text of the work within the text of [his/her] life" (1975, p. 62). In this way theatre and drama can help create open texts whereby students realise that reality is not fixed but it is interpreted and contingent. Finding that their interpretations of reality are equally valid gives students a sense of freedom and entitlement as knowledgeable beings. Their voices that have been silenced and marginalised for a long time are validated. It enhances their ability to empathise with the voices of others who like them might be unheard or suppressed. It is difficult not to be reminded of Paulo Freire writing of "humanisation" as the primary vocation of educators - the struggle for the overcoming of alienation and the affirmation of men and women as persons (1970, p. 28). Humanisation is a matter of affirming human beings as "subjects of decisions" rather than objects, of involving students in the striving toward their own "completion" - a striving that can 46 never end. Such a philosophy of education demands a re-orientation of the traditional educator's role in the classroom and this will be the focus of the next chapter. 47 CHAPTER THREE Educators as Co-Creators - Pedagogical Implications for the Drama/Theatre Process During the summer of 1996 up to April 1997, I participated in two "drama in education" courses at the University of British Columbia. These two courses were aimed at teachers who wished to use the mediums of process drama and participatory theatre as teaching/learning instruments. The subjects that these teachers taught at their schools varied. The courses included the teaching of techniques, the application of techniques to the various areas of the curriculum and practical sessions. The insights developed in these chapters are gathered from my experience as a teacher of drama and theatre, journals and reflections written during the courses and feedback sessions from the other teachers during these courses. These feedback sessions took the form of informal conversations round a table with teachers relating their experiences of using drama and theatre in their classroom. The characteristics, mentioned in this chapter, are not prescriptive. If we are to deal with people as persons, then personal objectives, tastes and individual perceptions are to be respected. You as the reader can enrich this text with your own observations. The more I immerse myself in drama work, the more I realise that it captures a view of a humanistic philosophy and is consonant with the concepts promoted by critical pedagogy: the importance of empowering students by giving value to their own life experiences. Students are viewed as people with social, emotional, and intellectual backgrounds who do not give up their personal life as soon as they 48 enter the school gates. In the act of sharing through dramatic play, students allow teachers - usually looked up to as adults, figures of authority - to tiptoe into their interior territory. Students are not forced to expose themselves. It is the students who decide to allow the teacher to share in such a sacred encounter. Teachers who arrive at this level of trust with their students have to appreciate this rare treasure. In my experience, some teachers do not get to know their students as individuals but only as a name in the register. Only through forming a close relationship with students can educators hope to aid students in their growth and transformation. In order for transformation to be achieved, the teacher has to create spaces where students can reflect on the process they are going through. Any effective drama or theatre experience connects with the inner selves of the students, gives space for reflection and derives new meaning. Reflection is the fulcrum on which the success of the drama revolves. The teacher must create opportunities for reflection that can occur during or after the drama experience. These moments reserved for processing experiences is also where the teacher-student dialogue is encouraged and most fruitful. It is this moment of reflection that helps dramatic stories to go beyond being only fictions and to gain a mirroring quality that sheds new light on the students' own lives and stories. Norah Morgan and Juliana Saxton (quoting Megan Schaffner) find that: reflection, in or out of role, through listening, speaking, reading, writing, or depicting, provides valuable opportunities for students to use language expressively, engaging them in anecdote, observation, speculation, thinking aloud and theorizing ... not only does reflection reveal [students'] developing insights but [they] actually talk themselves into new understanding (1988, p. 36). 49 An educator's decision to use theatre and drama as teaching/learning mediums already implies a deep commitment to achieve new understanding. In this decision there is the inherent knowledge that change will not only occur in the students but also in the teachers themselves. The moments of reflection, enabled by the drama, are useful to all the participants of the drama process and that includes the teachers too. Philip Taylor, in coining the term "reflection-in-action" (1992), has underlined the process that drama and theatre teachers are constantly going through during their teaching. Being a teacher involves being a very sharp and intuitive observer; this is even more pertinent to the drama and theatre educator. Both mediums involve quick thinking on the feet and the spontaneity created is enhanced by the ability of the teacher to be able to make instantaneous but effective changes to the drama or theatre process. These quick decisions imply that there will be times when educators will make mistakes and realise that the process is not leading anywhere. Drama demands risk-taking and the fear of the first time is very real. The risk of appearing vulnerable in front of the students is greater when the educator is moving away from the "expert" mode. Still, vulnerability can have a positive outcome: teachers show that they are human beings after all and the students can appreciate this honesty. It is beneficial for the students to see that the figure of authority can also be vulnerable because this creates a sense of equality. Risk taking helps and encourages this change in the internal world of both teacher and students. Trying to assign blame for things going wrong only engenders an atmosphere of resentment that is not conducive to the energy needed to move on from where one has stopped. Unlike the traditional mode of teaching, co-creation narrows the 50 distance between teacher and students. Drama and theatre can help to bridge the student-teacher relationship without appearing superficial, imposing or artificially put on. Teachers become facilitators in the research of the inner worlds of both themselves and their students. Drama brings forth a sense of communal creation: stories are shared and through them, both student and teacher are enriched. In order for students to feel safe enough to risk contributing their own thinking and derive their own meaning, an atmosphere of trust has to be created. It is very important that educators know themselves and their boundaries very well. It is misguiding to allow students to believe that they are safe to expose certain resistances in the classroom when the teacher is not yet ready to cope with these views when expressed by students. Drama and theatre involve a commitment of both students and teacher to create a safe, exciting, and instructive environment. Integrating the students' real worlds and that of the imaginary world created by drama enhances the students' personal experiences and this is where the learning takes place. This dynamic interaction between "me as myself" and "me playing a character" creates a space in order for ideas to be exposed, challenged, internalised or adapted. This space reminds one a lot of the distance created between the reader and the text. Drama and theatre allow students to bring their own desirable or least desirable parts into their dialogic process. A space is created between their own real stories and the fiction created helping them to distance themselves and giving them the opportunity to transform the situations or their attitude towards them. When this transformation occurs and the students and teacher end up with something new, whether tangible or abstract, then another step towards realising 51 the potential of drama to create change in individuals has been made. Obviously being in such close encounter with real stories and students' lives carries certain responsibilities. Morgan and Saxton draw the educators' attention to the social health of the class, and the "teacher's and student's personal luggage" (1987, pp.158-59). This personal baggage might include restrictions that may be pertinent to the individual and/or social ethos of the participants. Students have to trust the teacher and their classmates in order for them to feel safe enough to disclose themselves. The right environment has to be prepared by the teacher through previous trust-building exercises. In addition, teachers have to be aware that they themselves will have to take risks. A safe environment is slowly built and this is the first challenge that the drama teachers have to tackle with their students. The importance of creating safety and the teachers' fear of taking risks brings me to cite what Tony Goode, citing George Gillham, writes in his article "Drama - The Search for Identity": "If we allow our own fears to predominate when faced with the darker side of humanity, then we disempower young people, trapping them within a cycle of constraint which can only result in their becoming society's clones rather than their own people" (p. 17). As drama and theatre teachers, we are constantly striving to strike a balance between being too apprehensive but at the same time wanting to transform our students. This is more evident in process drama where the scripts are being co-created by students and teacher from their own inner resources. As teachers, we are responsible for the safety of our students not only on a physical level but also emotionally. The fear is that the power of drama might be abused by people who believe that this work only is a success when they take their students on a deep emotional trip. As educators, we 52 have to be aware that risk taking does not mean that we rush in foolishly where common sense fears to tread. The dangers of unplanned risk-taking are evident. In our preparation work we have to look out for safety valves especially if dealing with intense emotions and also to consult with others when we cannot cope with a situation and need more expert help. There are many different ways in which students can be protected during the drama and theatre lesson. One very important mode of creating the distance needed both for reflection and yet safety is the use of "parallels". In his philosophy of Epic Theatre, Bertolt Brecht speaks of "historification" (Willett, 1964, pp. 190 - 191): that is elements of contemporary society which the dramatist wants to underline are placed within the context of a distant phase in history. In this way the audience watching will not identify completely with the characters but still manage to arrive at the conclusion that if the depicted situation was happening in their times there would be things they could do to change it. The irony is that the audience realises that those situations do exist in their time and they do have alternatives to create transformation. This notion of historification is only one example of how the drama teacher can find parallels to the original story. The use of "parallels" to risky stories to create emotional and intellectual distance inside the drama lesson, has also been utilised in other ways by other theatre and drama practitioners. Gavin Bolton (1984) states that the creation of analogies or parallels has to be well planned so that the students will be able to make the connections necessary for the drama to be effective. He goes on to write that teachers might approach the subject area at an oblique angle to the main issue. For example, in a drama about prostitution, the focus would be on the 53 reasons that could lead some people to choose this type of lifestyle. Dorothy Heathcote has another popular way of working indirectly: she places students in a role that circles around the main issue. This technique is known as the 'mantle of the expert'. For example, in a drama about a family accident, students become reporters, witnesses or neighbours who are called upon to give their views (Wagner, 1976). Students are the "experts" of the situation because as neighbours or reporters they are able to conjure up reasons and facts leading to the situation but without being as emotionally involved as they would have been if for example they had been cast as family members talking about a suicidal sibling or relative. In addition to creating parallels, drama and theatre teachers have a very powerful tool in their hands to enable them to create distance: the art of asking good questions. Through questions, educators can steer the students away from areas that may be too uncomfortable for both the teacher and the participants. The art of questioning is the ability to instigate the participants to elaborate on their internal process and in turn, this elaboration will promise commitment. The drama and theatre educator should move away from the expert stance in asking these questions. Many times teachers have an internal clock that ticks in seconds after they ask a question and as soon as the students do not answer in that time frame then they just give them the answer. Drama educators have to have the power of language on their side in order to be able to ask good and pertinent questions but at the same time need to have the patience to let the students work the answers out for themselves. It is of utmost importance not to ask questions for the sake of testing students or to ask leading questions that already contain the teachers' answer. Questions should emerge from the drama and the teachers themselves 54 might not even know the answers. It is part of an effective drama that both teachers and students pass through the same process of moving from the known to the unknown. Always bearing in mind that the drama is being co-created, teachers have to realise that their opinion or interpretation is just one among many. When educators allow their opinions to be at par with those of their students, they do not renounce their leading roles but are transformed into facilitators rather than being determiners of the drama. The ability to ask good questions will develop as the teacher exercises and experiences the process of facilitating drama and theatre. Questions also aid in gaining focus for the drama lesson. Certain questions are asked in order to particularise the time and place of the drama and to make sure that everybody agrees about these factors. Other questions might lead to further research by the students and yet others will help them to stop and think about a situation. Focusing is an integral part of any theatrical experience: the capturing of an action in a particular space and at a particular time. In the framework of education, focus is important because it aids the teacher to help students make the connection between the particular and the universal. An aim of drama and theatre in the classroom is to enable students to derive connections with the patterns of human lives outside the fiction of the drama. "The teacher can show them the significance of things that might otherwise seem insignificant" (Wagner, 1976, p. 59). For drama and theatre teachers to be able to ask good questions, they have to prepare their lessons well in advance. Drama lessons have the stigma of being unstructured, with their content nothing more than a series of games. This is far 55 from the truth. Every effective theatre and drama educator spends time looking for the right sources for the drama and building up a series of activities that will help in exploring an educational goal. Moreover educators have to make sure that students understand what is happening in the drama lesson because this understanding will lead to interest. John O'Toole insists that: It is true that drama does not flourish through teacher domination, but nor will it in a completely non-interventionist atmosphere. The best drama happens within well-defined and mutually understood organisation and the teacher should ensure that lessons, especially in the early stages, should include instructions that transmit such knowledge (1994, p. 45). Drama and theatre lessons need as much preparation as other subjects' lessons require. Drama and theatre educators need to know which educational objectives are to be achieved through a particular lesson. Students need clear instructions for the drama process to move forward smoothly: the boundaries of the acting area , the demands of the activity, the theatrical framework being used and other fundamental details. Lessons need to have in-built alternatives that can be used if something goes wrong with a particular activity. That dramas should be structured is very evident to Dorothy Heathcote who writes that without an adult, children's dramas tend to be episodic, a set of adventures with no time for the build-up of tension or the exploring of what lies between people, of that aura that can be felt in a human situation. When children produce fast-paced plays, all you get are four lines and bam! the climax. This is what children see in television cartoons [action movies]; it's also what they think they're seeing in theatre, and all too often, they're right (1976, p. 45). This is why it is of utmost importance that each drama lesson has clear objectives. Failure to identify a specific learning focus for a drama lesson puts the teacher in an unnecessarily vulnerable position, prey to the whims and fancies of 56 the class and all too often, to resultant chaos. Knowing the objective does not mean knowing where the drama is going to end. When an ending is already known the process is boring but pre-planning is of utmost importance to ensure effective learning. Knowing your objectives also enhances the chances of staying in the same place of the drama process for a longer period and thus enables thorough analysis of the students' available resources. "Staying in the same place" demands that students struggle to find answers, to find new awareness and to exhaust the situation from all perspectives. The importance of structuring the drama and theatre lesson brings to mind what many theoreticians of educational drama refer to as an "unwritten agreement" (Heathcote (1976), Bolton (1984), Tarlington & Verriour (1991)). This is a contract that teachers may "draw" together with students at the beginning of a drama that binds them all to try their best for the drama to progress. This contract has to reflect the needs and interests of both parties: teachers too have to be ready to keep up their end of the bargain. The teacher has to openly invite the students to agree to be bound to this contract. The students should not be forced into agreeing but once they agree they have to respect this pact. This pact is a constant reminder to the students and teachers of the commitment that they have promised to show to the drama. When a lesson has structure, there is less chance that the teacher will feel lost or that interest in the drama will dwindle because of lack of direction. Lack of interest will lead to students feeling less committed to the drama and the chances for disruptions in the drama will be increased. From my experience, I believe that 57 one of the fears of the new drama and theatre teacher is that of losing control over the class. Many teachers have visions of students running, laughing and causing an unacceptable level of noise in the drama room. If disruptions do occur, there is no reason why these should not be dealt with as in any other lesson. This is part of the teachers' commitment to the rest of the class and shows the students that the teacher cares about the drama. This attitude proves that drama is to be taken seriously and is not simply a question of having fun at all costs. Obviously pre- planning and structuring the drama and theatre lesson aid teachers to have better management of the process and the participants. In structuring their lessons, drama teachers will also gain the benefit of knowing when to introduce tension in the drama process. In order for the drama to move on, tension has to be injected at unexpected moments. This is a rudimentary ingredient in all theatre scripts: theatre is based on tension. David Booth in Story Drama writes "how I would use surprise and tension to provoke thoughtful response - my constant quest" (1994, p. 54). Drama and theatre teachers have to be very good listeners and observers to find those moments where they then use what they get to know during the drama process so that a twist is given to the students' expectations. This twist creates the elements of tension and surprise that will lead to the use of new problem-solving strategies and decision-making techniques. The students would need to act quickly to come to terms with the novel scenario suddenly presented by the teacher. The sudden twist to the drama is similar to the unexpected in everyday life except that the unpredicted happens in the safe environment of the fictional world of drama and theatre. 58 Another strategy that teachers can use to introduce tension and to increase the level of engagement of students into the drama is for the educators to participate in role. In order to pursue this approach, teachers do not necessarily need to be actors but they need to be able to step into "someone else's shoes - exploring the thought and behaving as that [character] would in a given situation" (Tarlington and Verriour, 1991, p. 9). The teacher-in-role aids in setting the mood for the children, modelling the tone and type of expressions to be used and helping the students to believe in the situation. There are different registers that teachers can use to enter the drama (see Appendix A) but the most commonly used register for the new drama and theatre teacher is that of the "one in need of help". This role puts the students in the role of the experts who can help the teacher in solving a problem through their expertise. For example, in a drama about a village whose water is being polluted by an unknown source, the students can take on the role of the villagers. The teacher can enter the drama as the health inspector who needs to know where the main sources of water are to be found in the village, how old the system is, who had built it and how long the problem has been going on, to name but a few inquiries that could be made. In this way the teacher-in-role is not an outsider who the students can view as an observer or 'judge'. When teachers are observing students during a drama, there is a tendency that students may try to act in the manner that pleases the teacher rather than concentrating on their roles and moving the drama forward. Teacher-in-role is especially effective in the initial stages of the drama until the students have gained enough confidence and belief to be able to create connections, find new solutions and alternatives with less need for facilitation. The 59 teacher-in-role approach is not an opportunity for teachers who have a background in theatre to display the superiority of their acting talents because this will only intimidate the students and will only serve to take the focus off the process and onto the teacher. Teachers should use their role to act as models for the students rather than to daunt them. The teacher in role is still guiding the students but through a more effective stance "within" the drama rather than "outside" it. Gavin Bolton citing Geoffrey Gillham makes a distinction between the drama occurring for the teacher and that happening for the students (1979, p. 51). The students' play has the "what happens next" orientation while that of the teacher has more of an educational orientation. The extent to which teachers modify their play will depend not only on their ability but also on their philosophy of drama and theatre education. The balance between keeping the educational objectives within the dramatic context and at the same time respecting the students' intentions is a delicate balance to keep. It is here that teachers need to reflect deeply on the progress of the dramatic process. The process must never become defined as "I, the teacher alone, am making it happen" but rather "we, the teacher and class, are making it happen" has to be the goal of the drama and theatre lesson (Bolton, ibid. p. 55). It is beneficial for teachers to work within the drama but not to manipulate it to their own ends. It is clear that sometimes there are certain didactic objectives that the teacher has in mind and therefore s/he exploits the drama in order to achieve this aim. For example, a teacher of English could use a drama to help students understand better an episode from a story they are reading in class. In this case the teacher might have one specific objective in mind to aid the students to make a connection 60 with the text. It might be that the teacher does not want to delve deeper through the drama other than to encourage students to recreate the storyline. Aiding students' memory to remember a story line is only one simple way of using drama and theatre. However, it is important to be aware that drama and theatre are not only instruments to teach other subjects but also are within themselves powerful mediums of transformation. Up to now the focus of this chapter has been more on individual and group transformation than on the teaching of theatre skills and techniques. This is not to conclude that theatre skills and techniques are unimportant for people working with process drama. The elements of theatre are inherent in the drama processes that are exposed in this thesis. Students should become aware from the initial moments of the experience that they are constantly using the dynamics of theatre. It is beneficial that drama and theatre teachers become familiar with these theatrical elements and point them out to students. Teachers should emphasise eye-contact during the drama scenes, awareness of space, body and voice and how to listen and react in character just to mention a few of the vital characteristics of any theatre work. Still the teacher who would like to use drama and theatre but does not have any theatrical background should not be disheartened. The aim in this type of theatre and drama is not to train the students to become superior actors but to use these potent devices in order to promote transformation and reflection. Finally, two of the most debated issues of drama and theatre teaching are assessment and evaluation. One must admit that both factors have raised a lot of 61 controversy among drama and theatre practitioners and nobody has yet derived one satisfactory mode of evaluation or assessment. For the sake of clarification, in the following paragraphs 'evaluation' will mean the final report done by the teacher while 'assessment' will refer to the on-going process in which both teacher and students can have a say. Both are highly subjective and should depend entirely on what objectives the teacher and students have agreed should be reached through the drama and theatre lesson. A preliminary session or sessions should be dedicated to discussions between teacher and students as to what they expect from each other and from the drama and theatre lessons. Evidently, teachers who are using drama and theatre as tools to teach other subjects have certain objectives that are specific to that curriculum area. It is important that students know the criteria on which they are going to be evaluated and that their voices be heard through the opportunity of self-assessment. Allowing students to have a say in their assessment will be giving them a clear message that they too are responsible for their growth. Assessments can be used more as opportunities for students to reflect on the changes they have gone through than simply to grade themselves for the sake of a final mark. Assessments are ideally utilised to promote teacher/student dialogue. David Booth writes that "the various types of learning that occur in a drama [and theatre] program do not all lend themselves equally well to the assessment [and evaluation] process. The teacher [and students have] the complex task of assessing the nature of internal and personal experience as well as to judge the external and public form" (1994, p. 129). Many drama and theatre practitioners seem to hold the belief that assessment should be an ongoing process and be of a 62 qualitative nature. The teacher's evaluation then becomes the outcome of this constant process rather than this evaluation being based only on the teacher's perceptions. Even when teachers are forced to give a quantitative evaluation of the students' work, they have to base this on the quality of the work. Tarlington and Verriour give four types of learning that teachers should take into consideration when evaluating students: 1. The actual learning that is occurring (at an intellectual and emotional level). 2. An understanding and appreciation of the drama form. 3. The development of expressive and communication skills. 4. ' The development of personal and social skills (1991, p. 118). In conclusion, one must observe that the role of the drama and theatre teacher in an education setting is as complex as that of any other educator. Effective drama and theatre teachers have an important and delicate task: structuring and preparing the lesson, being aware of the types of questions asked, re-directing students' responses without rejecting them, being careful not to monopolise the drama to their own ends and constantly seeking ways to challenge students beyond the familiar. It is evident that in order to reap the benefits from the use of theatre and drama, time and dedication is needed for teachers who have not used these mediums before to re-frame their teaching techniques. What is important is to realise that through the use of theatre and drama, students' education becomes more of an awareness of possibilities than a dependence on facts. The more the drama and theatre teacher becomes aware of the strength of both mediums to raise critical awareness and develop social and personal skills, the more opportunities for transformation are created, not only inside the 63 classroom but also outside in the larger community. How the dynamics of drama and theatre can be put into practice is the aim of the next chapter. 64 CHAPTER FOUR The Program - Defending An Island's Identity Program Rationale The German poet Goethe once said that "he who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth." I don't want you to end up in such a sad state. I will do what I can to acquaint you with your historical roots. It is the only way to become a human being. It is the only way to become more than a naked ape. It is the only way to avoid floating in a vacuum. ... Sophie sat for a while staring into the garden through the little holes in the hedge. She was beginning to understand why it was important to know about her historical roots. ... She herself was just an ordinary person. ... She would not be living on this planet for more than a few years. But if the history of mankind was her own history, in a way she was thousands of years old (Gaarder, 1996, p. 164). This quote from Sophie's World brought home the importance of the search for my culture and identity as a citizen of a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Stepping into some of the small villages of Malta is like taking a walk into history. Echoes of the civilisations that have visited and conquered us still reverberate in the temples, caves and other historical remains that can be found scattered on this small island. We as a people carry within our culture: food, architecture, politics, psychology and bodies the evidence of the many peoples who have come into contact with our ancestors. Somehow, the need to find our roots has led me to focus and build this drama and theatre project around issues of identity and colonialism. The effects of the latter are still evident in the feelings of inferiority we express, as Maltese, when comparing ourselves to other countries. It is my aim in this chapter, to use drama and theatre activities to explore further these issues of identity, history's impact on a culture and the long-lasting effects of colonialism on a country. After having discussed how drama and theatre can aid learning and teaching in the previous chapters, it is time to put 65 these theories into practice. I will propose a layout of a program that might be implemented in Maltese schools by drama/theatre educators working with 11-16 year old students within a formal educational setting. Although this program is intended for drama/theatre teachers, there is no reason why it cannot be incorporated into a social studies or history curriculum. In order to aid educators who are new to the processes of theatre and drama in the classroom, a section of this chapter will be dedicated to explaining the various techniques and strategies that are used in building up this program. There is a gamut of activities that focus on factual learning, personal development, awareness of social issues and development of communication and theatre skills. These activities are put together by using structures pertinent to "process drama" and "participatory theatre". Both processes were defined in the first chapter of this thesis but the various stages involved in the building of a program. It is intended that at the end of this proposed program students will perform the developed episodes for other students and that this performance will lead to a participatory theatre event. Similar to some Theatre in Education projects, target schools will be chosen and two classes at a time will be asked to participate as audience. Some of the activities in the program will be distributed to teachers of the chosen schools. These activities will form part of the preparatory work that these educators will carry out with their students before participating in the performance. The preliminary work will enable teachers and students from the chosen schools to work on parts of the process themselves before they come as an audience to the performance. In this way students who are in the audience will not be new to process drama, participatory theatre and the themes of the project 66 which will enhance their participation in the event. The different ways in which direct audience participation can be structured will be explained further, in a later section of this chapter. Finally, one must note that the following is only an initial proposal of this program. As such, there will many assumptions and decisions made on my part based on my drama and theatre experiences. I am aware that certain activities and proposed links might change if I was actually working with students in a classroom. This is not a prescriptive formula for success; different groups will react to drama and theatre in different ways. When implementing this program, educators are free to proceed and make decisions according to their context. There are a variety of learning goals that might emerge from the various stages of this program; educators can choose the ones that enthuse them and their participants more. Drama and theatre should be an exciting way of learning and the more exploration is encouraged, the more creativity is tapped. With all this in mind let us proceed to discuss the various factors involved in such a dramatic process. STAGES OF THIS PROGRAM It is going to be evident from the project that as Carole Tarlington and Wendy Michaels observe in Building Plays (1995, p. 26), there are five stages to the process of building a collective educational theatre project: exploring, framing, sequencing, rehearsing and performing. Educators who use drama in education techniques but do not intend to create a performance usually do not have to consider the last two phases: 67 Exploring The first important step for any project is to find a topic that interests all the participants. These topics might be areas of the curriculum that the teacher would like to explore through the use of drama and theatre. At other times it might be that the educator has to find out the issues and themes that members of the class or group would like to explore at a deeper level. In both cases, the usual mode of entry into the drama process is a brainstorming session for ideas or facts. Brainstorming should mean more than discussing verbally the theme or issue at hand. Ideas can be explored through the use of imagery, body sculpting, drawing, improvising short scenes, and other activities that involve all the capacities for sensory perception. Concentrating too much on words can mean that the discussion is done only on an intellectual level that limits the possibilities that can emerge from the brainstorming. Moreover, using drama activities in the initial phases of building this program will enhance group work, student involvement and also familiarise students with the type of activities that will be used at later stages. The exploratory phase also includes academic research once the general topic is chosen: looking through books, magazines, journals, newspapers and other literature to find factual material for the topic of the drama activity. Documentation of researched material can take the form of a variety of mediums that can then be integrated into the drama. For example, academic research could lead to a collection of photographic material, recordings and snippets of news, that can be used to evolve new ideas in the drama and in collages, projections and storytelling during the drama itself. 68 Research leads to an amassing of material that then has to be filtered according to the needs of the activities. Students should know that not all the material found would be ultimately used but nothing should be dismissed too quickly as it might serve for unexpected moments of the drama process. There are different ways how to keep track of all this collected material. For example, a special area in the room could be created where objects belonging to the drama process can be stored. In addition, participants can be directly involved in keeping record of material needed for each scene. From my experience, I have found that when students are committed to the dramatic process they will be the ones to remind you what things are needed in a specific scene. Each person involved in a scene could be made responsible for the object she or he uses in that particular instance. In this way, the educator will be creating a sense of entitlement in the students. Framing As participants engage in drama and theatre, they find that certain activities or episodes gain more effect when tried in a variety of theatrical styles. Certain scenes work better as monologues, other scenes can work as comic relief, other scenes can be depicted as dream sequences, while others might demand another theatrical style to create tension or contrast. Therefore, "framing" refers to the dramatic form used for a scene to be brought across in a clear and effective way to the audience. The manipulation of the dramatic medium demands a stepping back from the created episodes. Techniques that can assist this phase can include freezing the scene (stopping the scene and one participant at a time steps out to look at the 69 ensemble), hot seating (putting questions directly to the characters in the scene), and performing the scene in slow motion or at a fast speed. Sometimes what participants believe they are getting across to the audience is not the same message that is being picked up by those on the receiving end. Through these techniques, participants can create distance from the action to be able to reflect on the scene and tighten it up to make it sharper for the audience. Sequencing Putting the scenes in a particular order can alter the final effect on the audience. Not all episodes developed during the drama process have to necessarily form part of the final sequence that is presented to the audience. The build up of the scenes that the audience will eventually see should be dictated by the creator's intentions for doing this performance. These intentions can be discerned at first when the participants choose the topic. The process of ordering the material pushes the creators to clarify the objectives that they would like to communicate through their performance. The final structure of the episodes also demands considerations of other theatrical elements: the acting space, the costumes, any props being used, linking of scenes and other staging factors. In this kind of theatre, the acting space can be kept as simple as the educator and the participants wish. As artistic mediums, theatre and drama gain a lot of effect through the languages of symbols and metaphors. For example, the same chair can be utilised as a throne, as a seat on a train, a barricade and other situations in different scenes. Most educators and students normally do not have the economic resources and much time to spend on creating special effects. Moreover, keeping 70 it simple does not mean presenting a simplistic piece of theatre. Many times, most powerful theatrical moments have been created on the barest of stages. Rather than effects and props, it is the people and their relationships on the stage that are of interest in educational theatre. Sequencing also involves the linking of one episode to another. Is music going to be used between scenes? Will a blackout work better here? Can the transition in and of itself have a meaning or theatrical impact? Scenes work better when a contrast is created between different moments. A moment of tension followed by a tension-releasing scene will work better at times than one climax after the other. At times, the episodic nature of this style of theatre will demand that scene changes form an integral part of the performance. Scene changes do not always have to mean a pause in the action of the sequence. In traditional theatre, the scenery is changed behind closed curtains far away from the audience's eyes. In this type of theatre, scene changes can be done right in front of the audience and if integrated well into the performance will not break the illusion being created for them. For example, in one of my school performances, students were supposed to build a barricade made out of the stage properties that were needed in a previous scene. We did not know how this could be done without interrupting the flow of the performance. During one instance in the exploratory phase of that process, students developed a song that urged the people to join in standing up against the forces that were oppressing them in the fictional world of the performance. This 71 song served as an excellent bridge between the barricade scene and the next scene: the students sang for revolution while they built the barricade. Students who are not participating in the scenes can be of utmost help during scene changes. Educators can be a source of modelling behaviour if they are able to delegate responsibility. This venture depends on the group's effort and every single detail contributes to the whole. Students should be made aware of how important their part is even when putting a prop in place, or helping a friend put on a costume in quick changes or cueing the right music at the right time. All these actions contribute to the success of the whole endeavour. Rehearsing Due to the exploratory nature of this work, the time demanded for rehearsals is usually less than in the usual scripted performance. Character building, character's motivations and objectives and blocking are usually discovered during the researching and creation of the scenes. Rehearsal time in educational theatre is usually spent on practising scene changes and the pacing of scenes. Performance Although the performance is sometimes looked at as the ultimate goal or the end-product, in educational theatre it should have the same importance as the other stages of the process. The process does not stop when the performance is finished, and this is more evident if the performance takes the form of participatory theatre. The performance in participatory theatre is a beginning stage for another process that might go on for a long period of time inside each individual that partakes of it. Moreover, certain issues and episodes from the performance can be 72 used in the classrooms by teachers as a follow-up to the performance to pursue other paths of learning. GLOSSARY OF STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES USED IN PROGRAM ANIMATEUR The teacher or student acting as facilitator between actors and audience during a participatory theatre performance. Augusto Boal when explaining the role of the facilitator in Forum Theatre labels this role as "the Joker". This role demands listening and synthesising audience suggestions, pausing action, deepening the discussion, energising the audience and facilitating the communication between the fictional world and the real context. IMPROVISATION Spontaneous or planned role-playing. Usually carried out between two or more characters in a scene. Improvisations can be a few minutes long or extend into a full scene. The scenes are not scripted. Spontaneous Improvisations: These are usually initiated without prior written scripts. These scenes can emerge from a suggested idea, by further exploration of an issue, one-liners and other sources. This type of improvisation is excellent for exploring abstract themes and issues and helps to concretise and to deepen what participants think and feel about them. Planned Improvisations: The complete background to a scene is given to the participants in these improvisations. At times, scripted dialogue can be used but only as a source for further exploration. In these improvisations, the background is known but students take the opportunity to inject the content with their own attitudes and words. In improvising, the students begin to own and adapt a scenario that might have been created by someone else. 73 REFLECTION Reflection is a strategy used when a time for thinking is needed in the drama process. It can be used to ponder the action in the created drama and to make connections with participants' every day life. It allows students to think about what they have done, what they have learned from a particular activity, and possibly consider the next step in the drama. There are different ways to facilitate reflection, including : writing in and out of role, discussion out of role, etc. For a fuller list of reflective devices, see Morgan and Saxton, Teaching Drama: A Mind of Many Wonders. London: Hutchinson, 1987. ROLE PLAYING Being 'in role' means simply to speak as if you were someone other than yourself; you are representing another person's point of view and attitude. TEACHER-IN-ROLE The teacher role-plays together with the students. See Appendix A for the different roles that the teacher can use. This strategy allows the teacher to monitor the learning experience for the students. The advantages are: together with the class, the teacher is able to view what is happening, be in touch with the internal rhythm of the work and thus control pace and tension most effectively; be able to share discovery with students and to move them into new understanding. MANTLE OF THE Students play at being experts in a EXPERT situation. For example, students role- play archaeologists in the first scene of this program. The students do not need to have the expertise in the subject area but consider the job seriously and act professionally. This technique enhances the possibility of creating distance from experience and leads to insights and understanding of the different occupations explored. It also 74 MANTLE OF THE helps in participants' belief building and EXPERT cont. role ownership. TABLEAU Also known as depiction, still picture, or freeze frame, a tableau allows the teacher and students to look at what the students are thinking. A tableau is concretised thought. It allows the general to become very specific. TAPPING IN The teacher 'freezes' the work and moves quietly through the group, placing his/her hand on each student's shoulder or head; the students are required to respond in role to questions. This method is used to gauge and deepen the participants' level of involvement in the role-drama created. It also helps in concentrating and focusing on the internal processes of both character and participant. THE FUNCTIONS OF THE EDUCATOR IN THE PROGRAM During the various parts of this process, the educator will be fulfilling different functions. The teacher is like the sounding board for this process, you are receiving information from different parts and reflecting it back to the participants in different ways in order to challenge them to reach further. Teachers become orchestrators that are sensitive to the different beats and rhythms of the participants and the process. Sometimes educators are inside the process, at others they become facilitators from the outside. For those who think that animating a drama process is a daunting task just think of yourself and the functions you play every day in the classroom. As educators, we are always sensitive to students' participation: we encourage reflection, synthesise students' responses, and move the dynamics of education in a very similar fashion to that of the animateur in a theatrical performance. 75 As the following is only an outline of a program, the connections between the episodes, the content of the episodes and the theatrical style chosen to structure the activities will be up to the discretion of the educator and participants. The educator who aims to follow this program with a performance will find it very useful to begin documentation of the different episodes that evolve from the initial phases. When this program will be implemented, it is good to note that each episode created will be documented to enable students and educator to repeat these scenes. Scenes that may begin as spontaneous improvisations may become planned and repeatable improvisations or scripted scenes. When the experience is created just for its learning potential, the need for a written script and the ability to repeat a scene may not be essential. The educator who aims at performance will either take note of the dialogue as the scene proceeds or better still make it part of the activity that the students, involved in a selected scenario, write their own version of the script that can be discussed and adapted as needed. Other scenes may not involve dialogue but could include mime, images, and other non-verbal theatrical forms. A common form of documentation is usually developed among participants to refer to these non-verbal scenes during the process, for example, giving each scene a title. Some educators feel safer if they have the dialogue of each scene written out together with a list of the different properties needed in each developed episode. Other educators are content with a brief scene by scene outline and the different links that are used to put the whole project together. These educators might believe that during the rehearsal process, most students would be confident with their lines and if any glitches occur during performance they would be able to 76 improvise. The type and style of documentation depend on the personality of the educator and the project at hand. In fact, later in the process when enough belief and commitment to the project have been built, documentation of material can be relegated to some of the students. By assigning this role to them, the educator is confirming that both teacher and students are responsible for the success of this experience. This documentation process and rehearsal of scenes are taken for granted as being intrinsic parts of this program's dramatic process; there are no references to documentation or rehearsing made in the rest of the chapter. Another important function for the teacher is to help the students make sense of the whole. For this purpose, the educator will also take on the role of the theatrical director who, with the agreement of all participants, creates a structure for the sequence of the developed scenes, helps students find the right theatrical style for specific scenes, challenges them to explore issues on a deeper level and draws together the apparently disparate episodes. There is a very delicate balance to keep between being at times a teacher and at other moments a director. Too much focus on one extreme for a long period will tip the balance of the dramatic process towards becoming either too cerebral or lost in performance details. Educators have to bear in mind that this is theatre in the framework of education or education framed as theatre. In this way both the meaning behind the fiction and the form that that meaning takes are equally important in the dramatic process. Another role that may be demanded of the teacher will to be to act as the facilitator between audience and actors on the day of the performance. In this way, she or he will take on the role of the animateur as explained in the glossary 77 section above. The educator in the role of actor/audience facilitator has a delicate role to play: s/he will have to be sensitive to the audience reactions during the performance. Some audience members may be willing to participate directly in the performance by coming into the acting area, others may feel more comfortable suggesting an alternative to be played out rather than entering the acting space. The actor/audience facilitator has also to be able to synthesise on the spot various alternatives offered by the audience that could be collapsed into one action or movement during the scene. There will be instances when the animateur will accept a suggestion but there could be also the possibility of challenging alternatives provided by the audience. This challenging has to be done in a sensitive and non-rejecting manner suggesting that there is space for more reflection rather than that the person has just given a wrong answer. The goal of this type of theatre is always to educate rather than to dictate. There has to be an emphasis that we are not looking for the one solution to the problem but different viewpoints to approach the dilemma presented. The challenging of audience's suggestions is especially valuable when magical solutions to problems are presented. The connection between the fictional world and the real world is made clearer when members of audience intuit that suggestions that are beyond what occurs in reality are not acceptable. For example, if the presented problem is that of a father who will not allow his son to stay out late, the father cannot all of a sudden decide to allow the son to do this unless a certain amount of dialogue in between occurs between the two characters. 78 AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Analysing the teacher's role as animateur brings us to the next segment of the program and this is audience participation. Audience interaction can take place in different ways in participatory theatre. Here I mention two modes: a) Members of the audience can be allowed to come on stage and take the place of the actor they want to replace in the scene. This is the model that Augusto Boal proposed in his work with the Theatre of the Oppressed. Boal gives one condition when using this style of audience interaction: the audience member who comes up on stage will always replace the actor who is playing a character in an inferior position. Boal explains that in real life, those in the superior position are rarely ready to change but those being pressured are motivated to create change and can modify behaviour to work around or against a superior power. b) Actors perform the scene according to the suggestions of audience members. This is a method that I have used myself and was introduced to it by Professor Jan Selman during a Popular Theatre course at the University of British Columbia. It is important to define when audience interaction will occur in the performance not only for the actors but also for the audience itself. The direct interaction between audience and actors has to be structured to be effective because the results can be chaotic. Following are some suggestions as to how these scenes can function: a) The scene that involves audience participation could be the last scene in a series of episodes. It could be considered as the climax of the narrative. The audience is not allowed to change any of the previous scenes. The question would be: "This has happened. What can we do?" In using this structure the audience could be given the message that in real life things happen and the past cannot be changed. At the same time hope is being injected for the future by trying to find alternatives to move on from the stumbling block point. 79 b) Another method could be to run the performance once from beginning to end and arrive at one outcome to the dilemma. Then the episodes would be performed again in the same sequence; in those instances where the audience feels it can contribute, the action is stopped, and the desired changes will be performed. This is the Forum Theatre technique used by Augusto Boal. c) A third possibility could be to rehearse all possible outcomes of a scene with the students. In rehearsing the outcomes, an opportunity of continuing from the scene of intervention could be created. If all the scenes demanding audience intervention are tackled in this manner, then the performance could proceed from the alternative most desired by the audience. This alternative might demand the intervention of the educator as animateur to a minimal degree. The fact that students would have rehearsed all possible outcomes would make them feel confident that they will be able to tackle the scenes by themselves. This manner of audience intervention demands a lot of preparation time because of the amount of brainstorming and rehearsing involved. Moreover, the possibility of a new alternative being presented by the audience is not eliminated. This method is beneficial because it is a positive emphasis of the reality that whatever happens life can always go on. Every situation, no matter how unfortunate, can be overcome if we are able to think of alternatives. These are only suggestions of how audience participation can be structured. The three modes demand different levels of risk taking and audience participation control. Other possibilities may occur to educators as they work through the process. 80 WARM-UP ACTIVITIES Preferably, the following program will be used after students and teacher have passed the "ice-breaking" phase and feel more comfortable to role-play in front of each other. Educators will find that there are many books packed with exercises (see Appendix B) that can aid them in the initial phases of warming up a class and to help build trust, respect and confidence among their students. These warm-up exercises also provide an excellent opportunity to help students become aware of the dynamics of voice, body, space, and other theatre skills. Although not all students aspire to become actors, there are great benefits derived from these skills in everyday life. Theatre and drama skills aid students in learning co- operation, feeling more comfortable in public speaking, enhancing listening skills, in developing empathy and improving other areas of their daily life. Every educator has to gauge the amount of time to be spent on these warm-up sessions. Sometimes when students come into the drama lesson they are already geared up to go into the main activities while on other occasions they do need that extra push. PROGRAM OUTLINE- DEFENDING AN ISLAND'S IDENTITY Now that different stages and the various factors involved in a dramatic process leading to a participatory theatre performance have been discussed, it is good to give an example of how this process can be set-up. The rest of this chapter will be dedicated to a theoretical program outline that will involve both teacher and student in a learning experience through the use of theatre and drama. This program is intended to explore issues of colonialism and the importance of valuing the history of a nation. Two questions will be the running thread throughout the whole project and these are: "Why is the history of our country so 81 important for us today?" and "What right do people have to subjugate fellow human beings?" Such a dramatic process is usually initiated with the students' acceptance to work on a topic or with students being aware that a topic is part of the curriculum and drama and theatre are being used to explore the area. Moreover, this project works best if the "contract", mentioned in the third chapter of this thesis, has been worked out between teacher and students. With all these details in mind, we can move on to the initial phase of the program. Part One - On the Archaeological Site Background Information The first part of this program takes place in a land called Melita. A group of archaeologists has been digging for a long time in a remote part of this land. They have come across a new site in their research. It is thought that if this site yields any new findings, they might prove that a civilisation that has never been considered to visit this land might have been there after all. The site is heavily guarded by the Armed Forces of Melita and any valuable objects unearthed are not allowed to be seen by anyone, not even the archaeologists, but are taken immediately to the government vaults. The archaeologists are very tense because they have been working on one area of the site for a long time and there is a great probability that they might have found something that could prove their suspicions. Using the Story The above short incident has all the ingredients needed to initiate a number of different improvisations and other dramatic activities. This episode gives participants a past, highlights the present moment and sets up a dilemma that has 82 to unravel through the interaction between their personal desire and their social conscience. The above episode is part of the fiction that I created to start my process that is hoped will lead to a larger project that involves audience participation. Once this pre-text is found, teachers have to pre-plan on their own in order to structure each part of the process that will enable them to find the right activities to aid the drama to move forward, to find the right moments to inject tension and to be able to pause or stop the action for moments of reflection. Teachers provide the clay for the drama and together with the students, they will sculpt it into the desired shape. In order for the drama to be shaped, there are specific steps to be taken. I have decided to initiate this program by doing a number of activities that eventually will lead to the use of the teacher-in-role technique. I have opted for this technique as I find that it enables me to create a feeling of safety for the students until they get used to role-playing in front of each other. The teacher-in-role mode also helps me implant the first glimmers of tension and energy in the students to help generate the later dramas. Educators will eventually find their own preferred modes of entry into the drama process. Segmenting the Topic for the Initial Phase Educators will have their own reasons for choosing a specific source to explore through drama and theatre. Evidently, the source will reflect the issues that they would like their students to analyse further. Finding the subtexts, or underlying themes of a source is called "segmenting". These underlying themes are translated into questions that can lead to further research into the specific areas. Some of the questions that emerged from the source that I chose to use for this program are: 83 1) How have people in authority been a hindrance to creativity and research in the past? 2) How do movies glamorise certain occupations? 3) What right do people in power have to withhold information from the rest of the people ? 4) Who makes the laws of a land? 5) What makes people spend time digging under uncomfortable conditions in order to find objects from the past? 6) When is it right to go against rules and deviate from the norm? 7) How important is it to know our history ? 8) How do people decide that an action although socially unacceptable is morally right? A good source.for role-play will yield a variety of questions that can be pursued through the various phases of dramatic exploration. These questions have to be carefully thought out by the educator because they will provide the focus for the dramatic activity. Normally, yes/no answer questions should be avoided because they do not provide enough tension and will only lead to an intellectual discussion and not action. Questions should be open-ended and as succinct as possible to provide an opportunity for sharp exploration. It is important that only one question be chosen as a starting point for each scene, too many questions will provide too many foci to cope with and will not be effective. In addition, educators should self-question why they have chosen to follow a certain path in the drama. We have to be careful to use these mediums not for personal crusades but because we believe in raising critical awareness in our students. Initially, these questions are for the teachers to help them structure the role-play. As the dramatic exploration evolves and students become more confident they can 84 even share in this questioning process. This participation will also help them to focus more on their objectives and to provide them with a lot of food for thought during their improvisations. Key Question for this Role-Play How do people decide whether an action although socially unacceptable is morally right? I am aware that other questions from either the above list or new ones will be of more interest to other educators. It is the aim of this project to show the possibilities that can be provided, by using theatre and drama to integrate factual learning with personal development and critical awareness. All the above questions lead to different foci and moments of tension that enable students to question their environment. From the list above, I have chosen to follow the above question for this scene. I would like to enable students to make a connection with their past and find out that it was people like them who made it happen. There were ordinary people like them who decided to question their reality and changed the course of history, and this is one of the reasons why we have a responsibility to know about our past. 85 Possible View Points in the Role-Play The above are the possible view points from which the role-play can be initiated. The whole class could decide to approach the role-play as media representatives, or as government officials just to take an example. When using the teacher-in-role technique the whole class will be working from one viewpoint. The viewpoint will also colour the process of the drama and the kind of learning that will take place. Participants might decide to opt for one view rather than other because they feel it is more fun to do it that way. Doing a scene for this reason might work but sometimes not all viewpoints will be equally effective to enter the drama. Here are some of the options open to teacher and students: VIEWPOINTS CONTEXT 1. The Archaeologists • have a secret meeting with the media to let them know what has been found on the site. • meet with government officials to let them know that they will not continue working unless they are allowed to fully participate in the mission. —• 86 The Archaeologists cont. • meet together to decide whether they will examine the objects in secret before they give them to the soldiers. • find a secret object and hide it so as not to let the soldiers know about it. 2. Government officials • meet with the minister of culture to convince him that s/he should allow these artefacts to go on display. • meet with archaeologists to let them know that they will not be allowed to examine the artefacts found. • cross-examine one of the archaeologists who has been suspected of smuggling the artefacts to someone outside the camp. 3. The Media • deciding to send someone from the press posing as an archaeologist to find more information. • spread rumours in order to raise the public awareness about the secrecy of the historical site. 4. Soldiers • have a meeting about why they are monitoring this historical site and the archaeologists. • Decide that they want more pay for doing such delicate jobs. These possible scenes can be worked out from the various viewpoints. Each scene has its own point of tension and will eventually lead to diverse options to process through dramatic play. These scenes could all be used eventually to build 87 one whole project but each could be used individually for its own learning potential. My choice would be to eventually improvise some of the above scenes to provide the links necessary for the build up of the whole plot. Chosen Viewpoint and Context for this Initial Phase THE ARCHAEOLOGISTS meet together to decide whether they will examine the objects in secret before they give them to the soldiers Belief Building Activities Since I have opted to use the teacher-in-role technique as entry point into the drama, I will have to prepare the participants to go into their roles as archaeologists by providing some activities to help them build their belief in the role. These activities are important for the students to own the drama process and to encourage them to respond in role. These activities make it easier for the members of the drama process to enter the fictional world of the drama and to be able to project themselves into their roles. In this way, their reactions in the drama will consist of their personal reactions tampered with those of the character. Although called belief-building activities, some of the subsequent episodes can be developed as part of the final sequence of the project. Activity 1 - Group Brainstorm Materials: Flipchart Different coloured markers Development Teacher will write the word "ARCHAEOLOGY" as a heading on the flipchart. Students are asked to think of what this word reminds them of: What images come 88 to their mind? In small groups, they are to use either mime, tableaux, or create a short scene to bring forward their interpretation of this word. A brief discussion follows to see which themes emerged from these depictions. All answers are written down on the flipchart and put in the different categories, for example: type of places usually associated with archaeology, tools of the trade, what background do archaeologists have, what is archaeology etc. Rationale This activity helps the teacher gauge where the students are regarding the subject of archaeology. It will be beneficial to know whether there will be need of research about the theme or if students know enough to be able to work in role as archaeologists later. It also helps to check whether the information available to students is realistic or mainly romanticised information from movies that they might have seen. The use of other forms of brainstorming, apart from verbal discussion, emphasises that communication is not only restricted to words. In our everyday interaction, we also pass on messages through non-verbal forms of communication. Not only will students be using drama but also recognise the powerful mediums of imagery and symbols. The use of the flipchart in this activity and others is not integral to the specific exercises but is only one form of documentation of collected material and information from students. These charts can be left hanging in the periphery of the acting area, visible to students who from time to time will be able to read this information. Moreover, this material can be the initial impetus for further dramatic exploration. Activity 2 - Compare and Contrast Materials: Photos of archaeological sites Any Hollywood movie that contains a story about archaeologists A documentary about an archaeological dig Pens, pencils and paper Development Students are first shown moments from a movie that deals with and depicts directly the archaeological site, the archaeologists themselves, and opinions of other characters about archaeology among other things. The focus of this activity is the job of the archaeologist itself, what it involves as preparation and what happens when one is on a digging site. After the moments from the movie, the teacher will project scenes from a documentary about an archaeological dig. At the end of the documentary, students are asked to individually write down their impressions of archaeology now that they have seen both styles of films. Tell them they will discuss these in groups so they must be prepared with the similarities and differences they have noticed between the movie and the documentary. 89 Rationale Moving away from the romanticised archaeologist as presented in Hollywood movies is important for later on in this project. This activity will help students in having a more balanced view of the responsibilities that an archaeologist has towards the history of his country and highlight the importance of such historical discoveries. Archaeologists are not action heroes but professional scientists with a moral obligation towards uncovering the truth about the past. This element is important for the serious decision that students will have to take later in the role- play. Activity 3 - Personal Treasures Materials: Coloured pencils and drawing paper Large chart paper Any objects that students bring from home A large black piece of material Development From a previous week, students are asked to bring any objects that either they or their family holds dear. These objects could be family heirlooms, antiques, pictures, CDs, and posters that might be considered as personal or family treasures. Ask them if it is possible to bring these objects to school with them. If it is not possible to bring objects, ask them to either bring photos or else to draw an image that represents these objects. During the drama lesson, let them know that they are leaving on a long voyage but they are not allowed to carry these objects with them. Ask students to think for a moment about the memories attached to these objects. There is a possibility that they will not return back to retrieve these items. Then they are to write down a short monologue about what they would want the people who might find them to know about these objects. What would they like them to do with them? Where should they keep them? After they finish, the participants will put these papers in a safe place. Then the participants are requested to place their objects, photos, or drawings in the centre and to move back. Cover objects with the black cloth and ask students to turn their backs to them. Then one by one they are to go to the black cloth and slowly draw an object and take it to a corner of the room. When everyone has found a space, ask him or her to look at the object closely and to see what he or she thinks of the object. If they want to they can write down points about it but the important thing is to concentrate about how they feel about the objects. When this phase has been completed, then tell students to form pairs according to who posses the other's treasured object. Participants then are allowed to exchange views about the object. Ask them to discuss what each object means to each of them: both to the owner of the object and to the finder of the 90 object. Then as a group, they should try to find the parallels that exist between this situation and objects found in a museum of antiquity. Rationale As is evident this activity is used to trigger off a discussion about the fact that objects found in archaeological sites have been used by other human beings in different eras. As much as the family heirloom or personal belonging is treasured by the participants so was this object important in different ways to these ancient people. This will also help confirm the idea that objects of antiquity are national treasures for which we all are responsible. Activity 4 - TV Conference Materials: a long table as used in conferences several chairs glasses of water microphones (optional) name tags Development Ask students to work in pairs. One of them will be a career counsellor and the other will be a student who wishes to be an archaeologist. They will have a chance of being both at different times. The counsellors are to probe the other person about what has made him or her decide that he or she wants to be an archaeologist. What is so important about this work anyway? When both partners have had their turn at being both characters, ask students to set up the room for a TV conference. Divide class into small groups and ask them to prepare to for the following roles: archaeologists leaving on a long journey of several months in the desert, media reporters (TV, Newspaper, National Geographic), family members of archaeologists, and government officials sponsoring the expedition. The educator will be the chairperson of the conference. These are the following considerations for each group: Archaeologists: Think of details of the trip - Where is it going to be exactly? Why have you been chosen? What makes you go on these expeditions? Why are the objects you find important anyway? What are your fears? What are your hopes? Media Reporters: Tell them that they are aware that the government is trying to hide as much information as possible about this expedition and that they are suspicious that there 91 is something going on. They are to ask questions about their suspicions and others they can think of. Moreover, they are to be very direct and try to find as much information as possible. They will focus a lot on the government officials and not accept easily that they cannot give information. Push for details, think of questions you can ask and be persistent. Family Members: Highly concerned about their dear ones who are leaving and will intervene at moments to ask government officials why the archaeologists are not going to be allowed to communicate with them? Why have they been chosen and not others? They should be ready for questions from the media about the situation. Demand explanations and do not expect clear answers. Push for clear answers. Government Officials: You are going to be under attack and so expect to be bombarded with questions but you have an answer for everything. Try to be as vague as possible but answer each question. Think of the following questions and others you might discover in your preparation: Why has the government forbidden any communication between the archaeologists and family members? Why have these people been chosen? Why is this expedition so important for the government? Will you provide any information? Who has funded this expedition? Where is the site exactly? Remember you are very friendly but you are hiding something. You do not want this to show during the aired conference. Teacher-Chairperson: This role-play can be very confrontational and some students may feel threatened and therefore will react impulsively. As chairperson, you are in role of control and using that role will make it easier to keep order and focus without reverting to the role of the teacher. Still, do not overuse the role, try to keep students' participation to the maximum as much as possible and allow time for each group to air views and asks questions. The ultimate aim is to challenge students as much as possible to think deeper about these different roles played by members in a society. 92 After the scene is over, ask each student to stay in role and write the thoughts that come into his or her head about the conference, about the future of the expedition, the fears and the hopes of the character and how they will envisage their life to be after the conference. Then one by one they will read to the rest of the class their "in-role" reflections. Rationale This activity will slowly introduce the students to role-playing. Without actually referring directly to the ensuing story, the foundations for the later role-play are being slowly put into place. This activity will enable students to create an interaction between themselves and their roles and to find important aspects about the different functions of family, laws and regulations, media, job satisfaction among other things. This exercise will raise a lot of questions about the reasons the government wants this expedition to be secret. Students will build up their attitude towards the unethical withholding of information of the government from the people in general. This activity can connect with news and information that can be collected from real life situations. Activity 5 - Preparing an Archaeological Documentary Materials: Flip chart Coloured markers Tools usually associated with digging sites. These could be optional as students could mime actions with objects. If one manages to find ways to provide them (e.g. many students are interested in camping and they could bring small tents and camping gear with them) it might prove more fun for the participants. Development Brainstorm with students what different groups of people might be found on an archaeological dig. There might be diggers, those who take away the debris, cooks, archaeologists, guards, map makers, etc. Ask students that they will now in groups assume the roles of these different clusters of people. Discuss with them which group will role-play as which characters on the site. Also, tell them that they have been asked by a big budget television station to do a documentary about this archaeological dig. They will go about their chores in role as if nothing is happening and they will mime their sequence. This will go on until the teacher who will be the cameraperson will focus the camera on them. When this happens, they will add voice to their movements and will keep this improvisation going until the camera is turned to another direction. When each group has had about two turns stop the whole action and tell them that night has fallen on the camp but the cameraperson is still running about. 93 What will this person see during an evening in archaeological site? Repeat the same procedure as above. Rationale This will be the last activity before the teacher-in-role scene and therefore will create the right atmosphere. The students have enough background now to be able to successfully role-play as archaeologists and be able to project more into this role. This will enhance their ability to confront their reality with that of the archaeologists: the characters that whole class will now be role-playing. Their arguments can be now also based on the reflections and observations that have emerged during the previous activities. After having done these activities, educators might decide that rather than using the teacher-in-role structure immediately, they would prefer to explore the areas that have emerged from the above role-plays and activities and proceed in different ways from the one this project is following. The next phase in this project will involve the participants in the role of archaeologists meeting secretly. The head archaeologist has turned to them for help because he is feeling morally obliged to share any newly discovered information with the public in general. He wants to ask the others whether they think it is acceptable that they examine recent found artefacts and documents although they know that it has been forbidden by the government. The government wants this discovery to be a secret to be held away from the public. Will the rest of the archaeologists disobey orders and do their own examination? or will they accept that this is the law and will not do anything illegal although they might believe it is unethical to withhold information from the people? 94 Preparation before initial entry The members of the group are asked to set up the room for a secret meeting with the head archaeologist. After they have agreed to set up the room, the teacher will say the following words: "I now will leave this room and when I come back I will be the head archaeologist. The head archaeologist has sent word to each one of you that s/he wants to meet you urgently. You have been forbidden to analyse any documents or artefacts that you have unearthed. You all have been working hard and finally arrived to a spot on the archaeological site that could be the moment you have all been waiting for. The artefacts in this area might be the proof you have been searching for all this time: our enemies of today could have been our ancestors. If this is true, the head archaeologist feels that all of you have an obligation to let the truth reach the people and s/he wants to talk to you about this." Initial entry as teacher-in-role The teacher comes back into the room in the role of the head archaeologist. This role demands that the teacher be in the register of "one of the gang" (see Appendix A), because the head archaeologist him/herself is in a dilemma and s/he does not know how to proceed. This role will prove useful to the teacher as s/he can always put the "ball back in the archaeologists' court" whenever s/he feels that responsibility of a decision is going to be shifted on to him or her. In-role script "You know that we have been working on this site for a long time together. Some of us have been sick but you all have continued working because you are all committed to this job. I have noticed that you all work so hard at your job but you are not being allowed the satisfaction to do it well. This new site has proven to be subject to many disputes between the government and our organisation. As you all know every object that has been unearthed has been captured by the soldiers who are heavily monitoring our every movement. We are not allowed to examine what we have found and will never be able to do this as the artefacts are taken away immediately from this site, heavily guarded. But more important, now there is a possibility that we have found documents that could prove that we are right, that those we hold enemies today might have also been our 95 ancestors. Our land has been threatened by war for the last few years. We are always in a state of alert and our land has not had peace for a long time. We are always afraid for our families. These findings might well be the answer to our prayers. Through these documents we might prove that our enemies belong to the same race as us. This might help in bringing peace to our country. But the government does not want this news to come out. Clearly, they are gaining something by keeping us always prepared for war. If our findings are the way to peace, the people have a right to know. I do not know what to do if we find these documents are the proof we need and therefore I am turning to you for help. What do you think would be the best way to proceed from here?" Allow this speech to be processed by the students. Silence is very often the initial reaction to the teacher-in-role's opening speech but allow this silence to happen and feel comfortable with it. Students will be searching inwardly and wrestling with ideas of how to go about this dilemma. They will also be making sense of the myriad of information they have just received. The teacher-in-role technique is excellent for providing the information that students need, to make sense of the fictional world being presented to them, from inside the drama itself. Providing the drama is important enough for the students, then tension is created between their desire to know and their values. Depending on the age of the students, the responses will vary. The teacher should always to push the students beyond the usual expected responses and enable them to reflect and see the problem from all possible viewpoints. Participants have to realise that for each action taken there is always a reaction and as responsible archaeologists, they have to weigh all alternatives carefully. Challenge students to move away from simply wanting to read the documents or examine artefacts because they are curious about them. Remind them what each decision they might make would mean with regards their jobs, families, reputation, integrity and other related issues. 96 Students only have two decisions to make: either decide to examine the artefacts and so find out the truth or else to do their jobs and let the guards take away the new findings. However, to arrive to one of these destinations they have to be able to reconcile their desire with their integrity. One can see how this particular scene can lead to a lot of tension, arguments, discussion and reflection. In fact, if an educator so desired, this scene could be ideal to adapt for audience participation and allow actors and spectators to interact and discuss this issue. Two different scenes might be built into the performance that would make the plot move on either way the decision is made. For this particular project, I am assuming that after a lot of dialogue and discussion through the role-play, either the participants or the participants and the audience have decided that since the archaeologists have been working so hard at their job and despite the risks, they have a right to know what they have unearthed. Moreover, if a document or artefact could prove that their long-standing enemies were their ancestors this might help relationships between the two people. They have concluded that the government must be gaining something by keeping the two people apart. They have never really engaged in any war but there is always a fear that war might be declared from one moment to another. With all this in mind, they could opt to secretly examine any new-found artefacts feeling that this would be beneficial for a more peaceful atmosphere in the country. Part Two - Finding the Document In part one, the belief building activities and the teacher-in-role structure will help participants to build commitment to their roles and the fictional world. Building on these activities, this part can be entirely built from improvised scenes. Episodes 97 could include the archaeologists devising different ways to hide their findings, being nearly caught by the guards, plotting a secret meeting with the press, the actual findings, suspecting a spy and other actions. These improvisations can take any desired shape that proves to be most effective in achieving a balance between providing learning and making participants and audience become more involved in the plot. Different theatrical styles and techniques can be used: mime, dream sequences, tableau, dialogue and others can be utilised to provide the contrast needed to help the action remain interesting and move forward. The last scene in this part will be the moment of discovery of an old document in one of the underground chambers thought to be a small secret library attached to a house of an ancient philosopher or poet. The head archaeologist is in possession of three papers that s/he managed to smuggle out from the chamber. S/he will read this document and offer a translation to the rest of the archaeologists during their usual weekly meeting where they will pretend to be talking about how the work is progressing. This half-hour is the only time they have available together with only two guards outside the main tent. The following are the papers that they have found: Melita: An Island Is Dreaming The gate was open, but the beast was asleep. It had been a tiring day for both of us. What had started out to be a short walk did not remain so, as Max had pulled on his leash for me to move on. The sun was sinking on the horizon warming up the sky with its flaming ochre colour. The sea was resplendent with all the shades of azure and gently caressing the sandy beach with its white foamy fingers. Looking from top of the hill I was lost in amazement at the expanse in front of me, it was so lyrical. If I had been an artist, I would have just sat there with my palette full of colours and tried to capture the moment 98 on the easel. Then the full realisation dawned on me that nothing could do justice to this beautiful sight, the medium would not support it; it was too magical, too ephemeral. Nothing beats a summer evening on this small sea-kissed pinhead of an island. Standing there, near the ruins of the temple, I was lost in ruminations of a time which once had been. Lost in this pure essence of nature, the clock mystically turned back. I was transported to a time when Man used stone as a tool. Wooden rafts were just banking on the sand and three mysterious beings were pulling it. Looking around and suspiciously sniffing the air. This was their new home, after sailing all those miles through the dank waters they had finally seen land. They never knew what they were going to find when they had left their homeland. Raising their eyes, they could see the hilly landscape with its clayish earth, not a very good land for harvest but it wil l do; it wil l serve. Now helping the women and children off from the rafts, they knew they had arrived at their destination. They had left their elders anxiously watching them set sail from the last shore they had seen in days, they did not want to leave their relatives and friends there but they had to. The rafts could not take anymore and they were not sure that they could take the journey. They walked up and moving between stones that their callused feet could not feel anymore, they made their way up the hill. Gazing out to the sea and their past they now looked forward and just moved on. They passed me but were oblivious to my presence. I did not belong to their time; I was an intruder to their world. They found a flat surface and on the springy heather, they decided they would spend the night. The sun rose and with it rose a new colony. The land was kind to the people; it gave them shelter and food. The people were gracious to the land, they adored it, raised temples to it and sacrificed gifts to its gods. They left their memory imprinted in the caves, in the stone. The sacred monuments and dwellings of worship they built, resonate the immensity of their strength and inventiveness. Then the terror came, the night cast its deadly shade upon the people and a stronger power was sighted over the horizon. The word spread that the gods were displeased, and in their wrath, they had sent the strangers to destroy them. They head seen them in their ships and they feared them. They surrendered easily and paid homage to their new rulers. They slaved for them and in return they learned new ways. The gods were appeased. New people came and went, people who were not interested. And the islanders toiled and worked at the land. 99 They were taught how to improve their dwellings, how the land could be exploited to build great palaces for their kings, how to use the purple colourings from the creatures of the sea and most of all how to trade. The people became civilised and the island renowned. New powers did not lose time to make their presence known. The place was idyllic, an island fortress, they had the pearl of the Mediterranean in their hands and they were not going to give it for free. The islanders became their rulers' people; they fought their battles and died for them. They saw the might of the sword, they felt the scorching tendrils of the flames, they savoured the hardness of the stone and they suffered the suffocating atmosphere of the underground. The people knew what it meant to go without food and to scrape and scrounge for the least thing. They were hailed as gallant and given a medal in the form of a cross to prove it. The islanders became civilised, they knew the law, they exercised distinction between themselves and grew to know the benefits of being close to the lords. They started exploiting the land. The land was good to them but now they did not care. They forgot the glorious battle for survival, their humble origins, they ruined the worship places and the sacred abodes of the dead. Time came when they forgot all their fears. The rulers were sent away and the people took control once again. They could do it on their own or so it was believed. Nobody realised that the scars were deep. The rivulets of timeless tears had bored deep down to the soul of those who still believed in integrity. They fought and brothers rose against each other. The island was never peaceful again. The island is still sighing for the death of its long lost sons, the pains it underwent. The island can never rest. It was on that day by the shore that the whispering wind sighed these words into my ear. The echoing peace hid underneath it a turbulent past and an uncertain future. The island was yearning for tranquillity. If you happen to pass the spot I was in on that day, stop, look around and give time to the island to speak to you. Let it find its serenity in the retelling of its glorious past, it is a long story but I am sure you wil l be lost in the medley of voices that it has to offer. This is the history of a small island community and the people who live on it. 100 This story itself can act as a pretext for other future drama projects that examine different issues more specific to the Maltese community. For this project, scenes from Maltese history could be recreated by the students simultaneous to the reading of the story. One example would be to have a narrator lit up with a spot in total darkness and as each phase of history is depicted, spots slowly start to light up the different acting areas. These moments of the past are then brought back to life. Then from each tableau of a depicted era, characters in modern clothes could emerge and the Maltese anthem will play in the background. This could prove a powerful theatrical moment and at the same time a juxtaposition of the different periods of Maltese civilisation. Students and audience are able to see at one time the different strains that have shaped us to become the Maltese of today. All these people have left indelible marks that make our civilisation unique from other nations and cultures. In this program, I will use the above document as a link between this part and the next phase of this project. After having read the above document to the class, I could propose to the students that it would be interesting and fun to recreate this community. My aim in wanting to follow this path is for students to be able to explore the different stages that a group of people goes through to build a community. Through creating a fictional community they will be referring to their own reality as citizens of a large community and so focus more on elements that they take for granted in their every day life. I could suggest to the students that the archaeologists after the meeting had a great desire to meet this community. The archaeologists suddenly realised how important their work really was, they derived a deep satisfaction from the fact that 101 they worked so close to history and the foundations of their society. One of the archaeologists has a dream about being transported back to the past, back to when this community was just being created. However, he or she were not alone, another small group of people were transported to the past with him or her. The project can now proceed to the third part. Part Three - Building A Community This part will focus on the class building a community. This community does not need to be attributed to any nation or particular land. These activities will explore the various stages of how a community might originate. In the following exercises, several facets of what goes into community building will be analysed through theatre and drama. Again, educators are urged to view these set of activities as being very tentative and in no way a unique formula for success. Theatre and drama as mediums have the benefit of being flexible and part of the learning process is finding new ways how to use them to derive learning. Activity 1 - Group Discussion Materials: Large chart paper/white or black board Pictures and drawings of primitive villages (optional) Coloured felt pens Development The whole group discusses the characteristics of village layouts. Photographs and drawings from history, social studies and/or geography books can be used to help this brainstorming. How do these characteristics relate to the community that they want to create? What goes into building a community? What are those factors that would ensure that a group of people survived? These questions can be asked to the whole group and the relevant suggestions are put on a large chart and categorised according to the following labels: 102 / £ Trade / Beliefs Food & Water / \ / Homes \ \ Geography / \ / Clothing \ ^ Leisure , Community \ / Life / Rationale This activity will help members of the group associate the fictional community that they are trying to build with real life and so enhance the belief building. This exercise will also enable students to analyse their current society. It will also aid the participants to start stepping into "someone else's shoes" because it addresses topics like clothing, work, and rituals among others. It is a way of concretising what they would imagine this community to be like. Activity 2 - Drawing From Imagination Materials: Coloured Pencils Small sheets of drawing paper Large chart paper Coloured felt pens Development Members will find a spot of their own and are told that they will be working individually and through imagination. Now they are being transported to the land of the community that they will be creating together. They have to listen carefully to the following set of questions and try to visualise their answers. If they feel like it, they can close their eyes. 103 Suggested Questions Teacher begins: So now you have left this room and have started your life in this land: How did you arrive here? Look around you, what do you see? Look at the ground: what type of ground is it? Is it grass? Is it earth? Is it dry? Is it wet? Etc. What kind of climate is it? Is it a hot country? Is it chilly? Etc. Look at your feet, are you wearing anything on your feet? If yes, what type of footwear is it? What kind of clothing are you wearing? Are you holding anything in your hands? What are you doing at this moment? Can you tell what trade you have? Are you a village leader, farmer, fishermen? What kind of animals will there be in this village? Allow some moments for the group to visualise the answers to these questions and then tell them to use the colours and a sheet of paper and to draw what they remember from this creative exercise. Then each member of the group will present their drawing to the larger group. The teacher puts down any common themes on a large chart paper and discusses with the whole group any unusual or individual suggestions that emerge from the exercise. Together educator and students will now build a common picture of the period when this community has come together. The type of climate that exists, define territories, define the type of community, and other points that they find are important to consider. Rationale This activity helps students focus on the period they want to work in. It is evident that students will differ in opinion about the above details. This activity will lead to dialogue and perhaps voting to decide the time and space chosen for the following episodes. 104 Activity 3 - Family Sculptures And Drawings Materials: Coloured pencils or crayons etc. Small sheets of papers. Development Members of the group are asked to form subgroups of 2-4 people. Each subgroup is given a sheet of drawing paper and some coloured pencils. Members are asked to decide who is going to be the father, the mother and the children within the subgroups. Each subgroup will then form sculptures of their family as they imagine them eating in the evening, at leisure, giving praise to the their god or spirit, and preparing for a village ceremony. After these sculptures are made, the members are asked to discuss in the subgroups and to come up with an emblem representing their family and a drawing of a tool that represents the family trade. Rationale Group members are starting to form family groups. A sense of belonging to the community will begin to form. In addition, a sense of pride in the family unit and trade is expressed by the drawings at the end of the exercise. These drawings can also be used to portray the different trades that exist in the village. Now that family units have been formed, the members have to situate themselves within their village and build a community and this is the aim of the next activity. Activity 4 - Mapping To Build A Community Materials: Large chart sheet Drawing pins, tacking material (blue tack) or scotch-tape Coloured felt pens Development The large chart sheet is placed on the floor. Members in subgroups as family units are asked to choose a space on the sheet, which denotes where they lived, worked, played , or relaxed in the community. The subgroups can interrelate to agree where to put spots that are used by everyone in the village. As they draw in the sites, the teacher goes up to the different subgroups and asks questions to help develop their roles: e.g., How much do you like living in this village? Are your children feeling all right? What does your husband/ wife do for a living? Can you tell me were the main hut is? Similar questions can be thought up and used as part of this exercise. Members can also discuss possible names for the sites and the village itself. The finished map will become the official map of the village if the group agrees upon each building site. (This part of the activity has been adapted from Swartz, L. (1995). Drama Themes. Ontario: Pembroke Publishers, p. 102). 105 Now the drawn map will be translated to the physical environment of the classroom. The students are asked to use chairs, tables, rostra, and other available material to construct the village space. Ask them to make a map of it. This will be the set-up they will use as their village during the rest of the drama process. Rationale The idea of a close-knit community is starting to form. Also the group members have now a clear idea of the landscape of the village and will be able to visualise it during other role-playing activities. This will also help later in the construction of the acting area. This exercise will help to physical build and map the village. Moreover, in agreeing on the common village sites the members are also interacting as a community and are replicating how these areas would have been agreed upon in real life between villagers. The members now can see themselves living in this village and are prepared to live for a day in it. Activity 5 - The 24 minutes Exercise Materials: None Development The teacher asks the large group to divide into subgroups of 4-5 members. The group members are asked to work with other participants they have not worked with in previous activities. In the subgroups, they are to prepare a tableau that represents a day in the villagers' life. These will be the family groups in the community that they have created. The teacher will tell students that this exercise will only take 24 minutes because each minute will represent an hour of the day. It is of utmost importance that they think of only one activity that they will do throughout the whole minute. At first they will do this without any words. The teacher will move around the students and as they will be tapped on the shoulder, they will add words to their activity. Whole group interactions can also be added. An agreed signal will be used by the teacher to denote when the participants are allowed to interact with each other for this exercise. During these interactions, their activity has to remain the same throughout the whole minute. (This activity was adapted from an exercise suggested to me by Professor Jan Selman.) Rationale This exercise can be used to see to what extent the group members have absorbed information from the previous activities. One can also gauge the level of interest of the members by the responses that they give when they are doing their activity. Moreover, this exercise consolidates the idea of community and of the 106 villagers' life in general. The fact that students have to spend a minute concentrating on the same activity will give them time to reflect on their roles and to connect with their inner thoughts. Activity 6 - Belief Systems Material: None Development In the ensuing week, students will be asked to carry out research about how religion had become such an integral part of Man's life. They are to look at how mythology, superstitions, different religions originated and to note the main principles of some of them. This research can be done individually with each student deciding to choose one or two areas to work on or else as a group effort. Some time can be allowed for the whole group to discuss which religions each individual or subgroup will be researching. This is important so as to have a wide spectrum of different belief systems. Ask student to form groups of three. Urge them to work with partners that they have not worked with up to now. They are to create short scenes in which two participants are different voices inside the third individual. Each voice will try to convince this person that his or hers is the right path to follow to please this superior power or being. Ask students to create a dialogue but not argument between the three. Students can either be themselves as the voices or else they could take on a role and play around with it. They take turns at being individuals and voices. After this activity is finished, they are asked to write down how it felt to be someone on the receiving end of the convincing statements and on the other hand what kind of arguments they used to convince the third person that their way was the best. Rationale This activity will enable students to find out why religions are so powerful and why religions are such an intrinsic part of communities. Moreover, the reflection at the end can be tied up with how people can be convinced of doing things that sometimes appear to be very strange to the rest of the community. This is more pertinent to people who join cults and the methods used by these to attract people to their organisations. This activity will also help reflect on ways how the people in the community could have formed their beliefs. 107 Activity 7 - Mime A Superstition Materials: None Development Group members can work alone or in pairs for this exercise. They must think of various superstitions that they know and choose two of them. Then they take turns to mime this superstition for the rest of the group. The group has to try to guess which superstition is being enacted. Then a discussion is carried out about the different ways that superstitions can affect our lives. Rationale This exercise makes the participants aware that even in our modern life there are still people who believe in superstitions. Although logically some of these beliefs cannot be explained, they continue to affect some of us. Those who do not believe are still aware that some people around them will act peculiarly sometimes because they believe that if they did or did not do a certain action, something negative or positive will befall them. This activity is also related to the role-play because students might find an important part of their community belief systems. Activity 8 - Improvising A Village Ceremony Materials: Different objects like necklaces, coloured stones, objects that can be used as symbols during rituals or ceremonies. Pieces of different coloured cloth material Small plastic containers, bowls Development Students will be divided into groups of about six members. They are to discuss together and use improvisation to come up with an idea how the community they are building found its belief system. Was there one particular incident? Is their religion built on general observations? What kind of superior being do they believe in? What kind of rituals and ceremonies might they have? Moreover each group has to come up with one metaphor or symbolic object that will be considered as sacred by the community. To revile this object is to offend all that the villagers believe in. Finally, they are to devise one particular ceremony that would have become a most sacred event in which the whole community participates. The students are told that they will share these improvisations and reflections with the rest of the class. After the improvisations have been shared, a discussion will ensue to choose just one of the ceremonies and the whole class will prepare to take part in the 108 ceremony. Students are divided into family units, their roles within the village are defined, and the ceremony is improvised. Rationale This activity introduces elements of ritual and explores how the people react during these ceremonies. Apart from its religious aspect, this ceremony also gives definition to how roles are created within a society. A certain hierarchical structure is clearly delineated in social rituals and ceremonies even in the present day. Connections with state, religious, school rituals and ceremonies can be made and analysed. Activity 9 - Sharing An Experience Which Was Frightening Materials: Pens Colour pencils, crayons etc. Sheets of paper Development Members of the group are asked to recall a time when they had been very frightened. They are told that this experience has to be one that they can share with the group. They must think about how they felt during the experience, how they acted and how they escaped from this situation. The members can draw, write, sing or act out this experience. Each member is then given time to share this experience with the group. This activity can be developed in a different way, if the educator thinks that the above is too threatening for the class that he or she is working with. The real incidents can be transformed into a fictional situation. Students will use the real feelings that they have felt in the frightening situations that they have encountered in their real lives. Instead of exposing their feelings directly, the fiction acts as a parallel to their real story. Rationale When using the first version of this exercise, the educator is inviting the group members to open up to each other. The intention is to try and create a sense of belonging and trust in the group that will enhance their future work as they will be working on building a community. But, the educator has to gauge the level of trust in the group before attempting this exercise in such a personal mode. Even if the students work through fiction, they will still be bringing their own way of reacting to frightening situations. The reactions and feelings expressed in this exercise can be similar to those which will be experienced by the group members in the next part of this project which involves the villagers trying to come to terms with a frightening situation. Although the context of the experience might be different, the feelings and reactions expressed by individuals when facing a frightening situation are 109 universal. This will be the last belief building activity because it is highly related with the situations that the group will be asked to role-play in the final part of this project. All the above activities gradually build the foundations for the members of the group to believe in their role and the context of the next part of the sequence. Similar activities can be devised in order to explore the other factors involved in the building of this community. Other important themes to consider are: What kinds of laws and regulations exist in the village? Is someone considered a leader? How is this leader chosen? The trades of the village? How do the villagers take care of health problems? How do they acquire food? What kind of shelters do they have? The more questions are addressed the more different learning takes place. Once the ball is set rolling, the difficulty will not be in finding new drama activities but keeping the dominant theme in focus. Part Four - The Confrontation General Outline of the Last Phase This final part will bring together all the different episodes that have been created up to this point. In class, I will suggest to the students that all the above activities can be linked together, if they want to create one whole project. We could imagine that during the archaeologists' dream, the following sequence of improvisations could be developed: The archaeologist finds himself or herself amidst this community of people but s/he does not make his/her presence felt among these people. This is an opportunity for him/her to observe them in their usual routine and does not want to risk upsetting this culture in any way. However, unknown to the archaeologist, a young boy/girl who was out hunting has been observing him/her very closely. This boy/girl decides to approach the archaeologist and a friendship develops between the two. Still, the archaeologist manages to bind the boy/girl to secrecy. 110 In the meantime, the boy/girl tells the archaeologist that s/he is not the only stranger who has approached their remote village. The youth tells the archaeologist that a group of people had come into the village and had settled in the main hut. The villagers had been afraid of them because they had thought them to be gods. The boy/girl tells the archaeologist that these people were friendly and they had shown the community how to make many new things. They have also brought strange fluids with them and salves that help cure the people very quickly. In fact, that they had saved his little sister/brother when s/he was very sick. The young boy/girl wants the archaeologist to meet these people as s/he thinks that they come from the same community. The archaeologist knows who these people were: they had been part of the archaeological expedition but were in it just for the money. They were not interested in the artefacts and what they meant but just to get their money's worth out of the digging site. S/he is highly suspicious that these people were being so friendly for an ulterior motive. Many different scenes can be improvised to create the above story line. The focus should be on the difference between the relationships created: on one hand there are the youth and the archaeologist and on the other the villagers and the group of strange people. Scenes can be used to create a direct contrast between the mode of interactions between the two. It could be more effective if the strangers in the village are shown to be sincerely motivated by a deep need to help these people to progress. At the same time, it could be beneficial to question whether progress always means a positive outcome. The strangers should be portrayed as being very friendly and having definitely very good skills of persuasion. Try to challenge students to move beyond the usual image of the villain. Different theatrical frames can be used to depict the variety of scenes that will possibly emerge from the above sequence. Reflection is always a major key to these activities and always connects the fictional context with the real context of the students. 111 The next sequence in this final part will give the twist needed to this plot and will actually be the main scene in which there will be direct interaction with the audience. In previous sections, I have defined how such a scene could be structured to involve the audience in a direct manner. Now, I will be outlining three different ways how tension can be introduced into the process. These three different outcomes to this project will have several issues at their core that will change depending on which twist to the plot the educator and students decide to choose. Generally when working with drama and theatre on an improvisational basis, outcomes of scenes are very unpredictable and there is general feeling of moving into the unknown. This is an integral part of all creative processes: the confrontation between the known and the unknown. Three Twists to the Plot a) the newcomers to the village suddenly decide that since they have been so good to the people and have given so many innovative ideas, they now have a right to be treated like gods and to be obeyed by all the villagers. The archaeologist helps the people realise that the newcomers are no better than they are and that they must stand up to these strangers and not let them make the community their slaves. However, the villagers have become so suspicious that they do not know whom to believe anymore. The question to this scene could be "What right have people to exploit their power and subjugate fellow human beings to their own selfish needs?" This question will definitely raise a number of related issues that can be discussed through the audience interaction. Some of the issues could include: 1) political oppression 2) child labour 3) exploitation of land resources belonging to underdeveloped countries by more powerful countries 4) human rights 5) effects of colonialism 112 6) bullying at school 7) racial and sexual discrimination 8) who defines authority? 9) who defines socially acceptable behaviour? b) the newcomers decide that they want to make the village into a tourist attraction. People would flock to this remote village because it is so quaint in its undeveloped state and it has warm lakes that are thought to have medicinal qualities. The strangers convince the villagers that they will become very rich and the village will benefit a lot. For any Maltese citizen this scene would immediately echo the situation of the Maltese islands. Our economy depends heavily on tourism that does not always mean that this industry is beneficial for the islanders. This scene will raise entirely different issues from the first one and the question could be "How are the land and people exploited in the name of progress?" The following issues might some that could be explored further: 1) protection of green areas 2) encroachment of built-up areas 3) creation of job opportunities 4) enhanced economy 5) higher demands to meet waste disposal 6) mixing of cultures 7) exploitation of workers in the tourist industry 8) more pollution because of increase in amount of vehicles, air traffic etc. 9) transformation of historical sites into tourist attractions c) the newcomers decide that it is time to go back to their own time. Without asking the villagers they take some artefacts from the sacred grounds of the village and kidnap the high priest/priestess. They are caught and are sentenced to death. The strangers plead that they are taking the artefacts to preserve in a museum where the future generations can visit and appreciate them. With regards to the high priest/priestess, they were going to take him/her with them to show him/her their civilisation but they would have sent him/her back with new knowledge to help the people. Yet again, this scene will now focus on another set of consequences for the action, this time having to do more with individual values and ethical boundaries. 113 The main question could be "When are seemingly good intentions sometimes unethical?" Depending on the age of the participants several dilemmas can be presented: 1) how right is it for a group of people to decide for someone else? 2) the importance of historical sites and museums 3) capital punishment 4) our connection to history 5) personal vs. social values 6) the condescending benevolence of colonisers 7) theft with good intentions, is this paradox ever possible? My choice would be to use the first outcome since all the episodes in this project have been created with the idea of finding a plot that would explore the values of history and raise awareness about the effects of colonialism. These have been the dominant themes that have aided me in creating the sequence of episodes for this project. As has been explained, other issues will emerge in this process. These three different outcomes could be used to initiate another dramatic process. Issues raised during the performance could provide educators with the choice of continuing work in the same area or else commencing work in a totally different sphere. These type of activities can be extended into months of work depending on what the participants intend to do with the developed material. However, parts of it can be used independently from others due to its episodic nature. The advantages of this program are that it is created by students for other students and simultaneously supplies an excellent arena for student/student and teacher/student dialogue. Instead of waiting around for the Theatre in Education team to choose their school, Maltese educators have the possibility of harnessing the mediums of theatre and drama in their schools. As will be explained in the 114 concluding chapter of this thesis, the current possibility of using theatre and drama in education in Malta is minimal and not encouraged by school administrators as it is not part of the curriculum. However, most of the times the curriculum dictates what educators should teach but not how they do it. Such a program will offer the opportunity to combine the teaching of demanded facts, to encourage research, to explore a diversity of issues pertinent to the students' reality, to develop personal and social skills and to encourage transformation and critical questioning on the part of all participants in the dramatic process. 115 CONCLUSION Introducing Drama Educators into the Maltese Education System. It is hoped that this will not be the real conclusion of this project. If the program outlined in the previous chapter is implemented, it will be the first time that such a program will be introduced into Maltese schools. The Arts in Malta are considered a luxury that the education system cannot afford. The school system is divided into the following sections: Kindergarten: 4 - 5 years old, Primary Level: 6 - 11 years old; Secondary Level: 11 -16 years old; Sixth Form Level: 16-18 years old; Tertiary Education Level: 18 years and onwards. Up to the Secondary level of education, there is no co-ed education except for one privately owned school. In the majority of schools, theatre and drama are relegated to the one-off production during Prize-day, Christmas School Concert and the rare fund-raising event. Especially in government run schools, students are not exposed to theatre or drama when they step beyond the boundary of the Primary Level age of schooling. Speakers for the system mention several reasons for eliminating the Arts from the curriculum, such as lack of available time, scarcity of funds, schools are for serious education but theatre/drama are for fun, too much noise, there is no point using these mediums since most students are not interested in becoming actors, and other discrediting objections. Educators who are interested in using theatre/drama as part of the curriculum do not find any training at a tertiary level that helps them put these media into practice. Only those teachers who are part of the Kindergarten and Primary Level curriculum will find any basic courses available to them and these are scarce. There is only one Drama Unit on the island that has to cater to all the 116 government and sometimes the church-owned schools. This Drama Unit is made up of about 8 -10 people who have the arduous job of providing Theatre in Education to such a huge demand. The Drama Unit in Malta is financially backed up by the Education Department. Presently, the same people who offer Theatre in Education performances in the morning are also responsible in the evenings for the running of the Drama Unit Theatre Project (DUTP): the only acting school available on the island. In fact, students from this school usually perform in the Theatre in Education projects provided by the Drama Unit. I have performed with the Drama Unit on various occasions and assisted as an educator together with my students at their performances. Most of their productions are typically "performance only" events with minimum audience interaction. Sometimes teachers of classes who have been chosen to be audience for these performances are given a pre-performance kit. This kit is meant for the teachers to prepare the students for the subject of the performance and aids the discussion that each class is supposed to have after having attended a Theatre in Education event. Most times, the Drama Unit actors visit schools and occasionally a particular class is chosen to put up a performance with them for a special event of the school. However, since there are no drama teachers in schools, or at least teachers who are trained to use drama and theatre as mediums to teach the curriculum, educational theatre events are rare and spare. The benefits that can be derived from these creative means can be experienced by only a few of the students spread around the island. It is not humanly possible that the Drama Unit in Malta can stretch itself to give performances in all the schools. It would be a good idea if the University of Malta would provide some training courses in the 117 sphere of Education to provide more teachers who can use the tools of theatre and drama in the teaching setting. The advantages of having both drama teachers in schools and a Theatre in Education team are immense. The Drama Unit on its own clearly cannot provide what individual teachers using drama and theatre in the classroom can achieve with their students. Educators working in a class have a better opportunity of forming trusting and close relationships with the students. Teachers are much more aware of the personal "baggage" that their students carry around with them, so they can arrive at more informed decisions as to what works with the students. Classroom teachers, even at a secondary level, have the advantage of being in the same school every day; they would be more likely to know if any significant event has occurred either in the school or in the students' life that could be addressed through drama. Moreover, the form that the drama takes, the activities used with students, the learning goals, and the adaptations done to the process can be much more unique and tailored to the class by the teacher than by a visiting Theatre in Education team. Inside the classrooms, the participants have more of a chance to structure and focus the drama process. As has already been explained and shown through the program in the previous chapter, students in class are present from the initiation of the project and in every part of the process. A Theatre in Education team chooses, researches, structures and presents a topic at a distance from the classrooms. The students do not have any say in the whole procedure and although the issues presented might be of interest to them, they were not the ones to choose them. Most often, the aims of a Theatre in Education company do not 118 include those of the children in the decision-making that leads to the final program. A Theatre in Education team certainly cannot stop and renegotiate the terms and structures of the drama, except under the rarest circumstances when such renegotiations have been structured in the program. On the other hand, a Theatre in Education team has certain advantages over the teacher in the classroom. The teacher is a known figure and students get used to him or her in the teacher's role. For the teacher to maintain a certain level of control and credibility in the classroom, there are certain limits to the type of acting that he or she can do. Even if the educator is an actor, he or she has to walk the fine line between being inspiring or daunting for the students. It is much clearer and more acceptable to students that strong acting comes from a member of a Theatre in Education team. These strangers have come to the school for the specific reason of putting up a theatrical event. They have impact and novelty on their side; students are more ready to be immersed in their illusion. Another factor in favour of a Theatre in Education team is the multiplicity of the team. The teacher can only provide one simple dramatic reference point. There is only so much that one teacher can offer with regards to planning, research and new ideas. In addition, the team has more time than the teacher does to explore, rehearse and modify the program according to their desire. Different viewpoints can be incorporated into the drama although it is still being composed away from the individuality of the classroom. Moreover, having the advantage of being able to repeat the performance, the drama team can restructure their project from one performance to another. Unlike the drama teacher who in working with 119 the students has to be able to think of quick alternatives there and then, the team can tighten a structure in the in-between performance periods. On a more practical level, a Theatre in Education team has the advantage of having more financial backing than the teacher in the classroom can ever hope for. The team can use more theatre effects, elaborate costumes, and stage lights than the teacher in the class can ever dream to posses. All these add to the whole theatrical and spectacle effect that aid students to enter the fictional world more readily. The excitement generated by a spectacular performance can be daunting for any teacher who thinks that this is what theatre is all about. Fortunately in the classroom, the focus is more on the learning rather than on the spectacle of theatre although the latter should not be eliminated. In a sense, one can conclude that on the level of process the drama teacher is clearly in a more advantageous position. The classroom environment provides a more intimate and individual environment for theatre and drama to reach educational goals. However, a Theatre in Education team can also prove to be an effective learning experience on a performance level. A Theatre in Education team generates energy and excitement since they are such eventful experiences. Maltese education is in need of both dynamics: the teacher who can use theatre and drama in the teaching environment and a Theatre in Education team. The program outlined in the previous chapter can serve as an example of how the drama and theatre teacher and the Drama Unit can work together in Malta. The Theatre in Education team could facilitate the whole process with a group of students from one school to put the whole project together. The Theatre in Education team would be responsible for taking this process to the performance 120 stage. Their experience, expertise and economic resources are the right ingredients to provide an engaging and edifying theatrical experience. This program would be introducing the Drama Unit to participatory theatre, as there is no evidence of direct audience participation in any of the Maltese Theatre in Education productions. While the Theatre in Education team are working on the process, the drama educators in individual target schools will be working with their students on some of the activities from this program. In this way, students who will participate as an audience will not be new to the dynamics of process drama and participatory theatre. Moreover, since the students/audience would have already gained insights about the content of the performance, they will be able to put forward new and personal alternatives to those provided by the Theatre in Education team. Thus, students will be contributing directly to their own transformations and will have an opportunity to air their views publicly. Drama and theatre educators in schools could prove assets for the Theatre in Education team as the former could also provide valuable information about students' interests, habits and ways of thinking that could aid in creating programs aimed at specific students. At the same time, the Theatre in Education team could set-up in-service courses for teachers who are new to drama and theatre and want to use them as learning/teaching mediums in their classrooms. The co-operation of both ends will be beneficial for those whose education is aimed at: the students. Theatre and drama are too valuable as learning/teaching instruments to be left to the one-off experience. Educators should realise that these mediums are not only modes of entertainment but also very powerful resources for change and 121 transformation. Students through the use of drama and theatre become active participants in their own learning. Theatre and drama provide a holistic method for educating students. In entering the "as if" situation, students use their intellectual, sensory and affective capabilities to make sense of their new knowledge. Drama and theatre can aid students in gaining more self-confidence, learning new vocabulary, actively connecting to the written word in literature and other areas of their education. During drama and theatre lessons, personal and social skills are exercised for students to be able to function effectively both on an individual and group level of interaction. Factual teaching can be turned into an active and enjoyable learning experience both for teachers and students. Through, drama and theatre students not only think and memorise but translate their learning into dynamic expression. Students are enabled to translate their latent knowledge into words and images. Students express their opinions, knowledge and attitudes, not because they are pressured to but because they are actively engaged in the dramatic situation. It has become very evident to me, that only those educators who are able to move away from the "expert" mode of education, can experience and reap the benefits of drama and theatre. A change in the teacher's philosophy is needed: students are subjects and not objects. As subjects, these students, need to act and nothing provides a safer environment to do this than the worlds of fiction created in the drama/theatre classroom. Peter Brook ends his book, The Empty Space, with the following words that sum up my thoughts about drama and theatre as mediums of exploration: 122 In everyday life, 'if is a fiction, in the theatre 'if is an experiment. In every day life, 'if is an evasion, in the theatre 'if is the truth. When we are persuaded to believe in this truth, then the theatre and life are one. This is a high aim. It sounds like hard work. To play needs much work. But when we experience the work as play, then it is not work any more (1968, p. 157). Drama and theatre can be dynamic and exciting teaching/learning mediums. However, for Maltese educators to be more effective in using theatre and drama as pedagogical tools, basic training has to be provided. Although drama may not be introduced as a subject (one of the objections is that the timetable is already full and drama would be an added burden for the students) student-teachers should have a choice to take courses in the use of drama and theatre as aids in their teaching. If students are to appreciate their education, they should have a say in what they want to learn and how they should achieve these aims. If we want students to cherish our culture and the Arts, we should start by modifying our attitude towards theatre and drama. It is a shame that resistance to introducing the Arts into the curriculum is still so strongly felt in our educational system. The first steps towards providing a holistic experience of life is to open as many alternatives as possible for our students, a venture that the use of theatre and drama in education can certainly aid to achieve. 123 BIBLIOGRAPHY Althusser, Louis. Ideology and the Ideological State Apparatuses. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971. Amidon, Rick E. "Toward a Young Adult Drama." English Journal. 76(5) (1987): 58-60. Apple, Michael, and James A. Bean. Democratic Schools. Virginia: ASCD, 1995. Aronowitz, Stanley, and Henry A. Giroux. Education Still Under Siege. USA: Bergin & Garvey, 1993. Baldacchino, Godfrey, and Ronald G. Sultana. Maltese Society: A Sociological Inquiry. Malta: Mireva Publications, 1994. Barba, Eugenio. Beyond the Floating Islands. Trans. Judy Barba, Richard Fowler, Jerrold C. Rodesch, Saul Shapiro. New York: PAJ, 1985. Barthes, Roland. The Pleasure of the Text. Oxford: Blackwell, 1975. Bartram, Graham, and Anthony Waine. Brecht in Perspective. London: Longman, 1982. Bennett, Susan. Theatre Audiences. New York: Routledge, 1990. Bentley, Eric. The Playwright as Thinker. London: Peregrine, 1967. Boal, Augusto. The Rainbow of Desire. Trans. Adrian Jackson. New York: Routledge, 1995. —. Theatre of the Oppressed. Australia: Pluto Press, 1973. Bolton, Gavin. Selected Writings on Drama in Education. London: Longman Group, 1986. —. Drama as Education. London: Longman Group, 1984. —. Towards a Theory of Drama in Education. London: Longman Group, 1979. —. "Changes in Thinking About Drama in Education." Theory into Practice. 24(3) (1985): 151-157. Booth, David. Story Drama. Ontario: Pemborke, 1994. —. Re-Cognising Richard Courtney. Ontario: Pembroke, 1988. Bowles, Samuel, and Herbert, Gintis. Schooling in Capitalist America. New York: Basic Books, 1976. 124 Brook. Peter. The Open Door. USA: Pantheon, 1993. —. The Empty Space. London: Penguin, 1968. Burgess, Roma, and Pamela Gaudry. Time for Drama: A Handbook for Secondary Teachers. Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1986. Burgess, Roma, and others. Drama and Theatre: A Shared Role in Learning. Victoria: Education Department of Victoria, 1982. Carey, John. "Teaching in Role and Classroom Power." Drama Broadsheet. 7(2) (1995): 2-7. Christoffersen, Erik Exe. The Actor's Way. Trans. Richard Fowler. New York: Routledge, 1993. Courtney, Richard. Play. Drama & Thought. Ontario: Simon & Pierre Publishing, 1989. Dewey, John, and Evelyn Dewey. Schools of Tomorrow. New York: Dutton & Company, 1962. Dewey, John. Democracy and Education. New York: Free Press, 1944. —. Experience & Education. New York: Collier Books, 1971. Doyle, Clar. Raising Curtains on Education: Drama as a Site for Critical Pedagogy. Toronto: Oise Press, 1993. Edminston, Brian. "Planning for Flexibility: The Phase of a Drama Structure." The Drama/Theatre Teacher. 4(1) (1991): 6-11. Eisner. Elliot. The Art of Educational Evaluation. Philadelphia: Falmer Press, 1985. Epskamp, P. Kees. Theatre in Search of Social Change. The Hague: CESO, 1989. Errington, Edward. Towards a Socially Critical Drama Education. Australia: Deakin University, 1992. Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish, trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Vintage Books, 1977. Franks, Anton. "Drama Education, the Body and Representation (or, the mystery of the missing bodies)." Research in Drama Education. 1(1) (1996): 105- 119. 125 Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Herder and Herder, 1970. —. Education for Critical Consciousness. New York: Continuum, 1973. Giroux Henry. Border Crossings: Cultural Workers and the Politics of Education. New York: Routledge, 1992. Giroux, Henry, Roger Simon, and Contributors. Popular Culture: Schooling & Everyday Life. New York: Bergin & Garvey, 1989. Giroux, Henry, Anthony N. Penna, and William F. Pinar. Curriculum and Instruction: Alternatives in Education. USA: McCutchan, 1981. Goode, Tony. "Drama-The Search for Identity." Drama/Teacher. 4(1) (1991): 17- 24. Greene, Maxine. Releasing the Imagination. New York: Jossey-Bass, 1995. The Dialectics of Freedom. New York: Teachers College Press, 1988. —. Landscapes of Learning. New York: Teachers College Press, 1978. Hirsch, David. "Murder at the Embassy: Blending Games and Playmaking in the Secondary Theatre Classroom." Stage of the Art. 7(4) (1995): 15-20. Hobgood, Burnet M. "The Mission of the Theatre Teacher." Journal of Aesthetic Education, 21(1) (1987): 57-73. Hornbrook, David. Education and Dramatic Art. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989. Iser, Wolfgang. The Act of Reading. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980. Jackson, Tony. Learning Through Theatre: New perspectives on Theatre in Education. New York: Routledge, 1993. Johnson, Liz, and Cecily O'Neill, eds. Dorothy Heathcote: Collected Writings on Education and Drama. London: Hutchinson Publishing, 1984. Kirkton Masley, Carole. "The Play's the Thing: Theater and Dramatic Arts in Secondary Schools." English Journal. 60(4) (1971): 533-9. Kumiega, Jennifer. The Theatre of Grotowski. London: Methuen, 1985. Langer, Susanne. Feeling and Form. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1953. McDonald, Janet. "The Impact of The Educational Setting on the Aesthetic Dimension in the Drama Classroom." Nadie Journal. 18(2) (1994): 5-13. 126 McLaren, Peter, and Colin Lankshear, eds. Critical Literacy: Politics. Praxis and the Postmodern. New York: University of New York Press, 1993. McLaren, Peter, and Peter Leonard, eds. Paulo Freire: A Critical Encounter. London: Routledge, 1993. McLaren, Peter. Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education. New York: Longman, 1994. Medina, Carmen Liliana. "Theatre of the Oppressed and Theatre in Education: A Reflection on Paulo Freire's Theories." Diss. Ohio State U., 1995. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception. New York: Humanities Press, 1967. Morgan, Norah, and Juliana Saxton. Asking Better QUESTIONS. Ontario: Pembroke, 1994. —. "Enriching Language Through Drama." Language Arts. 65(1) (1988): 34-40. —. Teaching Drama. London: Heinemann, 1987. Mulcahy, Dennis Michael. "Towards a Theory of Teacher Education in Educational Drama." Diss. Toronto U., 1991. Neelands, Jonathan. "Theatre Without Walls: Alternative Aesthetics In Educational Drama." The Drama/Theatre Teacher. 6(3) (1991): 4-11. O'Neill, Cecily. Drama Worlds. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1995. —. "Dialogue and Drama: The Transformation of Events, Ideas, and Teachers." Language Arts. 66(2) (1989): 147-59. —. "Dramatic Worlds: Structuring for Significant Experience." The Drama/Theatre Teacher, 4(1) (1991): 3-5. O'Toole, John. The Process of Drama. London: Routledge, 1992. —. Theatre in Education: New Objectives for theatre-New Techniques in Education. UK: Hodder and Stoughton, 1976. Peachmert, Brian. Educational Drama. Plymouth: Macdonald & Evans, 1976. Poulter, Chrissie. "Playing the (Power) Game." Contemporary Theatre Review. 3(1) (1995): 9-22. Rabinow, Paul. The Foucault Reader. New York: Pantheon Books, 1984. Roose-Evans, James. Experimental Theatre from Stanislavsky to Peter Brook. 127 London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984. Schaffner, Megan. "Drama and Language." 2D, 4 (1985): 35-44. Schutz, Alfred. The Problem of Social Reality, in Collected Papers I, ed. Maurice Natanson. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1967. Schutzman, Mady, and Jan Cohen-Cruz, eds. Playing Boal: Theatre, therapy- activism. New York: Routledge, 1994. Shor, Ira, and Paulo Freire. A Pedagogy for Liberation. Connecticut: Bergin & Garvey, 1987. Slade, Peter. Child Drama. London: University of London Press, 1954. Somers, John, ed. Drama and Theatre in Education: Contemporary Research. Canada: Captus, 1996. —, ed. Research in Drama Education. Canada: Captus, 1996. —. Drama in the Curriculum. New York: Casell Educational Ltd., 1994. SooHoo, Suzanne. "Emerging Student and Teacher Voices: A Syncopated Rhythm in Public Education." in Barry Kanpol and Peter McLaren (eds.). Critical Multiculturalism: uncommon voices in a common struggle. USA: Greenwood, 1995. _ Stelling Gabb, Carolyn. "Staff Development in Drama and Oral Language Expression: The Story of a Teacher Teaching Teachers." Diss. Georgia U., 1994. Swartz, Larry. "How Far Can You See With Your Eyes? Some Thoughts About a Drama Curriculum." The Drama/Theatre Teacher. 4(2) (1991): 6-11 —. Drama Themes. Ontario: Pembroke, 1995. Tarlington, Carole, and Patrick Verriour. Role Drama. Ontario: Pembroke, 1991. Tarlington, Carole and Wendy Michaels. Building Plays. Ontario: Pembroke, 1995. Taylor, Philip. "Our 'Adventure of Experiencing': Reflective Practice and Drama Research." Youth Theatre Journal. 9 (1995): 31-44. Thompson, John. "Assessing Drama: Allowing for Meaningful Interpretation." The Drama/Theatre Teacher. 4(3) (1992): 14-17. Verriour, Patrick. "This Is Drama': The Play Beyond the Play." Language Arts. 66(3) (1989): 276-286. 128 —. In Role: Teaching and Learning Dramatically. Ontario: Pippin Publishing, 1994. Wagner, Betty Jane. "A Theoretical Framework For Improvisational Drama." Nadie Journal. 19(2) (1995): 61-70. Dorothy Heathcote: Drama as a Learning Medium. USA: NEAUS, 1976. Way, Brian. Development through Drama. London: Longman, 1981. Weiler, Kathleen, and Candace Mitchell. What Schools Can Do: Critical Pedagogy and Practice. Albany: New York Press, 1992. Wilkinson, Joyce A. "Student Voices: Self Assessment for Drama and Theatre Education." The Drama/Theatre Teacher. 4(3) (1992): 24-26. Willett, John. Brecht on Theatre. New York: Hill and Wang, 1964. Wink, Joan. Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the Real World. New York: Longman, 1997. 129 APPENDIX A Teacher-in-Role Registers The following are nine registers that educators in role can assume as entry points to initiate or move on the drama process. These registers were adapted from the categories put forward by Norah Morgan and Juliana Saxton in their article "Enriching Language Through Drama" Language Arts, 1988, 65(1) (1988): 34-40. Authority The teacher is in charge with full authority and overtly in control. S/he is the "one who knows" and the class is aware of this. The Authority Role promotes a lot of listening to discover the rules of the game, and many opportunities to experience interaction with authority of the teacher in a different guise. Authority roles can receive a piece of information, which is new, and this will involve the students on the simplest level in explaining, demonstrating, suggesting, advising and supporting. Teacher in role as the mayor of the city to the class in role as the village citizens: I cannot lower the rates of your fife because only in this way can I make sure that nobody is cheating the village out of money. If you are able to come up with other plans how we can know who declares their income falsely; I am ready to discuss the lowering of your taxes. Second in Command The teacher is not overtly in control but s/he can refer to a higher authority for instructions. The teacher is the "go-between" who does not always know but offers to find out. The flexibility of the role permits the teacher, at any time, to relinquish authority and to allow the students to participate in the story making. Teacher in role as a member of a gang meeting with terrorised neighbours: Teacher: You know that we have never bothered this neighbourhood before but now we are forced to do so. One of you has what we are looking for and some of you have read the letter that we sent to the mayor. Maybe you could tell the rest what we have threatened to do. Students: They want to take all the neighbourhood kids to work for them if we do not give them what they want. Teacher: That is only the start. Mr. X wants what he is looking for, not even I know what it is because he has not mentioned it to me but he said that he has dealt with some of you in the past. Maybe you can get together and then I can tell Mr. X what you have decided. 130 One of the Gang Teachers in this role facilitate by their questions and suggestions, but they know no more than the class, are unsure where to find the facts and to whom to go. The teacher's opinions should carry no more weight than those of his/her students should. Because the teacher is absorbed into the group, the students will be engaged in listening, questioning, problem solving and decision making. Teacher in role as gang member with other gang members: Teacher: Mr. X is getting very suspicious he has not called for a few days and he has not let us know what we are really looking for here. Student: What are you trying to say? Don't you trust Mr. X? Student: I agree with you, we should talk to Mr. X about this. Teacher: What do you mean? You know how angry he gets when he is threatened. He'll kill us as he did to the last two. The Helpless The teacher is now in the hands of, and sometimes at the mercy of, the class. S/he needs their help, does not know, and depends on the class to find out. Her/his questions and comments may feed in clues. The responsibility, decision making, and leadership are now with the class who are engaged in questioning, problem solving, valuing, examining the implications of their actions upon another person, reading nonverbal signals, and seeing the importance of giving clear instructions and relevant information. Teacher in role as a lost traveller asking for instructions from the students as suspicious inhabitants of a remote village: Teacher: I do not know how I have ended up here but I must have food and water or I will soon die of exhaustion. Will someone help me to make map of this village and its surrounding areas. Students: We cannot help you, the last man we trusted we found trying to escape during the night with the golden statue of our god Teacher: But I am not like that. Please help me. Authority Opposed to the Group This differs from Authority in that the teacher is not the authority over the group, but one from another group who challenges them. Here the class is in charge of itself and is experiencing working under pressure, defending themselves verbally against challenge, or opposition to their own authority. They discover debating skills and the problems of control of language under stress. Teacher in role as Mr. X, a gang leader to the class as mutinous gang members: Teacher. So you dare to oppose my leadership? Have you forgotten what I am capable of doing? 131 The Absentee As one who has been away and therefore does not know, the teacher is in a position to draw out information form the class as to what has been going on in his/her absence. S/he may have been "away" simply during a discussion, or s/he may have been "away" for a longer period. Recalling, presenting, reliving, suggesting implications, supporting and defending the decisions and actions of the group in the "absence" of the teacher in role, are some of the experiences which can be promoted through the role of the Absentee. Teacher as village elder who has been living as a hermit to the class as worried villagers: Teacher: I have heard about the terrible disease that has spread throughout the village. Tell me exactly when it started and how. I have heard your cries and have come to try to help you if that is possible. Authority Outside the Action Here the role of the teacher has an apparently objective interest in the group. That is, s/he is at the service of the group, often as an administrator, to give advice when it is requested. This role provides students with opportunities for using their own authority effectively, directing their own learning and directing the action of the teacher in role. Teacher in role as the curator of the National Museum of Natural History to students as scientists of prehistoric era: Teacher. Now that you have come back from the expedition site, the state requests that you give your opinions about the findings so that it will be noted down in the museum archives. The Fringe Role The teacher has no specific role other than that of the one whom has the right to be there and to ask questions. The role is used primarily to help the students to build background, or volume, and to have them reflect on the situation that they are in. The role makes demands upon both informational and expressive language. Since the teacher seems to have no personal stake in the central dilemmas of the situation the students are in there are opportunities for expressing thoughts and feelings on the part of the students. Teacher to students working in role as excavators: Teacher: Those paintings in the cave are interesting. Who do you think made them? Do you think a whole family lived here or was it a special cave? It makes you think about the way of life they used to live and how we have progressed. 132 APPENDIX B Suggested Books for Warm-up Activities Atkins, Greg. Improv! A Handbook for the Actor. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1994. Boal, Augusto. Games for Actors and Non-Actors. New York: Routledge, 1992. Brandes, Donna. Gamesters' Handbook: 140 Games for Teachers and Group Leaders. London: Hutchinson, 1978. Christen, Lesley. Drama Skills for Life: A Handbook for Secondary Teachers. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1993. Cranston, Jerneral W. Transformations Through Drama. New York: University Press of America, 1990. Dezseran, Louis John. The Student Actor's Handbook: Theatre games and Exercises. California: Mayfield, 1975. Diamond, David. A Joker's Guide to Power Plays. Vancouver: Headlines Theatre, 1991. Matthews, Steve. Getting Into The Act: Communication through Drama. New Zealand: Government Publications, 1988. Novelly, Maria C. Theatre Games for Young Performers: Improvisations and Exercises for Developing Acting Skills. Colorado: Meriwether, 1985. O'Neill, Cecily, Lambert, Alan, Linnell, Rosemary, and Warr-Wood, Janet. Drama Guidelines. London: Heinemann, 1976. Polsky, Milton E. Let's Improvise. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1980. Scher, Anna, and Verrall, Charles. 200+ Ideas for Drama. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1985. Spolin, Viola. Improvisation for the Theatre. Illinois: North Western University, 1963. —. Theatre Games for Rehearsal: A Director's Handbook. Illinois: North Western University, 1985. —. Theatre Games for the Classroom: A Teacher's Handbook. Illinois: North Western University, 1986. 133 Warren, Bernie. Drama Games: Drama and Group Activities with People of All Ages and Abilities. California: Captus Press, 1996. Wessels, Charlyn. Drama. Oxford: Oxford University, 1987. The following two books do not specifically contain warm-up activities but are interesting for readers who are new to theatre and drama structures as used in an educational setting, as they give clear definitions and examples how to use and integrate these structures into a dramatic process: Neelands, Jonathan. Structuring Drama Work: A Handbook of Available Forms in Theatre and Drama. T. Goode, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1990. O'Neill, Cecily, and Lambert, Alan. Drama Structures. London: Hutchinson, 1992.


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