‘The difference between theatre and classroom drama is that in theatre everything is contrived so that the audience gets the kicks. In the classroom, the participants get the kicks.’
So wrote the acclaimed drama in education specialist, Dorothy Heathcote in Drama as a learning medium; Wagner (1999). But we shouldn’t just take Dorothy’s word for this. The three girls in Gaza who took part in this play that was performed at the Sharek conference at Westminster University in November (and last week at the British Council Young Learners’ conference in Santiago, Chile) have each made a short video talking about how they think they have benefitted from the experience (see below).
And if you’d like to see the play that they are referring to, you can see it here….
Of course this is about working with a play that was written by somebody else. Learners writing and performing their own plays will bring even more benefits. It’s been very interesting to hear from many of the teachers in Palestine who’ve been helping their students with their own plays for our play writing and play performing competition about the value of this process.
We had more than 80 eligible entries for the competition and our panel of 24 judges have been busy watching the videos, reading the scripts, and attempting the very difficult, and unenviable, task of picking a winner.
So next Thursday will be the moment we have all been waiting for, when we will be announcing the winners on this blog. The quality of the acting and the writing has far exceeded our expectations. For this reason the panel of judges have really struggled to come to a decision. But in a sense every single participant is a winner. My own very humble attempts to act in Arabic have certainly made me feel like a winner!