Why set up a drama club in your school?

Last year, thanks to generous support from the Eddie Byers fund, Greenall Florent Books, Wendy Arnold and Walter King, I was able to go to Palestine on several occasions and run some short courses for UNRWA and Ministry of Education teachers on establishing and running English drama clubs in Palestinian schools. In all over 200 English teachers from different areas of Gaza and the West Bank took part and I’m so pleased that drama clubs are now very well established as a tool for extra curricular English language development, and as a focal point for Hands Up Project remote sessions with volunteers around the world. 

 

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Drama club leader training course at an UNRWA school in Gaza city

 

Like many of the new drama club leaders, Haneen Khaled, a teacher at Asma Prep B UNRWA school, Gaza, used some of the time in the drama club to prepare plays for last year’s remote theatre competition.

Here’s the brilliant play they submitted.. 

 

And here’s Haneen’s reflection on what it means to have a drama club in their school 

Drama : Your vision to the world

Drama is about possessing another soul while you are acting. It gives you a space to be who you are . It makes you fly out of happiness or collapse from total sadness. It can enable you to live in another age with other people. It can ignite your imagination to be the person you dream to be. And it goes beyond what people can already see, to what you want them to be able to see. It is not I or me, but it is we. Drama is about speaking from the heart – not only from the words that come out of your mouth. Drama is life as it is and life as it should be.

 

I can say about drama that…

Drama is everywhere,

It lets you feel and helps you care 

It feeds your soul  

It makes you sad or mad

It describes the life when it is good , or bad

Drama is your vision to the world

So, keep on doing drama – it is precious like gold

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For all these reasons , we set up our drama club at Asmaa Prep UNRWA school “B” to give those brilliant girls a space to practice their creativity and dig into their own talents. They gather together to make the drama club experience highly enjoyable and incredibly rich. They work as a team to act, to reflect and to draw their wishes.

They travel by heart and by souls, away from borders and restrictions , through their online sessions with different HUP volunteers . Drama club students work like in a bee hive, ‘remoting‘ their own stories. They work in groups to come up with ideas, brainstorm those ideas , create characters, imagine events , write the scripts and finally do their best to make the acting believable and natural. Our drama club creates great writers and gorgeous actors .

In the end, I can say that there are no words to describe how great it is to be part of this stunning project. All I can say is thank you to everyone who spends day and night to make this project see the light.

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4 thoughts on “Why set up a drama club in your school?

  1. This is a nice post Haneen. Your passion for drama really comes through. For those people around the world who are thinking of setting up a drama club in their school it might be useful if you outlined some of the things that the students do in the drama club? Is it only working on plays or do you do other drama activities as well?

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    1. Thank you very much Nick 😊
      Drama club is a very outstanding club to develop all language skills that serves the purpose of language developement .
      Throughout drama club , we can :
      1. Do many dramatic activities such as line up dialougues , creating conversations along with still images and so on .
      2. Do online sessions with HUP volunteers and work on different stories .
      3.make use of “stories alive ” to put the students in an atmosphere of scripts and plays .
      4. The most important thing that I had in my drama club is create the project titled ” remote your story ” to.help the students to be playwrights and dig in their talents and you can do this by following this :
      ~dividing the students into groups of five or more , it depends.
      ~give the students posters and ask them to think of an idea for a story and brainstorm around it..
      ~give them enough time to expand their story and add to it by creating characters and so on .
      ~ask them to spend extra time outside the club to discuss and edit .
      ~give the groups a model scripts and ask them to turn their stories into a play script .
      ~train each group to act it using whatever dramatic techniques that are suitable.
      ~remote this to a HUP volunteer to get feedback and retry
      ~publish these plays in a school magazine to encourage them and celebrate their great work .

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      1. Thanks Haneen. The process you outline in 4) sounds really interesting and beneficial to students language development. It would be great if you are able to keep records (sample stories, scripts and video footage) from different stages of the process. It sounds to me like this is an excellent area in which you could do some action research.

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