Applied Drama

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Applied Drama is an umbrella term for the use of drama practice in a specific social context or environment.[1]

It is most often undertaken in spaces "not usually defined as theatre buildings, with participants who may or may not be skilled in theatre arts and to audiences who have a vested interest in the issue taken up by the performance or are members of the community addressed by the performance."[2]

Topics considered to be under the umbrella of Applied Drama include Drama Therapy, theatre for development, teacher in role, Drama in Education, Community Drama, and Drama in Healthcare (such as Clown Care).

History of the term[edit]

Fields associated with Applied Drama[edit]

Drama therapy[edit]

Main article: Drama therapy

Drama therapy is the use of Applied Drama techniques to facilitate personal growth and promote mental health.[3]

Often Applied Drama and Drama therapy looks similar; for instance, some practitioners in both use theatrical techniques influenced by Augusto Boal and playback theatre in their work.[citation needed] Drama therapists, however, are trained in psychology and specific therapeutic interventions involving theatre processes and products, while in the field of Applied Drama, practitioners are usually trained as artists and theatre-makers who also learn to apply their knowledge of theatre and performance to different community and participatory settings.[citation needed] Therefore whilst applied theater may become therapeutic to the person involved, it is not intentional and not the goal, just a benefit that may occur.[citation needed]

Theatre for Development[edit]

Theatre for Development uses Applied Drama techniques to facilitate development in less developed countries.[4]

Teacher in role[edit]

Main article: Teacher in role

Teacher in role is when a teacher adopts a character related to the subject they wish to teach. A teacher might for example take the role of Thomas Jefferson in an American History class.[citation needed]

Drama in Education[edit]

Drama in Education can allow students to develop an understanding of themselves and others.[5] Kathleen Galllagher has argued that 'What is clear is that there is no correct pedagogical model on offer for drama education. [...] In theatre pedagogy, we not only endow experience with meaning, but we are - as players - invited to make manifest our own subjectivities in the world evoked through character and play, a world laden with metaphor and nuance, a world where relationship to other and self-spectatorship are in dynamic and unrelenting interaction.'[6]

Theatre in Education[edit]

Theatre in Education is a method that aims to encourage participation in projects that act as a medium of learning or as a vehicle of social change. It started in the Belgrade theatre in 1965.[7][8] The method resulted from practitioners rejecting the values of both commercial theatre and traditional education. The initial focus was to gain the engagement of young people in such projects. There was also a clear motive to move away from mainstream theatre practices and employ radical, new devising techniques.[9]

Applied Film[edit]

Applied Film combines the techniques associated with Applied Drama with video technology.[10] See also Participatory Video and Community film.

Drama in Healthcare[edit]

Drama in healthcare is drama created in medical contexts, often with the intention of rehabilitation.[11]

Prison Theatre[edit]

Prison theatre is drama involving the participation of prisoners often with the objective of education or rehabilitation. This can either take the form of traditional theatre by creating a play or with a more modern technique of interactive workshops.[12]

Applied Puppetry[edit]

Applied Puppetry uses the techniques of applied drama and combines them with puppetry.[13]

Training[edit]

There are several post-secondary academic institutions across the world that offer training in Applied Drama. In Canada alone there are degree programs offered at the University of Windsor, Concordia University Montreal, the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge and the University of Victoria in B.C.[citation needed]

In Ontario the University of Windsor has an undergraduate degree in Drama in Education and Community. This program explores applications for drama such as Theatre for Social Action, Drama in Education, and Drama in Healthcare. Professor Bernie Warren is a tenured professor in this department and one of the world's leading researchers on clown therapy which is one example of applied drama.[citation needed]

In the United Kingdom the Central School of Speech and Drama offers an undergraduate and post graduate degree in the field.[14][15] It is also worth noting that the University of Manchester has the only undergraduate Drama degree in the world to offer a specialist module focusing on Prison theatre practices.[16][17]

In the United States, the CUNY School of Professional Studies offers a sequential, ensemble-based master's degree program in applied theatre, in New York City.

Controversies[edit]

Most mainstream theatre is focused on the interpretation of a pre-written script, whereas applied drama is often more focused on the creation and interpretation of a theatre piece which may or may not be formally scripted.[18]

There is a debate, therefore about the relationship between instrumentalism and artistry across the field of applied drama.[19][20] Some practitioners choose to focus primarily on improvisation, whereas others might introduce a range of artistic practices, such as developing scripted plays with prisoners[21] and devised performance with children with disabilities,[22] or apply indigenous forms of cultural performance to address issues of local concern or create social cohesion, sometimes combined with new forms of digital communication.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Taylor, Phillip (February 2006). "Applied Theatre/Drama: an e-debate in 2004". Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance 11 (1): 90–95. doi:10.1080/13569780500437960. 
  2. ^ Applied Theatre, International Case Studies and Challenges for Practice", Edited by Monica Prendergast and Juliana Saxton, Intellect Publishers, Briston, UK, 2009, pg 6
  3. ^ Loretta Gallo-Lopez, Lawrence C. C. Rubin -Play-Based Interventions for Children and Adolescents on the ... 2012- Page 100 "An overview of drama therapy is provided next, along with support for the use of drama therapy with children with ASd."
  4. ^ Kabaso, Sydney (2013). Theater for Development in Zambia. Zambia: Kabsy Digital Media. p. 20. 
  5. ^ "The Arts, The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8". Ontario Ministry of Education and Training. p. 5. Retrieved 20 May 2013. "Education in the arts is essential to students’ intellectual, social, physical, and emotional growth." 
  6. ^ See 'Emergent Conceptions in Theatre Pedagogy and Production' in How Theatre Education: Convergences and Counterpoints 3-13, pp. 12-13.
  7. ^ http://www.belgrade.co.uk/files/downloads/192/TIE+education+pack.pdf
  8. ^ http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WLQ9otQn6YwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=theatre+in+education+history&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PvGbUcaXCOqG0AWu-IFQ&redir_esc=y
  9. ^ Nicholson, Helen (2009). Theatre & Education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-230-21857-4. 
  10. ^ http://worldfilmcollective.com/
  11. ^ Warren, Bernie. Using the Creative Arts in Therapy and Healthcare: A Practical Introduction. Routledge. p. 115. 
  12. ^ Weaver, Lois (2009). "Chapter 8: Doing Time". In Prentki, T and Preston, S. The Applied Theatre Reader. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 55–61. ISBN 978-0-415-42887-3. 
  13. ^ Marshall, Karrie. "Puppetry in Dementia Care". Jessica Kingsley Publishers. p. 30. 
  14. ^ http://www.cssd.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/ba-hons-drama-applied-theatre-and-education
  15. ^ http://www.cssd.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/masters/ma-applied-theatre
  16. ^ http://www.tipp.org.uk/tipp/
  17. ^ http://courses.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/undergraduate/module.html?code=DRAM30111
  18. ^ Monica Prendergast & Juliana Saxton, ed. (2009). Applied Theatre, International Case Studies and Challenges for Practice. Briston, UK: Intellect Publishers. p. 7. "Traditional mainstream theatre is most often centered in the interpretation of a pre-written script, applied theatre, in contrast, involves both the generation and the interpretation of a theatre piece that in performance may or may not be scripted in the traditional manner" 
  19. ^ Nicholson, Helen, Applied Drama: The Gift of Theatre, Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke, UK, 2005
  20. ^ Thompson, James. Performance affects: applied theatre and the end of effect Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010
  21. ^ http://www.cleanbreak.org.uk retrieved 30 November 2011
  22. ^ http://www.oilycart.org.uk.retrieved 30 November 2011
  23. ^ See, for example www.charles-royal.com, www.africanperformers.com, www.storyworkshop.org. retrieved 30 November 2011

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]