The skills taught in a Drama class equip students to be able to:
- communicate meaning effectively
- collaborate with others
- put themselves in someone else’s shoes to see things from other perspectives and
- learn how to use their voice, body, space and semiotics
- achieve an intended impact on an audience
These skills are transferable to other subjects. The process students go through to acquire these skills involves specific activities that involve risk-taking, developing trust in the self and others and learning effective presentation and performance skills. All of these things are transferable to other subjects and the workplace.
What will the workshop entail?
This two-day workshop will take participants through practical exercises where they learn at first-hand the process a student would go through to learn about themselves and develop skills such as:
- Focus & concentration
- Awareness of space/others
- Collaborating effectively
- Communicating ideas
- Listening to others
- Articulating a vision
- Thinking on their feet
- Projection & articulation using imagination
- Physicalising ideas
- Constructing a vision reflect on work
- Develop a process
- Give constructive feedback lead and follow
- Document practical work
- Develop creativity/ideas perseverance and flexibility
The participants will then work as an ensemble to be immersed in Drama and Theatre processes led by the workshop leader after which they will apply ideas and discoveries from their own learning to their curricula planning.
How will the participants learn about Drama as a teaching approach?
During the practical process of learning, participants will learn first-hand Drama pedagogy, in terms of introducing and pacing a lesson, varying the energy of exercises, types of groupings for work and the range of ways to share and present processes, work and findings. As the group works as an ensemble the workshop leader will implement many ideas including those from a range of theatre theorists and theatre companies, referencing source material that may be useful in the participants’ curricula planning.
Participants will learn how to apply Drama ideas to a range of Subjects across the school (this can be tailored to the school’s needs), such as:
- Drama in English Language teaching
- Applying Drama to historical or literary characters and events
- Using acting techniques to deliver a speech or powerpoint presentation
- Using Drama skills and improvisation approaches to collaborate on a history project
- Working with art, music and poetry as starting points for work
- Taking children’s story books and exploring the themes through active play
- Devising physical exercises to explore Scientific theory
- Explore problems across the world and approach them through issues-based theatre
- Involve the whole class in the presentation of a Greek myth focusing on design and voice
- Develop writing and leadership inspired can come out of a painting or photograph
- Active storytelling to develop script, story or poetry writing
Participants will work with the workshop leader to develop their own Drama ideas and activities that they can take back to their classrooms. This will involve a section on how to develop work, document practical process and how to evaluate presentations and sharing.
Why is this workshop important?
The Arts are different from other subjects because they require the student to be actively engaged with the work from a human perspective, where they learn about themselves, and also need to work closely with others. They are required to be creative, take risks, persevere, experiment, observe, be patient, self-disciplined and confident with who they are, what they say and what they do. They also need to be open-minded and aware that they have a responsibility to be engaged with the work to contribute, lead or follow at all times. The Arts focus on what it means to be human and develop life skills that are transferable to the world beyond school and also into the workplace.
Fenella Kelly B.Ed. (Hons) MA (Distinction)
Fenella is an experienced Drama teacher, teacher trainer and student workshop leader. She graduated with a combined degree in Drama and Education from Cambridge University, and initially trained as a middle school teacher. While she was in Cambridge she was part of New Moves contemporary dance company and her first job after graduation was at her old college teaching undergraduates TIE (Theatre in Education). Wanting to see the world, she then trained as a TESOL teacher (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and headed off to Crete to co-run a language school. In Istanbul she taught English and set up Drama in education programmes in many schools while simultaneously co-running a theatre company that produced large shows and toured with ELT (English Language Teaching) plays. For this company (Speech Bubbles) she worked as a choreographer, dancer, actress and director. While in Istanbul she also taught and performed Latin American dances (salsa, merengue and tango) to adults.
From Istanbul she headed to Sao Paulo, Brazil to be the Head of Performing Arts in an International School (Graded: The American School of Sao Paulo) and teach Theatre and Dance to high school students. While in Brazil she was part of a physical theatre company called Oficina dos Menestreis and a dancer in Caleidos Laban contemporary dance company. From there she flew to India for her first Kathakali lesson, back in 2004. She has been studying, teaching and performing Kathakali ever since.
After 4 years working as Head of Theatre and MS/HS Drama teacher at Cairo American College (and of course learning to belly dance while she was there), she went to England to do an MA in Drama and Theatre in Education. After 6 months working at Theatre Director in Portugal at St Julian’s School, she moved to the American School of Bombay where she was HS Drama teacher and Head of Theatre for 4 years. While in Mumbai, she worked with Sumeet Nagdev’s contemporary dance company as a dancer, workshop leader and artistic mentor. She also directed and choreographed many productions that were performed at NCPA, St. Andrew’s theatre and at ASB.
Most recently she was teacher and head of Theatre at Hong Kong Academy, Hong Kong. Now Fenella is a freelance artist, teacher trainer, examiner, yoga teacher and theatre director based in the UK.