A road map for devising : in search of comprehensive teaching resources for secondary school drama teachers

Dreyer, Magdalena Anna (2017-12)

Thesis (MDram)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores the creative collaborative strategies characteristic of South African Workshop Theatre and Devised Theatre. The motivation for this study was to create a possible roadmap that the secondary school drama teacher may consult to guide her facilitation of collaborative performance generating strategies such as: workshop, improvisation and polished improvisation as required by the South African school curriculum for Drama. This study traces the creative collaborative strategies employed by theatre practitioners of South African Workshop Theatre. This form is an amalgamation of creative strategies utilised by theatre makers in the 1970s and 1980s to create performances that explored the dire social effects of apartheid on South African citizens. The creative collaborative strategies employed by practitioners working in this field were rooted in their own stories and experiences and the narratives of real people disempowered by the laws of apartheid. The significance of Devised Theatre lies in its inventive, non-hierarchical and collaborative way of making theatre, which is not tethered to scripts, directors or designers. The open-ended nature of Devised Theatre challenges the drama teacher to structure the devising process in such a way that it keeps the process on track and to ensure positive participation and optimum creative collaborative output. Therefore, I structured the devising process in five stages. They are: (1) planning, designing and conceptualising; (2) research and response to stimuli; (3) discovery through creative collaborative strategies and discussion; (4) selecting, editing and polishing; and (5) finalising of design choices. The most fundamental play making strategy of both South African Workshop Theatre and Devised Theatre is improvisation. The principles of creative, spontaneous play and positive participation that underpin improvisation are explored in relation to the possible effects this creative collaborative process has on the individual learner as well as the group. The study specifically explores the positive life-skills improvisation sanctions and how these skill, if regularly practised can be transferred to other educational practices and contexts. Life skills engendered includes positive and playful collaboration, empathy, deep thinking and whole listening. Particular attention is paid to the role of the teacher in her capacity as facilitator to the devising process. (Hereafter the teacher will be referred to in the female form the sake of brevity.) The study relates how the priciples that underpin the devising practice and impropvisation as a creative collaborative process can enhance teacher practice. This study offers a practical example of how to structure the creative collaborative, thinking and learning oportunities the devising practice offers, in the form of a Workbook for Grade 8 learners, titled, “Conservation: Devising an environmentally conscious performance piece”. The design process as well as the devising strategies employed are discussed to motivate the choices made concerning experiencial learning and reflection on process.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek die kreatiewe samewerkingstrategieë kenmerkend aan Suid-Afrikaanse Werkswinkel Teater en Skeppingsteater (“Devised Theatre”). Dit stel ten doel om ʼn moontlike padkaart te ontwikkel wat die hoërskool drama onderwyser kan raadpleeg om haar fasilitering van die samewerkingstrategieë – soos vereis deur die Suid-Afrikaanse skoolkurrikulum vir Drama, naamlik: werkswinkelprosesse, improvisasie en afgeronde improvisasie – te lei. Die tesis ondersoek die kreatiewe samewerkingstrategieë soos toegepas deur teaterpraktisyns van Suid-Afrikaanse Werkswinkel Teater. Hierdie genre is ʼn amalgamasie van kreatiewe prosesse en strategieë, gebruik tydens die skep van werkswinkel produksies in die 1970s en 1980s, wat die verreikende sosiale en politieke nagevolge van apartheid blootgelê het. Die kreatiewe samewerkingstrategieë wat teaterpraktisyns in hierdie genre gebruik het, was gewortel in hul eie stories en ervarings, asook die narratiewe van Suid-Afrikaners wat gebuk gegaan het onder die ontmagtigende wette van apartheid. Die waarde van Skeppingsteater is gegrond in vindingryke, nie-hiërargiese en samewerkende prosesse wat nie beperk word deur bestaande tekste, regisseurs of ontwerpers nie. Die nie-vasgestelde karakter van Skeppingsteater daag die drama onderwyser uit om die kreatiewe prosesse genoegsaam te struktureer om positiewe deelname en optimale samewerkingsprosesse te verseker. Gevolglik het ek die Skeppingsteater-proses in vyf fases verdeel, naamlik: (1) beplanning, ontwerp en konseptualisering; (2) navorsing en respons tot stimuli; (3) ontdekking met behulp van kreatiewe samewerkingstrategieë en bespreking; (4) keuse, redigering en afronding; en (5) finalisering van ontwerpkeuses. Die mees fundamentele kreatiewe skeppingstrategie van beide Suid-Afrikaanse Wekswinkel Teater en Skeppingsteater is improvisasie. Die beginsels van kreatiewe spel en positiewe deelname, onderliggend aan die proses van improvisasie, word ondersoek met betrekking tot die moontlike gevolge wat die kreatiewe samewerkingsproses op die individuele leerder asook die groep kan hê. Die tesis ondersoek spesifiek die positiewe lewensvaardighede wat improvisasie kenmerk en hoe hierdie vaardighede oorgedra kan word na ander onderrigpraktyke en -kontekste. Die lewensvaardighede sluit in: positiewe en spontane samewerking, empatie, omvattende denkprosesse en luistervaardighede. Beduidende aandag word geskenk aan die onderwyser in haar rol as fasiliteerder van die skeppingsproses. Die tesis ondersoek hoe die onderliggende beginsels van Skeppingsteater en improvisasie, as kreatiewe samewerkingsprosesse, onderrig metodiek kan verbeter. Laastens bied die tesis ʼn Werkboek wat as praktiese voorbeeld dien van die kreatiewe samewerking, denk- en leergeleenthede eie aan Samewerkingsteater-prosesse, getiteld: “Conservation: Devising an environmentally conscious performance piece”. Die ontwerp van die Werkboek, asook die Skeppingsteater-strategieë wat dit bevat, word bespreek ten einde die keuses ten opsigte van ervaringsleer en besinning oor kreatiewe prosesse te motiveer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102776
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