APPLIED PERFORMANCE as AMODULE
I have very much enjoyed the module and have been able to identify my area of most interest which is: Theatre in Education, though I have found other areas equally interesting, informative and self-developmental.. Applied theatre is been a process of me becoming something rather than having something and it is significant in this context. I agree with brackets that great art would educate the inner mind to reach perfection. And to achieve aims for the session I need to look at myself as a co-leaner and facilitator. Hahn emphasizes that the practice of healer, therapist, and teacher should be directed to the facilitator first because if the help is unhappy he/she can’t help many people. Education should be seen as an open –ended and non-routine with multiple solutions to questions. Nichlson a firms the above when she states that applied science has a high status in the academy than pure science. Same applies to theatre.
This illustrates the methods became exhausted; stimuli no longer work. New problems appeared and demanded new measures. Reality changes, in order to represent it, modes of representation must change. Nothing comes of nothing the new comes from the old. The oppressor does not work in the same way in every epoch. They cannot be defined in the same fixed fashion at all times.
I share Nicholson’s belief (2005,2014, P.4) in the power of theatre form to address something beyond form itself, and agree with her that applied theatre or Performance can be used in order to promote positive social processes with a particular community, or promote an understanding of human resource among corporate employees. The intentions of course vary; they could be to inform, to cleanse, to unify, to instruct or to raise awareness. Nicholson remarks that the term applied theatre has been described in multiple ways during the first decade of the twenty –first century, the new name revived debates about the value and principles associated with participatory form of theatre-making. She points out that the debate most regularly revisited is the relationship between artistry and instrumentalism that has long been a concern across different forms of educational and community-based performance. she argues that applied theatre is most useful as a term when it is used to put into context theatre making in educational, therapeutic, or community setting instead of defining particular methodology. Which the module was most focused on. Nicholson insists that applied theatre is most relevant when used to open intellectual, ethical and political questions about social engagement in theatre practice, when it poses challenging questions and provides critical frames for reflection. I was able to experience this in the module with stop and……… project and TiE participatory applied performance project. (Nicholson (2014) Applied theatre the gift of theatre 2nd edn)
From theTiE participatory applied performance project I agree with Tonny (p.2) that theatre can be used as an educational medium and as a way of actively engaging the audience in the learning process.
We could argue that there is no particular definition of theatre in education but Tonny suggests it should be seen as a new form of theatre. That was started with the intention and purposes to coordinate and carefully structure pattern of activities, usually devised and researched by the company, around a topic of relevance both to the school curriculum and to the children’s own lives. This was well illustrated in our play Bilingual (The Hare and the Tortoise.) it was a play written in Bilingualism and English and was targeting the Bangladeshi community which had about 90% of the children in schools in Tower Hamlet. He further starts that (p.18) theatre in education emerged from the new thinking and atmosphere of experiments that characterized the British theatre of the mid-1960s.
Theatre in education first began in 1965 as a project of Belgrade theatre in Coventry, , During the postwar process, Donald Gibson was alarmed to the need of public place of entertainment and the Belgrade Theatre Coventry was the first new civic producing house theatre to be opened in the post war England in March 1958, The theatre used TIE to address the personal symbols and cultural capital of memories associated with Coventry’s residence’s everyday practices of living (Nicolson, theatre education and performance 2011, p.63)
According to tony (1993, p.18)a unit of four actor-teachers, funded jointly by Belgrade Theatre and the local authority used a number of pilot projects in schools to demonstrated vividly the value of future as an educational method and lead to the setting up of the full-time theatre in education
(Tony Jackson Learning through theatre 1993, p.18)
After reading Nicholson’s book applied drama (p6-7) it is evident that applied theatre is academically interdisciplinary and artistically each text count of many different approaches of theatre making and performance. As Nicholson points out, the application of drama to different institutional and community settings in the streets raises fundamental questions about the role and significance of theatre practices to society in general.
Nicolson makes an interesting point about the complexly as of learning and teaching that had been taking place and perhaps more particularly, how the collaboration process of making theatre had supported the children in the developing an empathetic understanding of history
During the TiE participatory applied performance project, the teachers and we as the practitioners brought different experiences and expertise to the work, the teacher’s knowledge of children’s development combined with the theatre makers understanding of the dramatic metaphors and produced a structure that supports children’s learning. The children being involved in the project, understood how dramatic form and curriculum content helping them to be part of story. This to me proven that Thomas Kuhn (1962)’s Emerging paradigms are very effective in drama in education
Thomas Kuhn’s paradigms (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions 1962) describes paradigm as set of beliefs shared by scientist, a set of agreement of how a problem should be solved. Kuhn provides us with two examples of paradigm. Traditional paradigm; which can refer to the banking system of education, where a student is a passive recipient and a teacher is an information give, in other words only teacher directed learning. This system limits student’s view of ‘intelligence as they are sorted and stream on a base of one answer and one way correctness, setting them tests that test and the criteria can be given by teachers only.
While with Emerging paradigm; students are active constructors of meaning and can direct learning. It looks at the teacher as a co-leaner and facilitator. Hahn emphasizes that the practice of healer, therapist, and teacher should be directed to the facilitator first because if the help is unhappy he/she can’t help many people. Education should be seen as an open –ended and non-routine with multiple solutions to question, this can be achieved by setting tests that teach providing Equal access for all and expect shared criteria.
Bell Hook gives a clear sense and meaning on how emerging paradigm is applicable in the education system. Hook enlightens that this system doesn’t only seek to empower students but also the growth of teachers and empowering them too in the process.
Overall the module improved my theoretical understanding of theatre and developed my practical skills through: community-based and educational setting applied performance practices like: stop and…….project and TiE participatory project. I have also attained a wide range of methodologies of applied performance practice in the areas of: community theatre/performance, , theatre for development, theatre in conflict settings, theatre in criminal justice settings, theatre in education, theatre for young audiences theatre with refugee/asylum seekers, , and will use the skills attained as a spring board to my career and share the gift of applied theatre in areas where its most desired.
Nicholson, H. (2014) Applied Theatre the Gift of Theatre 2nd edn. Macmillan: UK England
Nicolson H. 2011) theatre education and performance . Macmillan: UK England
Tony Jackson. (1993) Learning through theatre 2nd edn. London and New York: Routledge