Our May picks for schools - the new DRAMAWISE resource & monologues for young people
Tom Healey - AustralianPlays.org Literary Manager
This month I have chosen a couple of extremely valuable resources for anyone working with drama students in the secondary school system. The first is a revised and updated version of the old favourite, Dramawise Reimagined by Brad Haseman and John O’Toole, and the second, Intersection is a collection of writing by young and emerging playwrights from around the country produced by the indefatigable Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP).
‘In drama, we are the creators. Like in a skeleton, the bones of drama only work together. The human context—the situation, the people and their relationships—are the flesh. The body is given shape and animated by the way we focus those basic elements, and how we place them in space and time. We breathe life into the body through the story and the tension we create, and we give it language and movement to express itself, clothing the drama with its mood and symbols.’
In 1987, Brad Haseman and John O’Toole released Dramawise, a dynamic guide to drama education. This book stands as a definitive text for teachers, students and drama practitioners, shaping many classroom programs and curricula at a state, national and international level. Dramawise Reimagined is the successor. It reaches beyond the original concepts, offering newly challenging drama activities that reflect complex questions in today’s society.
The result is a complete coursebook for students and teachers of secondary-school drama, featuring activities that thoroughly detail each element of drama. This is done using process dramas and plays from the wider world. Practical drama activities are supported with in-depth discussion of each of the elements of dramatic form, as well as traditional and contemporary dramatic meanings and approaches to play-making contextualised by the elements of theatre.
It's formal night and Jerry stands on a hill, high heels in hand. A young woman heads to a party dressed as a blueberry. Stuart plays at the arcade to win a slime-green lava lamp instead of concentrating on the problem at hand. What connects them is not time, it's place.
Intricately drawn by Australia's leading young writers, Intersection is a collection of short stories playing out across the same town, creating a glorious map of the connections we form and the experiences we have when we're seventeen.
Each year ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People) brings together 20 young writers from across the country, and challenges them to create stories that speak to the experience of being a young person in Australia, here and now. Expanding on the popular Voices Project, Intersection features heartbreaking, funny and powerful interactions between characters coupled with complex and beautiful monologues to create a compelling snapshot of life at seventeen.
Tom Healey, Literary Manager