chapter  4
12 Pages

Starting drama

A conventional play text normally begins with a list of 'dramatis personae' and it might be reasonable to assume that the appropriate way to begin drama, whether basing work on text or improvisation, is to distribute parts. Initiating a drama on Fire of London by casting characters in roles as king, mayor, Pepys, and so on, means that these characters have to assume differentiated roles and interact with one another convincingly. The criticisms of theatre in history of drama in education can largely be seen as criticism of 'deadly theatre'. The over-intrusive direction of pupils in their drama is less likely to be found in schools these days because of considerable influence of theories of self-expression in 1950s and 1960s which made virtue out of non-intervention by teacher in pupils' work. Pupils can often produce creative and very imaginative ideas which they find difficult to turn into dramatic action. Improvisation in history of drama has often been associated with comedy.