Drama as a medium for personal, collective and social development: ‘Starchild’ by Oscar Wilde
Nandia Tomasidou, theatre/drama pedagogue, Cyprus
Workshop 2,5 hours
Part of the 2018 ATHENS GREECE INTERNATIONAL THEATRE/DRAMA & EDUCATION CONFERENCE
organised by the Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network (TENet-Gr)
The aim of this workshop is to underline the importance of drama and the performing arts in helping students develop personally, collectively and socially. Through the use of practical techniques, the participants will examine the social and pedagogic function of the arts, their potential to be used as media of experiential learning, as well their capacity to be employed as means of social intervention. These will hopefully highlight the necessity of drama and the performing arts to be part of formal and non-formal education.In this practical workshop, we will explore Oscar Wilde’s story ‘Starchild’ through a series of drama conventions and theatre games. The ‘Starchild’ story was written by Oscar Wilde in 1891 and tells the story of a child who fell from the stars, therefore being different to others. We will follow the Starchild in his journey to find his true origin, to learn to be kind to others and to accept himself. The participants will make the story come alive by taking on various roles; they will whisper advice to the Starchild on how to deal with his true nature; and they will decide on how they would like the story to end through performed small-group improvisations. The workshop will be useful to the participants in giving them practical Drama and Theatre Education techniques and games they can later use with their students in order to help them towards holistic development, active citizenship, intercultural competence and comumunication, as well as meaningful social change.
Dr. Nandia Tomasidou holds an BA in Education Studies (University of Cyprus) . She also holds a Master of Arts with distinction in Drama and Theatre Education (University of Warwick), as well and a PhD in Education (University of Warwick). Her PhD thesis focused on the contribution of the arts, and drama in particular, to the personal, social and educational well-beingof children and teenagers. She currently teaches Drama and Theatre Education to undergraduate and postgraduate students in universities in Cyprus. She also collaborates with the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute working towards training teachers in the field of Drama Education and towards developing the value of theatre in formal and non-formal education. She has designed, organised and conducted three educational programmes addressed to primary school students. The programmes have been approved and promoted by the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture. She is also a curriculum designer for the Cyprus Fairy Tale Museum. In 2013 she established her own Youth Theatre for children and teenagers, aiming towards helping them develop personally, socially and collectively through drama and other performing arts. She has presented her work in various academic conferences and seminars. She is currently in the process of publishing a book based on her doctoral thesis titled ‘The contribution of drama and the arts to student well-being’.