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Theatre and education at centre stage
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Theatre and education at centre stage

Govas, N. (ed.). (2009). Theatre and education at centre stage. Proceedings of the 6th Athens International Theatre/Drama & Education Conference 2008. Athens: Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network 
ISBN 978-960-98466-4-6

Theatre and education at centre stage
Proceedings of the 6th Athens International Theatre/Drama & Education 2008
Govas, N. (ed.).
Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network.(2009).

Conference 2008 organisation


PART A: Invited speeches

Dan Baron Cohen Placing Drama/Theatre Education Centre-Stage:Arguments, challenges and questions

Dorothy Heathcote “Mantle of the Expert”: A system of teaching which reverses and modifies the power balance between teacher and taught

John O’Toole Proteus Comes Knocking: Shape-shif ting drama into the curriculum 

David Pammenter To T hose Born Later 

Christine Schmalor Encountering Images: The impact of the Other on the personal development as a concept of (artistic) education

Joe Winston Beauty, Laughter and the Charming Virtues of Drama


PART B: Theatre/drama approaches

H. Ömer Adıgüzel The Progress and Current State of Creative Drama in the Turkish Education System: Issues and challenges

Patrice Baldwin Drama in Schools: Some basic questions answered

 İsmail Güven Using Creative Drama in Social Studies Teaching 

Andy Kempe What Semiotics Can Teach Drama Teachers

 Lakis Kouretzis Playing through Theatre: The dimension of culture through theatre 

Ross Prior Productive Drama – Exploring Tacit Understanding

Joachim Reiss Creativity versus Evaluation or How to Act Artistically in an Educational System: A German concept of drama/theatre as a subject in the curriculum 

Shifra Schonmann Who Are You Theatre/Drama Teacher? An identity card with no identity .


PART C: Creative teaching

Marigold Ashwell Tales from Elsewhere

Steven Clark Language and Languages on the Theatre Stage:T he first basic steps to learning 

Dorothy Heathcote Studying a Literary or Theatre Text:Using the Roman Wall as metaphor 

 Andy Kempe Dipping into the Dark Side!.

Alex Mavrocordatos WE-TEACH: Participatory education for a sharing society.Using YouTube to cross the classroom borders

Larry O’Farrell Fostering Creativity through Drama/Theatre Education:A practical example

Simos Papadopoulos The folk tale of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”:For an animating theatre pedagogy

Anna Papageorgiou Have you seen my friend, Shakespeare? 

Nikos Repoulios, Georgia Loukopoulou Combining Drama and Animation in a School Workshop in Audio-Visual Education: The philosophy and the techniques of “Stop Motion Animation” in combination and creative collaboration with those of Drama in Education (DiE).

Alivizos Sofos, Maria Kladaki, Despina Georgiadou Cinema as a Means forCross-T hematic Teaching: An application within the Flexible Zone programme


PART D: Combining practice and research

Andrea Copeliovitch Fragments of the Absurd Hour: A shipwreck’s poetic 

János Deme, Kata Horváth Playground for Violence: Some research results concerning the TiE work of KÁVA (Budapest, Hungary) 

Antigoni Paroussi, Vassilis Tselfes Creative Trajectories – Learning Trajectories:T he presentation of theatrical ideas based on Galileo’s scientific work 

Ross Prior Contextual Dimensions of Drama in Education:A case for valuing tacit knowledge and clear pedagogy 

Dimitris Sarris How much Experience? How much Theory? On priorities in arts-professional training via an example from music education

Asterios Tsiaras Dramatic Play as a Means of Conflict Resolution in the Classroom 


PART E: Theatre, education & socio-cultural changes

Dan Baron Cohen, Manoela Souza Transformance: Towards a pedagogical proposal for the 21st century

Stig A. Eriksson The Past in the Present: A drama workshop about Antigone and Rachel Corrie

Tadeusz (Tadek) Lewicki, Angela Marchese Towards the Community Dimension and Importance of School Theatre/Drama: The Italian experience of the school-theatre review (festival – rassegna)

Helen Nicholson Citizens-in-the-Making: Drama education and questions of citizenship

John O’Toole Acting against Bullying

Marcia Pompeo-Nogueira Theatre for Development and Environmental Protest: Listening to community perspectives

John Somers T heatre as Communal Work: Intervention in rural communities

Tríona Stokes Drama and Democracy: Examining drama’s capacity as a development education learning medium 

PART F: Education and artistic expression

 Sead Djulic Basics of Directing for Non-Professionals

Clio Fanouraki Magical Realism in Gabriel Garcia Marquez and T heatrical Symbolism: An experiential workshop

Mario Gallo Devil Masks between the Sacred and the Secular: From the Mime to the Clown to the Commedia dell’Arte 

May Kokkidou, Panagiota Hatjikamari The School as a Workshop for Art and Creativity: A holistic approach to the field of aesthetic education

Sanja Krsmanovic Tasic Verbalising the Soul.

Dorothy Morrissey Moving through the Looking Glass: A physical approach to drama and story

John Somers The Relationship between DiE (Drama in Education) and Performance 


Contributors’ short profiles



Theatre & Education at Centre Stage

Society in the early 21st Century is undergoing rapid change. Globalisation and often commercialisation of culture and values and the consequent disruption in the sense of community, which hitherto gave stability to the individual’s sense of self, place, ownership and belonging, have blighted many young people’s development. Environmental concerns, human rights issues, children’s rights issues, social injustice, conflict and migration overshadow any positive scientific developments in technology and communication.

What can theatre/drama offer to alleviate this situation?

What – according to research – happens when effective dramatic intervention takes place involving children and young people?

Although “theatre” (θέατρον) and “drama” (δράμα) are words inherited from the classical Greek language and civilisation, and theatre in classical times was regarded as education (‘didaskalia’), this view seems to need to be fought for constantly nowadays. Not an easy task, since, despite common rhetoric, the educational value and the humanising potential of Theatre/Drama in the variety of its manifestations has been underestimated in practice. The academic route to learning seems to prevail among most educational policymakers. Most formal education systems still seem to suffer from heavy reliance on desk-bound teaching and learning. Despite the signs of discontent and disengagement that many of our students exhibit and the increasing number of teachers who are passionate about the multiple values of Theatre/Drama in schools, most formal school curricula are underpinned by the notion that knowledge is a mass of information to be consumed and used mostly for qualification purposes.

However, experience provides evidence that things do change, and that the role of teachers/ academics/practitioners/students as agents of change is a decisive one. We are aware that, despite the positive developments in many countries, there is still huge scope for Theatre/Drama to play a central role in young people’s lives inside and outside of schools, with teachers’ and theatre practitioners’ passion contributing to this end.

Since 1998, the year of its birth, The Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network has been an open platform for several voices on theatre/drama in education to be heard in Greece. Summing up all previous Athens Conferences, the 2008 Athens Conference is celebrating the Hellenic Network’s 10th anniversary by looking into both old and not-so-old theatre-in-education issues relating to formal education (curriculum development and assessment, project-based learning, teacher training, artists in schools, arts appreciation), to socio-cultural changes (intercultural issues and social integration, conflict resolution, addiction, special needs, environmental issues and artistic creativity), to policies (the role of Arts education, the planning and delivering of Arts education, priorities and ethics, the role of universities, of government and non-government organisations), to new theatrical expressions in a multimedia world, to research and practice in ethical dialogues.

There is a need to re-identify the aims and objectives of Education in general and of Arts Education in particular, to encourage imagination, holistic, dialogical-participatory learning and critical thinking, authenticity, collaboration and solidarity.

There is a need to link schools to society in dynamic ways beyond the demands of the local and global markets.

There is a need to question the status quo, to challenge the taken-for-granted.

There is a need to provide evidence for Theatre/Drama’s role as a powerful tool for positive changes in the lives of children and young people.

There is a need to celebrate and to bring Theatre & Education at Centre Stage!

The 2008 Athens International Theatre/Drama & Education Conference addressed the above areas through a variety of channels & practices: Theatre as an art form, Drama in Education (D.i.E.), Theatre/Drama as Social Intervention, Community Theatre, Theatre for Development, Theatre-in-Education (T.i.E.), Playing-Through-Theatre methods, Dramatherapy/Psychodrama, Puppetry and Shadow Theatre, Dance and Movement, Music Education, Audio-visual Education (Photography, Video, Cinema, Media, etc.), other fields of research or practice in theatre/drama and the performing arts in education.

From 27 to 30 March 2008, in Athens, Greece, more than 550 scholars, teachers, educators, artists, activists, students, practitioners and researchers from 21 different countries took part in working groups, workshops, master seminars, keynote speeches, school visits and performances celebrating Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network’s 10 years of fruitful life.

The Publication

It is the organisers’ strong belief that the publication of the conference proceedings should act as a record of everything that occurred during these days. Nevertheless, this publication includes all papers and workshop descriptions submitted in time to the editor.


This Conference was organised by the Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network. For its realisation the Organising Committee was happy to have cooperated with a vast range of state and private institutions, including: The International Drama/Theatre & Education Association-(IDEA); Τhe Greek Ministry of Education: International Relations, the General Secretariat for Youth; Τhe University of Athens: Theatre Studies Dept., Preschool Education Dept., Primary Education Dept.; Τhe University of Patras: Preschool Education Dept., Primary Education Dept.; Τhe University of Thessaly: Primary Education Dept.; Τhe Hellenic Centre of International Theatre Institute, Hellas; UNIMA-Hellas Puppet Association; Τhe Hellenic Association of Theatrologists; Τhe Primary Education Music Teachers’ Association; Τhe Hellenic Art Teachers’ Union; Τhe Athens Goethe Institute; Τhe Athens British Council; Τhe Athens French Institute; Τhe Municipality of Piraeus; and Τhe Municipality of Ilioupoli – Cultural Centre.

Special reference should be made to the Academic Committee of the Conference for their help and support, to “Moraitis Schools”, which hosted the Conference, to the “J.F. Costopoulos Foundation”, which sponsored this edition and of course to all the volunteers and translators, whose presence and contribution is always invaluable.

Acknowledgments also go to all contributors to the conference: speakers, workshop leaders, interpreters and of course the members of the Organising Committee.

Our thanks to all!

Nikos Govas