Sally Mackey and Sian Morrison
‘Drama teachers: global encounters’ is a series of curated interviews with drama teachers to be presented in forthcoming issues. The aim is to generate a global snapshot of key issues effecting drama teachers and drama teaching at one point in time and to explore how these are navigated in the day-to-day experience of drama teaching. In this series of interviews, we would like to directly represent the drama teacher’s voice and also juxtapose voices of drama teachers working in contexts that have strong histories of drama in schools (UK, Canada, Australia), with drama educators working in regions less well documented in the drama education literature, for example, from the global south and places of conflict.
This paper considers some of the spatial challenges of doing arts projects with older people in care homes, including those living with dementia. It reflects on the author’s own experience of running a performance project with residents with at a care home in North London. Drawing on Lefebvre’s concept of socially produced space, it argues that repetitive and task-oriented nature of caregiving can create particular challenges for artists who are bringing new activities in. However, rather than seeing the routine practices of a care home as a hindrance to creative activity, this paper suggests that an aesthetic engagement with the space itself can support artists and residents to re-imagine care homes as creative spaces in their own right. This argument is illustrated through an analysis of a sound project that took place in a care home dining room. In describing how the author worked with residents to explore the acoustic properties of the space, it suggests some ways in which artists may find inspiration from the care home environment. In particular, it considers the significance of atmosphere when doing arts practice in care homes as something which can create a shared sense of place. The paper concludes by considering the particular contribution of the artist to the culture of care in light of emerging concepts of relationship-centred care. It suggests that an aesthetic engagement with care homes can draw attention to the relational nature of caregiving, and the wider network of spaces that make up a care home environment.
Adakkaravayalil Yoyakky Eldhose
Theatre occupies a significant place in any revolutionary political strategy that has as its objective a radical transformation of society. This paper attempts to make a thematic and structural analysis of the Malayalam street play Kalyanasaugadhikam written by Anil Nadakavu in 2009 and performed by Manisha Theatres, Thadiyankovil, Kasaragod, Kerala, India. It is also an exploration into the politics behind the production and consumption of every cultural product in our society, with a special reference to the political implications and aesthetics offered by the street play Kalyanasaugadhikam.
This account discusses ‘reflective dialogues’, a process utilising video to re-examine in-action decision-making with theatre practitioners who operate in community contexts. The reflexive discussions combine with observation, text and digital documentation to offer a sometimes ‘messy’ (from Schön 1987) dynamic to the research and provide multiple insights through reviewing the working processes. This account presents the method, along with examples from reflective dialogues with a selection of practitioners and critique of the processes. The account toys with this interplay of practice/research/reflection and attempts (albeit temporarily) to impose a structure to configure the mess. In seeking to re-inform the practitioners and potential practitioners in applied theatre, the reflective dialogues have generating their own web of messed up research-of-reflection-on-practice.