Forum on Educational Theatre Preview #6

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Preparations for the Forum on Educational Theatre April 21-24, 2016 are well underway. To register, To register, visit the registration page.

As we gear up for the event, we will post descriptions of some of the presentations–one of which appears below:

Panel: A Reflective Practitioner’s Guide to (Mis)Adventures in Drama Education – or – What Was I Thinking? – A Panel Discussion on Reflective Practice


The panelist discussions are based on their contributions to a new edited volume on reflective practice released in June 2015 called, A Reflective Practitioner’s Guide to (mis)Adventures in Drama Education – or – What Was I Thinking? Conceived at the 2012 IDIERI conference in Limerick, Ireland, the book looks at reflective practice not as a series of steps, but as a continual change in perspective. The contributors include: John O’Toole, Pamela Bowell, Brian Heap, Johnny Saldana, Michael Anderson, Julie Dunn, Patrice Baldwin, Allison Manville Metz, Gus Weltsek, Christina Marín, Robert Colby, Juliana Saxton, Christine Hatton, Carmel O’Sullivan, Peter Duffy, Katie Dawson, with a foreword written by Cecily O’Neill and an afterword by David Booth. The purpose of the book is for established theatre educators and practitioners to reflect on a moment in their teaching that went terribly wrong. The “mistake” could be due to an oversight, lack of understanding, lack of preparation, or any number of other causes. The session will not simply be a series of “mess up” stories, but a critical reflection on those so-called mistakes through considering how those moments transformed their practice. Each essay considers the following ideas, the (misguided) incident, the critical analysis of the event, and how the event shaped their future praxis.

Panel members Pamela Bowell, Michael Anderson, Peter Duffy, Gus Weltsek, Christina Marín, Brian Heap, and Christine Hatton will ground their comments in how their reflective practice is guided by the concepts of intuition, emotion and passion. They will share a bit from their chapters and make a few comments on how their work is different due to their reflective/reflexive practice.

Pamela Bowell is Visiting Reader in the School of Culture, Education and Innovation at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, where she teaches in the Department of Culture and Creative Arts. She is also an active freelance drama and education consultant, workshop leader and author with a deep interest and experience in drama as a means to enable learning. For more than a decade she was Chair of National Drama, the UK’s leading professional association for drama teachers.

Dr. Michael Anderson is Professor (Arts and Creativity) in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at The University of Sydney. His research and teaching concentrates the role of creativity, the arts (particularly drama) and play have on learning. This work has evolved into a program of research and publication that engages with arts classrooms directly. His recent publications explore how aesthetic education and research is changing learning in the 21st Century. These publications include: Applied Theatre: Research (with Peter O’Connor, Bloomsbury, 2015), Partnerships in Education Research: Creating Knowledge that Matters (with Kelly Freebody, Bloomsbury, 2014), Masterclass in Drama Education (Continuum, UK), Teaching the Screen, Film Education for Generation Next (with Miranda Jefferson), Drama with Digital Technology (with John Carroll and David Cameron, Continuum, 2009) and Real Players: Drama, Education and Technology (with John Carroll and David Cameron Trentham, 2006).

See more at: hash.UX6FjcDo.dpuf

Peter Duffy is associate professor and head of the MAT program in theatre education at the University of SC. He works within schools and communities demonstrating how theatre improves learning and teaching. Previous to USC, Peter was Director of Education at the Irondale Ensemble in Brooklyn, NY. Additionally, Peter taught grades 7-12 English, German and Drama for a decade in Maine. He worked as an actor/teacher in New York City schools. He co-edited the book, Youth and Theatre of the Oppressed and edited the newly released A Reflective Practitioner’s Guide to (mis)Adventures in Drama Education – or – What Was I Thinking?

Gustave Weltsek, PhD, Department Chair of Fine Arts and Humanities, IvyTech Community College Bloomington. His work is positioned as multimodal, critically multi-literate arts infusion. His research examines how “Learning” as a critical performative pedagogy (Weltsek and Medina) functions as a tool for social change and academic achievement. Using a critically queered pedagogical lens (Britzman) individual emergent identity within the negotiation of power is situates as language invention connected to institutionalized learning. Work examples  include “Catalyst for Change” which can be found at and “Deconstructing global markets through critical performative inquiries in Puerto Rico,” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Weltsek G., Medina, C. (2013).

Christina Marín, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Performing Arts at Emerson College. She teaches courses in Qualitative Research, Theatre of the Oppressed, Contemporary Issues in Education, and Human Rights in Theatre. She is also the Theatre Teaching Artist-in-Residence for Hyde Square Task Force’s youth theatre troupe ¡ACCIÓN! Community Theatre. She recently directed the inaugural production of Antígona: Las Voces Que Incendian el Desierto for Emerson College’s nascent student production company Raíz Latinoamericana.

Dr. Brian Heap is tenured Senior Lecturer and Head of the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, where he has taught and supervised undergraduate and graduate Drama programs for the past 20 years. Brian is internationally recognized as an authority on Process Drama and has an extensive research and publication record in this field. He also engages in consultancy, staff development and project work relating to drama as a pedagogical process and has served in leadership roles nationally and internationally including consultation in drama for Jamaica’s National Curriculum. He was convener of the Fifth International Drama in Education Research Institute in Jamaica in 2006.

Christine Hatton lectures in drama and arts education at the School of Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Her research explores gender, identity and technology within drama processes, teaching and research. She is a chief investigator, with Mary Mooney, in the Fresh AiR Initiative Research Study (2014– 2016) funded by Arts NSW, examining the impacts of sustained artists-in-schools residencies, with a focus on the reciprocity of practice between artists, teachers and students. With Sarah Lovesy, she published the book Young at Art: Classroom Playbuilding inPpractice (2009).