Author Archives: dramawiser

Dramawise Reimagined wins Drama Victoria award.

We are proud to announce that Dramawise Reimagined has been recognised by Drama Victoria as the Best New Australian Publication for Drama and/or Theatre Studies Teachers and Students in 2017. In making the award Drama Victoria noted that the book was an outstanding revision of the original text with new process dramas, 13 play text extracts and two chapters dealing with Dramatic Meaning. After unpacking the way dramatic meanings are created in linear narratives the second chapter deals with the forces shaping meaning making in much contemporary Australian theatre. This marks a significant reimagining of the 1987 original text and positions Dramawise Reimagined as an ideal introduction to drama and theatre in the 21st century.


Drama teachers are required to be at ease with improvised forms of drama as well as scripted theatre texts. Dramawise Reimagined embraces both approaches. Each chapter concludes with a section ‘and in plays’ and extracts from well-known and significant plays are included for study. These extracts are accompanied by activities and key questions to deepen learning about the particular element of drama being addressed. In this video John O’Toole outlines the thinking behind the selection of extracts for study in Dramawise Reimagined.

For our Queensland teachers, you will know that the QCAA has just released the 2019 syllabus on School Portal. In Unit 1, under suggested texts, you will find Snagged by Robert Kronk and Today We’re Alive by Linden Wilkinson, both featured in Dramawise Reimagined. In addition, the text examines three Shakespeare texts, As You Like It, King John and Romeo and Juliet which all feature in Unit 4. Dramawise Reimagined will help give you an overview of these engaging works, as well as many others, to help you introduce these texts easily in your classroom.

Curating your Drama Resources

When the internet is full of resources, activities and lesson plans is there a place for Dramawise Reimagined? We definitely think so.

There is so much on the internet that it is easy to get lost down a rabbit hole of classroom demonstrations and worksheets. However, Dramawise Reimagined sets out practical activities in a sequence that you can easily adapt for your classroom. This book provides engaging learning experiences that are presented within a clear structure that are not only easy to follow but provide challenges for your students’ learning. See video below for more:

How to be Dramawise

There was great celebration around the launch of Dramawise Reimagined during the DQ state conference NEXT. But what can teachers expect from this new book? John and Brad noted that when Dramawise was first published in 1987, drama in schools was so very different from now. Then the aspirations for drama as a school subject were ambitious but untested so Dramawise set out to support the implementation of the subject by providing a body of stable and foundational content for drama – its elements. Consequently the book set them out in a clear pedagogic order where they could be explored and learned through dramatic action. The design of the drama activities also embraced the principles of good drama teaching, scaffolding experience, valuing co-creation and student control of the action and ensuring the aesthetic dimension of learning was privileged.

For its completely rewritten and reborn successor Dramawise Reimagined there are some similar but some different aspirations. Certainly Brad and John hope this new publication consolidates the presence of the broad Dramawise model, now embedded in effective drama teaching practice and the curriculum frameworks of many countries. While they intend for the book to support teachers new to drama, they feel sure it will serve as pertinent points of departure for more confident teachers and students. Once again the play texts and process dramas seek to do what all strong art does – they are both relevant and questioning.

The book also engages two of the major drivers shaping contemporary education. Firstly it asserts a presence for technology in the drama classroom and not just cluttering the classroom with Facebook posts but engaging with technological mind sets which are having a potent and disruptive effect on our art form. Finally we want to acknowledge too that by engaging in this drama framework and program, students will be deeply engaging with the 4Cs – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Espoused as a new core, these dynamics of social interaction which build mature levels of emotional and social intelligence are increasingly being recognised as fundamental to all our futures.

In a real sense being Dramawise is more than simply being wise with drama.

Are you Dramawiser? Competition Winners Announced!

Over the past few weeks we have been running a competition to see how you have made your classrooms Dramawiser. After receiving entries from far and wide we are happy to announce the winners. Each has received two free copies of Dramawise Reimagined to use in their classrooms.

We have loved seeing how you all are making your classrooms Dramawiser!

Congratulations again to all of our winners.

St George

Brigidine College

Loreto College

Immanuel Lutheran College

St Columban’s College

Dramawise Reimagined Launch

The DQ conference NEXT was a cracker. Three hundred delegates, inspiring keynotes, an extensive workshop program and a 40th birthday party that revived the worst of 70’s fashion. Proudly and gratefully Brad and John were overwhelmed by the warmth and early acclaim for their latest joint project, Dramawise Reimagined.

Brad Haseman, John Kotzas and John O’Toole at the Friday night launch. 

 Hosted by Currency Press and Drama Queensland, over 100 people attended the launch and were charmed by the playful John Nicholas Saunders, National President of Drama Australia (No John, though we look it, we were never contemporaries of Aristotle!).

John Nicholas Saunders, National President of Drama Australia.

John Kotzas Chief Executive, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), launched the book with great style and heartfelt flourish tracing the book’s unique Queensland provenance. Eighty participants were introduced to the book during the Saturday workshop Dramawise Reimagined: The elements of drama made familiar and strange. After discussing the revisions and updates to the original, participants romped their way through Focus (Chapter 3) built around a process drama on the theme Drugs in Sport.

Dramawise Reimagined Workshop on Saturday. 

Dramawise Reimagined …but what has changed…?

Can you build a narrative with meaning by filling in the theatrical blanks?

In 1987, Brad Haseman and John O’Toole released Dramawise, a definitive text for teachers, students and drama practitioners, which has shaped many classroom programs and curricula at a state, national and international level. Dramawise Reimagined, a completely revised and updated version of that book, will be launched at the Drama Queensland State Conference on March 17 and is on sale now. 

Currency Press set out the structure and approach taken in Dramawise Reimagined here.

Dramawise Reimagined reaches beyond the original concepts, offering a freshly updated framework for studying the elements of drama. The old and new combine to offer newly challenging drama activities that reflect complex questions in today’s society.

Gavin Bolton and becoming Dramawiser

With news out that Dramawise Reimagined is to be launched on March 17th we were delighted to receive many warm wishes from friends everywhere. Of special significance was the congratulations from Gavin Bolton.  Gavin wrote the Introduction to the UK edition of Dramawise in 1988 with the opening sentence “This must surely be the most useful book on drama to have come on the market.” Thirty years later is still on the market – rewritten and reborn. Who would have thought? Gavin’s full 1988 introduction can be found here.

DRAMAWISE REIMAGINED: the rewritten and reborn successor to Dramawise

Be part of history! The international bestseller is back, bigger and better than ever.

DRAMAWISE REIMAGINED will be officially launched by John Kotzas, Chief Executive, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) during Drama Queensland’s state conference NEXT and at their 40th birthday party!

Conference delegates can purchase copies of DRAMAWISE REIMAGINED during the conference with a discount of 20% on the RPP, taking the book to $39.99.

Be sure to like, follow and share DRAMAWISE REIMAGINED Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Please mark all shares with @dramawiser and #dramawiserlaunch and you will be among the first to receive the book’s Introduction – direct from Currency Press to you!


Could you and your school be a Dramawiser winner?

Win copies of the brand new classroom text Dramawise Reimagined.

Since the release of Dramawise 30 years ago, teachers have been toiling away to make the world Dramawiser. To celebrate this and prepare for the next 30 years, Currency Press and the authors are offering teachers the chance to win first copies of Dramawise Reimagined.

It’s easy to enter. Grab your phone, gather your students or fellow Drama teachers, locate a ‘dramatic’ setting in your school and send us an image which best matches the caption “We are Dramawiser because … ”!

You might want to focus on an interesting use of one of the Elements of Drama, or show us how you use your copies of the original Dramawise or …? The ‘wiser’ the better!

Only one snap per drama class please but a school can enter as many photos as it wishes. The competition is open to all drama teachers and schools across the country so we are looking forward to seeing Australia-wide Drama wisdom at play!

We will pick up all photo entries posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instragram with @dramawiser and #wearedramawiser.

Prize: Ten copies of Dramawise Reimagined to be won (max. two per school).

The winning school and teachers will be announced at the evening launch of Dramawise Reimagined on Friday 17 March at the Drama Queensland Conference and on the Dramawiser website.