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.
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:
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.