Drama and Theatre Education
教育戲劇和劇場


Text by: Fresco Su
撰文:蘇毅

Drama, Art Education and Me
我、戲劇、藝術教育

Drama is something intriguing. The first time I participated in it was at the age of twenty-five, when a friend who was the president of a college drama club invited me to play a part. In spite of my minor role as an amorous heartbreaker, I attended each rehearsal and became more actively involved as the performance date approached. Our show was welcomed enthusiastically on that day, and I was overwhelmed with delight and pride in the midst of flashing lights and rounds of thunderous applause.

I became officially engaged in the field of drama in 2007, when I became a member of an organisation in Shanghai called Uncertainty Theatre and also got involved in folk theatre group Down-Stream Garage/ Mecooon Space. In addition to daily rehearsals and performances, I staged an annual theatre festival with drama lovers. I embarked on my work at a modern art museum in the same year. Since then, “drama”, “art” and “art education” have gradually become a part of my life. It was also from that moment on that I started the journey of “knowing myself”.

When it comes to “knowing oneself”, I have to mention Thales, an ancient Greek philosopher. One day, he was asked what the most difficult thing was in the world, and he replied “knowing yourself”. Later, famous philosopher Socrates regarded “knowing thyself” as the core of his philosophy research. Montaigne, French thinker during the Renaissance, once said that the most vital thing in the world is to know yourself. “Knowing yourself” becomes an essential issue since it motivates self-observation and introspection; thus, humans are able to separate themselves from others, to define their own happiness as well as the truth and accordingly to control their destiny and achieve life aspirations.

‘Knowing yourself’ tends to be realised with the help of a certain medium or measure. For example, reading an article, watching a drama, experiencing a parting or life and death. Recalling my growth process, having an in-depth understanding of myself and exploring myself are all related to drama. The more I am involved in drama, the more it went beyond entertainment; drama has additional rich functions.

If the constant drama practice allows me to realise the multi-functionality of drama, my work of art education in the modern art museum inspires me to think about how to combine drama with education. When I pulled up the corner of a curtain, I immediately discovered the exciting wealth of treasures hidden behind it. This fascination inspired me to devote myself to research and development in such areas. Under the guidance and help of my directors, I came to study the postgraduate program of Drama and Theatre Education at the University of Warwick in Britain in 2010.

戲劇是件有意思的事,第一次和它接觸是25歲,當時一個好友是一所高校劇社的老社長,他將我引薦過去,在一出戲裡演一個多情的負心人,角色雖小,但也參與每場排練,隨著演出臨近越發投入,演出當天反響熱烈,燈光閃爍、掌聲雷動,快樂而得意。

真正走進戲劇是07年,那年在上海加入一個叫“測不準戲劇機構”的組織,並和上海的一個民間劇場“下河迷倉”結了緣,除了日常排練、演出,每年還和其他戲劇愛好者一起籌辦戲劇節。同年,我進入藝術館開始工作,自那以後,“戲劇”、“藝術”、“藝術教育”這三個詞便逐漸匯成了我的主要生活。也就是從那時起,我開始對一些問題進行思考,諸如“我從哪裡來”、“要到哪裡去”,重新開始“認識自己”。

說到“認識自己”,古希臘哲學家泰勒斯(Thales)有一天被問到,什麽是世上最困難之事,他回答:“認識你自己。後來哲學家蘇格拉底(Socrates)將“認識你自己”作為自己哲學研究的核心命題,文藝復興時代法國思想家蒙田(Montaigne)說:世界上最重要的事情就是認識自我。它的核心意義在於啟動了人對自我的觀察和內省,如此,人才能夠將自己與別人區分開來,定義自己的幸福、真理,從而掌握自己的命運,實現人生。

而認識自己,往往需要借助某種媒介或途徑,例如讀一篇文章、看一場戲,經歷一場離別或生死,回想自己的成長歷程,能夠深入地認識自己、探索自己都和戲劇有關。隨著戲劇實踐的逐漸深入,我越發感受到戲劇除娛樂之外還有更豐富的功能。

如果說不斷的戲劇實踐使我意識到戲劇具有更多的功能性,那麽在藝術館從事藝術教育工作便啟發了我思索如何將戲劇與教育結合起來。當我掀開這窗簾一角,我立刻意識到這之後激動人心的豐富寶藏,便決定將此作為今後的研究領域和發展方向。2010年,在藝術館領導的指引和幫助下,我來到英國華威大學(University of Warwick)學習教育戲劇和劇場的研究生專業。


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