Drama and Theatre Education

Text by: Fresco Su

Drama, Art Education and Me

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.





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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