• Culture, Politics and Drama Education: The Creative Agenda 1997-2015

      Piasecka, Shelley; University of Chester (National Drama Publications, 2016-04-30)
      In the years following New Labour’s election victory (1997) the creative agenda was a visible concern for schools and teachers. A number of influential documents and policy documents were launched to promote creativity in schools. New funding opportunities had been made available to support teachers and classroom learning, most notably the Arts Council initiative Creative Partnerships (2002). Buckingham and Jones (2001) describe the period as the “Cultural Turn” towards the creative and cultural industries. Paradoxically, the creative agenda emerged at a time when teachers experienced unprecedented levels of control over, and public scrutiny of, their everyday working lives; it was a period of time dominated by a ‘bureaucratisation” of education. For Stronach et al. (2002) it was a rise of a performativity discourse in response to the audit culture. Post 2010, the introduction of school performance measures, such as the compulsory English Baccalaureate (2015), offers another kind of performativity discourse, but from a perspective other than creativity. The long-term outlook for creative subjects appears bleak, particularly for dance and drama. This article examines the period 1997-2015 with reference to Neelands and Choe’s (2010) assertion that creativity is a cultural and political idea.
    • Fishing in Puddles, Place and Space in Performance Research

      Piasecka, Shelley; University of Chester (Wiley & Sons, 2014-07-21)
      This article examines the significance of place and space from a Performance Studies and Social Studies perspective. In terms of the social sciences, I draw upon the formal, symbolic and marginal articulation of place. Hetherington suggests that certain places act as focal point for the establishment of social identities, citing city-centre landmarks and shopping malls. Similarly, children attach all kinds of values to the formal spaces they occupy. As one example of this point, I examine the child’s relationship to the school hall. From the perspective of performance, I examine a project undertaken at a junior school in Stoke-on-Trent, inspired by the site work of Wrights & Sites. As a critical lens, I adopt Boal’s understanding of the oneiric dimension. The oneiric dimension is particularly relevant in performance work as these are the moments when we (as performers and spectators) are pulled into the action. In these instances, the physical space simply disappears, imagination replaces actuality and the desire to believe outweighs the reality of the present.
    • Michael’s Story :Developing Understandings of Gypsy Traveller culture

      Owens, Allan; Pickford, Barbara; Pickford, Tony; University of Chester, University of Chester, University of Chester (Chester Academic Press., 2014-02-03)
      Practise based research in 8 schools over a three year period led to the creation of this CDROM and DVD Video. Process drama was used to develop knowledge and understanding of Gypsy Traveller Culture and Lifestyle.
    • Returning Pretext

      Owens, Allan; Yamani, H.; University of Bethlehem (2017-01-26)
      In the ‘Right to Return Pre-text’ we travel back in time to the year 1967 when Israel opened the border for the first time in 20 years to Palestinians who fled in 1948. Husband and wife Said and Sofia are arguing in their living room in Ramallah, Palestine about whether or not they should take this chance to visit the house for which they still have the key, but which Israelis would now surely be living in. Finally on a sweltering hot June day they set out in their old grey Fiat to make the journey to Haifa to face the un-faceable. Based on Ghassan Kanafani’s (1936-1972) novella ‘Returning to Haifa’ this pre-text explores the consequences of political and military occupation from a deeply human perspective. A series of questions are posed through three scenes that take participants from the known in to profoundly de-stabilising unknown territories.