Creative Drama is the only reviewed professional journal in the Czech Republic covering all areas of drama in education:

  • drama education as a primary/high school subject and drama as a method in other school subjects (Czech language and literature, history, science, civic education, languages…),
  • drama education in preschool,
  • children’s theatre and recitation,
  • drama education in university courses focused on arts or education,
  • drama as a method in working with disabled persons,
  • theory, history, and methods of drama in education,
  • literature, theatre, and arts for children and adolescents.
General Information
Summary
Past Summaries

General Information

Creative Drama was founded in 1990. It is published by NIPOS-ARTAMA in cooperation with the Association for Creative Drama and DAMU’s Department of Drama in Education.

CD is published three times a year.

CD is comprised of two main sections focused on the two directions in drama education: Drama-Art-Theatre and Drama-Education. In the section Reflection-Review-Information CD reviews new publications in the field and provides extensive up-to-date information about the field of art targeted for children and adolescents, with an emphasis on drama and literature. In the section Reflections-Concepts-Context CD publishes critical studies in the general field of theory, history and methods of drama education.

CD also publishes articles on various directions in drama in education in other countries. CD has published articles about the following persons of drama education in the world: Geraldine Brain Siks, Ruth Beall Heinig, Brianu Way, Judith Kase-Polisini, Viola Spolin, Keith Johnstone, Gavin Bolton, Dorothy Heathcote, Cecily O’Neill, Jonothan Neelands, Tony Goode, Warwick Dobson, Juliana Saxton, Judith Ackroyd, Francis Prendivill, Barbara Salisbury, Nellie McCaslin, John O’Tool, John Somers, Augusto Boal, Helmut Köpping, Erich Hofbauer, David Davis, Allan Owens, Christiane Page, Janinka Greenwood, David Novak, Rives Collins, David Booth, Andy Kempe and others.

CD is currently the only platform for publishing new plays intended for children and youth theatre groups as well as scripts that can be directly used in teaching.

CD includes an appendix “Children’s Stage”, a platform for publishing plays and other dramatic texts for children and youth groups.

After the cancellation of “Zlatý máj” and the PdF MU bulletin “Ladění”, CD remains the only journal dedicated to literature and theatre for children and youth.

Detailed contents and index of CD is published every two years.

CURRENT ISSUE OF CREATIVE DRAMA

Creative Drama 2021/1

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXTS

Eva Machková: Creativity and Art at School – This time, Eva Machková begins her reflection on Czech curricular documents and the concept of art subjects by stating that in watching TV many people are not quite able to distinguish between reality and fiction. This is because in television programmes the line between reality and fiction is blurred to a much greater extent than in theatre or cinema. This is why schools should make it their goal to educate students in the issue of perceiving art. A doyen of the methodology of drama education in the Czech Republic Eva Machková examines here the ministerial document called Framework Education Programme, taking note of what space it allots to art education and whether the various art subjects have a chance to effectively address the children in order to meet the outlined goals. She looks at music, visual arts, drama and literature but also pays attention to elements of film, multimedia and dance in the curriculum, the position of the last three quite disadvantaged despite the fact that the current world calls for a shift in focus. E. Machková is rather critical of the way in which key competences are formulated and elaborated on in the Framework Education Programme. To quote her words, “the document is rather short-sighted in that it fails to understand what it is saying […] Despite the best intentions with which the document was conceived, the implementation is based on stereotypes rather than the stated intentions and goals. The Framework was supposed to lead schools to a modern concept of education, but the implementation betrays helplessness, lack of orientation and an almost total failure to understand the non-rational, unique nature of viewing the world through art.“

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Bára Meda Řezáčová: Elements of Drama in Dealing with Canonical Literary Works in Secondary School – The author of this article discusses the issue of canonical literary works at secondary schools. She believes the teachers themselves should first make an effort to search for meaning and benefit in the works before presenting them to their students. She focuses on two iconic works of Czech literature, namely the poem Máj (May) by Karel Hynek Mácha and the novella Babička (Grandmother) by Božena Němcová. She suggests ways of interpreting these two works in such a manner that students would not only understand their importance in literary history but also get deeper into the texts and find purpose in the search for themes and in their interpretation. Using drama methods, Bára Meda Řezáčová looks for ways of “justifying” the inclusion of these two works, which students tend to perceive as unpopular, in the secondary school curriculum and finding new attraction in them. She has designed lessons dealing with these iconic works by K. H. Mácha and B. Němcová, which she based on a thorough and innovative interpretation of the works, putting emphasis on themes that students are likely to relate to and that have a potential to motivate them for further reading.

Marta Žilková: Parody or Reality? – Taking the Daddies serial airing on the Slovak Markíza TV channel as the starting point for her musing on the dismal situation in Slovak education, M. Žilková expresses her concern about the potential drawbacks of remote online learning that schools had to resort to as the only means of educating students. She points out that we should not forget about the benefits that school attendance offers to children beyond the mere acquisition of educational contents, such as creating a milieu for interpersonal relationships and providing live contact with competent and enthusiastic teachers.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Dominika Prokopová: COVIDíš?! – The article describes the foundations, concept, progress and outcomes of the COVIDíš?! project that came into being within an urban summer camp taking place at the Lampion Theatre in the Central Bohemian town of Kladno during the second half of July 2020. Dominika Prokopová, the author of this article, works there as a teacher of drama. Together with her colleague Vojtěch Lőffelmann, she decided to use the time between two lockdowns to respond to the current situation caused by the Chinese virus and the safety measures taken to inhibit its spreading. They did so by putting together a theatrical record of how children from the Kladno region perceived and lived through the lockdown. Within the one-week theatrical project (5 days, 8 hours a day) there was enough time to turn the work into a small theatrical piece. Yet, as the workshop could not be followed up by systematic theatrical work, its outcome was shared with the audience in the form of a work in progress.

 

REFLECTIONS–REVIEWS–INFORMATION

Jaroslav Provazník: Obliging the Child. A Challenge for Czech Theoreticians of Literature for Children and Youth – The reviewer strongly appreciates the fact that the editors of the Theoretical Library series (issued by the Host publishing house together with the Institute of Czech Literature at the Czech Academy of Sciences) decided to enrich their editorial plan by a title dealing with literature for children and youth. In his opinion, it is a kind of book that had long been missing because it facilitates various theoretical views of literature for children and youth that have emerged in the English-speaking countries during the past fifty years or so. He agrees with the series editor Jana Segi Lukavská who claims that in the last few decades, the Czech theory of children’s literature has not taken much inspiration from the English-speaking world. Jaroslav Provazník comments on each of the contributions in the anthology, pinpointing several of them as especially inspiring, for instance those that work with the concepts of implied reader and focalisation. He considers the whole of the anthology to be somewhat unbalanced in quality but appreciates the fact that it is equipped with an extensive commentary at the end as well as information on authors, a bibliography and an index. In his commentary, J. Provazník refers to the Czech theoretical periodical on literature for children Zlatý máj published across the span of the 1960s all the way to the 1980s, which included interesting contributions to the theory of children literature. He expresses his hope that the anthology might incite activity among Czech theoreticians in the field and that it might not remain the only translation venture of this kind.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Luděk Korbel: On Vojtěch Matocha’s Trilogy – The author of this article takes a closer look at the popular trilogy on a mysterious fictitious Prague neighbourhood called Prašina, which has been immensely successful both with readers and the majority of critics. Luděk Korbel tries to put its popularity aside and take a more critical look at the trilogy, striving to answer the question whether the stories really meet the expectations and standards of quality adventure reading for youngsters or if the series is just a fad that will pass. He arrives at the conclusion that despite the enthusiastic reactions by readers, the work has a number of flaws related to the chosen narrator’s perspective, the development of the storyline as well as the overall construction of the fictitious world including rather poor depicting of the main characters’ inner worlds, which borders on indifference where the side characters are concerned.

Hana Nemravová: Keen Ears in Uherské Hradiště: The Prize for the Best Children’s Audiobook – Since 2018, the Association of Audiobook Publishers and the Creative Drama Association have jointly been awarding the prize for the best audiobooks for children. (The prize contest has been called Bystrouška in allusion to the Cunning Little Vixen, whose name means Keen Ears.) The jury consists of children who not only rate the audiobooks but also decide on their own evaluation criteria. The jury members are usually recruited from among children with some experience in drama education. In 2019, the responsibility was given to the children from the drama group at Basic School of Arts in Uherské Hradiště. The present article describes the whole process, in which 150 children supervised by four teachers chose three audiobooks to be awarded the prize, one in each category (the first aimed at children aged 4–6, the next at kids aged 7–11, and the last at the age category12+).

Marta Žilková: Battle of Good and Evil: The TV and Radio Christmas Programmes – In her article, Marta Žilková takes a critical look at the new TV and radio programmes for children that were premiered in Slovakia (and, in case of TV programmes, also in the Czech Republic) at Christmas 2020. As far as television is concerned, she pays attention to two fairy-tale stories made in coproduction of Czech and Slovak Television: O léčivé vodě (The Healing Water), and O vánoční hvězdě (The Christmas Star). She describes the plots of both and focuses mainly on their strengths. Then she goes on to look at the Slovak radio programmes broadcasted at Christmas time. Here she also draws the readers’ attention to several programmes of quality, such as the adaptation of Quo vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz or La Torta in Celo by Gianni Rodari, as well as two fairy-tale dramatizations, The Twelve Months and The Tinderbox by H. C. Andersen.

Anna Hrnečková-Luděk Korbel-Jiří G. Růžička-Lucie Šmejkalová-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Gabriela Zelená Sittová-Jaroslav Provazník: Peeping into Books for Children and Youth – Reviews of new books for children and youth that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

Jaroslav Provazník: Looking Back at Books that Should Not Be Forgotten – The article makes the readers acquainted with the second edition of On Nothing, a long-forgotten thin picture book written in 1965 by the Czech actor Vlastimil Brodský and illustrated by artist Jan Brychta. It is the only children’s book for that V. Brodský wrote. The title On Nothing is somewhat misleading, for in fact, as J. Provazník writes, “the book deals with many things that are essential in life such as human understanding or the importance of play and playfulness. It says that every person needs to experience happiness, if only for a moment, and that it does not require much – often no more than the ability to listen and accept the other.“ On Nothing is not just any ordinary picture book; it may well be the first genuine Czech bilderbuch, or certainly one of the first.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 64

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika contains three scripts written by Vojtěch Maděryč, a drama teacher and director of the Basic School of Arts in Jindřichův Hradec. They are intended for the youngest childrens who have just started to attend the literary-drama lessons (age 7–9). The scripts pertain to the performances O sedmi bratřích ve studni (Seven Brothers in a Well, a dramatization of an eponymous story in Henri Pourrat’s version), Jakub a dvě stě dědečků (Jacob and One Hundred Granfathers, a dramatization of a story by Miloš Macourek) and Where Wild Things Are (a dramatization of the picture book by Maurice Sendak). The scripts are accompanied by notes provided by the experienced and perceptive teacher Vojtěch Maděryč who describes here the staging process or, to be more precise, the work with children during the lessons, which culminated in performances shown to an audience after a period of literary and drama work.

The contents of all published issues of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama), the archive of earlier issues and all important information on drama education can be found on the website www.drama.cz.

Previous summaries of Creative Drama:

SUMMARY 2020/3

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXTS

Ondřej Kohout: Ideological Thinking Versus Drama Education – The article is a response to the book written by David Davis, Imagining the Real (2014), whose author takes a critical stance towards today’s neoliberal world view. In his opinion, this outlook has major impact on education, which subsequently becomes a tool in the hand of an ideology, and as such stops posing questions that might lead to the gradual deconstruction of the neoliberal thinking. Davis shows how money affects even helping professions and non-profit fields (healthcare system, education and culture all finding themselves under financial pressures). The only possible way he can think of to save education and the society is disrupting the pervasive ideological perspective. Same as D. Davis, the author of this article poses the question whether it is possible to step out of ideological thinking and use drama education to deconstruct the neoliberal thinking patterns and concepts. However, O. Kohout takes a step further by asking whether drama education should in fact be expected to fight any type of ideology. He shows how D. Davis tends to interpret neoliberalism, which he so ardently criticizes, from a markedly left-wing perspective. In place of this, O. Kohout tries to offer an ideology-free interpretation of the relationship between drama and all sorts of ideologies, leaning mainly on the concept of drama education promoted by Jonothan Neelands and Gavin Bolton.


APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Eva Machková: As Many Languages You Know... – In this article, Eva Machková elaborates on her belief that the basic problem of language learning in the Czech educational system is that we are still discovering what countries such as the Netherlands or Sweden have known for a long time, namely that the best way to learn a foreign language is in an environment where one depends on using the language. She has been gathering information on theses, projects and teachers who deal with applying drama methods to foreign language teaching. The following four articles describing specific examples of such work represent the first result of her ongoing research.

Dana Hlavatá: Teaching German at Secondary School: A Few Inspiring Notes – This article summarizes its author’s experience with teaching German gathered all the way from teaching at a primary school where she experimented using a puppet in language instruction, all the way to her manifold activities carried out mainly at the F. X. Šalda  Secondary School in Liberec (lively over-the-border contact with German students, mini projects, debating), which teacher trainees from the Faculty of Education in Olomouc had a chance to observe.

Martin Šíp: The Twelve Months – This sample lesson is a part of a larger primary school project; its topic is Weather. Before designing specific drama-based activities, the teacher had carefully identified and formulated his educational goals related to both drama and English.

Soňa Demjanovičová: The Tiger Who Came to Tea – The next sample lesson of English intended for children from 3rd to 5th grade of primary school is based on the book The Tiger Who Came to Tea written by Judith Kerr in 1968. Its structure and contents reflect careful and conscious balance and overlap between the linguo-didactic approach on the one hand, and the drama-in-education aspects on the other.

Michaela Váňová: A Lesson Does not Have to be Perfect, but it Should be Genuine: One of Possible Ways of Looking at a Drama Lesson – During her first academic year as a teacher of drama at the Faculty of Education of the Charles University in Prague, M. Váňová never heard students ask about the purpose and aims of drama in education but noticed a great deficiency in their drama projects: the inability to formulate goals and objectives and use them in lesson planning. After detailed inquiring about the goals and objectives of students’ model lessons she found out that 64 out of 75 students had no idea how to formulate them. The vast majority of students go about the task by first designing a lesson; only later they attempt, with the help of field literature or the educational framework, to find some goals “that the lesson is likely to meet”. In her article, M. Váňová returns to the purpose of educational goals and explains what kind of questions she makes her students ask themselves every time they are designing a lesson: What is the point of the lesson? What do I want the kids to get from it? Why do I want to teach this or that using drama methods? What do I need to ensure that the kids really receive what I intend them to receive? How will I know whether or not my intention has been fulfilled?


DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Mariana Čížková: The Limitations Lie in Us – The editors have decided to publish this purposely provocative article with the aim of stirring debate within the wider professional community. A graduate of the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre and presently a doctoral student at the Faculty of Theatre in Prague, the author of the article Mariana Čížková shares the observations and notions gathered during her study trip to Berlin. She describes her visit to the Volksbühne theatre and goes into detail presenting the activities of Deutsches Theater aimed at children and youth (she also personally met with the theatre’s dramaturge Birgit Lengers). The theatre’s activities include professional performances for children’s audiences, spring camps led by professional theatre makers, a youth club where children can rehearse plays, an offer of professional performances played by children for the public, etc. M. Čížková believe the concept of youth theatre (Jugendstheater), as she experienced it in in Germany, might greatly inspire Czech drama education and theatre with children. She disputes the notion that an overly professional approach may manipulate children to experience or perform age-inappropriate themes (the “overly professional approach” referring to children being led and shaped by acting professionals as opposed to drama-in-education specialists).

 

REFLECTIONS–REVIEWS–INFORMATION

Gabriela Zelená Sittová: Czech for Foreigners on Stage – The linguo-didactic monograph reviewed here was written by Marie Boccou Kestřánková, an experienced teacher of Czech for foreigners, and published by the Karolinum publishing house in 2019 under the title Jevištní tvar jako jedna z možných metod výuky češtiny pro cizince (Theatre making as a method of teaching Czech to foreigners). The reviewer finds the book unique within the field of Czech as a foreign language, as its author presents in it her own, long-tested method based on theatrical principles and drawing important impulses from creative drama methods and theatrical sports. For this reason, it might also be inspiring for teachers of drama and other professionals. Its elaborated concept and chapter structure bear witness to the author’s year-long experience both as teacher and scholar and can thus serve as a good model of how qualitative research can be carried out in the field of arts.

Eva Machková: Dramatization at School: All the Things That Can be Done with a Fairy-tale – The leading Czech theoretician of drama in education deals here with the rather random usage of the word “dramatization” in educational context, striving to see whether the way the term is used in textbooks does in fact have anything in common with the original theatrical meaning of the word. In the textbook Průvodci učebnicí prvouky pro 1. ročník, Cestička do školy I–II (Handbook of science for the first grade of primary school) published by the Alter publishing house, „dramatization” refers to primitive and rather unspecified activities used during lessons. Although the authors of the textbook claim that “dramatization” has strong positive effect on children, the connection with the theatrical essence of the term remains vague. Another title, Umíte to s pohádkou? (Can you handle fairy-tales?) published by Portál goes as far as to describe “dramatizations” as using folk fairy-tales to stimulate character play. E. Machková resolutely rejects both the erroneous usage of the term and the failure to understand the nature of a folk tale.


ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Kristina Procházková: A like Antarctica. A Review with a Portrait of the Author – The article deals in greater detail with the non-traditional encyclopaedia A jako Antarktida: Pohled z druhé strany (A like Antarctica: A look from the other side). The book received the prestigious Magnesia Litera prize for children and youth as well as the Gold Ribbon prize awarded by IBBY. As its author, young and talented artist David Böhm is at present one of the most inspiring personalities, the article pays attention also to him as an inspiring person who found his way to children’s book illustrations in a very natural manner (collaborating, among others, with Labyrint and Meander publishing houses). The book on Antarctica is the second “encyclopaedia” he created, following up the internationally acclaimed Hlava v hlavě (Head in a Head, Labyrint, 2013). Although the book is packed with information, the author keeps his characteristic style of posing more even questions than he answers.

Luděk Korbel-Marta Žilková-Michaela Lažanová-Marie Mokrá-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Gabriela Zelená Sittová- Anna Hrnečková: Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

Jaroslav Provazník: Looking back at a book that should not be forgotten – As in previous issues of the journal, the author brings to light another book from the recent or deeper past that has unjustly been forgotten although it deserves attention both of young readers and their teachers. This time he points out a book written by the Czech poet Klement Bochořák, Příběhy a vzpomínky po večerech sebrané (Stories and Memories Gathered upon the Evenings) published in 1958, which contains legends, ballads and ghost stories.


CHILDREN’S STAGE 63

The text supplement, this time entitled Twice on Four Chairs, brings two scripts put together by the Dagmar theatre in 2002 and 2009 respectively. They were directed by Hana Franková and in both cases, four chairs were the dominant feature of the stage design. Bajky aneb Jak přežít na širém moři (Fables or How to Survive on the Wide Seas) is a montage of pieces from the book Just so Stories by Rudyard Kipling and fables and satirical pieces written by James Thurber (translated into Czech by Radoslav Nenadál). Já Holden (I Holden) is another montage, this time consisting of passages from J. D. Salinger’s iconic novel The Catcher in the Rye. Both performances were composed by Hana Franková.

 

 

SUMMARY 2020/2

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXTS

Barbora Jurinová-Veronika Kořínková: Arts Education for Everybody? Everywhere? – A report on the international conference organised last autumn by WAAE (World Alliance for Arts Education) under the title of Arts Education for Everybody? Every Student? Everywhere? The event was attended by 180 arts education specialists coming from 47 countries all over the world, representatives of professional organisations including the WDA (World Dance Alliance), IDEA (International Drama/Theatre Education Association), ISME (International Society for Music Education) and InSEA (International Society for Education through Art), as well as people from UNESCO and the German Ministry of Education. Discussions were held with the aim of outlining and formulating a new document following up the Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education of 2010; the newly emerged agenda was called the Frankfurt Declaration for Arts Education. It appeals to governments of countries all over the world to promote and keep three underlying principles formulated by the Seoul Agenda: 1. Ensure that arts education is accessible as a fundamental and sustainable component of a high quality renewal of education – especially “comprehensive studies in all arts fields for students at all levels of schooling as part of a broad and holistic education”. 2. Assure that arts education activities and programmes are of a high quality in conception and delivery.

3. Apply arts education principles and practices to contribute to resolving the social and cultural challenges facing today’s world.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Kateřina Žarnikov: Drama Education Online? – This spring, during the time that all Czech and Slovak schools were closed owing to the corona virus pandemic, a doctoral student of the Theory and Practice of Drama education program at the Theatre Faculty in Prague Kateřina Žarnikov organised a survey among drama teachers asking them how they approached teaching of their subject to their  students during the time that enabled only online education. Out of 138 respondents who included all sorts of Czech and Slovak drama professionals, 90 % taught drama as an autonomous subject while the remaining 10 % were using it as a teaching method in other subjects. As for the institutions they worked at, 53 % of the survey participants were employed by basic schools of art, 16 % were primary school teachers, 10 % secondary school teachers, 8 % worked at colleges and universities, 3 % in kindergartens and the remaining 10 % were based at other institutions (such as leaders of amateur theatre groups or adult learning tutors). Despite the challenging situation, more than 70 % of the survey participants said they had managed to find ways of using drama methods in distance learning to some extent. Most of them went by choosing one dominant online tool (such as e-mail, chat or one of the video platforms), which they complemented by other means of communication (e.g. calling the students who had troubles getting online, or providing individual consultations on the phone). The author of the article lists the various methods and techniques used in distance learning, illustrating them by specific examples. This probe into teaching and learning education during the corona virus restrictions has proven that it is possible to teach drama online provided the teacher has technological means for such instruction. However, it will always remain just a complementary tool which can never fully substitute for live encounters that make it possible to create and share inspiration in person.

Vojtěch Löffelmann: Drama in Distance Learning or “Nobody Understands it, Teacher" – The author of the article, a teacher from the Secondary Pedagogical School in Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary), reflects on possibilities and limitations of drama education as taught during the pandemic. He describes a special website which he designed and used as an educational platform to communicate with his students, enabling them to create and learn.

Luděk Korbel: Oplatka’s End. Trying out distance teaching of literature with drama elements – The author of the article, currently a doctoral student at the Faculty of Theatre in Prague, presents a online literature project he designed for his students at the secondary school in Milevsko, a little town in South Bohemia. Together they worked on a detective story by Czech writer Karel Čapek taken from double volume of short stories Tales from Two Pockets. In the course of one week, they communicated on Google Classroom using roleplay, in which the students were interrogators while the teacher put on the role of their superior.

Ondřej Kohout: Lesson 2084 – An example of another online lesson implemented at one of Prague’s secondary grammar schools. The teacher, also a doctoral student at the Faculty of Theatre in Prague, created it using methods and techniques of drama education. The theme was taken from Lois Lowry’s dystopian novel The Giver.

Irena Hanyš Holemá-Eva Benešová: Allan Owens’ workshop held in Jičín – A detailed report covering the programme of the workshop held within the 24th national conference Drama Education in School. It was led by the British drama teacher Allan Owens, professor at the University of Chester and current Co-Director of RECAP (Centre for Research into Creativity, Education and the Arts through Practice). Throughout the week, participants were able to experience five different stories, which Allan Owens selected to illustrate the interactive style of learning using PRE-TEXT. Some of the lessons were inspired by literature, others were based on real-life situations. What they all had in common, though, was the subject of multiculturality.

Olga Králová-Irena Hanyš Holemá-Eva Benešová: There are Times One Should Stop to Think – An interview with Allan Owens discussing the course of the workshop he led in Jičín as well as his preferred concept of drama education.

Anna Tomková-Tereza Krčmářová: The Subject of Pedagogy within the Drama- in-Education Study Programme at DAMU – Two teachers share their experience of co-teaching the subject of Pedagogy, which is part of the syllabus of the bachelor’s study programme of Drama education at the Faculty of Theatre in Prague. They explain the specifics of their approach as well as the key to selecting the topics and the teaching methods they used, including the feature of co-teaching.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Leah Gaffen: A Long and Surprising Journey. Taking family stories out of a suitcase

 – The artistic leader and director of the Story Theatre group describes her method of work as well as the process in which the Journeys performance came into being.

 

REFLECTIONS–REVIEWS–INFORMATION

Hana Cisovská: Soňa Pavelková’s Drama Education Presented by Eva Machková – A review of a new publication that Eva Machková put together from the materials belonging to one of the founding personalities of modern Czech drama in education. The book titled Drama education of Soňa Pavelková resumes the lifelong experience of this drama professional who used to teach at the Basic school of arts in Ostrov from the 1970s to the 1990s and later in Prague and who, through her theatre games and some of her performances, substantially influenced the field of theatre with children and youth in Czechoslovakia.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Kristina Procházková: Petr Horáček and His Books for Kids – The Czech artist Petr Horáček living and working in England has won critical acclaim as author of picture books. One of those, Puffin Peter, was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Yet until recently, the artist was basically unknown to Czech readers and it is only during the last decade that his books have been published in the Czech Republic. This article presents the work of this author and illustrator, characterising the style and concept of his books intended for very young children.

Kristina Procházková: It is Enough to Show a Puffin to Child Just Once... – An interview with Petr Horáček.

Kristina Procházková: Between Prague and Paris. The Red Ball and Other Worlds by Kateřina Bažantová Boudriot - Portrait of a Czech illustrator living in Paris.

Anna Hrnečková: Eric Carle and REPOLELO. Literary Novelties for the Youngest Readers – In her overview of several interesting picture books published in the past few years, the reviewer starts by reminding readers of the “classic” author of this genre Eric Carle, especially his most famous book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which – despite being created in 1969 – only recently saw its Czech edition. Most of the books this review focuses on are titles from the new REPOLELO series launched by the Meander publishing house.

Klára Fidlerová-Jaroslav Provazník-Luděk Korbel-Lucie Šmejkalová-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Marta Žilková: Peeping into Books and Performances for Children and Youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

Jaroslav Provazník: Looking Back at a Book that Should Not Be Forgotten – This time the section on unjustly overlooked titles brings out the first book by Czech author Svatopluk Hrnčíř of 1959 Případ skončil v pátek (The case ended on Friday), a quality detective story for children.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 62

Leah Gaffen: Journeys – A script to a performance put together and played by the Prague-based international children’s theatre group Story Theatre led by the American theatre maker Leah Gaffen who lives in Prague since the early 1990s. Created on the basis of authentic family histories of the group’s members, the Journeys ranked among the most successful performances at the Children’s Stage, Czech national festival held in the town of Svitavy in June 2019.

SUMMARY 2020/1

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXTS

David Davis: The crisis in drama in education – In his keynote, presented at the GAP Conference on 30th July 2016 in Budapest, D. Davis reflects on the current situation of drama education and looks back on the past stages of the field, especially the 1970s. „At that early time every school had a drama teacher and we were all trying out new ideas. [...] We were experimenting with process drama which simply meant that we were not aiming for a final performance, but rather saw the process itself as the product,“ specifies Davis. „It was not long before this approach was under attack. On one side there were those who claimed that this sort of living-through drama had no shape and the pupils were not learning anything about aesthetics and theatre form. From another side came the movement from the United States calling for accountability and asking how you could you assess progress in this sort of drama. And these were problems that did need addressing. [...] Eventually the theatre versus process drama camps came together to see drama in education integrating these two forms. Gavin Bolton proposed ways in which we could assess this sort of drama and not lose its essential power. One particular strand of the process drama world began to invent easier forms for drama teachers to handle. In particular it was Jonothan Neelands who, along with two colleagues, developed a series of what were called conventions or recognisable drama activities that had a counterpart in real life. [...] Those of us who remained champions of the living-through approach were developing very nicely, finding our answers to how to combine process drama and theatre form and how to develop ways of assessing it, when along came Edward Bond and complicated everything." Despite this ironical comment, Davis finds stimuli suggested by theatre maker Edward Bond useful for drama education, especially pointing out his concept of drama as imagining the real, i.e. creating a drama event which takes its participants outside the ideological constraints of the everyday. He adds in a provocative manner: „We were all convinced of Bond’s arguments that Stanislavskian and Brechtian approaches to theatre form were no longer fit for purpose today.“ Davis also draws attention to another aspect contributing to the current crisis in drama education: drama has a more difficult position in British schools than it did  several decades ago; he finds the cause to be the increasingly stronger emphasis put on core subjects, which exclude the arts. He concludes by saying: „The crisis in drama in education resolves itself into a crisis of finding new forms for our work. And it is an urgent task as the crisis facing young people is such an urgent one.”

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Ema Zámečníková: The 30th Insights Festival – A drama teacher and an experienced leader of children’s and youth theatre groups Ema Zámečníková resumes the 30th national workshop of secondary school theatre groups held in October 2019 in the south-Bohemian town of Bechyně. She pays attention not only to the nine performances that the festival programme comprised, but also the workshops that have become an inseparable part of the event. What makes the Insights festival unique is the fact that theatre groups can also present unfinished performances that they are still working on, or even selected samples of those. The discussions and the opinions of others are thus very valuable in their further creative process.

Irena Konývková: Paradoxes of the International Youth Theatre Festival Theatre Revolution 2019 in Tyumen – The report brings observations from the festival held in Russia, in the Siberian town of Tyumen. The Czech Republic was represented by the HOP-HOP theatre group from the Basic School of Arts in Ostrov (whose performance Run, boy, run based on the book written by the Israeli author Uri Orlev won the main prize at the festival). Leader of the group Irena Konývková briefly reports on several performances she had a chance to see, commenting also on the organisational structure of the event.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Klára Fidlerová: Literary Themes for Students of Secondary Pedagogical School – The goal of this article containing excerpts from a thesis defended at the Dpt. of Drama in Education at the Theatre Faculty in Prague is to introduce and analyse selected books and literary themes and demonstrate on a few specific projects how they can be used in drama work with student groups consisting predominantly of female kindergarten teacher trainees and future heads of afterschool clubs. In the first part, the author of the work lists the types of drama activities and lessons she employs in her work with the students (exercises, dramatic playing, process drama...), pointing out that students should also have an opportunity to experience theatrical work in preparing a performance. Various ways of reflecting the work are also necessary for meaningful learning. The article contains several model lessons based on literature including Divá Bára (Wild Barbara), a story in the 19-century romantic style by Božena Němcová, the story of Tristan and Isolde and the classic fairy-tale The Sleeping Beauty. The author of the article concludes by saying: “I am convinced (and my class work has proven it) that it is worth using quality literary models in drama work; not only it makes the search for topics easier for the teacher, but also enriches the students immensely. Lessons connected by the above-mentioned stories were by far most captivating for the students; they held their attention and interest very well and made them contribute actively. What is more, the deeper immersion in the story led the students in a subtle and nature manner to self-reflection and thus also to the reflection of various personal and social issues.“

 

REFLECTIONS–REVIEWS–INFORMATION

Eva Koudelková: A Unique Edition of Czech Fairy-Tales – A review of the first volume of a planned nine-part edition of Czech folk fairy-tales issued by the Vyšehrad publishing house under the name Czech Folk Fairy Tales: Animal Tales and Fables. Editor Jaroslav Otčenášek has been preparing the project for the past fifteen years, employing ethnological and literary historical perspectives. He has managed to collect a great amount of fairy-tales both published and in manuscript. His goal was to make readers acquainted with a number of sources in their original, often very raw form in which they had once been noted down. The reviewer appreciates the great editorial care invested in the book and recommends this quality volume to the attention of experts on folklore and fairy-tales but also literature and drama teachers.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Hana Kasíková: Does Death Go Well with Theatre in Education? – Hana Kasíková, teacher at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague, ponders over the theme of death and dying as subject matter used in drama lessons. She reflects on a performance dealing with the theme of death, Silent Night played by the DIVADELTA group. She thinks highly of this piece that employs the forum theatre techniques, perceiving it both as pedagogically sensitive and theatrically impressive: „I have seen the piece performed for the pupils of a primary school. The actors and jokers used highly professional skills and approach, presenting the theme of dying in a way that captivated the attention both of pupils and teachers. I was also present at the feedback session of the actors who shared and discussed ideas of how to bring the experience to a deeper level and deal with the children’s reactions in the most appropriate way.“

Veronika Půlpánová-Jitka Rosenová: The Spectator Does Not Have to Be a Mere Observer – In 2020, the Prague-based theatre group DIVADELTA has entered the second decade of their existence. At present they offer eleven theatrical and educational programmes for children and youth dealing with a wide range of topics covering all age groups of spectators. These performances of the theatre-in-education type (T.I.E.) focus on red-hot topics of today’s world which children and young people encounter in their everyday lives: aggression and bullying, dangers of the virtual environment, lying, drug and alcohol addiction, xenophobia, financial literacy, eating disorders, old age or death and dying. This article looks at the work of the DIVADELTA group through the eyes of its leader and one of its members.

Kristina Procházková: Petr Sís on Flying and Other Dreams – Petr Sís, a Czech artist permanently residing in the USA, is renowned primarily for his children’s book illustrations, which won him the Hans Christian Andersen Award for lifelong achievement in 2012. On the occasion of his 70th birthday, the Centre of Contemporary Art DOX organised an exhibition of his works called On Flying and Other Dreams that ranked among the top culture events in Prague at the end of 2019.

Luděk Korbel: Seventy Years of Albatros in One Edition – The Albatros publishing house that has since its establishment focused on books for children and youth, celebrated its seventieth anniversary last year. On this occasion it published a book concerning its history as well as a collection of eight titles called Journey Through Time with Albatros (Cesta časem s Albatrosem) representing their rich fund of titles including even some of the original illustrations. The reviewer maps the development of the publishing house including its various stages and the major achievements.

Marta Žilková: The Position of a Legend in Contemporary Youth Literature – Paging through several Slovak books containing folk legends. The author of the article, Slovak literary critic and a teacher at the University in Nitra, pays special attention to books written by Ondrej Sliacký whose adaptations of folk legends she finds very good.

Gabriela Zelená Sittová-Luděk Korbel-Marie Mokrá-Dávid Dziak-Lucie Šmejkalová-JG Růžička-Klára Fidlerová-Jiří Forejt- Jaroslav Provazník: Peeping into Books and Performances for Children and Youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

Jaroslav Provazník: Looking Back at a Book that Should Not Be Forgotten – A reminder of a book bringing sensitive adaptations of biblical stories Vyšla hvězda nad Betlémem: Příběhy, události a mýty Nového zákona (A Star Has Risen Over Bethlehem: Stories, Events and Myths of the New Testament) written by Josef Jedlička but published in 1969 under a ghost writer’s name of Josef Volák due to the author’s emigration from the Communist regime.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 61

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) brings the script of an exceptional performance called Gerta S. put together by a secondary school theatre group KUK/Zpátečníci from a Basic Schools of Arts led by Ivana Sobková. The play is based on a book written by Kateřina Tučková, Vyhnání Gerty Schnirch (The Expulsion of Gerta Schnirch) dealing with the lives of German people living on Czechoslovak territory, especially their forced expulsion after WW2. In her article called The Way to Gerta, the group leader provides detailed commentary on the evolution of the performance, tracking down the devising process that spans all the way from identifying the theme to the gathering of material and the establishment of the theatrical concept.

 

SUMMARY 2019/3

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXTS

Eva Machková: Drama Education and Primary School – One of the founders of modern drama in education in the Czech Republic, Eva Machková states that the surge of activity occurring in the 1990s when the overall mood in the society was favourable to educational system transformation (including the incorporation of drama into the school curricula) was followed by a kind falloff or fatigue. At the same time she points out that the Framework Educational Programme for Primary Education enables schools to include drama education or drama-based methods into their curricula: „The present document makes it possible to change a school dramatically within a year or two, giving drama education a key role in the curriculum. However, there is one necessary prerequisite – a fully qualified teacher or teachers.“ Apart from the possibility to introduce drama as an independent subject (the Framework Educational Programme puts drama among what it calls complementary educational subjects), a number of drama methods can successfully be applied in personal and social education, ethics, civic education as well as more recently emerged cross-curricular subjects such as Democratic citizenship, Education for Thinking in European and Global Contexts, Multicultural Education, Environmental Education and Media Education. Eva Machková closes up by the following vision: „Leafing through the Framework Educational Programme  for Primary Education, I can quite easily imagine a School of Humanity centred around personal and social education employing drama methods, a concept later followed up by drama as an artistic discipline heading towards mastering theatrical skills. This core would be connected with two important areas: on the one hand it would lead towards ethics education, introducing systematically organised ethical issues. Civic education would represent the other stream tied to the core, treating such issues as democratic citizenship, multiculturalism as well as thinking in Europan and global context. Who knows, maybe in fifty years…? However, the current Educational Framework makes this possible even nowadays. A daring and creative school head with daring and enthusiastic teaching staff is all it takes – such a team may start implementing this vision as of the next school year.”

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Luděk Korbel: Literature as a Model for Children and Youth Performances – The author of this article, who is currently doing his doctoral studies in Theory and Practise of Drama Education at the Faculty of Theatre in Prague and working as a secondary school teacher in the South-Bohemian town of Milevsko, looks at the ways children and youth theatre groups go about dramatizing novels, short stories and fairy-tales. On several selected scripts he demonstrates various approaches to the literary models, observing how groups and their leaders modify the themes, broaden or narrow down the original material while adapting it for theatre. He shows examples of good practice but also points out potential pitfalls that occur in such dramaturgical and dramatization work. The works he focuses on in his analysis include a dramatization of the Ray Bradbury’s short story The April Witch, an adaptation of two ballads by the Czech Romantic poet K. J. Erben (from his collection Kytice (A Bouquet), an adaptation of the psychological novel Nazí (Naked) written by the contemporary Czech author Iva Procházková, a dramatization of the novelette Útěk (Escape) by Ota Hofman, the dystopian novel Válka s mloky (War With the Newts) by Karel Čapek, three short stories by the classical 19th century author Jan Neruda from his book Malostranské povídky (Prague Tales), an adaptation of the novelette Ze života lepší společnosti (From the Life of a Better Society) by Josef Škvorecký, a dramatization of The Nightingale by H. C. Andersen and the classical Czech magic fairy-tale Bajaja written by Božena Němcová in the 19th century.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Kateřina Žarnikov: Drama Education as a Way to Discussing the Issues of Contemporary Europe: The 22nd Drama in Education Congress in Retzhof – In April this year, the castle of Retzhof, Austria hosted the 22th Drama in Education congress. It offered four one-day workshops with renowned lecturers, morning warm-ups led by congress participants as well as two evenings during which participants shared their favourite drama games with others and presented successful projects, both research-based and practical. The reporter, a student of the doctoral study programme Theory and Practice of Drama Education at the Prague Theatre Faculty (AMU), characterises here both the lectures and the four workshops led by Allan Owens (UK), Harald Volker Sommer (Germany), Michael Judge (the New International Encounter theatre group) and Maike Plath (Germany). In her opinion, this year presented a wide range of approaches both to drama education in general and to the central theme, which was formulated by the motto „Explain Europe – Europe, explain!”

Bára Dočkalová: Drama Days – From 18 to 20 July, the Swiss town of Zug hosted the 5th Drama Days conference focused on using drama methods in language teaching. Participants came from fifteen countries not only across Europe but also places as distant as Australia, China, South Korea or Kuwait. Workshops were led by renowned drama specialists including Patrice Baldwin and Jonothan Neelands. The author of the present report, who is the founder of the Jeviště (Stage) language school in Prague, found great inspiration in Patrice Baldwin’s workshop where participants worked with a story from the children’s book The Saddest King by Chris Wormell. The conference also featured a lecture given by Jonothan Neelands in which he discussed the importance of theatre for cultivating and sustaining democracy.

 

REFLECTIONS–REVIEWS–INFORMATION

Eva Machková: Stepping in Jitka Míčková’s Footprints on Her Way to Fairy-Tale – A review of a new book on employing drama methods in kindergarten that its author Jitka Míčková called On the Way to Fairy-Tale. Eva Machková summarizes the contents of the book, praising the introductory chapter which makes readers acquainted with the basic methods of adapting literary texts for theatre making in kindergarten. She also appreciates the inclusion of ten practical lessons based on various literary texts, in which the author of the book gradually moves from simple dramatizations suitable for new pupils all the way to complex projects for pre-schoolers. Eva Machková winds up her review by stating: „What makes the book so beneficial is practical experience put on paper. This is especially valuable in a field that is still building up its bulk of professional literature.”

Jana Cindlerová: Eulogy on Pedagogical Folly – A review of a book on acting education Eulogy on Pedagogical Folly written by a remarkable personage of Czech theatre, actress Eva Salzmannová who long ago started her career in small theatres and today is member of the National Theatre in Prague and teacher of acting at the Faculty of Theatre in Prague.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jakub Hriňák: Intermediality and the Literary Text – The article about the intermediality and its potential for teaching literature.

Gabriela Zelená Sittová-Michaela Lažanová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Marta Žilková-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Klára Fidlerová: Peeping into Books and Performances for Children and Youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth (within the review of the performance Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London Palace Theatre) that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

Jaroslav Provazník: Looking Back at a Book that Should Not Be Forgotten – A reminder of the largely forgotten book Journey to Mickey-Mouse Planet (Cesta na planetu Mikymauz) written by Ota Hofman in 1969.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 60

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika deals with the performance called Puš Ap (Push-Up), a piece of devised theatre by the secondary school group Zbytky from the Basic School of Arts in Most, North Bohemia, led by Barbora Gréeová. The performance whose script can be found in this issue is an example of a very good piece of devised theatre put together by an exclusively female group. It revolves around the theme of looks, examining issues such as self-perception, self-esteem and influence of peer groups that pushes girls towards certain stereotyped appearance, a presumed „ideal” that many girls, however, disapprove of. The group leader has accompanied the script with a detailed commentary called From Theme to Devised Theatre, in which she describes the entire creative process. This involved the initial search for a theme, gathering of material (personal stories, YouTube videos, responses of peers as well as adults) and subsequent processing thereof leading to the final theatrical shape. Last but not least, she describes changes further made to the performance throughout its repeats.

 

 

SUMMARY 2019/2

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXTS

Vojtěch Lőffelmann: The Present Forms of Drama Education in the Czech Republic – Although drama education has established itself as a field within the Czech educational system, it is scattered into a number of institutions that pursue different goals. This broad span has both advantages and drawbacks. The article based on a master’s thesis written by a graduate of the Department of Drama in Education at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts strives to make readers acquainted with the most important venues of the field in the Czech Republic as well as the points of view taken by professionals towards its present state and the directions in which it is heading. The first part observes the ways in which drama education is anchored within school curricula all the way from kindergartens to primary and secondary schools to university study programmes training drama teachers (at two theatre faculties in Prague and Brno respectively as well as several faculties of education). Yet the author also pays attention to other institutions where drama education is taught or otherwise used, most of all the basic schools of art. At these unique afternoon schools, drama and literature is taught alongside with music, visual arts and dance. Other places include leisure time centres, theatres and galleries offering drama projects and last but not least, specialized drama centres. The second part of the article looks at research carried out among drama teachers in selected Czech institutions. Analysis of curricular and other documents shows, in the author’s opinion, that drama – same as most other artistic subjects – is perceived as marginal within the educational system (music and visuals arts being relatively well-established). The same conclusion was drawn from questioning drama teachers active in various institutions – most of them also believe that main obstacle lies in a weak position of drama within primary and secondary school curricula together with poor understanding of the field on side of the public. Although the notion that the aim of drama education is raising future actors is (fortunately) receding, it remains very widespread. Practical instruction without which drama in education is hardly possible is made difficult by low number of lessons assigned, the absence of suitable spaces as well as a lack of willingness on part of some school directors. Many respondents believe that the personality of the teacher is the key to success in drama education. The author of the article concludes by stating that the generous space that seemed to be opening for drama in education and the great expectations held by the professionals after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 are a thing of the past now. The present era sees a fragmentation of the field and seems to lack clear vision and goals, which is reflected in a lack of common effort. „No wonder so many people call for the organisation of conferences and other events that would enable people to meet and exchange their expertise and ideas,“ he concludes.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Anna Hrnečková: The 2019 Children’s Stage – A report from the 48th Children’s Stage national festival held from 7 to 13 June in Svitavy. It brings short characteristics of all 19 performances chosen at regional festivals held this spring to be shown at the all-national event. The reporter notices that many of the children groups deal with serious issues such as bullying or manipulation. Among the most inspiring she mentions a devised piece of theatre called A Friend created by the MAŠ MYŠ group from Prague. She also appreciates several interesting dramaturgical experiments and discoveries such as dramatizations of short stories by Shaun Tan or Michelle Paver as well as the montage Journeys by Story Theatre, Class Acts, Prague. Every year, workshops constitute an integral part of the festival. This year, their focus was on site specific projects and theatre as a ritual touching on social issues (Tomáš Žižka), fundamental principles of creative work with children and youth (Nina Martínková), the journey from literature to theatrical performance (Hana Nemravová) and issues in reciting both poetry and prose (Jana Franková). Keith Homer from the United Kingdom was this year’s foreign guest; he led a workshop called From the studio to the stage.

Kateřina Žarnikov: Diverse Ways to a Precise Theatrical Shape: Keith Homer’s Workshop at the 2019 Children’s Stage – A detailed report on the workshop led by the British teacher Keith Homer, the director of many years of the Redbridge Drama Centre in London that inspired the establishment of the first drama centre in Czechoslovakia in the 1980s, which was opened in Brno.

 

REFLECTIONS–REVIEWS–INFORMATION

Hana Kasíková: School Through Drama Play – A review of an extensive book School Through Drama: Drama Education in Primary School published by the University of Ostrava. Hana Kasíková from the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University appreciates that the authors of this collective text (with the experienced Eva Machková as the main editor) provide a number of self-contained drama lessons, numerous creative games and exercises as well as a list of inspiring literary texts on which primary school drama lessons can be based. Yet the main benefit of the book seems to be something else: the effort to view drama education in primary schools as one integral whole involving a combination of field theory with specific examples the theoretical principles being applied in the lessons.

Tomáš Doležal: Play and Theatre by Nina Martínková – At the end of 2018, Czech-language field literature on drama was enriched by a publication dealing with the methodology of teaching creative drama. It was written by a pedagogue of many years of the Dpt. of Drama in Education at the Prague Faculty of Theatre, Nina Martínková. The reviewer Tomáš Doležal from the drama centre in Brno summarizes the contents of each chapter and appreciates the inclusion of works produced by participants of drama lessons, as they not only highlight the main goals of these lessons but also make it clear the lessons have been tried out in practice.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Eva Machková: Jan Vladislav and His Fairy-Tales – An article dealing with the work of an outstanding Czech translator and author who collected fairy-tales and adapted them for young readers. Jan Vladislav who died ten years ago (3 March 2009) made Czech readers acquainted with fairy-tales from all kinds of cultural backgrounds. His adaptations possess high language quality and are considered classic. His most famous collection is the two-volume Tree of Fairy-Tales from All Over the World (Strom pohádek z celého světa) comprising 360 fairy-tales, a book put together in collaboration with Vladislav Stanovský.

Helena Zbudilová: Comics and the Contemporary Readers – An essay considering the potential of comics and graphic novels in developing literacy.

Zuzana Jirsová: Mark Twain: Old, Modern and Unexpected – A review of new Czech translations of the two classic books by Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but especially of the story The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine that Philip Stead wrote on the basis of notes made by Mark Twain that were, thanks to a series of good luck, recently found in the author’s archives at the University of California in Berkley.

Luděk Korbel-Michaela Lažanová-Gabriela Zelená Sittová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Marta Žilková-JG Růžička: Peeping into Books and Performances for Children and Youth – Reviews of new books and two radio plays for children and youth that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

Jaroslav Provazník: Looking Back at a Book that Should Not Be Forgotten – In this issue of Tvořivá dramatika, readers’ attention is drawn to the unjustly forgotten book Crazy Stories (Praštěné pohádky) by Ludvík Aškenazy that was published only once, in 1965.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 59

The text supplement brings a script to the performance A Friend (Kamarádka) created by the MAŠ MYŠ group, one of eight children and youth theatre groups gathered under the roof of the “Theatre for Zličín” project of amateur theatre. The performance, which is a nice example of devised theatre with children, received a lot of praise at this year’s Children’s Stage national festival. It deals with the issue of manipulation in girls’ groups, examining its inconspicuous but dangerous strategies and their impact on an individual who becomes its target. The script is accompanied by an article written by the group leaders Dana Svobodová and Karel Tomas, in which they describe the ways in which the children proceeded from the first idea of the theme over improvisation to the final theatrical shape.

 

SUMMARY 2019/1

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXTS

Josef Valenta: On Situations Called Dramatic – An essay on the essence and importance of dramatic situations for theatre and drama in education. Its author bases his text on the traditional classification suggested by Georges Polti, paying special attention to various concepts of a dramatic situation in Czech theoretical writings on theatre (Otakar Zich, Jan Císař, Zdeněk Hořínek and others). The essay also serves as a reminder of the fact that since 2013, the title page of every issue of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) has been dedicated to one of type of dramatic situation as defined by Polti. The second stage of a given situation is always represented visually by the graphic artist Radek Pokorný on the cover of Dětská scéna (Children’s Stage), the text supplement to Tvořivá dramatika.

Eva Machková: Where Is Slovak Drama Education Heading? – In November 2018, the EDUdrama initiative of Slovak drama teachers organised a conference on drama education in Bratislava. It was followed by the publication of proceedings from the conference comprising conference papers that attempt to summarize the situation of this field in Slovakia. Eva Machková briefly introduces each of these contributions, pondering over the challenges that her Slovak colleagues are facing.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Jakub Hulák: 29th Insights Has Brought Generation Shift – The reporter, who is the main organizer of the annual national workshop of student and youth theatre, brings an overview of performances presented in October 2018. He states that the 29th year has brought with it a generation shift, which was indicated by the participation of many new theatre groups. Besides performances, the programme again included workshops in which participants presented their reflexions and impressions from performances through action, thus providing material for subsequent discussions. Two specialists became lecturers at the 2018 Insights: Jiřina Lhotská, who specializes in drama in education and youth theatre, and David Radok, a professional theatre director of note. Both enriched the discussions with their views, opinions and expertise. The reporter points out that a number of performances treated serious themes such as the devastation of the landscape and society during the communist regime or the fate of Czech Jews during WWII. He pays special attention to a devised theatre piece made by the group from the Basic School of Arts in Most and called POEM MACHT FREI, which deals with holocaust. Another performance of quality that he mentions happens to be created by another group from the same school in Most – it was called Puš Ap (Push Up) and dealt with the pressure society puts on the appearance of girls and young women.

Dominika Prokopová: Write. Using Biographic Material in Making Theatre with Adolescents – A student of the Dpt. of Drama in Education at the Faculty of Theatre, Prague summarizes her experience of working with students of the secondary school of pedagogy in Litoměřice. In the course of one year, she was creating with them a piece of documentary theatre intended for seniors and based on authentic biographical material. „Taking advantage of the principles of documentary theatre done with adolescents made it possible to start dialogue between generations, aroused the student’s interest in exploring one’s own roots and helped them become aware of their own identity in a new context.”

Michaela Váňová: Performance Stepping Over Borders – Information on a solo performance that its author created for children abroad. In it, she deals with the real-life story of one of the Czech Jewish children who were saved from the Nazis in 1939 thanks to Sir Nicholas Winton. During last year Michaela Váňová presented this performance to children in the USA as well as several European countries, trying to find out whether her theatrical treatment of the story is able to address even children who do not speak Czech.

Alena Váradyová: Simple Steps Towards Inspiring Results: Tom Willems’s workshop within the 2018 Drama Education in School Event – A report on a workshop led by the Dutch lecturer Tom Willems at the 23th national conference on drama education held in Jičín.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Mária Šmolková: How Calvin Learned to Fly: The Way to a Performance with Pre-school Children – The article summarizes the journey towards a simple theatrical shape with a group of pre-school children. Despite being aware of the limits in theatrical work with children of kindergarten age, Mária Šmolková argues that under certain circumstances it is meaningful to create a performance even with the very young children. She chose a picture book by Jennifer Berne called Calvin can’t fly: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie about a starling who did not learn to fly, because he skipped flying lessons in order to read books, which were his passion. This story featuring the themes of otherness and the value of friendship yielded several dramatic situations, which enabled the children to play the story convincingly to their parents and friends.

Mária Šmolková-Jennifer Berne: Calvin can’t fly – The script to a performance created with pre-school children to the motives of the picture book by the American author.

 

REFLECTIONS–REVIEWS–INFORMATION

Hana Cisovská: The Past and the Present of Drama Education in the New Book by Eva Machková. Roman Černík: A Handbook of Czech Drama Education: Eva Machková Ever Inspiring – A double review of the new book by the crucial personality of Czech drama education called An Outline of the History and Theory of Drama Education. In her monograph, Eva Machková deals with the theory of the field including all its aspects, setting them into context. She goes on to explain the quintessence of this interdisciplinary field both from the view of pedagogy and theatre studies. She points out the overlaps between drama education and psychology as well as other fields from which drama education draws inspiration. Furthermore, the monograph contains the most systematic treatment of drama education history so far, from medieval and humanistic school theatre, Jesuit plays, Comenius’ schola ludus and children’s theatre in the 19th and the 20th centuries all the way to modern stages of drama in education, mentioning its manifold forms and most important proponents. The outlined history of drama in education includes its development both in Czech lands and abroad, especially in the Anglo-American cultural space. Both reviews agree that the new work by Eva Machková is a seminal publication of Czech drama in education.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Marta Žilková: Christmas Media Fight for Audiences – A few notes on Christmas programmes for children broadcasted on Slovak and Czech radio and TV channels.

Marta Žilková: The Prix Ex Aequo International Festival – Information on the international festival / competition of radio plays for children and youth held in Bratislava, Slovakia in November 2018.

Luděk Korbel-Lucie Šmejkalová-Gabriela Zelená Sittová-Eva Machková-Michaela Lažanová-Jiří G. Růžička: Peeping into Books for Children and Youth – Reviews of new books for children and youth that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

Jaroslav Provazník: Looking Back at a Book that Should Not Be Forgotten – A reminder of a poetry book by the Czech author Věra Dvořáčková Uletělo čapí pero (The Stork Feather Has Flown Away) published in 1969, which has unjustly fallen into oblivion.

DramaDiary – Information on important events for drama teachers, students and lecturers held both in the Czech Republic and abroad in 2019.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 58

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) brings a script to an extraordinary performance created by a youth theatre group from the Basic School of Arts in Most called POEM MACHT FREI. It is dedicated to the life story of Hanuš Hachenburg, a Jewish boy imprisoned in the Theresienstadt ghetto and murdered in Ausschwitz. This piece of devised theatre is an assembly of his verses and authentic materials from his life. The script is accompanied by a detailed description of the development of the performance written by the group leader Pavel Skála.

 

SUMMARY 2018/3

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXTS

Iva Vachková: Role Play in History Classes– The core article of this issue of Tvořivá dramatika discusses the potential of drama methods for the teaching of history. The first part brings an overview of how this issue is perceived by theoreticians in the fields of pedagogy, drama education and personal and social education, and also by history teachers from primary and secondary schools. The author of the article compares various stances held not only by Czech specialists, but also those from other countries. Two books pointed out by her as most inspiring are Robert Stardling’s Teaching 20th Century European History and Multiperspectivity in History Teaching. This author considers the use of role play in history classes to be enriching, as it enables students to put themselves in the shoes of people of the past who witnessed certain historical events or even became their active participants. This makes them realize that the same statement or event may have a different meaning for each participant depending on their position or background. Students get a more vivid picture of what it was like to live in a certain era or experience some event. R. Stardling believes that by this, role play teaches young people to be more tolerant of different opinions and also develops their communication, asking and problem-solving skills. He shows how knowledge and facts learned from textbooks can be used for creative reconstruction of a historical event. Yet R. Stardling does not avoid discussing some risks and drawbacks such as involving inappropriate anachronisms. In the second part of her article, Iva Vachková outlines a number of ways in which role play can be effectively used in history classes. She discusses under what conditions role play works well, how to best use resources, what is the importance of reflection and which roleplaying techniques are suitable for use in history classes (she mentions still images, mimed activities, pantomime, hot seating, alley of conscience, voice collage, dubbing, a page from a diary, etc.). She goes on to discuss the teaching-in-role technique including its possible advantages and limits in the teaching of history. In the final chapter she pays attention to the risk of anachronisms and erroneous interpretations appearing, to which the teacher needs to be ready to respond adequately.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Veronika Rodová: The Life and Work of Božena Němcová – A step-by-step description of a teaching programme that focuses on literary history and women’s history and is dedicated to one of the most significant female writers of the 19th century. It is a good illustration of how role play can be used in history classes.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Kateřina Šteidlová: Lingen Hosting the World Festival of Children’s Theatre Again – At the end of June, children’s theatre groups from all over the world came to the German town of Lingen to perform at the 15th Festival of children’s theatre. The reporter appreciates the good organisation of the event and assesses the performances. The one she considered to be the absolute top was 2 minutes to midnight played by Es Artes Teatro from Salvador. Looking at the broader picture, the reporter writes: „The big shows that comprised the majority of the festival’s performances often turned out to be quite shallow and artificial. The most impressive acts were those based on themes that children are interested in and that correspond with their nature. In most cases, using simple means of expressions and going for shorter length enhanced the communication value of performances, leading the creative teams to a more condense shape.“ The reporter concludes by saying: „In my opinion, the Lingen festival found itself at a kind of crossroads, not sure which way to go. It is not clear who is supposed to be the primary target group – children, theatre group leaders, experts, or the wide public? The original goal of the festival – bringing children groups together and having them perform for one another – has already been met. However, it is time to identify other goals as well. The festival seems to lack more substantial professional feedback of drama experts that would evaluate not only the festival performances, but also the context of children’s theatre in a given county. The first inevitable step is introducing clear criteria for the selection of performances that will reflect what the organisers intended by making the selection: whether to present a broader picture, thus demonstrating the broad scope of what can be done in children’s theatre, enable theatre groups of various levels of experience to draw inspiration from one another, or discover new, unknown drama groups.“

 

REFLECTIONS–REVIEWS–INFORMATION

Kristina Procházková: Lumír Čmerda Known and Unknown – A review of a monograph of an inspiring yet relatively unknown Czech artist whose works span from graphics to sculpture to book illustration.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Svatava Urbanová: Lumír Čmerda – An interview with the artist about his roots and his artistic activities. Teachers of drama may find it interesting that besides free creation, Lumír Čmerda illustrated several books including A Bouquet by Karel Jaromír Erben, Kosmas’ Czech Chronicle or fairy-tales written by Božena Němcová.

Kristina Procházková: The Colourful World of Daisy Mrázková – At the turn of the years 2017 and 2018, Prague hosted an exhibition of illustrations and other art works by Daisy Mrázková (1923–2016), Czech author and illustrator of books highly appraised even abroad. The article introduces this extraordinary artist through her most influential books for children.

Kristina Procházková: Mazzel – Publishing Books Just for the Joy of It – The author of the article presents the activities of a newly founded publishing house specializing in books for very young readers.

Kristina Procházková: „The Matter Is Not Just Selling the Book – We Try to Have Fun Making It“ – An interview with Lukáš Opekar, one of the creators of the Mazzel publishing house, supplements the preceding article.

Klára Fidlerová-Michaela Lažanová-Luděk Korbel-Matěj Hádek-Lucie Šmejkalová: Peeping into Books for Children and Youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

Jaroslav Provazník: Looking Back at a Book that Should Not Be Forgotten – Besides the set of reviews of new books for children, Tvořivá dramatika is going to regularly point out books that have been forgotten and should not have, as they offer inspiring themes and motives to drama teachers and leaders of youth theatre groups. In this issue, the reviewer draws the readers’ attention to one of the first books of poetry for children written by the outstanding modern Czech poet focusing on young readers Josef Brukner called Proč, proč, proč (Why, why, why) published in 1963.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 57

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika presents two scripts written by Irina Ulrychová, a teacher at the Basic School of Arts in Brandýs nad Labem and a pedagogue of many years’ standing at the Drama-in-Education Department of the Faculty of Theatre in Prague. Each script is intended for a different age group. Jak vyléčit krále (How to Cure a King) is a dramatization of a simple modern fairy-tale for the very young while the play Jak napálit zloděje (How to Cheat a Thief) intended for older children is based on one of the traditional Japanese stories of judge Ooka.

 

 

SUMMARY 2018/2

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXTS

Michaela Váňová: Dorothy Heathcote’s Story – A portrait of one of the most original and influential personalities of drama education worldwide learn both about her life and the ways in which she enriched the field of drama in its many shapes.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Jaroslav Provazník: Signals and Impulses of 2018 Children’ Stage – The author of the article tries to characterise the overall impression that this year’s festival gave of the state of Czech theatre with children. “What I consider the best news,” he writes, “is the fact that the performances created a very colourful mosaic in terms of types and genres.” Stories with a child protagonist were the most frequently featured type of performance. In one case the story was set in the past, namely during the second world war (an outstanding performance presented by a group from the Basic School of Arts in Ostrov called Běž, chlapče, běž [Run, Boy, Run]; it was based on a novel by the Polish-Israeli author Uri Orlev). Three performances were inspired by traditional fairy-tales, four times the spectators saw original modern tales, two performances were based on nonsense poetry (one worth mentioning was a montage called Do velké krajiny Dudédu, inspired by the poetry and absurd tales by the Czech dissident poet Ivan Martin Jirous and played by the DRDS drama group from Prague). Other genres were represented by one performance each: a story with an anthropomorphic animal protagonist (a very good performance called My, vrabčáci (We, Sparrows) presented by a group from Sobotka and created to the motives of a book by the Bulgarian author Yordan Radichkov); then there was one absurd tale and even a horror thriller. The reporter then discusses the issue of children’s acting as well as various approaches to the shaping of a character including the usage of film elements (montage), techniques used in epic theatre and possibilities offered by puppeteering. An interesting element appeared in the performance Bylo nás pět (The Five of Us) in which movement and dance became the main narrative means.

Gabriela Zelená Sittová: The Children’s Stage and Poetry Reading – The Children’s Stage national festival features not only theatre, but traditionally has a specific category for children who recite both poems and prose. The reporter evaluates the quality of this year’s poetry reading from the viewpoints of dramaturgy (selection and adaptation of texts), expression (ability to capture and communicate images contained in the text, vocal technique, contact with the audience, etc.). She appreciates that discussions of lecturers with children reciters and the teachers or parents who prepared them have become an inseparable part of the festival. Workshops for children led by students of drama in education from the Theatre Faculty in Prague are another component of the festival that can enrich the participants in many ways.

Lucie Klárová: The Autobiographic Theatre Method: Presenting Susanne Schrader – The author of this article, who was the interpreter to the Belgian lecturer Susanne Schrader (of the AGORA theatre) during her workshop at the Children’s Stage national festival in Svitavy, describes in detail the contents of the workshop. The autobiographical method is based on the belief that the greatest potential that players bring into the creation of a theatrical piece lies in their own life stories, in other words their biographies. „Each human being,“ says Susanne Schrader, „is a fountain overflowing with numerous stories that can generate material for a great many performances.“

Mariana Čížková: Zlatá priadka (Gold Spinning) 2018 – A doctoral student of drama in education at the Faculty of Theatre, Prague, reports on the national festival of children’s theatre in Slovakia.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Ondřej Kohout-Jan Mrázek: When Philosophy Meets Drama – An original contribution demonstrating how drama methods can be applied in teaching philosophy at secondary schools and what advantages and drawbacks the encounter of philosophy with drama may present. The article was written by two graduate students from the Department of drama in education who also study philosophy and civic education (respectively) at Charles University. Both have designed workshops with philosophical themes that they implemented with several secondary school classes all over the Czech Republic. Ondřej Kohout’s programme was designed around the topic of Socrates and the Community while Jan Mrázek created a programme called Truth – Authenticity – Charter 77, a part of which is the life story of the Czech philosopher Jan Patočka, a signatory of Charter 77, who died after being interrogated by the communist secret police in 1977.

Mariana Čížková: Creative Drama and Theatre for Children in New York – The author of the article spent two weeks in New York where she had the opportunity to attend programmes of several theatre groups that might inspire Czech directors, actors and drama teachers. She expresses her gratitude to Rives Collins of the Northwestern University who facilitated these encounters to her. The article describes in greater detail the activities of the Spellbound Theatre, a theatrical company focused on designing performances and workshops for children up to 5 years of age. The next project the article deals with is the New Victory Theatre, a professional theatre group situated near Brodway who play for children exclusively. The last three projects mentioned include the Roundabout Theatre, programmes of the non-governmental organisation Kids Creative Collective as well as the activities of another NGO, the Off the Page Education.

 

REFLECTIONS–REVIEWS–INFORMATION

Kateřina Řezníčková: Theatrum Neolatinum – Latin Theatre in the Czech Lands – Theatrum Neolatinum is a pioneering project of the Academia publishing house who has launched a new publication series with the aim of presenting baroque drama texts originating in the Czech lands that have been hitherto unknown or hardly accessible. So far it has focused on plays written by Jesuit teachers, but in the future text of different provenance are to be published as well. This review looks at the first two extensive volumes of the series, namely St John of Nepomuk on Jesuit School Stages and The Mildest Pallas: Plays Intended for Grammatical Classes of Jesuit Secondary Schools. The reviewer appraises both volumes as extraordinary, revealing and prepared in high editorial quality.

Marta Žilková: Innovative Music Education – Information on several attempts made by Slovak teachers to employ activating educational methods (including drama techniques) in the teaching of music.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Gabriela Zelená Sittová: The Field Is My Element – An interview with the author of children’s books Jana Šrámková who has recently focused on writing for the very young readers. Jana Šrámková is one of the most inspiring personalities of contemporary Czech literature.

Gabriela Zelená Sittová-Jaroslav Provazník-Luděk Korbel-Klára Fidlerová-Michaela Lažanová-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Marta Žilková: Peeping into Books and Performances for Children and Youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

Jaroslav Provazník: Looking Back at a Book that Should Not Be Forgotten – Besides the set of reviews of new books for children, Tvořivá dramatika is going to regularly point out books that have been forgotten and should not have, as they offer inspiring themes and motives to drama teachers and leaders of youth theatre groups. In this issue, Jaroslav Provazník draws the readers’ attention to the somewhat forgotten witty book of crazy stories Nová knížka pro děti o chvástavém štěněti (A New Book about the Braggart Puppy), written by the Czech translator, author and poet Emanuel Frynta in the 1960s together with photographer Jan Lukas.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 56

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika presents a script to the performance My, vrabčáci (We, Sparrows) that ranked among the most inspiring at this year’s Children’s Stage Festival. It is based on several episodes from a book by the Bulgarian author Yordan Radichkov. The script is accompanied by an article written by Lada Blažejová, leader of a theatre group from the East-Bohemian town of Sobotka. She explains why she and her group consisting of boys only chose this theme, in what ways they worked on it and how they were seeking theatrical means to grasp the sparrows’ story in a way that would make it metaphoric rather than descriptive.

 

SUMMARY 2018/1

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXT

  • Kateřina Šteidlová: Henry Caldwell Cook and his method Play Way – The Play Way, a book by the British educator Henry Caldwell Cook, came out in 1917. It is generally considered an important stepping stone in the development of modern drama education. This article presents the thoughts of its author who taught at the Perse School in Cambridge and at one point started to use drama and theatrical methods in the teaching of English as the first language as well as in other subjects. The author of this article puts Cook’s efforts into historical context and characterises the fundamentals of his Play Way method, pointing out its contribution to the field of drama education.

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

  • Sanja Krsmanović Tasić: Teaching Ecology of the Soul in Jičín – Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, director of the Hleb Teatar in Belgrade and president of the Centre for Drama Education in Education and Arts (CEDEUM), was invited to lead a workshop called Poetry of Movement: a workshop of physical devising theatre within the national event Drama education in school held in September in the East-Bohemian town of Jičín. In her article, she explains the roots of her theatrical and educational work including various sources of inspiration and impulses (Odin Teatret, Jerzy Grotowski, etc.). She also describes the concept and intentions of her workshop.
  • Renáta Tkaczyk: Wow, what a journey to create a play! – One of the participants of the above-mentioned workshop provides here a detailed report on the work of Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, claiming that owing to her unique skills as a director and choreographer she managed to create an impressive movement mosaic packed with emotions, endowing it with purpose and even turning it into story with a clear theatrical form. The process that participants went through can be divided into several levels – the preparation of body, soul, breath, articulation and voice; building the sense of group identity and belonging; preparation of action; and immediate inspiration. These levels of preparation were repeated every day, but also deepened and connected, culminating into a sample of the group’s work presented to other participants that took the form of a theatre performance.
  • Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, Renáta Tkaczy, Ilona Kaletová, Katarína Vrbová: I don’t care how people move, I care what moves them. An interview with Sanja Krsmanović Tasić – Interview with Sanja Krsmanović Tasić.

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

  • Denisa Tchelidze: The use of dramatic methods by reformative teachers in the 30s – An extensive study based on the research of numerous publications and articles written by Czech reformist educators who strived to use dramatization and drama methods in the teaching of various subjects, especially Czech language and history. The author shows how their experiments carried out in the 1930s were an important chapter in the constitution of modern drama education in Czechoslovakia. „The materials I researched clearly indicate,” writes D. Tchelizde, “that theatre and drama education played an important role in the transformation of educational methods of reformist teachers. Those which appear most frequently are school dramatizations and choral reciting. However, we also encounter other forms, even though more scarcely – pantomime, monologues and dialogues of characters as well as puppet theatre; there is even a single occurrence of still images. All indicates that drama education captured interest of the proponents of reformist education.“ However, the development of the field was interrupted by German occupation and subsequently stopped completely by the communist regime.
  • Vojtěch Lőffelmann: I am Working - We are Building - They are Deciding – A drama lesson for the museum in Sušice concerning local history.

REFLECTIONS–REVIEW–INFORMATION

  • Josef Valenta: Social Learning – Nothing Boring. A Book Report – A review of a unique publication Drama Education and Social Learning in Primary Education written by Hana Cisovská, teacher at the Faculty of Education of the University of Ostrava.
  • Hana Zeleňáková: Be inside the text, do not leave it behind – In 2017, Mária Kuderjavá and Zuzana Stanislavová published a book called Creative Drama as a Way of Increasing Literary Competences of Younger Schoolchildren at the Faculty of Education of the University in Prešov. Hana Zeleňáková, a teacher at the Philosphical Faculty in Nitra, writes in her review that the book is a valuable contribution to the current discussion on drama education in Slovakia.
  • Gabriela Zelená Sittová, Veronika Rodová: A modernisation of the traditional journal Komenský. An interview with Veronika Rodová – An interview with the editor in chief of the educational journal Komenský (Comenius) published in Moravia since 1873.

ART FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

  • Luděk Korbel, Ondřej Müller, Petr Eliáš: Library for 21st Century Children, discussing a new project of the Albatros publishing house with its programme director Ondřej Müller and managing editor Petr Eliáš – An interview about an exceptional edition of books for children and youth launched by the Prague-based Albatros publishing house, which has the ambition to make children acquainted with fundamental and still vivid literary works both of Czech and international provenance.
  • Marta Žilková: „Children Nowadays Have No Duties!“ – Reflection on today’s children and young people inspired by Tereza Nvotová’s new film Špína (Dirt).
  • Luděk Korbel, Gabriela Zelená Sittová, Jiří Forejt, Anna Hrnečková, Michaela Lažanov, Lucie Šmejkalová, Marta Žilková: An insight into new books and plays for children and youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.
  • Jaroslav Provazník: Review of a book that should not be forgotten – Besides the set of reviews of new books for children, Tvořivá dramatika is now going to regularly point out books that have been forgotten and should not have, as they offer inspiring themes and motives to drama teachers and leaders of youth theatre groups. In this issue, Jaroslav Provazník brings to the readers’ attention two extraordinary psychological novels by the Czech writer, film and TV dramaturg and playwright Josef Bouček published in mid-1960s, namely Stane se této noci (It Will Happen Tonight) and Mlčení mužů (The Silence of Men).
  • DramaDiář / DramaDiary – Information on important events for drama teachers, students and lecturers held both in the Czech Republic and abroad in 2018.

CHILDREN’S STAGE 55

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika presents a script to the performance Elizaveta Bam created by the group Na poslední chvíli (Last Minute) from the Basic School of Arts in Ostrov to the motives of the text by the Russian poet and writer Daniil Kharms. This is what the group leader Lucie Veličková says about his absurd play that came into being in the late 1920s: „During rehearsals we were more and more surprised to see how up-to-date Kharms’ text was in relation to the current political situation not only in Russia. As all three members of the student theatre group are keenly interested in politics, we decided to make a statement about the theme of absolute power, political manipulation of crowds and dangerous forgetting of the past, because it is not so long back that similar stories were taking place in our country as well.“

  • Daniil Kharms, Lucie Veličková: Jelizaveta Bam
  • Lucie Veličková: A closing statement of a director
  • Jan Mrázek: Sometimes the audience scowls. An interview with the ensemble “Na poslední chvíli”
  • Alena Zemančíková, Luděk Horký: Reactions to the Ostrov performance of “Jelizaveta Bam”
  • Martin Hnilo: The reaction juggler Daniil Kharms
  • Diaries and Letters of Daniil Kharms
  • Protocols from interrogations of Daniil Kharms after his arrest in 1931

 

 

SUMMARY 2017/3

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXTS

Kateřina Dudová: Paradoxes of Children’s Theatre in Russia – Article about the recently formed movement of children’s theatre that strives to do children’s theatre “differently”, in other words using creative drama methods. It is centred around the Moscow-based club Children–Theatre–Education that was established in 2009 as a result of several active educators coming together; it was further supported by a teacher’s professional magazine who expressed interested in the project. Most of the Information presented here was taken over from the article Paradoxes of Children’s Theatre Movement written by a senior teacher at the Department of Aesthetic Education Alexandra Borisovna Nikitina. She describes the journey of Russian theatre for children from its beginnings until nowadays as well as the paradoxes faced by the field nowadays. In addition, she explains what kind of position children’s theatre occupies in today’s Russia and what developmental opportunities there are.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Anna Hrnečková: Gallery Education in the Czech Republic Today – Gallery education is a field that has been successfully developing on the grounds of Czech museums and galleries since the 1990s, taking great advantage of drama education methods. To chart the current state of gallery learning, the author of this article has attended programmes in several Czech and Moravian galleries, namely those in Kutná Hora, Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Kroměříž. She makes readers acquainted with the ways education departments work, introducing both the staff and the concepts and policies behind the programmes. She appreciates that the programme offer is in general well-organised and user-friendly and praises the high quality of some of the programmes.

Olga Buciová: Jurkovič Villa Possessed by Evil Spirits – A brief report of the hands-on educational programme with theatrical elements that occasionally takes place in Jurkovič Villa in Brno under the patronage of the educational department of the Moravian gallery.

Denisa Tchelidze: Drama in Education in Retzhof: Changes – Challenges – Choices: The art of doing the “right” thing – The author of the article took part in the 21st year of the Drama in Education Congress held from 7 to 12 April 2017 in Retzhof (Austria). The event takes place every other year and is organised by the International Organisation of Amateur Theatre (AITA/IATA) in collaboration with IDEA AUSTRIA and the ÖBV Theater. The article presents a synoptic overview of the whole conference, but its main focus lies in a description of the four all-day seminars offered to participants. Susanne Schrader (actress, head of Theaterpädagogik AGORA – Theater, Sankt Vith, Belgium) led a seminar called Devised Theatre: the way towards theatrical shape. Prior to the event, she had asked participants to bring with them a story featuring the theme of courage and an object related to this story. Both served as introductory impulses for joint creation with strong emphasis put on group sensitivity and natural story-telling. Multi-layer compositions of stories, places and actions were created by the workshop participants. Armin Staffler (drama and theatre teacher, writer and political scientist from Innsbruck, Austria) led a workshop called The Theatre of the Oppressed according to Augusto Boal and David Dimond: The Policeman-in-the-Head Technique. The seminar led by Lisa Woynarski (performance-maker, researcher and eco-dramaturg from the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, London, United Kingdom) called Environmental Drama encouraged participants to look at their lifestyles as well as their attitudes to environmentalism and make an attempt at linking them up with artistic performance events. Gregor Tureček (director and drama teacher from Munich, Germany) led a seminar called Director’s Work in Political Theatre in which he examined how the process of directing a piece of theatre changes when it focuses on communicating political issues. Interestingly, Romeo and Juliet by Wiliam Shakespeare became the material on which the main theses were demonstrated. The seminar consisted of a lecture (including a video of a part of a performance directed by Tureček himself) and discussion time where participants worked in groups to outline their dramaturgical and direction concepts.

Jiří Forejt: Film Education as Related to Drama Education – The author of the article is a proponent of audio-visual and film education. Believing there are significant common grounds between this field and drama education, he tries in this article to put these two disciplines side by side and compares their premises, the tools they use and the goals they try to meet. At the same time, he gathers arguments for introducing film education as a separate subject in primary and secondary schools.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Michaela Váňová: Taking Your Class to the Theatre – An educator at the Prague-based Minor theatre, the author of this article has been engaged in a development of educational programmes (workshops, discussions and performance worksheets), all of which are intended to enhance and deepen the experience of young spectators. M. Váňová conducted a survey among teachers asking whether they took their pupils to the theatre and, if so, whether they carried out any performance-related activities before and after the visit. Then she devised a workshop for teachers in which participants themselves could see whether and in what ways the preparation and subsequent reflection of a theatrical experience is meaningful for them. They received stimuli for thinking about the children-education-theatre triad and became acquainted with suitable drama methods that they may use before visiting a performance with their primary school pupils. They also discussed the specifics of theatre for children and in the end attended a performance and tried out some of the methods of reflecting upon the performance with their students. The article also presents a complete syllabus of the workshop.

Anna Bura: Theatre Workshop Leader, or Theatre Educater? – Some thoughts concerning workshops for children and youngsters visiting performances in professional theatres.

 

REFLECTIONS–REVIEWS–INFORMATION

Roman Černík: Drama, or Theatre Education? Pondering over the book Theatre and Education by Silva Macková

Hana Cisovská: Considering Considerations about the Field: Drama, or theatre education, that is the question!

Authors of both articles are university pedagogues and distinctive personalities of Czech drama in education. Both have taken a close look at the new book Theatre and Education (JAMU, 2016) written by Silva Macková who has long been head of the Theatre and Education studio at the Faculty of Theatre at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts. Her book is based on the experience gathered during many years at the Theatre and Education studio as well as various theoretical sources. It makes a contribution to the discussion on the forms, goals and directions that the development of Czech drama in education might take. It discusses three basic issues: the contents and terminology used in the field (with a clear intention of re-defining it); the methodology of drama and its relationship to theatre; evaluating the process of transforming a drama-in-education department into the Theatre and Education studio. The book is a significant testimony to the drama education as conceived by the “Brno school“. In its core lies the proposal of the book’s author to rename the field so far known as drama education, instead calling it theatre and education. In other words, the aim is to detach drama education as a purely pedagogical discipline from the field that strives to teach theatrical skills and competences. Although both reviewers understand the arguments behind this proposal, they find it somewhat questionable as it might, in their opinion, bring confusion into the educational system instead of enriching it. They suggest that the incentive behind the proposal may be the effort of the “Brno school” to gain more autonomy in the field.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Luděk Korbel: I Never Know the Ending of a Story – An interview with Jean-Claude Mourlevat – An interview with one of the most noticeable contemporary French writers for children featured as a guest at the Tabook festival for small book publishers held in the South-Bohemian town of Tábor. Czech readers are familiar with J. C. Mourlevat thanks to his two books being translated into Czech, Winter’s End and The River that Flows Backwards. In the interview he speaks about his writing, sources of inspiration and attitudes concerning art.

Kristýna Plíhalová: Don’t Judge or you Shall Be Judged – The author writes on the activities of the remarkable organisation Ašta šmé that brings together people from the spheres of social work and arts who share the desire to comment on social issues by means of elaborating real-life stories. They have made several books of comics illustrating true stories of four children who went through orphan homes, adoption process or foster care. They try to capture how life in an orphan home shaped them, what was their relationship to their original and new families and how they succeeded in integrating into the society.

Eva Machková: Foreign Legends Part 3: Across Europe – The author of this overview points out books of legends in which drama teachers can find material for their work. The third part focuses on a selection of legends from all over Europe and over the span of centuries. To conclude, E. Machková argues why it is important to work with foreign legends, one of her key arguments being that becoming familiar with the culture heritage of other nations can make significant contribution to mutual understanding among people from different cultural backgrounds.

Luděk Korbel – Michaela Lažanová – Lucie Šmejkalová – Kristina Procházková – Klára fidlerová – Matěj Hájek – Marta Žilková: Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth – Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 54

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika presents two original texts upon which two performances at the 2017 Children’s Stage festival were based. The first of these called Psi, neztrácejte naději (Dogs, Don’t Lose Hope) was staged by Jana Mandlová, a teacher from the Little School of Drama in Svitavy, with her group Modroočky. The performance was inspired by the book by Anna Kemp Dogs Don't Do Ballet. The other one, Méďa spěchá domů (Little Bear Hurries Home), was created under the leadership of Martina Kolářová, a teacher at the Basis School of Arts in Mohelnice. Her group Pískající vršky has worked with the book by Marka Míková (Jonas Hurries Home). Both performances were played by younger schoolchildren and both employed puppets. The respective group leaders described the creative process behind the performances, expanding their descriptions by methodological notes related to working with certain types of children groups.

 

SUMMARY 2017/2

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Jaroslav Provazník: School and Performing Arts: Mimetic Roleplay as the Most Natural Way of Teaching about Theatre – What chance do children in Czech schools have of becoming acquainted with theatre? The author of the article points out that the compulsory part of the curriculum provides students and pupils with minimum opportunities to learn about theatre and drama. If some do arise, the learning usually happens by absorbing facts. However, performing arts can hardly be understood through verbally transmitted information only (the typical way being “Shakespeare was born in... he wrote.... he died in...”). It is equally important to learn about the essence of theatre and the principles on which this form of art works. This is best done through hands-on activities and techniques used in drama education, which is, unfortunately, still just an optional subject in Czech schools. These are based on play that Roger Caillois calls “mimicry”, i.e. mimetic roleplay that enables both the player/actor and the audience to move around in two worlds at once: the real as well as the fictional one that is created by the action of the players. This double nature, so characteristic of mimetic roleplay, is crucial for the understanding of theatre. The present article explains in what ways mimetic play can be used to introduce children to performing arts. Of course it is theatre with children that occupies the foremost position. Other ways include educational programmes and workshops accompanying a specific performance, or special programmes focusing on various aspects of theatrical arts; these events are most often organised at theatres. Theatre in education in its manifold forms represents another possibility. However, mimetic play can also serve as an effective tool for getting to know plays, inspiring personalities of theatre (playwrights, directors, actors...) as well as selected chapters from the history of theatre. The author concludes by claiming that “mimetic play develops children’s capacity of perceiving fiction and reality as two separate worlds, teaching them to identify and distinguish the two and navigate them skilfully. Sadly, schools offer almost no opportunity for such development so it is no wonder children learn neither to identify lack of taste nor uncover open or hidden manipulation that – be it in advertisement or computer games – intentionally blurs the dividing line between reality and fiction.”

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Anna Hrnečková: Children’s Stage 2017 – The reporter considers the 2017 Children’s Stage festival and workshop of drama (representing the 46th year of the event) to have been successful. The main programme consisted of 16 performances by children’s groups. The festival was very diverse as far as performance types and genres were concerned and included beginning as well as very experienced theatre groups introducing drama, puppetry and movement theatre. A broad offer of seminars and discussions reflected the ongoing effort of the festival organisers to cultivate the field of theatre played by children. This year there were six seminars led by Irena Konývková (From Theme to Interpretation), Howard Lotker (Viewpoints and Theatre with Children), Hana Cisovská (From Movement to Theatrical Shape), Tomáš Žižka (The Speech of Space), Lucie Veličková (From Play to Theatre) and Ladislav Karda (Improvisation).

Mariana Čížková: What Was the 2017 Gold Spinning (Zlatá priadka) Like? A few impressions from the national festival of Slovak children’s theatre groups held in the town of Šaľa.

Luděk Richter: Winding the Webs (Soukání) 2017 – A report on the international festival of children’s and youth theatre held in May in the West-Bohemian town of Ostrov, this year for the eleventh time. The programme included thirteen performances from nine countries: Czech Republic, Italy, Israel, Canada, Poland, Austria, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The author of the report acknowledges that during the twenty years of its existence (as it takes places every other year), the Winding the Webs festival has become a representative meeting of modern theatre played by children and youth.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Anna Hrnečková: IDEA Europe in Prague – From 13 to 16 October 2016, the city of Prague hosted a meeting of the European section of IDEA. The editor of Tvořivá dramatika briefly reports on its programme, but also characterises the organisation itself. The International Drama/Theatre and Education Association brings together drama education teachers, leaders of children and youth theatre groups and other professionals dealing with drama and theatre from more than fifty countries all over the world. The Prague meeting of IDEA Europe was organised by the Creative Dramatics Association (CZ) together with the Department of Drama in Education of DAMU (Faculty of Theatre), Prague, and there were 34 participants from 19 countries. These included a special guest, Robin Pascoe from Australia, the President of the IDEA International. Besides their discussion programme, the participants had an opportunity to see several performances of children and youth theatre groups at the DVD (CET/Children-Education-Theatre) festival organised every autumn by students of the Department of Drama in Education, DAMU.

Alena Skálová: Space for Drama Education in the School Curriculum: Inspiration Brought from London – An article summarizing the experience that a graduate of the Dept of Drama in Education, DAMU, Prague, gathered at an elementary school in London where she participated in leading drama lessons with children from weak social and economical backgrounds, children with post-traumatic stress disorder and those living in foster families. She illustrates her article by describing a programme based on a Japanese story found in a book by Becca Heddle Yoshi the Stonecutter.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

Jaroslav Provazník: Twice from Creative Drama: A Belated Review in Contribution to the Revival on the Slovak Drama-in-Education Scene – A review of two anthologies on drama education and theatre with children Tvorivá dramatika (Creative Drama) and Tvorivá dramatika II published in Slovakia.

Kateřina Řezníčková: The Theatrical Worlds of Comenius – Last year, a very thorough work on the drama works by Comenius – Jan Amos Komenský (1592–1670) was published in Prague. The review praises the book’s innovative approach and recommends it to anyone interested in Comenius as a playwright, especially because it looks at his work from many angles and sets it in historical perspective. A researcher at the Comenius studies department of the Philosophical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the book’s author Markéta Klosová is highly qualified to elaborate this topic, as she has been dealing with Comenius’ oeuvre for more than thirty years.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Gabriela Zelená Sittová: Marka Míková – Merging of Worlds – An interview with one of the most original contemporary Czech authors of children’s books who is also a singer, actress, director, musician and co-founder of the Puppets in Hospitals association.

Eva Machková: Foreign Legends Part 2: West of Aš. West and Northwest Europe – The author of this overview points out books of legends in which drama teachers can find material for their work. The second part published in this issue deals with legends from German speaking countries, Brittany, Ireland, Scotland and Scandinavia.

Kristina Procházková: Learning to Understand Visual Arts – Four reviews of books on visual arts aimed at children.

Josef Pekárek: Which magazines do children really read? – In its past few issues, Tvořivá dramatika has been paying attention to Czech magazines for children whose quality, unlike children’s books, is currently very low. In this article, a survey is presented that the author conducted at a village elementary school in Central Bohemia. He addressed a total of 184 pupils, asking them which magazines they read.

Luděk Korbel-Gabriela Zelená Sittová-Marta Žilková-Lucie Šmejkalová-Kristina Procházková-Matěj Hádek: Reviews of new books for children and youth – Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 53

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika brings a script to a dramatisation made by Marica Šišková, teacher at a Basic School of Arts in Nitra (Slovakia), to the motives of a remarkable novelette of the contemporary Russian author Pavel Sanajev Bury Me Behind the Slat. The sad story of a seven-year-old boy who lives only with his grandparents in a world of constant coarseness, verbal abuse and bans takes place in Moscow of the 1980s and is an impressive portrayal of the final stage of the Soviet regime. The group leader Marica Šišková has accompanied the script to the performance, which ranked among the most inspiring at last Year’s Gold Spinning Festival (Zlatá priadka), by methodological notes and a detailed description of the process which the group underwent from the initial brainstorming to searching for the topic and suitable theatrical means all the way to the final shape of the performance.

 

SUMMARY 2017/1

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Denisa Tchelidze: The Purpose of Aesthetic Education in Primary School Curriculum – Although all children should encounter drama, dance, literature, visual arts and music during their primary school attendance, some of these areas find their way into the curriculum with great difficulties and have to fight for survival. Situation in the Czech Republic is slowly changing due to the establishment of the National Curriculum Framework in 2005, which includes the educational area of Arts and Culture. This document makes it mandatory for schools to introduce the subjects of music and visual arts, and – provided they have a qualified teacher – also drama education, either as a separate subject or as a teaching method (applied drama). In her article, the student of the doctoral programme Theory and Practice of Drama in Education offered at the Faculty of Theatre in Prague, discusses the benefits that drama brings into primary school curriculum and the ways in which it develops the key competences.

Eva Machková: Theatre in Education continued – In further reference to her article in Tvořivá dramatika 2016/3, the author ponders over the phenomenon of theatre in education and its potential. The first and crucial question to ask is about the essence and purpose of theatre in education. Theatre, and this is also true of arts in general, does not focus on transmitting factual knowledge – if any such information appears in a  work of art, it is just as a matter of circumstances surrounding the story. The main concern of this article is to discuss what kind of subject matter is suitable for use in theatre in education. Obviously the most appropriate subjects are those involving human action, as they make it possible to form a story or at least an episode of a story. This naturally leads to frequent exploitation of historical subjects (especially everyday history), topics related to civic education, literature (and the history of literature) as well as biographies of notable personalities from the fields of science, arts, sports and economics.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Marie Nováková: Insights in Bechyně – A report on the national workshop of secondary school theatre and drama held every October in the south-Bohemian town of Bechyně. The reporter, who was a lecturer at the last year’s Insights workshop, appreciates the fact that besides the nine performances presented, the 2016 Insights also offered an interesting workshop in which theatre group members reflected both upon their own and their peers’ work. Each group was given a ten-meter long rope to symbolise a performance. They were supposed to combine it with various objects and/or live acting to illustrate the peaks and key moments of a given performance. In the position of spectators, for example, they expressed which moment in the performance made them understand its main purpose. As authors, they used the rope to illustrate the ideal form, structure and creative circumstances their performance might have taken. Among the most noteworthy performances the reporter mentions the Pigeon Mambo presented by students of the Basic School of Arts from Jindřichův Hradec, which was based on the book Frisco Pigeon Mambo written by C. D. Payne; the experimental poetry collage When 8 flips, it looks like this: ∞ put together by a group from the Basic Schools of Arts from Liberec; and Wernischáž created by students of the grammar school in Ústí nad Orlicí as a result of improvising with nonsense poetry by the Czech poet Ivan Wernisch.

Vendula Slepičková: Getting Insight or Looking Back? – This article written by a participant of the 2016 Insights workshop is meant as a polemic discussing the way debates on performances were organised.

Alexandra Štefková: My World, our Planet: The World Festival of Children’s Theatre – A report from the 14th World Festival of Children’s Theatre held in June 2016 in Stratford, Canada.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Lucie Mecová: The Garden: A drama lesson based upon the book by Jiří Trnka – The author of this article describes a programme she has designed specifically for school classes who visit children’s departments of public libraries. Having implemented it in about 50 public libraries all over the Czech Republic, she received very positive feedback. Her priority in devising this lesson was to win children’s interest for the book The Garden written and illustrated by Jiří Trnka, the world-famous Czech artist and maker of puppet films, hereby encouraging the children to read more in general. This is why she worked both with the illustrations and the text of the book. Her choice of drama methods was influenced by the target group, as the lesson was aimed at children with no prior experience with drama.

Lucie Mecová: Momo: A drama lesson based upon the book by Michael Ende – The script of the second programme for school classes who visit children’s departments of public libraries.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

Gabriela Zelená Sittová: A Well-Woven Fabric: The Speech Skills Methodology Developed by Šárka Štembergová Kratochvílová – A review of a new, updated issue of a fundamental book on speech skills training, which is an inseparable part of drama education.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Eva Koudelková: The Black Bride Set in Context – One of leading Czech experts in legends and a teacher at the Pedagogical Faculty in Liberec, Eva Koudelková discusses the extraordinary publication consisting in a selection of hitherto unpublished fairy-tales and legends gathered by collaborators of the famous 19-century poet and folklore collector Karel Jaromír Erben. The reviewed book makes readers acquainted with Czech folklore tales and legends taken down in the 1840s, presenting them in their original, raw shape untouched by literary “improvements”.

Eva Machková: Foreign Legends Part 1 – The author of this overview points out books of legends in which drama teachers can find material for their work. The first part published in this issue deals with legends from Slovakia, Lusatia, Poland, Ukraine and Ural.

Kateřina Dudová: Two Entertainment & Education Magazines for Children and Youth – Another part of the series mapping the contemporary Czech and Slovak magazines for children and youth. The article first takes a look at ABC, a magazine on science, technology and nature with a 60-year-long tradition and a somewhat questionable present state. The next periodical discussed here is Časostroj (The Time Machine), a new magazine aimed at the popularisation of history.

Luděk Korbel-Jaroslav Provazník-Eva Davidová-Marta Žilková-Michaela Lažanová-Gabriela Zelená Sittová-Klára Fidlerová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Anna Hrnečková: Reviews of new books for children and youth – Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 52

This time, the text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama), which provides teachers with inspirational texts they might use in drama education, presents a script to the performance The Apple Pie is to Blame created by a group from the Basic School of Arts in Prague 3 under the leadership of Ivana Sobková. The performance ranked among the most interesting ones at the 2016 Children’s Stage festival in Svitavy (reviewed in Tvořivá dramatika issue 2/2016) and serves as a nice example of devised theatre. It was inspired by the books by Roark Bradford Ol’ Man Adam an’ His Chillun and Ol’ King David an’ the Phillistine Boys paraphrasing the famous biblical stories.

 

SUMMARY 2016/3

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Eva Machková: History of Drama in Education in the Outline (3rd Part) – The last part of the historical outline focuses on drama education in English-speaking countries from the beginning of the 20th century up to the present time. It discusses the most important trends and concepts of drama education in the USA and the United Kingdom. Besides Winifred Ward, the author mentions the following personalities and their work: Geraldine Brain Siks, Ruth Beall Heinig, Nellie McCaslin and Viola Spolin from the United States, and Peter Slade, Brian Way, Gavin Bolton, Dorothy Heathcote, Cecily O’Neill, Jonothan Neelands and Judith Ackroyd from the UK.

Jaroslav Provazník: Eva Machková – The author of a study on the history of drama, which was published this year in the supplement of the journal Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama), is the key personality of the Czech drama education. Jaroslav Provazník summarizes her activities since the 1960s when she started to lay the foundations of modern drama education in the Czech Republic. At that time she began to publish the magazine Divadelní výchova (Theatre Education) and organize workshops and seminars for heads of children’s theatre groups and drama teachers. In the 1970s she established a tradition of national festivals of children's theatre held up to the present time under the name of Children's Stage, and has also written numerous books and articles on drama education and theatre for children and youth. In 1992 she founded the Department of Drama in Education at the Theatre Faculty in Prague where she still teaches.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Eva Machková: What is Theatre in Education and What Is It Good for? – In her article, the author characterises the main features of T. I. E. as a specific type of a participation theatre, illustrating it by several examples of Czech theatre groups who offer these kinds of productions. She mentions the DIVADELTA group who mainly explore the method of Forum Theatre. In their repertoire, they deal with issues such as aggression, bullying, xenophobia, gambling, eating disorders, old age or dying. They also seek ways to enhance inter-generation communication, safe use of the internet and financial literacy. Another type of T. I. E. focusing on educational aspects is used and developed by the SPOLUPOSPOLU group. It is based on quality literature for children and its dramatisations, which enables the participants to explore more complex and deeper themes, not necessarily limiting their focus on one specific situation or problem. Yet another type of T. I. E. activity is represented by the Prague-based DIVADLO BOŘIVOJ whose members strive to present and discuss curriculum topics (e.g. those from the subject of history) by expanding and perceiving them from the viewpoint of “everyday history” as opposed to the “great history” that deals with broader political connections and events.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Nicola Abraham: Marginalised Youth in the App Generation: Making the case for the integration of digital technologies in Process Drama – This paper intends to argue that the introduction of digital technology into Process Drama is not an attempt to replace the imaginative realm of play. Instead digital technologies can aid immersion into the liminal space of a workshop. The App Generation, Generation Z, or the ‘post-millenials’ form a new community of young people who are digitally literate, who have grown up surrounded by technology that they have learnt to engage with as part of their development: Technology is a new instrument of play. The intention of this research is to present an argument for the effectual integration of technology into Process Drama to revive and update the approach. The intention is to engage participants in an experience that speaks to their own worlds. In her article, the author draws upon a project she undertook in a primary school with six 8-9-year old children.

Pavel Vágai: Fighting Prejudice and Fear Together with Nicola Abraham – A participant of the workshop given by the drama teacher from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London University, UK, provides a detailed report of the event that took place within the national Drama in School workshop held for the 20th time in the East-Bohemian town of Jičín.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jaroslav Provazník: Walking Through the Unsightly Landscape of Czech Magazines for Children and YouthTvořivá dramatika decided to pay attention not only to new books and performances for children and youth, but also look at the magazines offered to this target group. The author of the article outlines the overall picture of the market, assessing its state as rather dismal. He observes that unlike the book production, the offer of magazines aimed at children and youth in the past two decades consists predominantly of commercial and garish periodicals. Among the very few exceptions of quality children’s magazines that have appeared within the last twenty years, he especially appreciates the quarterly Raketa.

Kristina Procházková: Three, two, one, launch – Rocket flies! – A review of the Raketa (Rocket), a new magazine for children and youth, exceptional in its quality.

Kristýna Plíhalová: Čtyřlístek: Quality Gone Stale – A reflection on a traditional comics magazine for children that has been published since the 1960s. The author claims in her article that this still popular magazine has been stagnating in the past few years.

Marta Žilková: Children’s Magazines in Slovakia – A study on magazines for children and youth in Slovakia. Besides purely commercial titles, the author points out the Slniečko magazine that has maintained its high literary and visual standards for many decades.

Luděk Korbel- Lucie Šmejkalová-Klára Fidlerová-Kristýna Plíhalová-Michaela Lažanová: Reviews of new books for children and youth – Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 51

Irena Konývková: Útěk – The present text supplement offers the script to a performance inspired by the remarkable psychological novelette by Ota Hofman. The performance of the HOP-HOP group from Ostrov (Western Bohemia) was awarded a price at the festival of basic schools of arts held in Litvínov from 2–5 June 2016 and was also presented at the Children’s Stage national festival in Svitavy on 14 June 2016. Ivana Konývková, the leader of the group and author of the dramatisation, has accompanied the script by numerous methodological and dramaturgical notes explaining how this performance featuring only two actors came into being.

 

SUMMARY 2016/2

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Eva Machková: History of Drama in Education in the Outline (2nd Part) – This part of the historical outline focuses on the establishment of the modern Czech drama education in the 1960s. E. Machková points out that its development was influenced by worldwide changes in the concept of the relationship of child vs. school and child vs. drama activities that were taking place during the early decades of the 20th century, specifically mentioning the name of Winifred Ward. After some isolated attempts throughout the first half of the century, modern Czech drama education underwent major development in the1960s, taking predominantly the form of theatre with children up until the late 1980s. (Drama became part of school curricula only in the 1990s). In the 1960s, however, leaders of children’s drama and puppet theatre groups started to discover the possibilities of devised theatre with children and departments of drama were established at the newly founded basic schools of arts. E. Machková introduces here the leading personalities of the founding generation of Czech drama education as well as several younger teachers whose active careers started in the 1980s. Another phenomenon that significantly enhanced the development of the field was the national festival and workshop of theatre with children established in the early 1970s in Kaplice and held to the present time under the name Children’s Stage (Dětská scéna), since 2011 in the town of Svitavy. After 1990 drama education started spreading across schools of all levels and the field of drama in education was further enriched after 1992 by the establishment of the Creative Dramatics Association (Sdružení pro tvořivou dramatiku), founding of the Tvořivá dramatika field journal and the establishment of two university departments of drama in education in Prague and Brno.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Hana Cisovská: Children’s Stage 2016: Record-Breaking, Rich and Colourful – The reporter considers the 2016 Children’s Stage festival and workshop of drama (representing the 45th year of the event) to have been very successful. The main programme consisted of 19 performances by children’s groups. These were very varied in terms of the age of actors (ranging from 7 to 15), literary originals that inspired the performances as well as chosen genres. The reporter, a teacher of drama at the Pedagogical Faculty of the University in Ostrava, especially appreciated the performance Ol’ Man Adam an’ His Chillun based on the famous book by Roark Bradford which was prepared by Ivana Sobková with her group from the Basic School of Arts in Prague 3. Among other inspiring performances the report mentions an original parable about love called Láskotoč (Love-Go-Round) played by the group from the secondary grammar school from Ústí nad Orlicí, a witty collage put together by a group of very young children from the Basic School of Arts in Mohelnice Kdybych já byl dospělý (If Only I Was Grown-Up) inspired by the children’s book by the Hungarian author Éva Janikovszky, and the story Leni about a Czech girl transported to Nazi Germany during WWII which was performed by the group from a primary school in Liberec. The reporter concludes by claiming that this year’s Children’s Stage proved that theatre with children was an important part of education for future generations.

Denisa Tchelidze: The Power of Crowd, the Power of Individuality – A detailed description of a workshop introduced within the 2016 Children’s Stage festival in Svitavy that was led by Michael Woodward, English actor and teacher from the Redbridge Youth Theatre Workshop in London.

Roman Černík: Czech Theatre of Teenagers in Five Days or What about the Young Stage this Year? – The reporter, drama teacher from the Pilsen Pedagogical Faculty, looks back on the 15th Young Stage, the national festival of theatre with teenagers held annually at the East-Bohemian town of Ústí nad Orlicí.

Mariana Čížková: 2016 Gold Spinning – A few impressions from the nationwide festival of Slovak children’s theatre groups held in the town of Šaľa. Just as the Children’s Stage in the Czech Republic, the Slovak festival also celebrated its 45th year of existence. The reporter compares the two festivals and describes in more detail the extraordinary performance Bury Me Behind the Slat prepared by the children’s group from the Basic School of Arts in Nitra on the basis of the autobiographic book of the same name written by the contemporary Russian author Pavel Sanayev that tells the tragic story of a child living in appalling conditions only with grandma and grandpa.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Anna Hrnečková: The Fourth Meeting of Drama Centers – The Association of Drama Centers of the Czech Republic founded in 2011 has annually organised a work meeting in which drama centers from all over the Czech Republic introduce their programmes designed for school classes, exchange professional experience and consult strategies of introducing drama lessons into schools. This year in February the meeting took place at the Labyrinth Studio of Drama Education in Brno. Besides teachers from the hosting city, THeatr Ludem drama centre from Ostrava contributed to the programme with their project on Charles IV, the Pilsen drama centre Johann brought a programme about researching everyday history and Sdružení D from Olomouc shared a project called Hate Has No Rightful Place of the Net. The meeting featured an important guest, Keith Homer, a long-time director of the Redbridge Drama Centre in London, which had inspired the establishment of the first drama centre in the Czech Republic in Brno-Lužánky.

Ivana Mináriková-Tomáš Chaloupka: Love in Defiance to Social Prejudice – A drama lesson for 14-15-year old students to the motives of Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet.

Denisa Tchelidze: The Value-Based Education of Sister Cyril Mooney – Information on a seminar led by sister Cyril Mooney in the spring of 2016 in Brno. The system is based on peer-to-peer education and cooperative group work, developing equality of all participants in an environment of diversity, where teachers guide and center children with the decision-making abilities and trust to make a contribution that impacts others in the world around them.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

Jaroslav Provazník: Creative Writing in the Teaching of Literature – A review of the book Creative Writing in the Teaching of Literature: Learning about the World written by Zbyněk Fišer and his Colleagues from the Masaryk University in Brno.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Anna Hrnečková-Denisa Tchelidze-Jakub Hulák-Jaroslav Provazník: A Festival on the Occasion of the International Day of Theatre for Children and Youth – A review mosaic assessing performances shown at the festival organised by the Czech centre of ASSITEJ and held this year in March in Prague on the occasion of the International Day of Theatre for Children and Youth. This festival annually offers quality performances for children and youth that were created in the Czech Republic both by professionals and children’s theatre groups.

Kristina Procházková: D.O.M.E.K. A D.E.S.I.G.N. – A review of two interesting Polish books for children dealing with architecture and applied arts that have been translated into Czech.

Anna Hrnečková-Luděk Korbel-Eva Davidová-Klára Fidlerová-Michalea Lažanová-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Lucie Šmejkalová: Reviews of new performances and books for children and youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 50

Zdeňka Bezděková-Miloslava Čechlovská-Jaromíra Šírlová: Leni – The present text supplement brings two scripts. First of them is a two-day drama lesson for 10-11-year-old children designed by two drama teachers from a primary school in Liberec. They drew inspiration from the book Říkali mi Leni (They Called me Leni) by Zdeňka Bezděková about a Czech girl transported to Germany during WWII. The other script captures a performance created later on the basis of the above-mentioned lesson. It was carried out with 14-15-year-old children from the same school who were also interested in dealing with the topic. The performance ranked among the most inspiring ones at this year’s Children’s Stage national festival.

 

SUMMARY 2016/1

REFLECTIONS–CONCEPTS–CONTEXTS

Eva Machková: History of Drama in Education in the Outline – The first part of a material written by Eva Machková that is to be continued in two subsequent issues of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama). In this part she discusses the roots of drama and theatre in education within Czech environment, namely school theatre from the Middle Ages to the time of reforms introduced by Joseph II. She goes on to characterise the period of the 19th and 20th centuries when children’s performances started to take on the form of leisure time activities carried out on school grounds, yet for a long time possessed a rather didactic and moralizing nature. Out of the movement of reformed pedagogy, the personality of Miloslav Disman emerged, bridging the period of reformist pedagogical movements of the first half of the 20th century with that of modern Czech drama in education in the 1960s.

 

DRAMA–ART–THEATRE                                      

Jakub Doubrava: The Sight of the 2015 Insights – The 2015 Insights workshop of secondary school and youth drama held from 22th to 25th October in Bechyně marked the 26th year of the event’s existence. Actor, performer and director Jakub Doubrava took part in it as a discussion leader and in this article reports on the performances he has seen. He appreciates the fact that the follow-up discussions were held in an atmosphere of mutual respect and interest in the experience of others.

 

APPLIED DRAMA–EDUCATION–SCHOOL

Jitka Míčková: The Little Witch in Kindergarten – The article deals with implementing drama in everyday kindergarten activities. Jitka Míčková ponders here both over the advantages and limitations of doing drama with preschool children and describes her project inspired by the book The Little Witch by Otfried Preußler, consisting of ten subsequent 45-minutes lessons carried out during two weeks in kindergarten, utilising predominantly drama methods.

 

REFLECTIONS–REVIEWS–INFORMATION

Eva Machková: Visual Arts Drama? – Eva Machková clarifies the relationship between visual arts and drama in her review of the new Czech book Visual arts Drama in Educational Practice by Ivana Bečvářová. The book contains a description of fifteen lessons for various age groups ranking from pre-school children to their teachers. Eva Machková objects, however, that the book does not in fact deal with visual arts drama, because most lessons lack essential elements of drama. Despite this objection she recommends the book to drama teachers as a useful source of inspiration for their work.

Jan Slavík: Pondering Over Visual Arts Drama – Another review of the same book was written by a visual arts theoretician teaching at the Pedagogical Faculty of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. He finds the lessons presented in the book inspiring and stimulating and believes teachers can take good advantage of them in their work. As part of his review, Jan Slavík reflects the special position of visuals arts drama that balances on the border of theory and practice.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Labyrinth of The World and Paradise of the Heart: A Unique Piece of Work by the Drak Theatre. Hradec Králové 21. 3.–17. 4. 2015 – In the spring of 2015, the Drak theatre introduced an extensive project inspired by the work of Comenius, Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart… The project was intended for children aged 11+ and at its core was a non-traditional performance taking place all over the theatre building and in an adjoining Labyrinth. Other parts of the project included a blog searching for connections between the work of Comenius and the city of Hradec Králové, a children’s performance looking at the same topics through children’s eyes and an exhibition reflecting the progress of the project. The performance won the award of the Divadelní noviny theatrical journal in the puppet and visual theatre category. This article consists of excerpts from a catalogue that accompanies the project and is to be published in February 2016.

Dominika Špalková: Theatre as a Living Organism – The author of the overall concept describes here the developmental stages of the Labyrinth project – examining the topic, working dramaturgically on the literary work and shaping the direction and visual concept. She goes on to describe the whole performance inspired by the methods of site-specific and immersive theatre.

Tomáš Žižka: Varying Forms of Theatre: Unlike Culture, There is Continuity in the Landscape and in the Relation to Heaven – The stage designer of the Labyrinth project reflects theatre as a social act reaching a specific community, creating a kind of climate and facilitating contact both among the community members themselves and between them and the surrounding world.

Jan Svoboda: On Not Being a Spectator – Jan Svoboda is a co-author of the visual concept of the Labyrinth project and in his article he discusses the word “guest” as opposed to the more common “spectator”. This is precisely what he appreciates about the project: that visitors were drawn into activity as guests, being left to their own devices inside a labyrinth of events, thoughts, stories, people and spaces.

Dragan Stojćevski: Exhibiting or Staging a Story: A Spatial Reflection of the Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart – The author, a costume designer of Labyrinth, describes the principles of the immersive theatre that have been used in the project. The performance takes place in several places at once, letting each spectator experience the story in his or her own unique way.

Anna Hrnečková: The Labyrinth Through Children’s Eyes: Mode Comenius – An article written by the initiator of a parallel performance accompanying the Labyrinth project whose protagonists were children aged 10 to 13. Here she describes the genesis of the performance.

Kristina Procházková: Two Galleries or the Adventurous World of Visual Arts – These reviews look at two books for children which invite young readers to enter the world of visual arts in original and inspiring ways. The first book called Why Paintings Do Not Need Names won the 2015 Magnesia Litera award in the category of literature for children and youth. Its authors Ondřej Horák and Jiří Franta try to convince the readers that a visit to a gallery need not be boring but, on the contrary, can become an adventure. The other book called the Gallery or Arthur’s Adventure (2015) came into being in collaboration of the Meander publishing house and the National Gallery in Prague. It is a pop-up book in which pictures come alive through moving components. The reviewer finds the latter book to be of poorer literary quality, but still she believes both publications can serve as stimulators for children to start discovering the multi-faceted world of visual arts.

Anna Hrnečková: Theatre in Books for Young Readers – This article deals with books on theatre intended for children, analysing eleven Czech publications on the topic. According to the reviewer, their quality varies but none of them can be labelled as very good. Sadly, most of them approach theatre as something that has not changed over the past hundred years and that attracts mostly old people.

Eva Davidová-Iva Lubinová-Gabriela Zelená Sittová-Luděk Korbel-Lucie Šmejkalová-Marta Žilková-Ondřej Šulc: Reviews of new books and theatres for children and youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 49

The text supplement contains a script to the performance Who Do Foxes Drink put together and played by the Zhasni! group from the Basic School of Arts in Uničov led by Jana Jurkasová. The performance was inspired by the eponymous book by the contemporary author Lidmila Kábrtová which deals with the life of a child under the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. In 2015 the play appeared as a guest performance at several young theatre festivals. The supplement also brings a text written by Jana Jurkasová, How Children from Uničov Approached the Foxes that documents the genesis of the performance including the pitfalls that the group faced. The author of the literary model has contributed by an article called Wolves, Slovak Language and Overalls, in which she comments on three staging approaches adopted to her book of fiction.

 

SUMMARY 2015/3

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Irina Ulrychová: Montage as Inspiration for the Dramaturgy of Theatre with Children: Echoes of the 2015 Children’s Stage – The author, teacher at the Department of Drama in Education of the Faculty of Theatre in Prague, discusses several performances of this year’s Children’s Stage national festival that use the principle of montage. „Theatre with children is to a great extent devising theatre,“ she writes. Out of the festival’s seventeen performances, five have used the montage (collage) principle. Two of them had no literary model – the themes were based on children’s real experiences. The performance called Jola, which means “suitcase” in Ladakh, was a narrative of a Kashmir boy about the life in the Himalayas. Another performance, Nightmares, drew on the real-life fears and anxieties of the theatre group members. Other three were based on literary texts, but these were treated in original and unexpected ways.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

The introductory article of this issue is followed by three contributions of theatre group heads who describe the genesis of the performances mentioned by Irina Ulrychová in her article.

Kateřina Oplatková Rezková: A Commented Walk with the Midday Witch – The leader of the theatre group from Lidice makes readers acquainted with the creative process of children working with the classic ballad by the Czech romantic poet Karel Jaromír Erben The Midday Witch and describes how children were discovering up-to-date topics in this 19-century text.

Michal Ston: Ways to “Hi, I’m...” The author who teaches at the private Basic School of Arts Trnka in Pilsen looks back on a year-long work of his theatre group consisting of children aged 13–15. They worked on a performance based on two books by the contemporary Slovak writer Juraj Šebesta about the coming of age of young people which provided motives for the original collage called Hi, I’m...

Jiřina Krtičková: Nightmares – a Devising Theatre Performance of Pupils from the Basic School of Arts in Třebechovice pod Orebem – A teacher from the above-mentioned school takes readers through the script to the montage performance created from brief everyday situations in which children perceive fear or anxiety, from those seemingly unimportant (such as cutting of hair) all the way to very serious ones which include fear caused by parents fighting or loneliness.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Jaroslav Provazník: Jičín and its Place in the Map of Drama in Education: Looking Back on Twenty Drama at School Workshops – Held every September in the East-Bohemian town of Jičín, the nationwide workshop Drama in School is, besides the Children’s Stage national festival, another important event organised by the Czech Creative Dramatics Association. The author of this article, who has been responsible for the organisation since the beginnings, recapitulates the twenty years during which more than 1070 people from all over the Czech Republic participated in the event. Apart from workshops contributing to the professional development of drama teachers (personal and social skills, voice, movement, the teacher-in-role technique, etc.), participants could choose workshops dealing with drama methods in the teaching of literature, visual arts, music and history, or in working with preschool children, for example. An important part of the event consists in workshops led by experts from abroad – during the twenty years these have included Warwick Dobson, Tony Goode, John Somers, Allan Owens, Rives Collins, David Davis, David Booth, Gábor Takács, Julian Boal and, this year, Tintti Karppinen. The author of the article concludes by claiming that the Drama in School workshops have significantly contributed to the development of the field and enriched the image of drama education by providing new impulses and directions.

Irena Holemá: Jičín 2015 with Tintti Karppinen – A detailed report on this year’s workshop led by a drama teacher from Finland. „Although I have been doing drama for years,” says the reporter, a kindergarten director who taught drama at a primary school for many years and now is a teacher of drama at the Pedagogical Faculty in Prague, „meeting the Finnish drama lecturer was a valuable experience for me, as she presented us with many interesting variations of games and exercises which some of us had only known in a basic form. It was fascinating to observe how Tintti’s entire work in the field of drama is firmly rooted in her life philosophy and rich life experience. Each drama activity was justified within the whole. An important observation was how crucial it was for every participant of a drama lesson to be given enough space for his or her expression as well as sufficient attention and safety ensured by the teacher.“

Miroslav Gažák: Drama in the Teaching of Music at Secondary School – The author describes the ways in which he uses drama methods in his music lessons with secondary school students, in this case in presenting historical facts on life and work of the Russian composer Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

Josef Valenta: Drama in the Service of History: A Book Report.  – A report on the book by Veronika Rodová Drama Education in the Service of History Teaching: The Education Potential of theThematic Cooperative Learning published by the Masaryk University in Brno.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Kristina Procházková: Shaun Tan, Interpreter of Ideas – The author of the article discusses several books by this outstanding Australian writer and illustrator.

Luděk Korbel-Eva Davidová-Klára Fidlerová-Michaela Korcová-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Markéta Nedevová: Reviews of new books for children and youth – Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 48

Soňa Pavelková: Little Shards – The text supplement brings the script to a remarkable performance that came into being as early as the 1970s as one of the pioneering ventures of children’s devising theatre using the collage principles that appeared in Czechoslovakia. The HOP-HOP theatre group founded and led by Soňa Pavelková at the Basic School of Arts in Ostrov presented Little Shards at the Kaplice Theatre Summer (a predecessor of today’s Children’s Stage) in 1977. The performance ranked among the most powerful experiences of the festival – not only because of its theme, which was unique in children’s theatre of the time, but also owing to the original way in which it was conceived.

Jaroslav Provazník: Soňa Pavelková on Little Shards and Other Things – Parts of an interview with the theatre group leader and author of the published script.

Zdena Josková: Little Shards in the History of Theatre with Children – Zdena Josková systematically dedicated her efforts to the dramaturgy of theatre with children from the mid-1970s, leading seminars on dramaturgy and dramatisation for theatre and educational professionals all the way to the 1990s. An excerpt from her article on the dramaturgy of theatre with children characterises the basic features of the performance called Little Shards (Střepinky), which became a milestone in seeking themes and forms of a play with children’s hero from the present time.

 

SUMMARY 2015/2

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Christiane Page: Theatrical Activities in French Schools in the Past and at Present: Some Reflections of the Complex History – The author briefly summarizes the development of drama in education in France from its beginnings all the way to the present day. She mentions the origins of school theatre at universities, mentions the major personalities of French theatre such as Jacques Copeau and Charles Dullin, the New Education international movement as well as representatives of drama in education (Jeu dramatique) including Léon Chancerel, Marie Dienesch or Miguel Demuynck. She examines the development in light of the change in activities that may be seen as the beginnings of drama in education, especially the changes in using ready-made texts one hand and improvising on the other. She points out that drama, whether in the form of working with a literary text or improvisation, should first of all encourage children to seek their own attitudes to theatre, but also help them become informed spectators. This is because drama is one of experimental ways of examining all that the word theatre encompasses.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Veronika Rodová: Children’s Theatre Has a Purpose – 44th Children’s Stage Festival – Being one of the Children’s Stage Journal editors, the reporter looks back on the 44th Children’s Stage, the national festival of children’s theatre and reciting held annually at the East-Bohemian town of Svitavy. Her focus is on critical assessment of the theatrical part of the festival. In her report, she divides the eighteen performances into three groups according to the age of children actors, the youngest group aged up to 10, the second covering the ages 10 to 14 and the third involving groups with the prevalence of 15-year olds, which is the upper age limit at the festival. The reporter gives a brief description and assessment of each performance, pointing out the most frequent issues mentioned both by the lecturers and in public discussions. She concludes by stating that children actors at this year’s Children’s Stage communicated in a sincere and natural manner, which also resulted in spontaneous enjoyment of the performances by their peers in the audience. In her opinion, the festival has opened up a space where the individual theatrical expression of children and their responsibility for the common outcome can be cultivated.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Klára Fidlerová: 20th International Congress Drama in Education: Multiculturalism and Migration – The author of this article has participated in the international conference Drama in Education held by AITA/IATA in collaboration with the Austrian ÖBV Theater, this year again in Retzhof, Austria. She reports on the progress of the conference and the workshops offered there, focusing on the one led by Nicola Abraham, teacher at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London). Its five parts included model lessons of drama for children of various ages, often coming from weak social of economic backgrounds (I. Community mapping; II. topic: Harry Potter; III. topic: Pirates of the Caribbean; IV. topic: five portraits of young people; V. topic: The Wizard of Oz). The lecturer introduced the deconstruction technique as a very effective means of opening up intercultural themes in working with children. Klára Fidlerová also describes the workshop led by Manfred Schewe, professor from the University of Cork, who dealt with multiculturalism using the experimental piece of drama The Golden Dragon written by the contemporary German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig as well as the motif of bird migration and the short story The Green Dragon by Franz Kafka. Another workshop was led by Marcel Diaz, Argentine director and professor of several universities worldwide, who presented his directorial and acting concept. He had varying pairs work in improvisations intended to clarify the basic principles of the acting (context, conflict, text, character). The workshop of Michael Wrentschur was based on Augusto Boal’s forum theatre and presented by the InterAct theatre group from Graz, who, under Wrentschur’s leadership, have been striving to change the social and political situation in Graz on long-term basis. The workshop participants have been made acquainted thoroughly with a part of the Rainbow of Wishes technique.

Jana Andrejsková: The Pedagogical Poem: The Circle is Closing – In November 2015, the Moravian town of Kroměříž is going to host the 48th Pedagogical Poem national festival and workshop where students of pedagogical secondary schools, who are training to become kindergarten teachers and school club leaders, will present and practise reading of poetry and fiction as well as theatre improvisation. The reporter, member of the organising team, has participated in the festival for several decades and so this year, which is going to be her 35th, she has taken the opportunity to recapitulate the development of the event established in Kroměříž in 1967. In the beginning, it was a competition in poetry and fiction reciting; several years later, two more categories were added after thorough discussions: improvised storytelling and loud reading of literary texts. Later, the Ministry of Education became the official organiser of the event. The year 2008 marked an important turning point, as twenty teachers of pedagogical secondary schools got together and outlined a set of clear rules which they submitted for approval to the Association of pedagogical secondary schools. The Association then became the only guarantor of the Pedagogical Poem and the competition was transformed into a festival. However, school directors appealed to the association, expressing their wish for a competitive event. As a result, the Pedagogical Poem is going to be a competition again, starting this year. It will be organised in three rounds – at the class, school and national level. Besides kindergarten children, lower primary school pupils and students of the first two years of secondary school, senior citizens have been added as a new target group for the participants’ performances. These are assessed by lecturers who first get to know the students within creative workshops that are part of the event.

Roman Manda: Pedagogical Poem: From Competition to Festival – The author of the article is a teacher of drama in education at the pedagogical lyceum in Havířov and also the archivist of the Pedagogical Poem festival. He became acquainted with the event in 2008 when it changed from a competition to a festival. In his article, he explains its concept and the changes that occurred in the course of time. He points out that the event serves as means of education not only for students, but also for the teachers to whom the festival offers workshops as well. He concludes by expressing his worries about the present return to competitiveness and its potentially negative impact on the nature of the event.

Jana Posníková: The D Association from Olomouc and Theatre Forum – An interview with Zuzana Zapletalová, one of the lecturers of the D Association Drama Centre from Olomouc which focuses on developing lessons aimed at negative social phenomena prevention (the topics including drug addiction, xenophobia, anorexia, etc.), as well as personal development and adaptation of individuals within the peer group. The lecturers use educational methods based on staging. Their latest project, Hatred Has no Place on the Internet, is a complex programme against cyber bullying. It consists of a theatre forum and a campaign that introduces a website aimed at this topic. The interview deals mainly with the above-mentioned project.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

Klára Fidlerová: Developing Children, not Drama – A review of the second, revised and complete edition of the book Development Through Drama by the British drama teacher Brian Way bears in its title the main underlying principle promoted by this personality, one of the “founding fathers” of modern drama in education. The reviewer appreciates the clear methodology, accompanied by many examples and self-contained lessons. She considers the book to be a highly useful guide for beginning teachers, as it contains a great deal of advice presented in a very open-minded manner, demonstrating how the right way towards drama work is through developing one’s own strengths. From today’s viewpoint it is interesting to see how important it was way back in the 1960s to defend arguments that are nowadays perceived as a matter of fact. The only drawback mentioned in the review is the not so clearly organised structure of Way’s text that make the book somewhat difficult to read, especially at the beginning.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jaroslav Provazník: The Great Little Lalula – A review of the book of poetry called The Little Lalula, containing poems of four “German nonsense poetry classics” selected and skilfully translated by one of the outstanding contemporary Czech poets, Radek Malý. The poets whose work is represented here are Christian Morgenstern, Joachim Ringelnatz, H. C. Artmann and Ernst Jandl. Out of these four, Czech readers will probably be most familiar with Morgenstern thanks to the congenial translation made by the famous tandem of translators Josef Hiršal and Bohumila Grögerová. Radek Malý accomplished the challenging task with excellence. His translations are by no heavy-footed stylistic exercises, but playful and elegant verses in which the poet draws upon his own imagination and sense of language while respecting the original form of the poems.

Jaroslav Provazník-Gabriela Sittová-Iva Lubinová-Michaela Lažanová-Michaela Korcová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Markéta Nedevová: Reviews of new books for children and youth – Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 47

The text supplement contains two scripts by Richard Koníř, leader of a children’s theatre group from the primary school in Jičín. Both texts are aimed at younger children with little theatrical experience. The first text, The Seven Days, is a dramatisation of a grotesque modern fairy-tale by František Nepil. The second, Sam the Cook and the Mermaids, is a dramatisation of the American fairy-tale adapted by the Czech poet and writer Pavel Šrut. Performances of the children’s theatre group from Jičín were seen at the Children’s Stage festival both last and this year. The scripts are accompanied by notes written by the group leader; they focus on the methodology of theatrical work with children and the development of the two dramatisations and performances.

 

SUMMARY 2015/1

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Tomáš Doležal: Drama in the Czech Educational System – This article based on previous research attempts to outline the current situation of drama in education as used in the primary schools in the Czech Republic. Out of the total of 70 primary schools in South Moravia, which the author included in his research study, 34 (i. e. 49 %) mention using drama in their school curricula. The most frequent way of applying drama is incorporating it into other subjects or projects. 23 schools teach drama as an independent subject, either obligatory or optional. The author poses a question whether this is enough. In the Czech National Curriculum Framework, drama is identified as an additional field (unlike visual arts and music, which are compulsory), so primary schools are not obliged to incorporate drama in their curricula. In light of this fact, the number of schools that do include drama is relatively high. Yet the author adds: If we take into account that art with all its disciplines has been an integral part of the history and culture of every civilised society, the situation is not quite satisfactory.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Vladimír Fekar: Naked and Exposed Youngsters in Bechyně: A grown-up festival dealing with teenagers – The playwright and dramaturg of the Municipal Theatre in Zlín Vladimír Fekar was a lecturer at the Insights (Nahlížení), the 25th national festival and workshop of secondary school drama and young theatre held in October 2014. In his article, he looks back on the festival programme consisting of seven performances of youngster groups from all around the Czech Republic and one guest performance of a group from Slovakia. „The Insights have left a very positive memory,” writes the reporter. “I have seen courage and willingness of youngsters to expose themselves and thus make themselves vulnerable through themes they chose for their performances, putting into the centre of attention heroes of their age, with whom they can fully identify, heroes representing their personal problems and their need to learn about the world.“ He writes in more detail on a performance that strongly captured his interest, namely The Naked played by the BUDDETO! group from the Trnka private basic school of arts from Pilsen, led by Michal Ston. In conclusion, Vladimír Fekar states: „I believe the most valuable feature of the whole festival consists in discussions and reflections. The Insights have preserved their workshop atmosphere where the main aim is not just presenting one’s achievements to others, but also learning to reflect the performances. The organizers have succeeded in creating conditions under which participants can capture their impressions from performances in creative ways. This year’s workshops focused on creating optical poems as metaphors for respective performances. These have become the primary impulse for the discussion on each piece.“

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

One Plus One is More than Two, or What is "Visual Arts Drama" ? – Continuation of the series on combining the methods of drama and visual arts education. This issue of Creative Drama (Tvořivá dramatika) brings the following contributions:

Hana Habrychová Koutová: Visual Arts and Drama Workhops with Moments of Surprise – A paper on visual art and drama workshops dealing with various epochs of art history. These are intended for secondary school students and combine the elements of literature (Ovid, Shakespeare, K. J. Erben, F. G. Lorca), drama and visual arts in a mutually enriching way in order to intensify the participants’ experience.

Veronika Výprachtická: Visual Elements in Drama and Drama as a Guide to a Work of Fine Art – In this article, a lecturer describes her experience with combining drama and visual arts activities both in drama groups and programmes held at the National Gallery in Prague.

Božena Osvaldová: The Way towards Visual Drama – A student at the Dpt. of Drama in Education of DAMU and a teacher at the basic school of arts points out that combining elements of fine arts and drama not only enriches both fields, but children profit from it greatly while learning to know themselves and the world. She concludes by claiming that  “combining both fields with their specific methods, reflecting themes through this ‘double point of view‘ and absorbing the aesthetic principles of visual arts and drama leads students to understand art in general.“

Hana Stonová Prančlová: Combining Art and Drama Activies: Benefiting Each Other – A drama and visual arts teacher describes her own experience of using drama activities during visual arts classes and, vice versa, taking advantage of visual arts activities in drama education. „I perceive these two art disciplines as very close to each other,” she concludes. “In visual arts there is often a strong dramatic element present – sculptors and painters capture man and his existence or behaviour not only in common genre images, but also in very dramatic situations, such as war or the suffering of martyrs. A visual artist in fact needs to be a good director. Genres such as action art or happening have blurred the borderline between visual arts and drama to a great extent. The world of drama can undoubtedly be enriching for visual artists. Theatre, on the other hand, is a synthesizing art discipline, and as such cannot exist without the visual element.”

Vendula Slepičková: A Natural Way from the Superficial to the Deep – The author, a teacher at a grammar school and basic school of arts in South Bohemia, writes on her experience of applying drama methods to visual arts lessons and using elements of fine arts in the teaching of drama.

Veronika Blažková-Petra Jančová-Kateřina Michlová: The Coference of the Birds: A Weekend Workshop Based on the Book by Petr Sís – A report on a drama and fine-art workshop project implemented by students of the Dpt. of Drama in Education of DAMU. Visual and text material for the project was taken from the book The Conference of the Birds written by the famous Czech artist and author living in New York.

Jaroslav Provazník: The Peter Brook’s Conference of the Birds.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

Eva Machková: The Story of Mateřídouška – A review of a unique book mapping the almost 70-year-long history of the longest-published Czech magazine for children from its first issue in December 1945 all the way to 2013. The reviewer appreciates that the author treats the respective stages of its development in a systematic and well-organised manner while keeping her style readable. She points out that the monograph not only captures the history of one specific magazine, but also reflects the transformation of the Czech literature for children from 1945 up to the present day.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Gabriela Sittová: Shel Silverstein Should Become the Ombudsman for Children’s Rights – An article on the Czech translation of a poetry book A Light in the Attic (the Czech title being Jen jestli si nevymejšlíš) written by Shel Silverstein, accompanied by an interview with Stanislav Rubáš, one of its translators, who talks here about this extraordinary American author and the adventurous way towards translating these playful, partly nonsense verses.

Eva Machková: There is Only So Much that a Fairy-Tale Can Take – A reflection on the generally very poor quality of Czech TV films based on fairy-tale motives.

Luděk Korbel: Two Books by Radek Malý – A review of two new books written by one of the most interesting contemporary Czech poets writing for children.

Anna Hrnečková: Books from the Homecoming Hospice – Information on two books for children dealing with the theme of death and dying.

Luděk Korbel-Gabriela Sittová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Klára Fidlerová-Michaela Lažanová-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Markéta Nedevová-Marta Žilková: Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 46

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika brings the script to one of the most inspiring performances played by youngsters in the last year. The performance called The Naked (Nazí) is based on a great psychological novel of the same name written by Iva Procházková. This story of several teenagers was staged by the BUDDETO! group from Pilsen led by Michal Ston. In his report on the 2014 Insights festival, where the performance was also seen, Vladimír Fekar characterises it in the following way: „Both the monologue form and the stage design underline the solitude of the characters and the difficulties they experience while relating to the surrounding world. In The Naked, we see the coyote as a symbolic creature – a wild, but free and vulnerable animal which cannot survive in captivity. The Naked is a play about seeking one’s own self, about the necessity to achieve the inner, not just outer freedom.“ The script is accompanied by dramaturgic and methodological notes by the theatre group describing the development of the performance.

 

SUMMARY 2014/3

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Anna Hrnečková: Dramatising Extensive Epic Material for Children’s Groups  – This text brings an overview and analysis of the dramatisations that appeared in Czech children’s theatre during the last two or three decades. Its author has examined scripts (both manuscripts and published scripts) as well as videos archived at the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Faculty of Theatre in Prague. It is her belief that in assessing the quality of texts for the theatre with children, one has to combine theatrical and theoretical points of view with the knowledge of developmental psychology, especially the developmental stages of children’s acting. „The theatrical potential is not all that matters,“ she points out. „The educational potential, or in other words what children learn in the process, is equally important. Besides the themes and situations that children discover and the knowledge they gain, there is the benefit of them being confronted with different principles of artistic expression. One can also assess a text with regard to the target group (audience). A very important aspect is considering how suitable the text is for the given group of children.“ Anna Hrnečková also deals with the relationship between the dramatic text and children’s acting, briefly outlines the history of dramatisation work in Czech children’s theatre, but the core of her work consists in analysing selected scripts including their structure (drama structure vs. epic principles), discusses various ways of employing the narrator and constructing characters (paying attention to adult characters in theatre with children), metaphors, etc. The study is a part of a master’s thesis presented at the Department of Theatre Studies of the Philosophical Faculty in Prague.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Václava Makovcová: 13th World Festival of Children’s Theatre – That’s Where We Have Been! – A participant’s of the the World Festival of Children’s Theatre held at the turn of July and August 2014 in Lingen, Germany. The reporter is one of the two leaders of the children’s theatre group Tři boty (Three Shoes) from the Czech town of Třebotov, who participated at the festival with their performance called Nu vot!, an adaptation of the classic Russian fairy-tale The Tsarina Frog. The reporter appreciates the excellent organisation of the event and comments on several of the festival’s performances.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

One Plus One is More than Two or What is "Visual Arts Drama" ? – Continuation of the series on combining the methods of drama and visual arts education. This issue of Creative Drama (Tvořivá dramatika) brings the contribution by Martina Černá Possibilities and Benefits of Combining Visual Arts and Drama in Teaching – Drama teacher at the Basic School of Arts in Jesenice discusses interrelations between theatre and visual arts both in regular school lessons and gallery workshop.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Anna Hrnečková: The Menteatrál Festival – The editor of Tvořivá dramatika reports of an exceptional event that took place in summer 2014 in Neratov, a little town in the Orlice mountains, where several drama groups of mentally handicapped people met. She shares her impressions from what was for her the most powerful theatrical experience, the performance Romeo + Julie = VSL jointly created by students of theatre schools and handicapped clients from the Neratov social centre. It bore witness to the fact that during the two-week workshop that preceded the performance, a total symbiosis of “healthy” and “handicapped” actors was achieved. It was therefore not theatrical work of one group led by the other, but a truly common creative process. “Creative” refers not only to play enjoyed by all participants, but especially the shared view of the world and theatre communicated to the audience.

Kristina Procházková: The Great Expectations of the Czech Board Book? – Information on the activities of the newly founded Prague-based little publishing house Běžíliška, which has the aim of producing quality books for little children, with attention paid both to text and illustration. This ambition is witnessed by the first two picture books published: a book of poetry by Petr Borkovec Všechno je to v zahradě (It’s All in the Garden) with poetic illustrations of Filip Pošívač, and a mini-story by Robin Král and the artist Andrea Tachezy about a lost bat called Ferdinand! The article is complemented by the reporter’s interview with the founder of the publishing house, František Havlůj.

Luděk Korbel: Anna and the Poetics of Jostein Gaarder – A study on the book Anna: A Fable on the Climate and Environment, which the reviewer sets into the context of this well known Norwegian writer’s work.

Ivan Adamovič–Gabriela Sittová–Michaela Lažanová–Markéta Nedevová–Jindřiška Bumerlová–Lucie Šmejkalová: Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 45

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) brings two scripts written by Hana Nemravová, drama teacher at the Basic School of Arts in Uherské Hradiště, whose performances with children and youngsters have ranked among the most interesting in the past few years. The dramatisation of the novel by Zdeňka Bezděková Říkali mi Leni (I Was Called Leni) has successfully dealt with the problem of dramatising a psychological story with a child heroine for a children’s group. In this case, the main character is a Czech girl dragged to captivity in Germany during the second world and seeking her identity. (The dramatisation is one of those analysed by Anna Hrnečková in the initial study of this issue, where it is highlighted as one of the best-quality scripts for children’s groups.) The other script, O Janě E. (On Jane E.), is a dramatisation of the first part of the classic romantic novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Both performances appeared at the Children’s Stage national festival – the first in 2003, the other this year.

 

SUMMARY 2014/2

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Anežka Navrátilová: Reflection in Drama Education – Reflection represents one of the grounding stones of every well-prepared drama lesson, be it process drama, devising theatre, workshop of theatre games or drama in education. Reflection significantly enhances the efficiency of the learning process. It can take on various forms and scopes, but it should never be missing entirely. The present study, presented as a diploma work at the Dpt. of drama in education of the Faculty of Theatre in Prague, deals with the following issues: Defining reflection, Identifying the goals both of the lesson and its reflection part, Organisational forms of reflection, Methods of reflection and Issue of formulating questions.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

František Zborník: Children’s Stage No. 43: Craving for Storytelling – Critical notes on the 43th Children’s Stage national festival held in June 2014 in the East-Bohemian town of Svitavy. František Zborník, who was himself one of the lecturers, provides an overview of performances, paying special attention to the ones he found particularly inspiring: Jednou v Chelmu (Once Upon a Time in Chelm) written to the motives of a story by Isaac Bashevis Singer and performed by children from the Basic School of Arts in Liberec; Karkulkoviny, variations on the well-known story of the Little Red Riding Hood staged by the Basic School of Arts in Prague 3; Bert and Naďa, devising theatre by the Basic School of Arts in Turnov; Jó, ty matky (These Mothers...), a dramatisation of a horror story by Brian Jacques performed by the group from the Basic School of Arts in Ostrov; and Trpaslík byl lesa král (The Dwarf was the King of the Forest), a theatre and dance performance by a group from Prague 5.

Gabriela Sittová: Where we Learn Most about Children’s Poetry Reciting – Notes on the forms of children’s poetry reciting and its purpose, ensuing from the national workshop in Svitavy. The author ponders over ways in which poetry reciting can stimulate children’s interest in poetry and fiction.

Klára Fidlerová: Teacher to Teachers, Teachers to One Another – Report on a workshop led by the British drama teacher Michael Supple during the Children’s Stage national festival. The reporter, a drama teacher at the secondary school of pedagogy in Čáslav, describes in detail the course of the workshop and the steps taken by its leader, appreciating most of all his systematic planning and structuring of various types of drama lessons.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Eva Machková: One plus one is more than two or What is it "visual arts drama" ? – Professor of the Dpt. of Drama in Education (Faculty of Theatre, Academy of Performing Arts, Prague) prepared an enquiry about possibilities of combining methods of drama and visual arts education. The Creative Drama (Tvořivá dramatika) presents the first two contributions – one by Martina Lachmanová, lecturer of the National Gallery Prague, the other one by Veronika Blažková, teacher of the visual arts from Basic School of Arts, Olomouc.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

Aleš Povolný: Joining Music with Drama Education – A review of the book by the Slovak drama teacher and music composer Belo Felix.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Anna Hrnečková: Can Theaters and Schools Collaborate? A Few Notions from the Symposium “Ways towards Collaboration between Theaters and Schools within Czech and German Context” – On the first day of this symposium organised by the National Moravian and Silesian Theatre in Ostrava, three lecturers from German-speaking countries shared their experience: Constance Cauers, theatre lecturer from the Schauspielhaus Graz, Michael Hess, dancer and choreographer from Germany, and Daniela von Vorst, a Czech teacher of drama working in Hamburg. The event was held with the support of the Czech-German Fund for the Future, NIPOS and the Goethe Institut. It proved that education through theatre is no more a novelty in the Czech Republic. „There are theatres offering educational courses, there are university-educated professionals in this field and there are artists focusing on theatre education. However, an equally important finding is that there are also schools and teachers who participate in this education with their students,“ writes the reporter. Feedback from participants showed that they have progressed beyond gathering general information on the principles and benefits of theatre education and seek particular examples and ways of applying it actively in their work.

Marta Žilková: Encounters (Stretnutie, Setkání, Spotkanie, Találkozás) 2014 – Report on the 16th festival of theatres and theatre schools held in Nitra, Slovakia, focusing particularly on theatre for children and youth.

Jaroslav Provazník-Gabriela Sittová-Klára Fidlerová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Jakub Hulák-Michaela Lažanová-Marta Žilková-Markéta Nedevová: Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth – Reviews of new books and performances for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 44

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) brings the script to the performance Jednou v Chelmu... (Once Upon a Time in Chelm), which ranked among the most interesting ones at this year’s Children’s Stage festival in Svitavy. Drama teachers from the Basic School of Arts in Liberec Libuše Vrtišková Hájková and Michaela Homolová have dramatised the story Lemel & Tzipa written by Isaac Bashevis Singer to stage it with their children’s group. The script is accompanied by methodological notes on the genesis of the performance and the source – the original literary text which the children worked on together with their teachers.

 

SUMMARY 2014/1

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Vojtěch Maděryč: Sources of inspiration for teaching acting to children in drama groups – Drama education is taught as a subject at some of Czech primary and secondary schools, but children also have the possibility to visit various free time centres or schools of art where they can do drama and theatre. The place where they can pursue this interest most systematically and thoroughly is the network of Basic Schools of Art all over the Czech Republic. The characteristic feature of work at these schools is putting equal emphasis on aesthetic and artistic values as on personal and social development of children. Pupils learn to understand theatre as a collective artistic expression, gradually becoming acquainted with particular elements of theatre. Vojtěch Maděryč, a teacher of literary and drama  education and headmaster of the Basic School of Arts in Jindřichův Hradec, South Bohemia, discusses the ways in which various acting schools and personalities can contribute to and inspire the acting skills of children and youth. First he examines the typology or role-playing in relation to ontogenesis and then characterises the work of three Czech personalities of drama education and theatre who dealt with ways in which children and youth can approach acting: Miloslav Disman, Soňa Pavelková and Václav Martinec.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Dominika Špalková: Insights 2013: Intensive experience thanks to creative and personal encounters – Pondering over Insights, the 24th national festival and workshop of secondary school drama and young theatre held in October 2013. The author appreciates the programme which included not only successful performances from other festivals, but also unfinished pieces or performances which arouse doubts or controversy. She also points out that there were enough opportunities for reflection: participants could not only discuss the performances, but also express their opinions and attitudes in practical workshops.

 

APPLIED DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Anna Hrnečková: Whatever Life Brings to the National Gallery... A Mosaic of Observations on Drama at the National Gallery in Prague (including one interesting book) – In the past few years, the National Gallery in Prague has offered a number of programmes to schools and parents with children, in which elements various drama techniques are used. This type of programme was introduced into the gallery in 2001 by then-students of drama in education at the Faculty of Theatre at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts, Jana Machalíková and Hana Šimonová. Since then the number of lecturers who are able to use drama in the gallery programmes has raised significantly.

Jana Machalíková: The Story of Jana and Hana: Bringing Drama to the National Gallery – The author recapitulates the development undergone by the National Gallery programmes which take advantage of drama, from the beginnings to the present day.

Anna Hrnečková: Lecturers Build Bridges and Open Doors. An interview with Monika Sybolová from the Lecturer’s Department of the 19th-century art collection of the National Gallery in Prague – Monika Sybolová points out that drama has significantly enriched the programmes offered by the National Gallery, but emphasises that these need to be led by well-prepared and experienced lecturers.

Michaela Matysová-Jana Machalíková--Anna Kotrbová Rejchrtová-Veronika Výprachtická: On Guard – A description of one of the programmes designed by the lecture department of the National Gallery. It is a programme aimed mainly at pre-school children and relating to the sculpture Heracles – The Archer (1909) by Emile Antoine Bourdelle. Children learn to observe a piece of art, name its characteristics (size, colour, shape, material), use their voice and develop their cooperative skills and sensory perception in movement sketches.

Jana Machalíková: When a Lecturer Becomes Actor, Narrator and Improviser – A lecturer’s account of her experience with leading workshops for various age groups at the National Gallery.

Kristina Procházková: „Browse, look, imagine...“ – A review of a book published on the occasion of an exhibition of František Kupka, which is not a traditional catalogue, but a collection of activities to do with children.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

Klára Jíchová: The History (and the Present) of a Fairy-Tale Play – A review of a monograph by Eva Machková, teacher at the Dpt. of Drama in Education of DAMU, Prague, called Between Reality and Dream: Chapters from the Poetics of a Fairy-Tale Play.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Anna Hrnečková: Mapping Contemporary Theatre for Children. TOY MACHINE – The editor of Tvořivá dramatika introduces another theatre group who has been making performances for children and youth since 2010.

Anna Hrnečková: Puppets are Better Actors than I – An interview with Tomáš Běhal, director and actors of the TOY MACHINE theatre.

Gabriela Magalová: On the Meditative Fairy-Tale – A teacher of the Department of Slovak Language and Literature at the Pedagogical Faculty in Trnava, Slovakia, writes on fairy-tales with religious motives and stories that are labelled as philosophical.

Klára Fidlerová: Between Adult and Childen Fiction – A review of two inspiring books, one for adults and the other for youth, published recently by the Argo publishing house: Markus Zusak’s The Messenger and The Giver by Lois Lawry.

Lucie Šmejkalová-Anna Hrnečková-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Eva Davidová-Michalea Lažanová-Michaela Korcová-Luděk Korbel-Karolina Plicková: Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth - Reviews of new books and performances for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 43

The Children’s Stage national festival held in the town of Svitavy in June 2013 saw an interesting puppet performance by a children’s group from Vsetín called Why Does Something Always Go Wrong for Me? A dramatisation made by the group leader Barbora Dohnálková based on a children’s book by the Hungarian author Éva Janikovszky, is published as a text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika and accompanied by a commentary, in which Jaroslav Provazník points out the particular qualities of the performance.

 

SUMMARY 2013/3

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Eva Machková: The Matter of Drama Education 3: The Sources – The essential material put together by a teacher of the Dpt. of Drama in Education (Faculty of Theatre, Prague) discusses and classifies the contents and objectives of drama in education teaches and suggests what participants can gain from it for their present and future lives. In the final part of her series, she discusses the types of sources that offer topics for drama. Regardless of the type, all these sources deal with relationships, characters, attitudes, values and/or ethics. Eva Machková points out that teachers of drama or teachers who just want to take advantage of drama methods in teaching other subjects may draw inspiration from ancient literature, myths, aboriginal mythology, medieval epics, folk fairy-tales and legends as well as various kinds of literature for children and youth, drama pieces on TV, fine arts, music and history. As Eva Machková concludes, drama in education nowadays takes two different directions. The first (and most important) is drama as an independent subject while the other is represented by drama methods used in the teaching of other subjects. The main focus of the latter is of course communicating the learning matter of the relevant subject, drama being used as a tool to achieve this. Both forms have their rightful places in the present educational system and can mutually inspire each other.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Gabriela Sittová–Veronika Krátká: A Conference in the Spirit of Dorothy Heathcote – The reporters provide a detailed description of the National Drama International Conference 2013 organised by the British association National Drama which took place at the University of Greenwich, London, from 4 to 7 July this year under the name Heathcote Reconsidered. The conference was conceived as a tribute to Dorothy Heathcote, with the aim of assessing the contribution of this remarkable personality to the field of drama and drawing attention to the legacy she has left behind. About two hundred people from all over the world including drama teachers, university teacher trainers in the field of drama in education as well as post-graduate drama students took part in this work-oriented meeting which, in the reporters’ opinion, was of high quality and well organised.

Dorothy Heathcote: Contexts for Active Learning: Four models to forge links between schooling and society – In her article of 2002 published here courtesy of the British field periodical The Journal for drama in education, Dorothy Heathcote describes and explains four models of teacher/student activity she developed and refined throughout her career: Drama Used to Explore People, Mantle of the Expert, the Rolling Role and the Commission Model.

Eva Gažáková: 8th IDEA World Congress, this time under the name From One World to Another: arts education for tomorrow or Dramachaos à la française – The work congress held in Paris and organised by IDEA (International Drama/Theatre and Education Association) consisted of lectures, debates (round tables), practical workshops, artistic, educational and research presentations as well as youth theatre performances from around the globe as well as a presentation of the IDEA project. The reporter appreciates the rich programme, but also mentions the flaws in organisation that impacted the event negatively.

Michaela Lažanová: Report from the Festival/Conference Theatre of Languages – A brief report on an event focusing primarily on foreign language performances and held in Prague for the third time.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Anna Hrnečková: Nothing but Storytelling – A review of an interesting programme Waking Up the Czech Language put together by the Prague-based group “Slovosledi”. Using the technique of storytelling, they introduce great personalities of the 19th century Czech national revival such as the linguist and writer Josef Jungmann, the female writer and author of cookery books Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová and the greatest Czech romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha. This article by one of the editors of Tvořivá dramatika is complemented by an interview with the leading personality of the project Barbora Voráčová who founded the Storytelling association in the Czech Republic. Its aim is to make Czech audiences acquainted with storytelling both in theatrical and educational setting, create a network of storytellers through workshops and storytelling performances and establish contacts with similar groups abroad.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings two reviews:

Under the title Lost in the Fairy Tale, Hana Šmahelová from the Philosophical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague reviews the book put together by a group of Brno-based authors led by Milena Šubrtová, Fairy Tale Stories in Czech Literature for Children and Youth 1990-2010 published by the Masaryk University in Brno in 2011.

Vítězslava Šrámková from the National Culture Information Centre (NIPOS) reviews the monograph by Kateřina Řezníčková called Czech Theatre for and with Children in the First Half of the 19th Century, finding it quite exceptional and valuable. In her review Beginnings of the New Czech Children’s Theatre (published in the DISK edition at the Faculty of Theatre – DAMU), the reviewer points out that the author of the monograph focuses on theatre played by children and for children during a period that had hitherto been paid very little attention. Kateřina Řezníčková examines published dramatic texts for children as well as dialogue texts and scripts published in the first Czech pedagogical journal Přítel mládeže (The Friend of Youth).

The section ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH contains the following materials:

Gabriela Sittová: The Story of a Sad Factory in Jizera Mountains – A review of The Sad Factory, an interesting book for children written by Radovan Lipus and published by the Meander publishing house in Prague.

Luděk Korbel-Eva Davidová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Gabriela Sittová-Michaela Lažanová-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Michaela Korcová: Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth - Reviews of new books and performances for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 42

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) brings the script to the performance Nerudárium. It has been rehearsed and staged by the pupils of the Primary school in Bechyně under the leadership of František Oplatek and based on three short stories by the Czech 19th century writer Jan Neruda found in his book Tales from the Lesser Town, one of mandatory books read by all Czech schoolchildren. The performance was one of the best at this year’s Children’s Stage national festival in Svitavy and was also highly acclaimed by the participants of the national workshop Drama in Education held in September in the town of Jičín. The script is followed by an article by František Oplatek called From Mandatory Reading to a Theatre Performance, in which he describes the development of the performance. The leader of the theatre group, who is also a teacher of Czech language and literature, points out that thanks to working on this performance children got much closer to this classic author than is usual at schools.

 

SUMMARY 2013/2

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Eva Machková: The Matter of Drama Education 2: Subjects and Themes for Drama Education – Essential material put together by a teacher of the Dpt. of Drama in Education discusses and classifies what drama education teaches and what participants can gain from it for their present and future lives. The previous part had dealt with skills, i. e. such areas of the subject matter that can be “mastered”. The next part will discuss areas where learners need to “know and understand” – subject matter that aims to develop attitudes, values, interests and orientation in the human world and, in many cases, also the gaining of knowledge. In choosing the appropriate topics, teachers have to bear several criteria in mind. Firstly, the aims and programmes of the institution where their drama work takes place need to be taken into account. Another area is represented by the characteristics of the target group such as the pupils’ age, interests, mental abilities and the amount of their experience with drama as well as their social, economical and ethnic background. While respecting the “pupil-oriented goals” one needs to bear in mind another set of criteria that might be called “teacher-oriented goals”. These include answers to the following questions: 1. What does the subject matter offer in terms of themes related to interpersonal relationships, conflict solving  and dealing with essential situations of human lives? 2. How suitable is the subject matter for drama work, i. e. does it contain a conflict, interesting situations and characters?  3. What does it demand of the participants, i. e. is it appropriate to their age, knowledge, experience and physical abilities? Will they be able to work it out and transform it into a dramatic shape?

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

František Zborník: Theatre Played by Children: looking for the key to making theatre where children will stay children and not imitate adult actors while maintaining theatrical element attractive for the audience – Pondering over performances shown at the 42nd Children’s Stage National Festival held in June 2013 in Svitavy. The reporter found this year’s festival very successful, presenting several performances using innovative theatrical and methodological techniques of working with children. He pays special attention to the original dramatisation of the classic Russian fairy-tale The Tsarina Frog played by the “Three Boots” group of younger children from Třebotov under the name Nu vot! Other performances he found inspiring include the staging of three realistic short-stories by the classical Czech 19th century author Jan Neruda presented by children from the Primary School in Bechyně under the name Nerudarium, as well as a mosaic of motives from the book by René Goscinny The Little Nicholas called Tátové a mámy musí tu být s námi (Dads and Moms Need to Be Here with Us) performed by the dance group Light from the Basic School of Arts in Prague 5. The last performance he considers noteworthy is the music and dramatic play Balón aneb Létat je snadné (The Hot-Air Balloon or Flying is Easy) by an age-heterogeneous group from the Basic School of Arts in Prague 3. „This year’s Children’s Stage was a good demonstration of diversity,” concludes the reporter. „It is not important whether a story is told through the action of dramatic characters, rhythm, music, dance or primarily by visual means. It is not important whether we simply take the situations of children’s play and transfer them into the chosen dramatic shape, use associative cumulating of images or exploit any other principle. The crucial thing is to make a decision and stick to the chosen key consistently. Any method is justified if we manage to transfer to the audience emotions such as joy, fear or sense of being together acquired during the collective searching.“

Vít Poláček: Opening Ourselves to What is Coming and Losing Control over the Outcomes: On a performance with children actors staged in the Belgian city of Antwerp – A student of the Film Faculty of the Prague Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) reports on the performance The Ship created in collaboration of two theatre troupes, Laika and the social cultural theatre KunstZ in Antwerp. The performance was one of the highlights of the 3rd Blok-Bloc festival that aims to bring together neighbours in the multi-cultural and socially diverse quarter of Linkeroever on the left bank of the Schelde river in Belgium’s second-largest city.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Anna Hrnečková: The 19th World Congress of Drama in Education – From 22 to 27 March, the 19th world congress of drama in education took place at the Retzhof castle in the little Austrian town of Leibnitz near Graz. This event is organised by the international association of amateur theatre AITA/IATA together with the Austrian ÖBV Theater. The bombastic sounding name „world congress“ in fact refers to a pleasant, practically oriented workshop led by lecturers from several countries. This year’s topic was social media, i. e. the very up-to-date phenomenon of modern communication technologies seen through the eyes of drama education. As usual, participants were divided into three groups. The reporter especially praises the workshop led by the Canadian lecturer Kimberley M. Snider from Rosedale Heights School of the Arts in Toronto, a young student and colleague of Jonothan Neelands. In the reporter’s opinion, it was Paul Sutton and his assistant Max Allsup from the United Kingdom who approached the topic most closely. The C&T company whose projects they presented has intensively worked with modern technologies in the past few years, creating model projects that they now offer to schools worldwide. Each project has its own web site and every school that orders it automatically becomes a member of the network of participating schools. The reporter then mentions the workshop on Playback Theatre led by the Austrian lecturer Margarete Meixner. However, she believes the lecturer has failed to clearly formulate the meaning and the goals of this technique, which brings the reporter to the conclusion that it is not enough to master methods and techniques, but one needs to be aware which purpose every single of them is to serve at any given moment.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings two reviews:

Soňa Koťátková from the Pedagogical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague reviews the new book Drama Education with Younger Schoolchildren. Edited by Eva Machková, it consists of projects that the students and graduates of the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Prague Faculty of Theatre have created and carried out in various schools of the Czech Republic.

In her article Let’s Read Together! Veronika Rodriguezová, a teacher of drama at the Pedagogical Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno, reviews the almanac Collaboration between Younger and Older Schoolchildren in Promoting Reading Skills: A Handbook of Practical Examples put together by Anna Tomková, Radek Marušák and Jaroslav Provazník and published by the Pedagogical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague.

The section ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH contains the following materials:

Anna Hrnečková-Gabriela Sittová-Jaroslav Provazník: What Czech Theatres Can Offer to Children and Youth: Notes on Performances Shown at the Festival Held on the Occasion of the 2013 International Day of Children and Youth Theatre – Brief reviews of performances seen at the 13th year of the festival organised by the ASSITEJ together with the Association of Creative Drama in March 2013 in Prague. According to the reviewers, one of the highlights was the performance Hamleteen played by the professional theatre Alfa from Pilsen; worth noting was also the scenic collage Gagarin performed by the professional Czech-Slovenian puppet group Športniki, Faust by the amateur puppeteer Tomáš Hájek and three pieces played by children’s groups: Smolíček Pacholíček from the Basic School of Arts in Liberec, Navštivte Máchův kraj (Where the Poet Mácha Lived) and Tančírna (The Dancing Room) by the Basic School of Arts in Prague 3.

Klára Fidlerová: Listování (Leafing Through) – The author of the article reports on an interesting literary and drama project carried out by a group of actors led by Lukáš Hejlík. The project consists in scenic reading based on interesting new books. There are usually two or three actors on stage who take turns entering various roles including that of the narrator. During the ten years of the project’s existence, the young actors have “leafed through” almost 80 books including 36 novels for adults, 20 books for children and youth, seven books of short stories, but also a book of travels, a correspondence book, a biography of a sportsman, a book of essays, a book on economics, beatnik poetry and a cookery book.

Klára Fidlerová: Our Specialisation is not Specialising in Anything – An interview with the actor and initiator of the Leafing Through project Lukáš Hejlík.

Kristina Procházková: Bylo nebylo (Once Upon a Time) – Information on books published by the new non-commercial publishing house Bylo nebylo which focuses on books for children and youth with original and creative illustrations and graphic layout.

Kristina Procházková: Every Theme Has its Own Time – An interview with Anna Pleštilová, director of the above-mentioned publishing house.

Magdalena Klímová: Four Seasons in Jan Vladislav’s Work for Children and Youth – In March 2013 the Czech literary scene commemorated the 90th birth anniversary of the poet, essayist, translator and author of books for children Jan Vladislav. This article brings an overview of his major works, paying special attention to his adaptations of fairy-tales from all over the world which rank among the top works of their kind in Czech literature.

Eva Machková: The Giant with No Heart – A review of the translation of the fundamental Norwegian fairy-tale collection by Peder Christian Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe, translated into Czech by Jarka Vrbová and published by the Argo publishing house under the title O obrovi, který neměl srdce v těle (The Giant with no Heart).

Jaroslav Provazník-Michaela Korcová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Michaela Lažanová- Jindřiška Bumerlová-Gabriela Sittová-Eva Machková-Klára Fidlerová: Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth - Reviews of new books and performances for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 41

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) brings the script to the performance Nu vot!, an adaptation of the classic Russian fairy-tale The Tsarina Frog. It has been dramatised by Václava Makovcová and Jana Barnová and rehearsed with their group Tři boty (Three Boots) from the Primary School in Třebotov. The performance was one of the highlights of this year’s Childen’s Stage festival in Svitavy. The script is accompanied by a methodological note titled Where to Start and Where to Go?, in which the two teachers and group leaders explain how this remarkable performance was prepared and to what extent children participated in it.

 

SUMMARY 2013/1

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Pavel Němeček: The Association of Drama Centres in the Czech Republic: Why?- In 2011, a group of four drama centres in the Czech Republic (The Centre of Creative Drama, Prague; The D Association, Olomouc; Labyrint, Brno; and Johan, Pilsen) decided to establish the Association of Drama Centres. Pavel Němeček, a representative of the association, explains the motivation, goals and tasks behind the founding of the association. He points out that the Redbridge Drama Centre in London served as an important source of inspiration for this venture.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Eva Keroušová: The First Gathering of Drama Centers of the Czech Republic, Ostrava, 15–17 November 2012 – A report from the first gathering of Czech and Moravian Drama Centres who introduced their programmes for schools in the Puppet Theatre of Ostrava. The lesson focusing on the development of literacy, led by the student of the Dpt. of Drama in Education (Faculty of Theatre, Prague), was based on the popular book The Garden written by the Czech author, artist and film-maker Jiří Trnka. A lesson of the Drama Centre in Ostrava was intended for handicapped students. The centre from Olomouc presented two programmes – one on bullying based on the motives from a short story by Brian Jacques, the other focusing on mass media education. The head of the Brno drama centre led a programme working with a documentary film. A complementary part of the gathering was a workshop led by Keith Homer, director of the Redbridge Drama Centre in London.

Eva Machková: The Matter of Drama Education – The first part of essential and valuable material put together by a teacher of the Dpt. of Drama in Education discusses and classifies what drama education teaches and what participants can gain from it for their present and future lives. The author divides the subject matter of drama education into two areas: competences and topics. In the first part of her study, Eva Machková deals with mental functions and skills, illustrating the teaching of these competences on examples taken from books by various drama teachers (Miloslav Disman, Hana Budínská, Eva Polzerová, Brian Way, Viola Spolin...). The author concludes the first part of her article by outlining the current form that the subject of drama has in the official educational framework mandatory for Czech primary schools.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Hana Cisovská: Peeking into Young Theatre Maps in Bechyně – A pedagogue from the University of Ostrava reports here on the 2012 Insights (Nahlížení) workshop of secondary school theatre held in the south-Bohemian town of Bechyně in October 2012, running its 23rd year. It was not only a festival of performances, but also an opportunity to hold numerous discussions and peeking inside the “backstage” of the performance development and the ways in which the participating groups work.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings a review called Drama Education Projects for Secondary School Students by Hana Kasíková from the Philosophical Faculty of the Charles University, Prague. The author reviews the new book by Eva Machková, Drama Education Projects for Secondary School Students composed of projects that the students and graduates of the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Prague Faculty of Theatre have put together and carried out in various schools of the Czech Republic.

The section ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH contains the following materials:

Anna Hrnečková: Mapping Theatre for Children – The first part of the series on theatre groups playing for children and youth introduces the free association Damúza from Prague and their performances.

Kristina Procházková: 11 Worlds: The Contemporary Czech Illustration for Children – The Museum of the Capital of Prague hosts an exhibition of eleven Czech illustrators who rank among the most prominent personalities of contemporary Czech illustration for children. The reporter characterises each artist and appreciates the interactive nature of the exhibition.

Iva Lubinová-Klára Fidlerová-Luděk Korbel-Gabriela Sittová-Antonín Šimůnek-Lucie Šmejkalová-Jaroslav Toman-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Michaela Korcová: Reviews of new books and performances for children and youth - Reviews of new books and performances for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 40

Short stories from the book Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales written by the English author Brian Jacques have been dramatised by several Czech theatre group leaders during the past two decades. Irina Ulrychová, a teacher at the Basic School of Arts in Brandýs nad Labem and a pedagogue at the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Faculty of Theatre in Prague, has dramatised several short stories by this author, two of which are published in the text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika. Jamie and the Vampires was on the programme of the 2007 National Festival of Basic Schools of Arts in Hradec Králové. The short story The Lies of Henry Mawdsley was dramatised twice by Irina Ulrychová, each time for a different group. One of these dramatisations - The Henry’s Lies - also appears in this issue of Tvořivá dramatika. The scripts are accompanied by Notes on Dramatisations, in which Irina Ulrychová not only explains the circumstances under which both performances came into being, but also explains which specific factors need to be taken into account when dramatising a text for a children’s group.

 

SUMMARY 2012/3

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Veronika Krátká: The System of Teaching Drama in England and Wales - A drama teacher from the English International School of Prague introduces the system of teaching drama in English and Welsh schools. In this text based on her M. A. thesis, she drew on her good knowledge of the situation in the United Kingdom as well as consultations with dr. Andy Kempe of the University of Reading. The article characterises the educational system of England and Wales, explains the specifics of the National Curriculum and, most importantly of all, discusses the position of drama in the curricula of various school levels from kindergarten to secondary school. One of the most important parts is the chapter on drama teacher education including the competences the trainees should acquire to qualify for teaching drama. The author points out that there are currently eight colleges and universities in England that offer one-year study courses wound up by the acquisition of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education - Secondary drama enabling the graduates to teach drama at middle and secondary schools. These are the Goldsmiths College in London, the Central School of Speech and Drama in London; the University of Chester; Middlesex University; Birmingham City University; Manchester Metropolitan University; the University of Reading and the University of Plymouth. The author also mentions that there are currently no specialised university courses for teachers who want to teach drama at primary schools. The article ends with a detailed description of the study programme for drama teachers at the University of Reading.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Anna Hrnečková: Is the South Housing Estate Brutal? Interview with the dramaturg Lukáš Jiřička on the performance South Housing Estate - a Dream City - The large Southern Housing Estate in Prague, which was built in the 1970s and 1980s, hosts the annual festival Street for Art. The main theme of the 2012 festival was „culture at the place where we live“. The audience had the opportunity to witness the premiere of the theatre project South Housing Estate - A Dream City created by a team led by the young director Petra Tejnorová in collaboration with six local children aged 10 to 16. It was a film and theatre project dealing with the life of teenagers created as a report on their present and future life in this housing estate area. Anna Hrnečková, a reporter of Tvořivá dramatika, interviewed the project dramaturg Lukáš Jiřička to find out how the project came into being and ask him about the motivation, methods and aims of the creative team who decided to work with children.

Zdeňka Kučerová: Doing Theatre with Problematic Adolescents - A graduate of the Theatre and Education Studio at the JAMU in Brno describes her experience of doing theatre with teenagers with problematic behaviour who are mostly placed in remedial educational institutions. „I first entered a remedial educational institution in 2007,“ writes the author. „My searching for theatrical work with the clients of these institutions has led me to multi-media projects. I have tried two forms of work: long-term (regular lessons run once a week in the course of seven weeks) and short-term (an intensive weekend workshop), both with the same contents and the aim of creating a photo-story and a video clip… This first experience has convinced me that working with this target group might not be a utopia. In 2009 I therefore decided to start a more extensive project. After a month spent by searching for inspiration in the school, I decided to make a film with the young people.“ The author admits that multimedia represent only one of many possibilities of leading adolescents with problematic behaviour to theatrical work. In this case, however, the medium chosen seemed to be the right one for the given context.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Anna Hrnečková: Children, Theatre and the Himalaya Mountains - A description of a unique experience that the reporter of Tvořivá dramatika had while teaching drama at the Spring Dales Public School in Mulbekh in the region of Ladakh (India), where she stayed in July 2012 as a member of a volunteer group participating in the Extreme Boundaries project. Czech volunteers design and build new schools there, helping with construction, fundraising and organisational work as well as teaching. Besides long-time volunteers, a group of teachers visits every year to spend two weeks there. This year the group included two teachers of drama. „The core of volunteer work,“ writes Anna Hrnečková, „should be unselfish help to those who need it. Many people asked us if it had not been more meaningful to send the money spent on the trip to Ladakh to the bank account of the school in Mulbekh, especially when the subject taught is as ,impractical‘ as drama. Others wondered whether our visit did not harm the unique character of the Ladakh culture by importing ,western approach‘. Such concerns are understandable, but I certainly do not consider our ,trip‘ useless. Instead of doing anonymous charity, we have invited children to shared collaboration and mutual enrichment. We have paid for both their and our experience, gaining new skills for further work… Besides presenting fragments of our culture, we have enabled them to perceive their own world from a different perspective.“

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings a review called Reading on Communication in Classroom. It written by Veronika Rodriguezová from the Primary Education Department of the Pedagogical Faculty in Brno who reviewed the monograph Communication in Classroom that summarises the outcomes of two-year research carried out by a team of scholars from the Institute of Pedagogy at the Philosophical Faculty of the Masaryk University in Brno. Communication in Classroom is a modern scientific publication of international impact leaning on constructivist theories applied to real life experiences and used to analyse the present educational practice… The book is intended for all the brave individuals who have to manoeuvre between the Scylla of debates and Charybdis of examination, those who do not want to pass on fusty truths to their pupils, but rather make knowledge alive by the vitalising potion of mutual dialogue and engaged thinking.“

The section ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH contains the following materials:

Hana Galetková: Everything Has a Meaning, says the Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder. An interview with Jostein Gaarder - The important Norwegian author writing mostly for children and youth, philosopher, humanist, environmentalist and founder of the Sophie Foundation makes it clear that the world keeps surprising, attracting and entertaining him. His book Sofie’s World soon became one of the best-selling books not only in Norway, but also around the world. In the Czech Republic, it too became one of the most widely read books... The interview with this famous author was conducted during his visit to the 9th International Puppet Theatre Festival Spectaculo interesse at the Theatre of Puppets in Ostrava, which has a performance based on one of his books, The Girl with Oranges, on the programme.

Eva Machková: No Lies and Little Truth: Legends for Drama 3 - The last part of a study on legends and the possibilities they offer to theatre and classroom drama.

Marta Žilková: The Metamorphoses of the Radio Fairy-Tale - A teacher at the Institute of Literary and Art Communication, Philosophical Faculty in Nitra, Slovakia, reviews several new Slovak radio plays for children and youth.

Eva Davidová-Jindřiška Bumerlová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Klára Fidlerová-Gabriela Sittová-Michaela Korcová-Luděk Korbel-Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of new books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 39

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika brings three dramatisations of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Swineherd, illustrating three different ways to put the still up-to-date story on stage. The oldest of the three dramatisations was performed as early as the 1960s by the children’s puppet theatre group led by Hana Budínská, and was played by glove puppets. The dramatisation by Milada Mašatová, who was a teacher at the Basic School of Arts in Olomouc, also counts on puppets. The characters of Emperor and Prince were played by live actors, while the Princess was represented by a life-sized rag doll. Using this puppet made it possible to stress the punishing of the Princess (being abandoned by all) by leaving the puppet on stage all alone in the end. The third dramatisation was made in the late 1970s by Dana Svozilová, another important personality of Czech drama in education and theatre with children. Her performance called Andersen’s Fairy Tales, which she put together with the children’s theatre group PIRKO from Brno, ranked among the most successful performances at the 1981 National Festival of Children Theatre - Theatre Summer Festival in Kaplice.

 

SUMMARY 2012/2

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Hana Kasíková: Becoming a Teacher. How Can Educational Drama Help? - The author discusses here ways of using drama in the training of teachers, including those who are not to become specialists in drama but subjects such as physics, chemistry, foreign languages, etc. She focuses on drama as a tool that can help teacher trainees understand the core of the teaching profession and professionalism and form their own identities as teachers. The core of the article lies in the presentation of a drama structure that can be used in the professional development of teachers. The theme of the drama is a situation where a teacher in a school has won the all-nation Golden Amos competition in which pupils and students vote for the most favourite teacher (this real competition is named after Comenius, whose first and middle names were Jan Amos). In her article, Hana Kasíková builds both on her professional experience as a teacher trainer at university and leader of in-service teacher training events off university ground, but also on her own work as a teacher of educational drama. In the combination of these two areas, the academic world fruitfully meets the world of art, imagination and group creativity.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Children’s Stage 2012 - The programme of the Children’s Stage (Dětská scéna) national festival held in Svitavy in the middle of June 2012.

Eva Keroušová: Fabrika and the Parish Barn or the Dancing Room of Albert Kyška - A reflection on performances shown at the Children’s Stage national festival and the impulses that they brought for the development of educational drama. The title of the article suggests the importance of the two spaces that the town of Svitavy offered to the festival (which is the most prominent annual event of its kind in the Czech Republic). Fabrika is a new multi-functional centre where most performances of children’s groups from all over the country took place, while the parish barn hosted the daily discussions related to the performances, which are no less important part of the festival than the performances themselves.

Radka Fidlerová: Rives Collins: Therapy for Tired Drama Teachers - The programme of the 2012 Children’s Stage national festival in Svitavy also included a workshop led by the American professor of drama and storytelling Rives Collins of the Northwestern University in Evanston, which was called The Drama/Theatre Continuum: Process and Product in Theatre for Young Audiences. The reporter, who participated in the workshop, describes its contents day by day, comparing the lecturer’s style of work with the one that drama teachers in the Czech Republic are used to. She appreciates his ability to improvise as well as the fact that he made participants acquainted with the whole range of methods and techniques of drama work including such that can be utilised in making theatre with children.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Zuzana Zapletalová-Alžběta Kratochvílová: Stewarding Stories - A report on a week-long workshop given by the British lecturer of drama Andy Kempe of the University of Reading, an event organised by the Association of Creative Drama (Sdružení pro tvořivou dramatiku) and the Department of Drama in Education of the Theatre Faculty (DAMU) in January 2012 in Prague. The reporters recognise Andy Kempe as a first-class professional in the field of drama. They have found the way in which he led the workshop remarkably dynamic and inspirational, but at the same time systematic and well-designed. Among the workshop participants there were university teachers and students of drama from all over the Czech Republic, including leaders of national courses of drama. During the week, they participated in lessons inspired by real-life stories, newspaper articles, reports or interviews, urban legends, fairy-tales as well as fiction, such as David Almond’s novel Skellig.

František Oplatek: Developing Reading Literacy in Primary School Pupils by Using Drama Methods - This article is a part of a master’s thesis presented at the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Theatre Faculty in Prague which examines the potential of drama methods and techniques for the development of reading literacy, especially within Czech literature lessons in primary schools. In the introduction, the author presents the components of reading literacy and factors influencing it. The core of the work lies in an overview of specific drama methods and techniques that can promote the reading literacy of primary school pupils, for example in finding links between the text and oneself (activating the pupils’ previous knowledge and experience), the skills of asking questions, creating mental imagery, developing judgement and anticipation skills as well as summarizing and systemizing what has been read. The author, who is a teacher of drama, literature and other subjects at a primary school in the south-Bohemian town of Bechyně, concludes by saying: „Although I had to face various difficulties in presenting lessons conceived with the above-mentioned focus, I believe I have proven the benefits and meaningfulness of using certain drama methods in promoting the pupil’s reading skills. However, there is a precondition of preparing the class for this form of learning and the specifics it brings… Thanks to the long-term work I have done in this field I can not only observe a clear positive effect in the quality of reading in some pupils, but also increased motivation of my classes to read… I have benefitted from the interaction of reading and drama both personally and professionally, which makes me believe this form of education creates another channel for drama to make its way both into the curriculum framework and the minds of pupils, teachers and parents.“

František Oplatek: The Present - One of lessons implemented by the author in teaching literature to six-graders. It is called The Present and based on an excerpt from John Steinbeck’s book The Red Pony.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings a double-review by Martina Turková and Kateřina Řezníčková discussing three monographs on Jesuit theatre: Kateřina Bobková-Valentová: The Everyday Life of Teacher and Student at the Jesuit Grammar School, Magdaléna Jacková: Theatre as the School of Virtue and Piety: Jesuit school drama in Prague in the first half of the 18th century and Petr Polehla: Jesuit Theatre in the Service of Piety and Scholarship. Among the other reviewed books are several volumes of methodological and learning text for future teachers of aesthetic education put together by the Institute of Literary and Art Communication at the University of Nitra (Slovakia). In her article Aesthetics the Nitra Way, Gabriela Magalová not only reviews the aforementioned publications, but also makes readers acquainted with the concept of the inter-disciplinary subject of aesthetic education that was established at the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra, Slovakia.

The section ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH contains the following materials:

Anna Hrnečková: Take Your Parents to the Theatre! Reflections from the festival accompanying the World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People from 18 to 22 April 2012 - The festival accompanying the World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People is organised annually by the Czech centre of the international children and youth theatre organisation ASSITEJ in collaboration with the Association of Creative Drama (Sdružení pro tvořivou dramatiku). The reporter pays attention mainly to the issues of communication between performances intended for children and the audiences (both young and adult). Among the most remarkable plays she mentions Neklan.cz by the Naive Theatre from Liberec, working out an old Czech legend in an original manner, Back to Bullerbyn played by the Czech-Slovenian puppet theatre group Športniki from Maribor and a family fairy-tale performance The Fiery Bird and the Red Fox & Us my played by the puppet theatre group C from Svitavy and a piece of devised theatre on holocaust The Angel Has Not Come? performed by the secondary school student group Roztočená Vrtule from Slaný.

Eva Machková: No Lies and Little Truth: Legends for Drama 3 - The last part of a study on legends and the possibilities they offer to theatre and classroom drama.

Marta Žilková: The Metamorphoses of the Radio Fairy-Tale - A teacher at the Institute of Literary and Art Communication, Philosophical Faculty in Nitra, Slovakia, reviews several Slovak radio plays for children and youth.

Eva Davidová-Luděk Korbel-Klára Fidlerová-Lucie Šmejkalová-Jindřiška Bumerlová: Reviews of new books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 38

In the 1930s, the Czech writer Karel Čapek published a book of modern fairy-tales called The Nine Fairy-Tales, which has become one of the classics of Czech literature for children. One of these - The Postman’s Fairy-Tale - inspired the theatre group leader Irena Konývková from the Basic School of Arts in Ostrov to dramatise and stage it with a group of children aged around 10. The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika brings the script accompanied by a few methodological notes that throw light on the way from the literary text to the final shape of the performance as well as the way of working with children. The performance was presented at this year’s Children’s Stage festival. However, it was not the first time that a children’s theatre group attempted at a dramatisation of this text. In 1989, The Postman’s Fairy-Tale was dramatised and staged with a children’s theatre group by Eva Kaderková-Venclíková, who then was a teacher at the Basic School of Arts in Žatec. It also ranked among the most valued performances at the time and was chosen for the Kaplice Theatre Summer national festival (the predecessor of today’s Children’s Stage) and the national festival of basic schools of art held in Most.

 

SUMMARY 2012/1

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Jaroslav Provazník: Does art belong to schools? And does drama education? - „It has been twenty years since drama entered Czech primary and secondary schools,“ introduces the author his article. „Although it has gradually ceased to be seen as an oddity, it still has to overcome barriers of stereotypes and prejudice.“ Only few schools have introduced drama as a subject - the most common form is drama as a method used in the teaching of other subjects. The author points out that the Czech primary school curriculum includes visual arts and music, whereas drama or dance are only optional subjects, which means schools can, but do not have to make them part of their curricula. Yet school education should provide a holistic picture of the field of arts. „Why is it important for all children to get in contact with drama, not only for those who do it as a leisure-time activity? Each of us is confronted with dramatic art or its various elements from childhood on, be it in film, television, video or computers. And yet children get minimum opportunities to find their way through this jungle of dramatic and stage features, to learn to perceive and understand it. One of the desired skills is the ability to identify bad taste and manipulation, which intentionally tries to blur the clear borderline between reality and fiction.“ The author concludes by proposing several issues to be discussed: He believes the time has come to include drama as a regular subject in the primary school curriculum. This would necessitate the founding of new specialised departments of drama at pedagogical faculties that would complement the two existing drama departments at the faculties of theatre in Prague and Brno, which have been successfully working for the past two decades. The last thing the author calls for is encouraging ministries to establish professional drama centers similar to those existing in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and other countries.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Zuzana Jirsová: Insights 2011 (Nahlížení 2011) - A report on the 22nd workshop of youth theatre held in October 2011. The author appreciates that the dramaturgy of the festival included a rich programme that enabled the audience to get acquainted with the up-to-date forms of theatre played by youngsters. A special feature of the event is the fact that even unfinished performances can be presented there, which enables participants to discuss possible ways in which they could be developed and completed. Among the most inspiring the author mentions the Spiegel Cabaret by the group Divadlo Vydýcháno from the Basic School of Arts in Liberec, which was based on dada texts, or the performance The Angel Has not Come?! played by the Roztočená Vrtule group, which dealt with the subject of holocaust and was targeted mainly at teenagers. (The script is published in the text supplement of this issue of Tvořivá dramatika.)

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Dominika Špalková: The Power in us…? A Look Back at Drama in Education 2011 - The subject of the world congress organised by AITA/IATA in the Austrian town of Retzhof in April 2011 was Power and Powerlessness. The author of the article who works at the DRAK puppet theatre in Hradec Králové, where she organises and leads workshops for classes of schoolchildren, gives an overview of this traditional European event. Each day, participants worked under the leadership of another lecturer. These included Judith Acroyd from the United Kingdom, György Vidovszky from Hungary, Alexander Fedorov from Russia and Brendon Burns from the United Kingdom. „Although the techniques presented at the workshops were not unknown in the context of Czech drama in education, the topic of the conference proved to be very meaningful. One of the things discussed at the conference was the fact that the worst situation is one in which one person or group abuse their power over another one to such an extent that people start taking it for normal and adjust to it. The article is followed by a description of the workshop led by György Vidovszky, which was inspired by Lars von Trier's film Dogville.

Marie Pavlovská-Lenka Remsová-Dušan Klapko: The First Steps to Research in Interactive Theatre with John Somers - John Somers, professor emeritus at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, playwright and founder of the Research in Drama Education journal, led a week-long workshop on interactive theatre at the Pedagogical faculty in Brno in 2008. This became an impulse for the teachers and students from the faculty to initiate a project of researching possibilities of interactive theatre as a method of dealing with negative social phenomena and developing personal and social competences of primary school pupils. The article describes the respective stages of the project, illustrating them by a script of an interactive theatre performance about a girl who gets into a critical situation and decides to solve it by suicide.

Markéta Popelová Nečasová: Drama Education as a Way to Children's Literacy – A description of a project in which the author explored ways of using drama methods in developing children's literacy. First she deals with elementary exercises, proceeding to structuring drama work, as this type of drama offers tools to examine the theme, problem situations, characters, time, environment and language in a literary text. Special attention is of course paid to theatrical work, especially one that has the nature of devising theatre, and poetry reading. „Certain works may be unaccessible for children as literary texts,“ concludes the author, „but if they can share the themes that a book raises in group work, examining them through action, they can get into its heart and understand it.“ At the end of her article the author presents two drama lessons based on literary texts: A Space Where Imagination Thrives (a lesson for 4th grade pupils based on Astrid Lindgren's book Ronia, the Robber's Daughter) and Language Tools (a lesson for 4th grade pupils based on Edward Lear's rhymes).

Klára Fidlerová: Poetry for Teenagers… Another sample lesson based on literary texts, this time aimed at teenagers. It was designed to take children under the surface of reflexive lyric poetry.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings a review by Eva Machková called The Story of Creative Drama in Kindergarten. She appreciates that the reviewed book Drama Education Methods in Kindergarten (Praha: Portál, 2011) written by Eva Svobodová and Hana Švejdová is well-researched and broadly conceived. Its authors „have dealt with all essential elements of drama for pre-schoolers, enriching it by their own experience. They have not only combined theory and practice, but found meaningful links between them. The style of the book is accessible and easy to understand both for experienced teachers and teacher trainees and as such is likely to awaken their interest.“

Eva Svobodová-Hana Švejdová: Terrorists in Kindergarten - A sample chapter from the book reviewed above.

 

ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jaroslav Provazník: The Contemporary Poetry for Children - a New Golden Age? - This overview of Czech poetry for children written in the last decade, which the author sees as fruitful as far as poetry for children is concerned, consists of the following chapters: Continuity, force of habit and… vacuity (on authors building on the previous period, e.g. Josef Brukner, Věra Provazníková, Karel Šiktanc, etc.), The return of lyric poetry (especially in the work of Radek Malý), The tired and the revitalised nonsense poetry (Pavel Šrut, Jiří Žáček, Petr Nikl…), Ways to the roots of nonsense poetry and adventurous journeys behind its horizons (Ivan Wernisch and Daniela Fischerová) and The degenerated nonsense, where the author of the article deals with trashy forms of nonsense poetry.

Eva Machková: No Lies and Little Truth: Legends for Drama - The second part of a study on legends and the possibilities they offer to theatre and classroom drama.

Daniela von Vorst: KinderKinder. The 25th International Festival of Theatre and Music for Children in Hamburg - A report from the festival that annually provides children in Hamburg with the opportunity to see about sixty theatrical and music performances from all over the world. What makes the KinderKinder festival so attractive is its inspiring and colourful dramaturgy and high-quality performances. The author describes in more detail the Physical Music performance by the American group Lelavision, the Belgian performance Bramborry by the De Spiegel group, and especially the Jeg ved - hvor din hus den bor! (I Know Where your House Lives!) by the Danish group Åben Dans.

Luděk Korbel-Eva Davidová-Antonín Šimůnek-Lucie Kudělová-Andrea Pavlíčková: Reviews of new books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 37

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) brings the script to the performance which dealt with the subject of holocaust The Angel Has not Come? by Kateřina Oplatková Rezková she created together with her secondary-school theatre group Roztočená Vrtule from the town of Slaný. The performance was shown with great success at the National Festival of Young Theatre as well as the Insights workshop of youth theatre and drama in Bechyně in October 2011. The script is accompanied by detailed methodological commentary describing the genesis of the performance.

 

 

SUMMARY 2011/3

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Hana Cisovská-Jaroslav Provazník: Children’s Theatre, poetry reading and drama education nowadays - In the years 2003-2007, ARTAMA (NIPOS), an institute of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, carried out a research study called The Importance of Selected Art Activities for the Personal Development of Schoolchildren in 1st-9th Classes (aged 6 to 15). The authors present research outcomes that concern the field of drama, supplementing them with a brief overview of the current situation of drama education in order to stimulate field debate necessary for the identification of the next steps that should be taken in implementing drama in Czech schools. The four-year research concerned lifestyle, socialising, creativity and attitude to culture and brought interesting answers to the following questions: How is personal development affected when children do theatre or poetry reading? How is this projected in their lifestyles? How does it help them integrate into society and form relationships? Are they more creative than children who do not attend theatre groups and never come in touch with drama education at school? And finally, is the impact of drama education reflected in their attitude to culture?…

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Klára Fidlerová: A Very Old Story. Working on a Theatre Performance with a Group of Second-year Students of Secondary Pedagogical School - The author of this article teaches secondary students who are training to become kindergarten teachers and leaders of school clubs. Within the subject Drama and Personal Education, Klára Fidlerová decided to work with one class (which happened to consist only of girls), preparing a performance called A Very Old Story based on King Arthur Legends, mainly the adaptation of Alfred Lord Tennyson (The Lady of Shalott and the stories of Lancelot, Guinevra and Elaine from the book The Idylls of the King). K. Fidlerová describes here the one-year-long seeking of theatrical means and the appropriate way of acting that would suit 16-17 year-old girls with minimum theatrical experience. She argues that students who are to work with children should experience the theatrical process on their own and also learn to present their performances in public. The article is supplemented by the script to the performance.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Tomáš Doležal: Drama Education in the Curricula of Primary Schools in Brno: information on a Research Accompanied by an Appeal - The author works at the Labyrint drama centre and teaches at the Pedagogical Faculty in Brno. The aim of his research was to find out how many schools in Brno have made drama education part of their school curricula and in what form (independent subject, teaching method, educational principle, etc.). T. Doležal has found out that 47% of schools (out of the total of 70) implement some form of drama education. He ends his research report by appealing to teachers of drama in other cities and regions of the Czech Republic to carry out similar research or surveys in their localities.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings a review by Jaroslav Provazník called How Fairy-Tales Should not be Played with Children, in which he criticizes a very problematic book called Playing Fairy-Tales from All Over the World, written by Eva Cílková (and published by the Prague-based publishing house Portál). The book contains more than twenty dramatisations of fairy-tales for theatre with children. According to the reviewer, however, the book is amateurish, presenting a confused and deformed view of children's theatre and drama education in general, showing a lack of experience on part of the author as well as her lack of sensitivity towards literary material. The reviewer winds up by saying: „I am shocked by the fact that a publishing house that has systematically strived to assist teachers releases such a bad, worthless book that is likely to confuse teachers and may discourage the more independently thinking ones from doing drama.“

The section ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH contains the following materials:

Hana Havlůjová: Pondering over the Meaning and Ways of Museum Pedagogy in the (Post)modern Era - An article by a teacher of the Dpt. of History and Didactics of History at the Pedagogical Faculty of the Charles University bringing a range of opinions concerning expositions in museums and various ways of their presentation including animation intended for children visitors.

Ivana Pernicová: „Flowing“ with Uncle Frank - A sixty-minute programme using drama methods takes places in a little museum in Prague (its building coming from the 16th century) that presents an exposition on the history of the now non-existent settlement of Podskalí, the life of its inhabitants and rafting on Vltava river. It is intended for groups of children aged 4 to 9. It strives to acquaint little visitors with unique exhibits concerning rafts, rafting and the extinct craft of raft-making.

Alena Anna Kyselo: Albrecht of Wallenstein - Builder and Warrior - The programme of the Regional Museum and Gallery in Jičín presents Albrecht of Wallenstein, general of the Austrian army during the Thirty-Year War, who had decided to turn Jičín into his residential seat. The programme shows Wallenstein both as warrior and builder who has significantly influenced the appearance of this East-Bohemian town and the landscape it is situated in.

Eva Machková: No Lies and Little Truth: Legends for Drama - The first part of a study on legends and the possibilities they offer to theatre and classroom drama. This part focuses on the mythical figure of Krakonoš, the Lord of the Giant Mountains situated on Czech border (also called Rýbrcoul, or Rübezahl in German).

Luděk Korbel: Landscapes that Can be Reached. On the new book by Iva Procházková Knots and Oranges (Uzly a pomeranče) - A review of the new, excellent story with a child protagonist written by one of the best contemporary Czech authors for children and youth.

Luděk Korbel-Antonín Šimůnek-Lucie Kudělová: Reviews of new books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 36

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) contains the script of one of the best performances of this year's Children's Stage national festival (Dětská scéna) in Svitavy. The series of three stories called As I Was Leaving Cordoba was prepared by the teachers from the primary school in Třebotov near Prague, Václava Makovcová and Jana Barnová. The script was written for 14 children (5 boys and 9 girls) aged 7 to 10. The script is supplemented by the original literary texts by Jan Vladislav and Vladislav Stanovský that the performance is based on as well as a methodological commentary and interview with both group leaders. At the end of the text supplement there is a review by Jakub Hulák pointing out that this programme also met with a very positive response at the festival of adult amateur theatre Jiráskův Hronov in August 2011.

 

 

SUMMARY 2011/2

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Barbora Novotná-Kateřina Doležalová: Europe is Dealing with Arts and Culture Education Issues - The Czech Ministry of Culture is a member of an expert work group called Synergies with education, especially arts education, which was established in October 2008 with the aim of implementing the work plan of the Council of European Union. Its purpose is to find effective ways to integrate culture and art education into obligatory school curricula. The negotiations strive to enhance the impact of art subjects in the schools in the EU countries not only as separate subjects, but also as a valuable source of creative teaching techniques that can enrich the teaching of other subjects as well.

Ján Pochanič: Drama Methods and Reading Skills - A teacher at the University of Prešov, Slovakia, reports on the research study he carried out in 2005-2007 among first-year pupils of elementary schools. Its aim was to find out whether and how drama methods can contribute to the level of reading skills. When the experimental and control groups were compared, it turned out that drama methods had little impact on the technical skill of reading, but enhanced the reading speed as well as the understanding of the texts the children read.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Hana Cisovská: Report on the 2011 Children's Stage - The 40th National Festival of Children's Theatre was for the first time held in the town of Svitavy and its program included 17 children theatre group performances from all over the Czech Republic. The reporter considers this year's festival to be successful and offer high standard of presented performances. She appreciates the choice of the town of Svitavy, which offered good organisational background to the festival and the inspiring educational programme in the workshops for both children and teachers as well as the high level of performances that stimulated interesting discussions. These featured a variety of topics such as using puppets in children's theatre, the importance of music, the role of an adult on stage with children (an inspiring example being the performance of the children's group from  Třebotov with a series of fairy-tales As I Was Leaving Cordoba) and especially the raising of issues and topics relevant to children such as seeking one's own identity (the audience is Svitavy responded enthusiastically to the performances When I Cannot Fall Asleep brought by the Basic School of Arts from Turnov and Is This Our Leni?! by the Basic School of Arts from Ostrov).

Lucie Mecová: Meeting Christel Hoffmann: Epic Theatre Principles as a Way to Theatre with Children - Workshops were an integral part of the 40th Children's Stage National Festival. One of them was led by the German lecturer Christel Hoffmann. A student of the Drama Education Dpt at DAMU, Prague, gives her impression of the workshop: „Christel Hoffmann was always full of energy and joy of working with people. Her enthusiasm was catching, she was giving brief and clear instructions and was able to get the best out of us. The week spent with her was a strong experience that filled all of us with inspiration and energy for further work.“

Kamila Kostřicová: Seeking Inspiring Ways: Winding the Webs for the Eighth Time - Winding the Webs (Soukání) is a festival held every two years in the West-Bohemian town of Ostrov. Children theatre groups from the Czech Republic and other Europan countries meet there - this year saw groups from Israel, Belgium, Lithuania, Poland, Spain and Slovakia. Their performances offered an interesting display of various types of „national poetics“ and made the audience ponder over similarities and differences among them.

Ivana Pintířová: Biblical Stories and Drama Education - This year a very interesting thesis was submitted at the Dpt. of Drama in Education at the Faculty of Theatre in Prague, which deals with ways of using biblical stories in drama including the restrictions there may be to using these texts. The author deals both with internal drama work, especially drama structures, and performances based on stories from the Bible.

Antonín Šimůnek: Biblical Themes in Children's Theatre - A report on a festival of biblical dramatisations held annually by the Diocese Catechistic Centre of the Diocese in České Budějovice.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Drama education in practice: A Survey of the Present Situation in Drama in Education in Czech and Moravian Schools - In 2009, the editorial board of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) addressed a number of people who have graduated from university departments of drama in education within the past twenty years. They were asked to contribute to the survey by sharing their experience with drama education at schools. The aim was to provide an objective picture of the subject after the Framework Education Programmes for Elementary Education and High Education have been introduced into the Czech educational system.

Olga Králová-Antonín Šimůnek: Drama education at the elementary school in Prague-Kunratice - Antonín Šimůnek interviewed the vice-director of the Basic school in Kunratice, who teaches drama there, to see how drama can work as a subject taught in grades 3-9 and what forms it may take.

Jana Pouchlá: The Redbridge Drama Centre - a drama centre in London - Information on the drama centre, with which Czech drama teachers have collaborated since the 1980s and which served as the model for establishing the first drama centre in the Czech Republic situated in Brno.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The section ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH contains the following materials:

Eva Machková: Don't Ask How it Might Have Been, a Fairy Tale is Good Enough - The second part of a study on classic folk fairy-tales and their variants, including an inspirational list of themes and topics for drama work.

Lenka Dzadíková: On two poles of Quality Scale: Slovak Theatre for Children - Looking at all performances for children and youth offered by Slovak theatres in the past few years, the author of this article believes the best quality to be found in puppet theatres. What she finds alarming is the lack of interest in drama for children on part of theatre critics and experts.

Jaroslav Provazník-Eva Kyselová-Marketa Popelová Nečasová: 1 + 3 Views of a Prague Festival - The 11th festival accompanying The International Day of Theatre for Children and Youth (20 March) has started the second decade of the traditional event. The Czech Committee of ASSITEJ, which organizes the festival in Prague, strives to promote good theatre for children by presenting not only professional performances, but also those created by adult amateur groups playing for children and performances by children and youth theatre groups. The festival sets no restrictions concerning the kinds and genres, so there is always a balanced mix of classic and puppet theatre. Among the highlights of the Prague festival was the performance Sister by the Dagmar Theatre from Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary), the puppet play The Wave performed by the Tate iyumni group from Prague, the fairy-tale Silly Jack and Cheeky Mary who was Made Better by the Devil played by the Xaver theatre from Prague and a remarkable performance Božka or How it Might Not Have Been by the children's group Hladká vrtule from Slaný.

Luděk Korbel: The Little Princess: Remembering Childhood and the Little Prince - A review of the book by the Slovak author Ján Uličianský, which is a modern variation of the famous book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Kristina Procházková: Grandfathers and other author books by Pavel Čech – A portrait of the contemporary Czech author and illustrator of books for very young readers.

Lucie Kudělová: Stories from Czech History: An overview of contemporary children's books on history – In the past few years, several books for children have appeared on the book market that tell stories from both Czech history as well as that of other countries. The reviewer pays attention to various genres – from encyklopedias to fiction to comics.

Eva Brhelová-Lucie Kudělová-Antonín Šimůnek-Luděk Korbel-Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of new books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 35

In the 1960s, the Czech author Iva Hercíková published a book for children called Five Girls to Care For, which ranks among the best Czech psychological stories with a girl protagonist. Soon after its publishing the Czech director Evald Schorm made an excellent film based on the book. The novel has also inspired several theatre group leaders to dramatise it. Three of these dramatisations are published in this issue of the Children's Stage (Dětská scéna) supplement. The first dramatisation came into being in the late 1960s in Olomouc, where at that time Věra Pánková, one of the leading personalities of Czech drama in education, was a teacher. In the 1990s a dramatisation of the book was attempted by the children's theatre group in Uherské Hradiště led by Hana Nemravová and last year the story was dramatised by Alena Palarčíková from the Basic School of Arts Žerotín in Olomouc. The last two mentioned performances were among the most interesting at the national festivals of children's theatre. All three scripts are accompanied by dramaturgical and methodological notes.

 

 

SUMMARY 2011/1

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education - The Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education is a major outcome of UNESCO’s Second World Conference on Arts Education held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, on 25 – 28 May 2010. The Conference gathered more than 650 officials and experts in arts education from 95 countries. The programme included a Ministerial round table, keynote speeches, panel discussions, parallel workshops, regional group discussions, an encounter with NGOs and foundations, and a special session on Arts Education and the Rapprochement of Cultures. The Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education reflects the conviction of the IAC members and the experts participating in the Conference that arts education has an important role to play in the constructive transformation of educational systems that are struggling to meet the needs of learners in a rapidly changing world characterized by remarkable advances in technology on the one hand and intractable social and cultural injustices on the other. The Seoul Agenda will serve as a concrete plan of action that integrates the substance of the Road Map within a structure of the following three broad goals, each accompanied by a number of practical strategies and specific action items. The Seoul Agenda calls upon UNESCO Member States, civil society, professional organizations and communities to recognize its governing goals, to employ the proposed strategies, and to implement the action items in a concerted effort to realize the full potential of high quality arts education to positively renew educational systems, to achieve crucial social and cultural objectives, and ultimately to benefit children, youth and life-long learners of all ages.

Marta Žilková: Children as Recipients of Contemporary Art - Marta Žilková, a pedagogue at the Institute of Literary and Art Communication of the Philosophical Faculty in Nitra, Slovak Republic, discusses the following two issues: 1. Who are the children and youth recipients of contemporary art? How have they changed over the past twenty years? and 2. How does contemporary art respond to these changes and to the expectations of its recipients? Does it care about them? Does it take them into account?

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Hana Cisovská: Insights 2010 (Nahlížení 2010) - An article providing an overview of performances that appeared at the 21st national workshop and festival of secondary school and youth theatre taking place in the South-Bohemian town of Bechyně in October 2010. This creative event not only makes it possible for young theatre makers to present their work, but also discuss one another's performances and share inspiration. The festival is open to ready-to-view performances, but also unfinished theatrical work in the process of making, whose creators want to gather ideas and stimuli for finishing their piece. The author of the article draws attention to the performace „Sister“ played by Dagmar Theatre Studio of Karlovy Vary (Carslbad) and directed by its leader Hana Franková, which she sees as the highlight of the festival.

Václav Bartoš: Student Theatre : its specifics, typology a characteristics -

The study based on a bachelor's work presented at the Department of Theatre Theory and Criticism of DAMU, Prague, in September 2008, tries to identify and describe various types of student theatre and its main features.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Eva Brhelová and Veronika Rodriguezová: Question as a Key to the Story - A report on the seminar led by the Canadian lecturer David Booth at the 16th National Workshop Drama Education at School held in Jičín in 2010.  His seminar How Theatre Educates our Students offered an experienced teacher's view of drama structures (process drama). David Booth introduced well-known drama techniques in new contexts. He outlined a number of possibilities of using improvisation and other play activities on the way to a story dramatisation. An enriching contribution was using the dialogue technique in combination with the method of roleplay in manifold variants.

Drama education in practice : A Survey of the Present Situation in Drama in Education in Czech and Moravian Schools - In 2009, the editorial board of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) addressed a number of people who graduated from university departments of drama in education within the past twenty years. They were asked to contribute to the survey by sharing their experience with drama education at schools. The aim was to provide an objective picture of the subject after the Framework Education Programmes for Elementary Education and High Education have been introduced into the Czech educational system. This issue of Tvořivá dramatika brings the following contributions to the survey: Ivana Faltusová: My Encounters with Drama Education, Jana Pucharová (a teacher at the Bishop's Grammar School and a primary school in North Bohemia): Drama Education Meets with Positive Reactions of Children, their Parents and the Public and Radka Šulistová (Medical and Social Faculty and Philosophical Faculty of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice): Teachers' Objecting that Drama Education is too Time-consuming and Demanding is the Main Obstacle.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings a review by Eva Brhelová called Creative Work with Narrative Texts not only for Drama Education. It deals with a new book by Radek Marušák, a teacher at the Drama-in-Education Department of the Prague Faculty of Theatre (DAMU). This handbook called Literature in Action : Drama education methods in working with fiction shows the readers, especially drama teachers and students, the way to a deeper insight and understanding of topics brought up by a story. The reviewer sees this way of working as an original feature of drama education with its unique possibility of combining literature and theatre.

The block ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH contains the following materials:

Eva Machková: Don't Ask How it Might Have Been, a Fairy Tale is Good Enough – The first part of a study on classic folk fairy-tales and their variants, including an inspirational list of themes and topics for drama work.

Daniela von Vorst: Theatre under a Magnifying Glass : Creative workshops accompanying performances - An article on drama workshops intended for children and youth theatre audiences. The main aim of the workshop lecturers is to enable participants, most typically school classes, to understand the themes of the plays and performances they have seen, including the motivations of the characters and relationships among them.

Šárka Urbanovská: The Studio at Švanda‘s Theatre - Information on a theatre studio established in 2005 in the Švanda‘s Theatre (Švandovo divadlo) in Prague with the aim of running theatre workshops for primary school pupils as well as secondary school and university students.

Daniela von Vorst: Creative Workshop on the Periphery performance - An example of a programme prepared as a complement to František Langer's play Periphery staged at Švanda‘s Theatre in Prague.

Antonín Šimůnek: Creative workshop Accompanying the Performance

Margaret, the Daughter of Lazar - A workshop for children who have seen the above-mentioned performance at the DISK student theatre of the DAMU in Prague.

Kateřina Mikanová: The Giant Mountains Sour Soup cooked in Brno - A review of a new performance by the Polárka Theatre of Brno.

Lucie Kudělová: Tales from Czech History : An overview of history books for children - An overview of books for children and youth dealing with Czech history published in the past few years.

Luděk Korbel-Antonín Šimůnek-Lucie Kudělová-Eva Brhelová- Viera

Žemberová: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 34

The latest issue of Children's Stage (Dětská scéna), the text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) journal brings a dramatisation of several stories about Viking Vike written by the Swedish author Runer Jonsson. The dramatisation was made by Radim Svoboda in the 1980s; in 1986 the play was performed at the National Festival of Children's Theatre Kaplické divadelní léto (Kaplice Theatre Summer) by the Prague theatre group Pampelíšek led by Marie Kolářová. As Zdena Josková writes in her dramaturgical note, Svoboda's dramatisation has brings an original, fresh spirit into the dramaturgy of children's theatre. „It has proven once again,“ she writes, „that finding a meaningful, relevant literary text that can generate enough dramatic situations and that children can relate to is the main precondition of success.“

 

 

SUMMARY 2010/3

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Jana Johnová: Drama Education in the Netherlands - The author both looks back in history and characterises the present state of drama in the Netherlands. She pays special attention to the subject of drama, which has been part of primary teacher training programmes at the IPABO pedagogical institute since 1984. The aim of the study programme at IPABO is to provide teacher trainees with a broad knowledge of the field of drama education and make them understand its importance for child development. At the IPABO in Amsterdam, where Holger de Nooij is the leading personality in teaching drama, his book Kijk op spel (Aspects of Play) is used as the main course book. It is also employed as a methodological material by teachers all over the country. The study programme does not differ significantly from courses offered at the pedagogical faculties in the Czech Republic. Both countries agree in one basic point: it is necessary to have well-prepared and well-educated professionals to teach drama education. Their experience and personality are also essential parts of their competence. Besides providing this general overview, the author of the article describes an interesting and inspiring project carried out by the Krakeling Theatre from Amsterdam that has become very popular with drama teachers in Dutch primary schools.

Eva Machková: Mythologies Part 4 (the Leftovers) - A reflection on stories and topics that the mythologies of ancient civilisations can offer to modern theatre with children and youth and to drama in education. This part deals with stories from Slavic, Persian and Chinese mythologies. Eva Machková compares various sources and modern adaptations of these stories and considers possibilities of using them in theatre with children and youth or in classroom drama.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Veronika Krátká: Live Living Diversity! Embracing the Arts of Transformation! - An article on the 7th World Congress of the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association (IDEA) held between 17 and 25 July 2010 in Belém, Brazil. The organisers prepared a broad scope of academic and artistic activites for ca 1500 people from more than 50 countries who have participated in the congress. These included roundtable discussions, work in special interest groups, presentations and workshops, meeting of the general board of IDEA, a theatre festival, examples of various artistic activities and last but not least, the Young IDEA international project, which has culminated in an inspiring performance. „It is unquestionable that the ABRA organisation has put together a colourful offer both of culture and academic activities, in which it put emphasis on hot social issues and possible solutions to these,“ writes the author. „It has to be said, though, that the effort that had been invested into the preparation was at times flawed by poor organisation of events. Lack of information, long idle moments and logistic problems sometimes prevented participants to enjoy the programme fully. Participants thus had to accept these flaws as a fact and use the long breaks to meet other participants and exchange experience. That is, after all, one of the most valuable benefits of such events. I believe some of the contacts established there can help to bring some interesting personalities of drama education into the Czech Republic in future.“

Soňa Demjanovičová: Drama activities with Seniors - This article presents the crucial parts of a bachelor's degree work that a student of the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Prague Theatre Faculty implemented at the Whiteladies Residential Home in Bristol, United Kingdom. She offered drama activities to seniors aged 65 to 90, including those suffering from dementia or serious mental and physical handicaps. Her project focused on an area that has not yet been searched very well. „I felt a need of some activity among the residents of the senior home,“ writes the author, „but I had no idea what the reactions to drama activities would be. At first I was uncertain how to conceive my project in a meaningful way. Although I was treading on unknown ground, I had formulated some aims:

- Offer activities to the residents of the Whiteladies Residential Home at a suitable time to enrich their programme, enable them to have fun and do meaningful activities.

- Facilitate greater extent of communication among the residents both in drama lessons and outside them, encourage the sharing of experience by means of games, exercises, stories, topics, participants' real-life stories...

- Train skills and competences that are impaired at this age, such as memory, sensory perception, creativity, intelligence... Create space for the sharing of memories to enrich all participants including myself.                 

- Examine the potential of drama education in the environment of senior home.

The work describes the implementation of the project, the ways in which the residents responded to it, and its outcomes.

Drama education in practice. A survey of the present situation in drama in education in Czech and Moravian schools - More than a year ago, the editorial board of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) addressed a number of people who graduated from university departments of drama in education within the past twenty years. They were asked to contribute to the survey by sharing their experience with drama education at schools. The aim was to provide an objective picture of the subject after the Framework Education Programmes for Elementary Education and High Education have been introduced into the Czech educational system. This issue of Tvořivá dramatika brings the following contributions to the survey: Věra Klechová: Drama education is irreplaceable at our school; Alžběta Nováková Kratochvílová: Drama work in our school differs from work in common drama groups (on drama activities at a special needs school in Prague 5); and Lenka Ebelová: Drama education at a small primary school vs. drama education at a big school of arts.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Irena Konývková: Make your Dream. The 9th Word Festival of Children's Theatre - A few impressions from the international event held in Lingen, Germany from 18 to 25 June 2010.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The block ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH contains mainly articles on gallery/museum education. A PhD student at the Dpt. of Visual Arts of the Pedagogical Faculty, Charles University in Prague, Miroslava Kafková introduces gallery education programmes in her article Gallery education: „From the methodological viewpoint we can divide them into three types: Programmes with theoretical focus include lectures and discussions. Practically oriented programmes, on the other hand, emphasize active involvement of participants and take place in workshops or studios. In a mixed type of programmes these two types of activities are balanced.“ The text is supplemented by an interview with Marie Fulková from the same visual arts department. It is called Animation, or education? and it deals primarily with the issues of culture education and visual arts methodology. Since the 1990s Fulková has participated in the development of gallery education programmes and collaborated on regular basis with the Rudolfinum Gallery and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. She takes advantage of the experience she gained in her collaboration with galleries in the USA, United Kingdom, Japan and Denmark. Two projects are described at the end of the interview to illustrate what gallery education programmes are about: The visual arts workshop „In One Breath“ accompanying the „Toys“ exhibition of Libuše Niklová and “The Cubist Transformations“ educational Programme  on cubism in painting, sculpture, architecture and furniture design that the National Gallery in Prague offers to schools.

Kristina Procházková: Three Plus One. Four Personalities of Contemporary Children's Book Illustration - An article presenting four inspiring personalities of contemporary Czech illustration art: Petr Sís, Markéta Prachatická, František Skála and Petr Nikl.

Ivana Pintířová: Hunting the Unicorn: A story of a political prisoner that schools are not interested in. - A review of an interesting performance of the Prague puppet theatre Minor.

Jakub Anděl: Exposition PLAY - A review of a new exposition of the Czech artist, poet and performer Petr Nikl,

Viera Žemberová: Reminiscence: Little Gypsies are Slovak children too - Information of two books of Romany fairy-tales published in Slovakia.

Luděk Korbel: Three Anthologies of Polish poetry for children - A review of three new translations - anthologies of Polish poetry for children published by the Barrister & Principal publishing house in collaboration with the Polish Institute in Prague. This venture accompanied the World of Book fair 2010 in Prague and includes the books by Łukasz Dębski and Małgorzata Strzałkowska and a new anthology from the work of the classic author of Polish poetry for children Jan Brzechwa ZOO and other poems for children, this time in a modern translation by Petr Motýl.

Eva Brhelová-Antonín Šimůnek-Luděk Korbel-Lucie Kudělová-Viera Žemberová: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 33

This issue of Children's Stage focuses on classical fairy-tale in theatre played by children and the possibilities of its dramatisation. The most successful dramatic texts include those written by Milada Mašatová, who taught at the Basic school of arts in Olomouc from the 1970s to the 1990s, ranking among the most inspiring personalities of Czech children's theatre, especially puppet theatre. The 33rd issue of the Children's stage brings two of her dramatisations of classical Czech fairy-tales: Bajaja written to the motives of Božena Němcová and How to find a princess inspired by a fairy-tale by Karel Jaromír Erben. In the Slovak town of Košice, a children's puppet theatre group was led by Stanislava Gábrišová, who made for them a dramatisation of a classical Slovak fairy-tale by Pavol Dobšinský Three dragon feathers. The last text published in this issue of Children's Stage is an unusual dramatisation of the Armenian folk tale Shivar and the Snake written and staged by Josef Brůček with the South-Bohemian theatre group Tatrmani from Sudoměřice near Bechyně. All published scripts are accompanied by dramaturgical and methodological notes.

 

 

SUMMARY 2010/2

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Josef  Valenta: Research Methodology in the Field of Drama and Teacher Training – The article discusses the importance of educational research, taking a closer look on research in drama education. It describes the basic logic, methodology and various types of research suitable for examining drama education, including a comparison of advantages and disadvantages of quantitative vs. qualitative research. Pondering over the importance of research in the field of drama education, the author states: ‘‘The purpose of researching is to gain real knowledge of processes taking place in the field, not just build on presumptions and impressions on ‘what is going on out there’. There can be a major gap between really knowing and only presuming… Another purpose is to create a base for pedagogical, psychological and didactic education of teachers and mitigate the impact of subjective theories on practice. Last but not least, research helps sustain the field and gain acknowledgement and respect for it. Otherwise the field may have worse chances in being acknowledged as a university course or become part of school curricula.’’ As Josef Valenta points out, research in drama education is an issue not only in the Czech Republic: ‘‘The British journal Research in Drama Education, for example, was established in 1996 not only as a result of drama teachers being interested in the outcomes of their work, but also as a platform making it possible to collect and present arguments to government explaining why drama should be introduced into schools.’’

Eva Machková: North of the Alps: Transformations 3 (continued) - A reflection on stories and topics that the mythologies of ancient civilisations can offer to modern theatre with children and youth and to drama in education. This part deals with stories from Germanic mythology. Eva Machková compares various sources and modern adaptations of these stories and considers possibilities of using them in theatre or classroom drama.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

 

Hana Cisovská: Trutnov 2010 or Topics Performed and Discussed at This Year’s Children's Stage - Children’s Stage 2010, the 39th national festival of children’s theatre held as usual in the east-Bohemian town of Trutnov in June, offered 17 performances brought by groups from all over the Czech Republic. Most were evaluated as high quality and some of them as excellent. Drama teacher Hana Cisovská from the Pedagogical Faculty in Ostrava discusses in her report what impulses this year’s festival has brought and how it has enriched the practice and methodology of making theatre with children. She states that the jury and participants have frequently discussed the choice of literary texts that served as inspiration for dramatisation, appreciating the fact that several groups have chosen demanding or extensive novels with serious themes. The HOP-HOP group from the Basic School of Arts in Ostrov has staged the novel I Can Jump Puddles by the Australian writer Alan Marshall, which the reviewer considers to have been the main highlight of the festival. The group from the Basic School of Arts in Olomouc has staged the novelette Five Girls to Handle by the contemporary Czech writer Iva Hercíková. The Prague group DIPAČÁPI from the Primary School in Prague 5 undertook the difficult task of staging the philosophical prose Momo and the Time-Thieves by Michael Ende. Another hot topic discussed was the ability of groups and leaders to build up situations and make space for characters to act in, especially in relation to the abilities of child actors. Stage design and music and the ways in which they are related to the theme were also an issue often raised in common discussions. Among the most inspiring performances Hana Cisovská mentions the play of devising theatre Božka aneb Jak to možná nebylo? (Thea or How it May not Have Been) performed by the theathe group of a Primary School in Slaný. ‘‘The text written by the group leader Kateřina Rezková is a monologue of a female God - a girl Božka (Thea), who, during play, maybe by mistake and despite the warning of her parents, suddenly creates a world. The success of the performance lies mainly in the good and witty text, interpreted by the main child actress with confidence and a sense of time and rhythm of the text and its main point.’’ Other inspiring performances that Hana Cisovská mentions include: Marie-Hedvika's Birthday, a dramatisation of one chapter from the well-known book by René Goscinny about the little boy Nicholas, which became the basis of a short performance by the group Truhlíci from the Basic School of Arts in Prostějov, and especially an excellent performance of very young children from the Primary School in Děčín called On stinkhorn… and other mushrooms.

Kateřina Rezková: Thea or How it May not Have Been? - As a supplement of the report on the Children’s Stage Festival, Tvořivá dramatika brings a devising theatre script of one of the most successful performances of the 2010 festival in Trutnov.

Jaroslav Provazník: SKLUZ for the second time - On an imaginary map of youth theatre festivals in the Czech Republic, a new point appeared two years ago: SKLUZ, a festival of secondary school and university student groups held by the Basic school of arts in Ostrov. After the first trial year of 2008, this year offered a rich and diverse programme involving 11 performances. The author reviews each of them briefly, pointing out features most of them have in common such as a grotesque character and irony, or frequent employing of montage principles. He appreciates the emerging tendency towards devising theatre.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Drama education in practice. A survey of the present situation in drama in education in Czech and Moravian schools - More than a year ago, the editorial board of Tvořivá dramatika addressed a number of people who graduated from university departments of drama in education within the past twenty years. They were asked to contribute to the survey by sharing their experience with drama education at schools. The aim was to provide an objective picture of the subject after the Framework Education Programmes for Elementary Education and High Education have been introduced into the Czech educational system. This issue of Tvořivá dramatika brings the first contributions to the survey: Hana Cisovská: Difficulties, obstacles and positives… and Jana Andrejsková: Drama education at the Secondary Grammar and Pedagogical School in Čáslav.

Petra Kratinová: Drama education as a subject at the Primary School in Lysolaje - A drama-in-education teacher, graduate of the Dept. of Primary Education at the Pedagogical Faculty (Charles University) in Prague, describes how the subject has gradually become an integral part of the curriculum at a small primary school near Prague.

Petra Kratinová: Prometheus - A sample lesson of drama in education based on a well-known Greek myth illustrates one of ways drama education is implemented at the Primary School in Lysolaje. It is also offered as inspiration for other teachers of drama.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings a review by David Kroča called A guide of solo poetry reading. The author, who teaches at the Czech Language Department of the Pedagogical Faculty of the Masaryk University in Brno, analyses and reviews the new book by Emilie Zámečníková called The Path to the Reciting of Poetry: A Handbook for Teachers and Children (appreciating among other things its inventive graphic layout and illustrations). David Kroča winds up his review by expressing the belief that the quality of the book provides it with high chances of becoming the basic handbook for children beginners in poetry reciting and their teachers.

The second block, ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH, contains the following materials:

Antonín Šimůnek-Václav Bartoš-Ivo Kristán Kubák-Anna Hrnečková-Luděk Korbel-Markéta Nečasová-Hana Stonová Prančlová-Eva Kyselová: The Jubilee Festival on the Occasion of the International Day of Theatre for Children and Youth - Theatre for young audiences has long stayed at the margin of interest both of theatre professionals and the public. The critics, teachers and parents often do not take much effort to distinguish between real art and routine, dilettantism or kitsch. It is one of the reasons why the Czech centre of the ASSITEJ (Association Internationale du Théâtre pour l´Enfance et la Jeunesse / International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) has strived for the past ten years to find and show quality performances for children and youth, and invite especially school groups to watch them. This year the festival took place between 20 and 24 March in Prague and it was attended by almost 3000 spectators. Students of Drama-in-education Department and Theatre Science and Criticism Department of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) in Prague review here all the major performances of the festival, in which professional, amateur, children and youth theatre groups took part.

Antonín Šimůnek: Jánošík: Three Persons in One. An international Theatre Project on the legendary Slovak outlaw - A review of an extraordinary joint project of the DRAK theatre from Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, the Old Theatre of Karol Spišák from Nitra, Slovakia, and the Lalka theatre from Warsaw, Poland. The project was centred around the character of the legendary Slovak outlaw Jánošík, who is said to have robbed the rich and given to the poor.

Eva Koudelková: Czech and German Transcriptions of Oral Folk Tales from Bohemia and Moravia - The literary scientist from the Department of Czech Language and Literature of the Faculty of Science, Humanities and Pedagogy in Liberec and an expert in legends reviews here a unique book - a Czech translation of one of the most important collection of orally told folk tales published in 1863 under the title of Sagen aus Böhmen and edited by professor Josef Virgil Grohmann. Eva Koudelková uses the opportunity to outline the history of treating and publishing of regional tales in Bohemia and Moravia, focusing on publications in German language. She writes: ‘‘It is not easy to treat the folklore of the Central European provenance. The Czechs have lived on the crossroads of migration streams and cultural influences both from the East and the West - sometimes in isolation, at other times integrated into Europe. All this is reflected in our storytelling tradition, which, for the above reasons, cannot be seen as a tradition characterised by either Czech, or German nationality. It makes more sense to see it from the viewpoint of geographical provenance - simply as a central European tradition.’’

Luděk Korbel: How to Speak about the Unspeakable. Inspiration for Theatrical Work - A review of an outstanding book for children and youth by the American author Ann Dee Ellis that deals with the issue of bullying. It is called This is that I did and this year it was translated into Czech.

Viera Žemberová: The Day of Slovak Literature for Children and Youth at the International Book Fair in Bologna - The Slovak literary critic informs about the presentation of Slovak literature for children and youth at the most important international fair of books for children and youth in Bologna (Italy).

Eva Brhelová-Antonín Šimůnek-Luděk Korbel-Lucie Kudělová-Viera Žemberová: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 32

In the past few years, Czech children’s theatre has ventured to treat stories with a child main hero, including those that might be called psychological. The editors of the Dětská scéna (Children’s Stage) text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika wanted to draw attention to the fact that throughout the history of Czech theatre with children, there have been some remarkable performances and dramatisations which can serve as inspiration even today. One of the most inspiring ones in the late 1980s was the performance prepared by Dana Svozilová and Silva Macková, leaders of the famous children and youth theatre group PIRKO from Brno. It was called It’s just a Game, which treats the topic of bullying very openly and in quite a raw manner. The published script is accompanied by a methodological commentary by Silva Macková, where she describes the process of making the performance. The source of their adaptation was a dramatisation of the novel Scarecrow (Чучело ) by the Russian author Vladimir Zheleznikov (1981) made by Peter Weigel and Stanislava Weigelová. In his short note A Look Back on the History of Theatre with Children and its Inspiration for Nowadays, Jaroslav Provazník comments on the adaptation made for a children’s theatre group, in which the tragic story of the girl Lenka who experiences bullying was set into a new framework of children’s games. He concludes by saying: ‘‘I believe this adaptation has not become old-fashioned, but, on the contrary, highly up-to-date.’’

 

SUMMARY 2010/1

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Eva Machková: North of the Alps: Transformations 3 - A reflection on stories and topics that the mythologies of ancient civilisations can offer to modern theatre with children and youth and to drama in education. This part deals with stories from Celtic mythology. Eva Machková compares various modern adaptations of these stories and considers possibilities of using them in theatre or classroom drama.

 

 

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Václav Klemens: Some Notes from Bechyně - Pondering over the Insights 2009 festival (Nahlížení), the 20th national workshop and festival of high school and youth drama held in the South-Bohemian town of Bechyně. The most inspiring performances included Me, Holden, a dramatisation of J. D. Salinger’s famous novel The Catcher in the Rye brought by the Dagmar Theatre from Karlsbad (led and directed by Hana Franková), Vertigo performed by the theatre group from the Basic School of Arts in Trutnov (led by Dominika Špalková) and the fairy-tale Sense and Luck performed by children from the Basic School of Arts in Jindřichův Hradec (led by Zuzana Jirsová).

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Gail Humphries Mardirosian-Yvonne Pelletier Lewis: How to Use Theatre to Teach At-Risk Students - Professors from American University and artists and educators from Imagination Stage, a children's theatre and arts-education organization in nearby Bethesda (Maryland, USA), have combined their intellectual and artistic strengths over the past 12 years to create an arts-integrated educational program for elementary and secondary schools throughout the region. Imagination Quest is an example of how colleges, arts organizations, donors, schools, and parents can work together to improve education. With arts-integrated instruction, the gateway to opportunity and equity - one that will afford all children the chance to succeed academically - can be opened.

Hana Galetková: Education Through Puppets: Learning Activities with Therapeutic Focus that Employ Puppets - Education Through Puppets is an educational, experiential and creative activity using puppets and other arts-and-crafts material. It is aimed especially at children and youth with special needs including mental handicap, combined disorders, ADHD or physical handicap. It is also suitable for children who are at risk of social exclusion (Roma children, those from economically weak families, etc.). The activity consists of a series of workshops led as drama play with puppets, in which children are active participants for the whole time. „As lecturers,“ writes the author of her own experience, “we employ puppet theatre techniques and means of drama to get children engaged in the creative process. They are thus co-creators and partners in this process (the extent depending on type and severity of handicap). Drama in education always uses the “as if” or play principle, with children and their abilities always in the focus. The puppet education workshops build on the same principles. Children work creatively, playing with material and objects. Puppets are main actors in the play, moving the action forward and enabling children to communicate and/or identify with them.” The article introduces the aims, concept and methodology of the programme.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The block ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH contains the following materials: Antonín Šimůnek: The DRAK Theatre: Never Compromising - An interview with the three leading personalities of the worldwide-known puppet theatre DRAK from Hradec Králové - directors Josef and Jakub Krofta, and the musician, actor and director Jiří Vyšohlíd. DRAK is one of the few theatres in the Czech Republic who aim almost all their repertoire at children and youth, but whose performances regularly win the hearts of adult audiences as well. This is because DRAK has always approached theatre for children with maximum seriousness and professionalism.

Luděk Korbel: War Seen Through Children’s Eyes - A study on diaries written by children who became victims of war conflicts, beginning with the Diary of Anne Frank to the diary of the Bosnian girl Zlata Filipović. The author discusses the specifics of the genre and suggests what inspiration these books may bring to making drama with children nowadays. Although war diaries often capture a lot of cruelties, they also witness the sensitivity and humanism of their authors, who are capable of reflecting on life issues even in such extreme circumstances. If approached sensitively, the diaries can communicate even years later and out of the war context, since extreme situations always involve the main issues of human life.

Antonín Šimůnek: Iva Procházková’s The Naked - A review of the outstanding novel on teenage life written by one of the best contemporary Czech authors of books for children and youth, whose work has been awarded several prizes both in the Czech Republic and abroad (especially in Germany, where she lived in emigration in the 1980s). The word „naked“ in the title refers to the state of a teenager’s soul. „Nakedness,“ points out the reviewer, „means here a symbol of genuineness, wholeness and uniqueness, and thus also inner freedom. The age of the book’s heroes is an age of nakedness. They do not want to ‘get dressed’; instead, they need to live through their nakedness. Only later, without realizing it, they are going to put on layer by layer of adult life as expected by the society.“

Luděk Korbel-Antonín Šimůnek-Lucie Kudělová: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 31

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika provides a glimpse into the creative work of Jana Machalíková, leader of youth theatre groups, specialist in poetry reading and lecturer of animation drama programmes in Prague’s National Gallery. Children’s Stage brings here four of her scripts, which were among the most inspiring at the national festivals of children’s theatre in the past few years: Stop Cooking, Little Pot! (dramatisation of a classical Czech fairy-tale by Karel Jaromír Erben),  The Fisherman and the Little Fish (dramatisation of a fairy-tale by A. S. Pushkin), The Swineherd (dramatisation of a fairy-tale by Hans Christian Andersen) and On Us (montage of verses by the American poet Shel Silverstein). The scripts are accompanied by detailed commentaries of how performances evolved, and the description of methods used in working with children. In her final reflection, Jana Machalíková writes: „My work with children’s groups always began with getting to know one another and establishing relationships. I never set the making of a performance as the main goal. Some years we had no performance and presented only samples of work or little improvisations...  During the developmental stage when ideas were collected I always gave children the veto. I knew children could come up with wonderful ideas, but I was careful not to accept anything they suggested. Often we seriously discussed the purpose of this or that idea… Every performance was thus a joint venture, though led by me. At a certain stage, however, I was not able to look at the performance objectively anymore, because I had become too engaged in its creation. This was one of the reasons why we participated in a lot of festivals and workshops, where there were enough experienced eyes to provide feedback. I always taught children to ask about things that did not work, because people are usually ready to share what did work and what they liked, but few of them dare to provide constructive criticism.“

 

 

SUMMARY 2009/3

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Eva Gažáková: Inspiration from the Antipodes: Drama in Education in New Zealand as seen by Janinka Greenwood - Drawing on her interview with the important drama teacher born in Prague and living in New Zealand since the 1950s and inspired by other resources as well, the author of the article outlines the main stages in the development of drama in New Zealand. Among other moments she mentions the integration of drama into the national curriculum and the ensuing problems that teachers had to solve. She also pays attention to a special project designed and carried out by Janinka Greenwood that included work with Maori population.

Eva Machková: Mythologies that the Sun Shone on: Transformations 2 - A reflection on stories and topics that the mythologies of ancient civilisations can offer to modern theatre with children and youth and to drama in education. This part deals with stories that appear in Sumerian and other Mesopotamian literary monuments, in ancient Egyptian stories as well as stories found in the Bible. Eva Machková compares various modern Czech adaptations of these stories and considers possibilities of using them in theatre or classroom drama.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Eva Gažáková: New Zealand Inspiration. A Seminar with Janinka Greenwood - In May 2009 the New Zealand drama teacher Janinka Greenwood visited the Czech Republic and led a workshop at the Drama-in-education Dpt. of the Faculty of Theatre in Prague. Eva Gažáková, a post-graduate student at the above-mentioned faculty, describes and comments the methods used by Janinka Greenwood, comparing them with those common in the Czech Republic. The article is accompanied by a detailed biography of Janinka Greenwood, who presently teaches at the University of Canterbury (School of Literacies and Arts in Education) and is chief editor of New Zealand Journal of Research in Performing Arts and Education: Nga Mahi a Rehia.

Magda Veselá: Theatre? With Me? - A Report on the international conference held between 7 and 10 May 2009 in Rostock (Germany) under the title Theater? Mit mir? (Theatre? With Me?). It was intended for teachers and other people in helping professions who work with children and youth at risk (the conference had the subtitle Children and adolescents at risk). It stried to provide inspiration for using theatre and drama-in-education techniques in working with this target group. The conference was organised by Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock (HMT). The reporter appraises the conference as very well organised and enriching, the peak experience for her being the two-hour workshop called The Body, which was led by the New Zealand drama teacher Janinka Greenwood from the University of Canterbury, preceded by a lecture she gave on working with the Maori community at primary and secondary schools.

Michaela Lažanová: Theatre of Languages. A week of theatre and drama in foreign language learning - A report on a weekend conference connected with an eight-day festival of performances played in foreign languages that took place in Prague in June 2009. The event was organised by the Marjánka primary school in Prague 6, Cambridge University Press and the Pedagogical Faculty of the Charles University. The reporter found many performances rather amateurish, but she points out there were others that strived for quality both in terms of theatre and foreign language. She concludes by saying: “This year’s festival proved that drama can be an effective method in language teaching. However, it also became clear that mere enthusiasm is not enough.”

Anna Hrnečková: The year 1968: Information and emotions - A remarkable project for children aged 14-15 let focusing on historical events of 1968, especially the Soviet invasion into Czechoslovakia. The author prepared a two-day project that enables students to examine the dramatic events of 1968 in Czechoslovakia by means of drama. She comments her intentions: “In seeking problem situations and ways of grasping them I built on the assumption that by understanding history one learns to understand the present. I therefore found it important that conflicts, even though stemming from specific situations, should have a more general character and relate to environment that pupils are familiar with such as school, family or peer group.” The project, conceived as an extensive process drama, was part of a bachelor’s thesis presented this year at the Drama-in-education Dpt. at the Faculty of Theatre in Prague.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Jakub Stárek: Theatre Feast in Turgi - An article on the international children’s theatre festival held for the fourth time in the Swiss town of Turgi near Zurich at the end of July and beginning of August 2009. The author presents an overview of all performances as well as topics of workshops that were offered to children from theatre groups from all over Europe.

Martina Najbrtová-Jitka Říčařová-Josef Rosen: Theatre in Education in Budapest - Students of the Drama-in-education Dpt. of the Faculty of Theatre in Prague report on their visit to the Káva drama centre in Budapest that has focused on theatre in education (T.I.E.) for the past few years. They describe two performances they saw - The Holy Family and The Puppets (based on Georg Büchner´s play Leonce and Lena) - and compare the work of Hungarian theatre makers with their own experience gained in projects they made in the Czech Republic.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings a review by Veronika Rodriguezová, called Research is an advanture, of the new Czech book The Qualitative Research within the Pedagogy.

The second block, ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH, contains the following materials:

Kristina Procházková: The Baobab Publishing House and Contemporary Illustrations for Children - The Prague-based Baobab is one of the most progressive publishing houses focusing on children’s books. It publishes both original texts by Czech writers and interesting translations. As their production has constantly had high visual and graphic quality, the author concentrates on these aspects in her review, paying attention to the illustrations and graphic concept of the books.

Luděk Korbel: The Hunting of the Snark - A review of the translation of a nonsense “epic” written by Lewis Carroll. Despite some critical comments on the translation the reviewer appreciates the simultaneous publishing of the original text and the Czech translation, which enables Czech readers to become familiar with another classic work of the master of English nonsense literature.

Luděk Korbel-Antonín Šimůnek-Lucie Kudělová: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 30

A new issue of Children’s Stage is dedicated to dramatisations of stories written by the famous English writer Richmal Crompton about the boy William (Jirka in Czech translation), which provide rich material for theatre with children. An older dramatisation - The Outlaws - was directed by Marie Husinecká from the Basic School of Arts in the south-Bohemian town of Písek. Groups from this school frequently participated in national festivals from the 1970s to the 1990s. The present script has deliberately transposed the story into Czech environment, striving to bring the characters and the plot closer to today’s children. A member of a new generation of drama teachers and theatre group leaders František Oplatek teaches at a primary school in the south-Bohemian town of Bechyně. In his dramatisation of the short story The May King he deliberately sticks to the English environment, using the “old time” atmosphere of the story as a stylising element. His study called William - the Archetype of a Rascal deals with the poetics of Richmal Crompton’s writing and the nature of her characters.

 

 

SUMMARY 2009/2

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Mike Fleming, Christine Merrell and Peter Tymms: The impact of drama on pupils´ language, mathematics, and attitude in two primary schools - This article reports on a research study examining the impact of The National Theatre´s Transformation drama project on young pupils´ reading, mathematics, attitudes, self-concept and creative writing in primary schools. Two of the schools taking part in Transformation were matched to two Control schools in the first two years of the project. The assessments were developed by the Performance Indicators in Primary School (PIPS) project, Curriculum Evaluation and Management Centre based at Durham and are widely used by schools across England. The value-added scores of pupils in the Transformation group were frequently higher/more positive than the scores of pupils in the Control group. The self-concept of the pupils in the Transformation group as determined by the questionnaires was significantly more positive the pupils in the Control group at the end of Year 4. The article raises questions both about the type of research worth pursuing in the arts and drama, and what research in the arts should seek to achieve. The translation of a study published in Research in Drama Education in 2004 (vol. 9, no. 2) is printed here with kind consent of the authors and the editorial board of the RIDE journal.

Eva Machková: Transformations: Mythology as Material for Drama in Education - A reflection of stories and topics that the mythologies of ancient civilisations can offer to modern theatre with children and youth and to drama in education. The second part deals with the myths of all regions of the American continent - pre-Columbian civilisations of Central and South America as well as stories of the aboriginal nations of North and South America. “Transformations represent one of the main principles in mythologies,“ concludes Eva Machková in her study. „Mythologies themselves change in time - hand in hand with the changing of society; this process sometimes goes as far as incorporating elements of modern civilisation… Despite all epoch-making changes that have taken place from antiquity to nowadays, we still ask the same questions - even though the answers to some of them may differ. We preserve and honour values from these times - works of art, buildings, thoughts or ethic norms, returning to them and reflecting them. In adolescence, young people begin to ask essential questions about the ways they want to go in life… Often this search is quite dramatic and answers can be erroneous or very simplified. This is why young people should learn that these questions have been asked and answered before. Before they find answers relevant to themselves and the time they live in, they should get a chance to deepen and enrich their thinking, taking advantage of the heritage of centuries. Drama provides a natural and safe environment for this process.“

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Hana Galetková: Children’s Stage ´09: Similar and Different at the Same Time – A report on this year’s festival of children’s theatre and poetry reading held as usual in the east-Bohemian town of Trutnov in the second half of June. This year was the 38th. The author reviews all seventeen performances arising from regional showcases of children’s theatre that took place in spring all over the Czech Republic. As usual, the quality of performances varied. Among those appreciated by the reviewer are two pieces directed by experienced teachers and theatre group leaders - Jiřina Lhotská from the Basic School of Arts in Strakonice (a dramatisation of a tiny satirical short story by H. C. Andersen It’s Totally Sure) and Irena Konývková, leader of the HOP-HOP troupe from the Basic School of Arts in Ostrov (Ruby and Garnet?). The author of this article pays attention the fact that this year a number of groups „examined the topic of otherness, of being different from others”. This topic was interpreted in various ways and given various tones. There was otherness distancing an individual from other people, visual otherness, otherness in behaviour and acting, otherness as a gift of special powers, otherness of background that a character comes from or, in several cases, various aspects of otherness combined. Otherness was often accompanied by motives of loneliness, isolation from other people, being an outsider, being misunderstood or even bullied by others. On the other hand, it was also connected with looking for one’s own way in life, discovering one’s self and one’s uniqueness.”

Irena Holemá-Luděk Korbel: Storytelling or How to Tell a Story - One of the workshops for drama teachers accompanying this year’s festival was led by David Novak, an American professional storyteller and lecturer of storytelling, teacher at the Eastern Tennessee State University and artistic leader of a society called A Telling Experience. Seminar participants had a chance to learn and try out what storytelling was about as well as hear David’s stories that he used to illustrate his notions of storytelling. The authors of the article, who both participated in the workshop, describe the stages through which David Novak took them in his work. They consider his style and methodology very enriching: „With respect to the wide range of participants’ backgrounds and interests, the fact that David, who is a mime by his original profession, uses theatrical devices in his storytelling was very beneficial. Yet he can at the same time think about a story in an innovative way, looking for patterns he could use to build a narrative.“

Milan Valenta: The VAT festival and the Maatwerk theatre: A Contribution to the Breaking of Stereotypes - Information on the “year zero” of a new international festival of theatre makers with prevailingly mental handicap (VAT in the name of the festival meaning „Value Added Theatre“), which was held in Rotterdam between 27th and 29th April this year. Six leading theatre groups of European art brut took part in the festival, including troupes from France, Belgium, Spain, Austria and Portugal as well as the Dutch group from Maatwerk, who initiated the festival. The author of the article writes here: “None of these groups focus primarily on social therapy (drama therapy and theatre therapy represent just added value or a by-product), but their aim is, as the festival director Koert Dekker points out, to make good theatre.“

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Veronika Krátká: From the Conception to the Birth of Drama - Drama teacher at Prague British School and student of the Dpt. of Drama in Education at the Theatre Faculty in Prague, Veronika Krátká participated in the 17th World Congress of Drama Education organised traditionally by AITA/IATA at the Schlaining Castle in Burgenland, Austria, from 3rd to 9th April this year. As the title of the report suggests, the main topic of this year’s congress was „Devising drama - from starting points to the drama“ with the subtitle: „Taking Advantage of Impulses and Texts to Start and Develop Drama“. Participants came from twenty different countries and, as has become common in this event with a long tradition and excellent organisation, represented a wide range of professional backgrounds and experiences.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings a review by Eva Machková called Scouts and Drama. It deals with a highly problematic, dilettantish Czech book on drama in scout troops. The author states that the tone of the book is marked by old-fashioned didacticism and, which is worse, by a distorted view of drama in education and theatre as such. She points out that scouting has its own excellent methodology, but wonders “what it is that urges people write on things they know nothing about…” She believes “it would be good if everyone stuck to their own trade - it is a shame to discredit the excellent achievements of scouting by such amateurishness.“

The second block of the Reflections-Reviews-Information, ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH, contains the following materials:

Kateřina Řezníčková: From the Jungle Book: Theatre Avant-garde for the Youngest - A review of a remarkable puppet performance Rikki-tikki-tavi of the Prague MINOR theatre based on the famous book by Rudyard Kipling.

Antonín Šimůnek: The Dream World of Petr Nikl - A review of the latest book of nonsense poetry for children caled Jělěňovití, created by the Czech writer, visual artist, musician and performer Petr Nikl.

Luděk Korbel: The Fiction and the Reality: Tobie Lolness - A review of the interesting book for children written by Timothée de Fombelle.

Gabriela Magalová: What Are we Going to Read? - A review of a remarkable new book for youth written by the Slovak author Juraj Šebesta called When a Dog Smiles.

Luděk Korbel-Jaroslav Provazník: A double-review of a book that should not be overlooked - Two opinions on the translation of a remarkable French children’s book called The Winter Battle, written by Jean Claude Mourlevat. Both reviewers agree that this “great story” provides excellent material for drama.

Luděk Korbel-Antonín Šimůnek-Lucie Kudělová-Jaroslav Provazník-Marta Žilková-Mariana Čechová-Dana Kubalová: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 29

The script of an outstanding performance created as devising theatre by Jiří Vyšohlíd, Jan Popela, Ivanka Bílková and Pavel Černík from the worldwide-known puppet theatre DRAK of Hradec Králové. Their play for the youngest audiences called Puppy, or Spinach? (Štěně, nebo špenát?) „a story of a failed dog“, was made to the motives of Gyula Urbán’s play Light-Blue Peter, which this Hungarian theatre maker wrote as his graduation thesis at the Prague Faculty of Performing Arts in 1963. Children’s Stage, the text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama), brings this script with the hope it might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups. The editors believe that this text offers an up-to-date story elaborated in an original way and can provide children’s theatre groups with an opportunity to develop puppeteering and other skills.

 

 

SUMMARY 2009/1

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Eva Machková: Transformations: Mythology as Material for Drama in Education - A reflection of stories and topics that the mythology of ancient civilisations can offer to modern theatre with children and youth and to drama in education. In the first part of her study, the author deals with myths originating in ancient Greece, Rome and India. ”Transformations,” she points out, ”constitute one of the main elements of action in myths, although their causes, course and functions may vary in different mythologies. Theatre and drama are based on the principle of mimesis – pretending to be someone else. Players and actors disguise as another character, putting themselves ´into some else’s shoes´, but in many myths even the characters disguise as or transform into someone or something else.” These transformations or metamorphoses are what Eva Machková focuses on, particularly the differences characteristic of the different types, styles and functions of myth in various communities. At the end of her study the author identifies the most widespread stories from ancient mythologies, drawing attention also to contemporary adaptations for children that drama teachers and theatre group leaders may use in their work.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Petra Zámečníková: Insights 2008 - This article on the 19th National Festival and Workshop of secondary school drama and youth theatre Insights 2008 (Nahlížení 2008), which took place in the South-Bohemian town of Bechyně from 16 to 19 October 2008, reviews all eight performances introduced there. The author appreciates the fact that this year groups had the opportunity to come with unfinished performances that were still at the rehearsing stage. And it was one of such performances that the reviewer found the most interesting: a public rehearsal of the performance called The Owl’s Song staged by the Divadlo Dagmar group from Karlovy Vary (led by Hana Franková) to the motives of a remarkable book by the contemporary Czech writer Iva Procházková. Workshops held as part of Insights 2008 were equally inspiring: after each day’s performances groups of participants mixed from various groups were asked to analyse the performances and try to stage their critical responses. More specifically, they were supposed to identify the main theme and the stage concept, point out flaws, ponder on the possibility of further developing the motives, etc. These brief presentations served as inspirational start to joint discussions. The review is complemented by a viewpoint of the Canadian director Ewan McLaren, who has lived and worked in the Czech Republic since early 1990s and, same as Petra Zámečníková, participated in Insights 2008 as a workshop leader: ”At Insights 2008 in Bechyne I was fascinated to see how youth theatre groups and their instructors in the Czech Republic are engaging in painfully personal or highly sophisticated themes mostly through new inventive adaptations of novels or performances devised by themselves, and experimenting with contemporary forms, like multimedia and physical theatre. And I thoroughly enjoyed something attempted at Insights for the first time this year: to diminish excessively critical discussion of each performance, the young creators and performers, mixed together into new groups, got to react to them by quickly creating their own mini-performances as reactions to the main performances presented at the showcase. In many cases these were as informative as the joint discussions that followed. Here’s hoping that all in all, it was an experience as rewarding for the young Czech performers and creators as it was for me!”

Eva Brhelová: The Lužánky Leisure-Time Centre and its Festival - A teacher from the Theatre-in-Education Dpt. of the Faculty of Theatre in Brno describes the atmosphere and the participating performances of the 14th festival of student theatre Nadělení held from 27 to 30 November 2008 in Brno.

Pavlína Pacáková: Devising Theatre in the Cabinet of Muses - A report on a workshop in which Adam J. Ledger, director, lecturer and teacher at the Hull University in England, worked with students of the Dpt. of Theatre and Education at the Faculty of Theatre in Brno.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Tomáš Doležal: Drama Lessons - Educational Programmes for Schools. The Lužánky Leisure-Time Centre and Drama Studio in Brno - As early as 1986 the leisure-time centre in Brno established a pioneering Czech drama centre, inspired mainly by the Redbridge Drama Centre in the United Kingdom. Generating material in close collaboration with the PIRKO theatre group, the centre started to develop drama structures for classes from primary schools in Brno. Tomáš Doležal recapitulates its activities and introduces programmes offered by the centre nowadays. The article is illustrated by one of these drama lessons, A Real Story, intended for children aged 10 to 11. It was inspired by a story of a six-year-old boy Elián Gonzáles, who emigrated from Cuba to the USA in November 1999 together with his mother and other refugees, sailing on a weak-built boat and losing his mother on the journey.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, brings a review of Jaroslav Provazník called The Way of Drama into the Present-time School Curiculum. In it the author reflects on the new book Drama in the Present School Curriculum written by three experienced drama teachers - Radek Marušák (Dpt. of Drama in education, Faculty of Theatre, Prague, and the Dpt. of primary school pedagogy of the Pedagogical Faculty, Charles University), Olga Králová (drama teacher and vice-director at the Kunratice primary school in Prague) and Veronika Rodriguezová (Dpt. of Theatre and Education of the Faculty of Theatre in Brno). The reviewer writes: ”It is the first work by Czech authors that systematically treats the manifold ways of using drama methods and conventions in various educational fields and subjects.” He appreciates that the authors of the book discuss both the benefits and drawbacks of this education. ”This makes the book unique in Czech context and, within the transformations taking place in the Czech school system nowadays, it is indeed very useful and much-needed.” The book also includes several drama lessons that can serve as inspiration for teachers.

The second block of the Reflections-Reviews-Information, ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH, contains the following materials:

Josef Rosen: Festival Fringe? - Shop and Enjoy! - A student of the Dpt. of Drama-in-education of the Prague Faculty of Theatre reports on a famous festival held in Edinburgh, comparing it with selected Czech festivals.

Marta Žilková: A Diamant in the Chest Does not Rot - A Slovak literary theoretician from the university in Nitra reviews the last poetry collection of the important Slovak poet writing for children Milan Rúfus, Andělíčku, můj strážníčku (My Guardian Angel).

Lucie Kudělová-Antonín Šimůnek-Luděk Korbel-Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 28

By publishing three scripts, the 28th text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) intends to remember the outstanding personality of Czech drama in education ad children’s theatre Jindra Delongová, who led the Brno-based theatre group PIRKO from the 1950s. The supplement brings the text of a poetry collage made in 1960s The World Goes Round and Round, using poems by Czech poets Ivo Štuka and Ilona Borská, suitable for less experienced children’s theatre groups. The second text is a script to the performance called Tales from a Lobster Hut, staged in late 1970s to the motives of the famous book My Great-Grandfather and I, written by the German author James Krüss. The third one is a series of local tales Brno Legends, which the PIRKO theatre group introduced at the nationwide festival of children’s theatre, The Kaplice Theatre Summer (Kaplické divadelní léto).

 

 

SUMMARY 2008/3

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Drama in Education at the Turn of the Millennium. Hindsight to the Prague Conference ”The Child between the Education and the Art” - On the occasion of its 15th anniversary, the Department of Drama in Education of the Theatre Faculty (Academy of Performing Arts) together with the Creative Drama Association prepared on 4th and 5th October 2007 the second national conference about drama in education (the first conference was held in September 2000), this time under the title ”The Child between the Education and the Art - Drama in Education at the Turn of the Millennium”. The collection of papers which were heard at the conference is reviewed by Pavel Vacek, the head of the Dpt. of Pedagogy and Psychology at the Faculty of Education, University in Hradec Králové, and by Eva Ichová, drama pedagogue from the Dpt. of Pedagogy at the Faculty of Education, West Bohemian University in Pilsen. Both experts appreciate in particular three papers about theatre with children in the last two decades (Jan Císař: ”Drama in Education and Theatre at Time of Late Modernism”, Luděk Richter: ”Theatre with Children in the last seventeen years” and Irina Ulrychová: ”The Story with the Children’s Hero at the Children´s Stage”). Furthermore, they agree that among very beneficiary papers are the text about the methodology of the classroom drama by Radek Marušák (”Some Aspects of the Lesson as a Process Unit”), a comparative study by Josef Valenta ”Drama in Education and the Other Etho-Educational Systems”, the article by Hana Kasíková ”The Drama Teacher as a Researcher?” and the texts about the studies of drama at Czech Universities (Eva Machková from Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Theatre Faculty of Prague, Anna Tomková and d Radek Marušák from the Faculty of Education of the Charles University, Marie Pavlovská and Tomáš Doležal from the Faculty of Education of the Masaryk University in Brno, Roman Černík from the Faculty of Education of the West Bohemian University in Pilsen, Hana Cisovská and Jan Karaffa from the Faculty of Education of the Ostrava University).

         

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Ivana Sobková: The World Festival in Moscow through the eyes of the KUK group - Impressions and observations from the 10th World Festival of the Children’s Theatre, which was held in Moscow in July 2008 through the eyes of the leader of the group, who took part in the Festival as the representative of the Czech Republic. The author indicates among the most interesting performances of the World Festival the pantomime of the British Group from Newcastle created to the motives of the book by Mary Shelley Frankenstein. From the other performances which she had the opportunity to see, the author mentions the groups from Bangladesh and Singapore. She appreciates them not only for their ”exoticism” (interesting costumes and masks, for us Europeans uncommon style of acting), but also and first of all for the fact, that the children in these performances ”despite the stylisation perform very naturally and don’t lose their sense of play...  As the contrast to this spontaneity, although sometimes theatrically imperfect, but very natural, we met children’s performances which were prepared just for the effect from the beginning (e.g. the group from India).” Ivana Sobková writes also about symposia, debates with the leaders of the groups: ”It was often a very brisk discussion about methodology of theatre with children: whether to lead children to their own statement or to develop just the technique... On the basis of seeing many performances, I am afraid the adult leaders often underestimate children’s fantasy and creativity.”

Jaroslav Provazník: The European Encounter of the Young Theatre in the Capital of the Alps - The author reports about the festival which has held in Grenoble (France) from 1989. The main personality here is the initiator of the annual encounters Fernand Garnier, the creator and the ”head” of the civic association CRÉARC (Centre de Création, de Recherche et des Cultures) which acts in Grenoble. F. Garnier highlights that the purpose of the event is to create the space for the exchange of the opinions with the theatre and experiences and to build up the ”network” of professionals who decided to work with young people – with students or young theatre makers. The organizers named their model ”The Magic Quadrate”. Its four ”axes” are: 1. ”encounter of aesthetics”, it means the performances, 2. ”the school of the audience”, i. e. discussions in the afternoon, 3. ”the international theatre school”, i. e. workshops for members of the groups and 4. ”the collective performance” which closed the event in the streets of Grenoble and which is to represent a ceremonial full stop to the event. That one-week theatre ”marathon” offered in particular three interesting performances (”Macbeth” by the group from Frankfurt upon Oder, then the other German production ”Lulu, Three Steps to the Window” from Berlin and the Danish production ”The Beauty of the Moment” by the college girls group). Two performances played by children belonged unfortunately to the weaker performances – ”The End of Beans” by the French group from the nearby school in La Tronche and above all ”The Seeds of Insanity” by the group from Burkina Faso.

Klára Jíchová: The Way for Deer Dogs. The Summary of the Year-long Work with the Theatre Group ”Přepestro” in the Roosevelt School for Special Needs in Prague - The author reports about her experience of the theatre work with the group of mentally handicapped people she worked with on the performance of the Indian story ”The Way for Deer Dogs” (according to Indian legends ”deer dogs” are horses) for more than one year. One of the main objectives of K. Jíchová was to work with mentally handicapped people in a non-directive way, stressing their deeper and really personal involvement, their activity and creativity without manipulation, as we can often see in the theatre of handicapped.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Eva Ochrymčuková: The German Training led by the English Drama Teacher: An Opinion of the Czech Student: Some observations from the Short-term Fellowship in Berlin - The student of the Faculty of Education of the Masaryk University in Brno reports about a workshop on devising theatre at the Universität der Künste in Berlin.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, contains the following materials:

Jan Císař: Not Just the History - The review of a new book on puppet theatre with children. Jan Císař professor at the Dpt. of Theory and Criticism on the Theatre Faculty (Academy of Performing Arts, Prague), stresses the study by J. Provazník is not only a historical study which maps the development of the Czech puppet theatre with children in details from 50th to 70th and incorporates it into the context of the theatre development of the given time, but also a contribution to the debate about the contemporary drama in education.

Eva Machková: The Third Space or When Children are up the School - The review of the particularly interesting US issue Third Space, which describes the results of research on the influence of art up education.

The second block of the Reflections-Reviews-Information section is called ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH and contains following texts:

Alžběta Kostrhunová: Divadlo v Dlouhé (Theatre in Dlouhá Street) for Children - The study about one of the most important Czech professional theatres for children at the present time and about its productions for children and youth. First the author deals with the situation of the theatre for children in the Czech Republic which isn’t on the whole still of as much quality as other kinds of the arts for children. Therefore, she appreciates the Theatre in Dlouhá Street and the fact that it pays systematic attention to the children’s audience. A. Kostrhunová writes: ”The producers of this theatre don’t underestimate the children’s audience and they invite them to share the play. They are as unique in their productions for children as in their productions for adults. They don’t betray the basic rules of theatre. They don’t relay just on effects, simple jokes and garishness of the stage and colours. They try to communicate with children on various levels, but not infantile. They don’t separate the worlds of children and adults in their productions, ” The author completes her analysis of three most interesting productions (”How I Got Lost or A Minor Christmas Tale”, ”If a Pig Had Wings” and ”A Mouse in the Belly”) interviewing their creators - the director Jan Borna, who was awarded the Prize of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic this year, and an actor of the theatre Martin Matejka.

Antonín Šimůnek: The Questions about Human Existence in the Literature for Children or The Frog Castle and Other Books by Jostein Gaarder - The study about the books for children and youth written by one of the most original contemporary writer for children.

Anna Hrnečková: Death in Astrid Lindgren´s Books - The study deals with the motifs of death in the Astrid Lindgren´s books for children.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 27

The 27th text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) offers a dramatisation of the book by C. D. Payne ”Frisco pigeon mambo”. The Pigeons, Ltd., directed by the teacher of the Basic School of Arts in Brandýs nad Labem Irina Ulrychová, was one of the most remarkable and successful performances at this year’s Children’s Stage festival.

 

 

SUMMARY 2008/2

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Irina Ulrychová: Lessons for the Living. Pondering over the Czech translation of the English book on school drama – The English-Canadian book Lessons for the living - Drama and the integrated curriculum by Jim Clarc, Warwick Dobson, Tony Goode and Jonothan Neelands, whose work is known to Czech drama teachers owing to several workshops led by these personalities in the Czech Republic since early 1990s, has been translated into Czech this year. I. Ulrychová, a drama teacher at the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Prague DAMU, begins her article by the same question as the authors ask in the book: ”Is drama in education rather an art, or a teaching tool? ” I. Ulrychová is in accord with the authors in believing drama structure to be both: it uses the power of an art form to enhance education. She appreciates the six drama-in-education scripts published in the book as convincing example of that notion, as they are designed to make impact on students through elements of art (combining the plotting and montage principle, unexpected change of the point of view, using literary texts...). ”Yet I cannot help wondering whether the strong emotional emphasis of the drama pieces may not sometimes lead to the losing of objective attitude and thus impair critical thinking and the freedom to examine the problem from different viewpoints.” Another issue she raises is the activity of players in these pieces of drama and their chances to make decisions: ”It seems to me that participants do not have many opportunities to influence what will be happening next.” Despite these reservations the author finds the book very good and useful for Czech drama teachers.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Hana Galetková: Many reasons to rejoice over the 2008 Children’s Stage festival – The main topic of this section is the 37th national festival of children’s theatre and poetry reading held in June in the east-Bohemian town of Trutnov. The author of the article found this year’s festival very successful. She noticed three main tendencies at Children’s Stage 2008: first, the effort to dramatise and present extensive fiction material (e.g. a novel for children) and create larger, more ambitious children’s performances (mainly in the performance Aha! introduced by children from the Basic School of Arts in Olomouc led by Alena Palarčíková, and the performance Pigeons, Ltd. by a children’s group from the Basic School of Arts in Brandýs nad Labem prepared by Irina Ulrychová to the motives of the book by C. D. Payne Pigeon’s Mambo). The second tendency was to grasp the reality of today’s world and reflect real problems of young people in the performances. The third group were performances with strong emotional element, played by children well-equipped in terms of acting skills and space perception, using only the simplest stage means: the actor’s own body, speech and energy (e.g. Fisherman and his Wife played by children from the Basic School of Arts Harmonie from Prague, the performance of thirty children aged 7-8 from the Basic School of Arts from Děčín led by teacher Jana Štrbová, which was called Five Minutes in Africa, or The Musicians from Bremen performed by a group from the Grammar School in Ústí nad Orlicí led by Lenka Janyšová).

Martina Longinová: A Kaleidoscope of Experiences – In her article on the poetry reading part of Children’s Stage, the author discusses the dramaturgy of the festival, taking a closer look on the quality of texts (poems or short stories) chosen by children and their teachers, discussing to what extent they were appropriate for the age and skills of the children. She believes the most inspiring solo achievements were made by children who are also members of theatre groups led by experienced teachers.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Jindřiška Bumerlová: Building Community: Meeting Juliana Saxton – In January 2008, the Dpt. of Drama in Education of DAMU in Prague together with the Creative Dramatics Association (Sdružení pro tvořivou dramatiku) organised another workshop led by an outstanding foreign drama teacher. The workshop called Building community: Looking at stories from the inside and beyond was led by Juliana Saxton, a professor of drama at the University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada), known in the Czech Republic as the co-author of the popular textbook Teaching Drama. J. Bumerlová, who participated in the one-week workshop, describes all its parts in detail, appreciating it as an extraordinary event providing lots of inspiration and valuable impulses to Czech participants. In her lessons, Juliana Saxton offered a variety of techniques employing imagination and building of characters and story. Great variety was also provided in working with literary texts (Mem Fox: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Margaret Wild: Fox) and a piece of drama (excerpt from a play by William Inge A Loss of Roses). J. Bumerlová points out the great emphasis Juliana Saxton puts on creating enough space for reflection. The report on the workshop ends with an interview with Juliana Saxton. ”I firmly believe,” writes the author of the article, ”that the workshop participants would say the same about the week’s workshop as did Ms. Saxton: its was pleasant and enriching.”

Jan Karaffa-Luděk Korbel: Drama and Curriculum – inspiration from Ireland – A teacher from the University of Ostrava and a student of the Dpt. of Czech Language and Literature at the Pedagogical Faculty in Prague provide a detailed account of the workshop Drama, theatre and curriculum led by Joanna Parkes, a drama teacher from Dublin, Ireland, as part of the Children’s Stage National Festival. She has initiated many educational projects for children, students and teachers, and is the co-author of the popular Irish handbook Step by Step Educational Drama: A Cross-curricular Use of Drama in the Primary classroom published in 2006. She used the material in the book to design the workshop, using elements of stories from Celtic mythology as well as her experience in working with schoolchildren aged 4-12. The workshop focused mainly on the process of learning within the typically English style of structuring drama.

Jana Jevická: Sítko 2008: Order and Chaos as Creative Principles of Theatre and Education. - A detailed account of the annual event Sítko (”the Sieve”) organised by students of drama in education from the Faculty of Performing Arts in Brno, introducing student performances as well as those played by children with whom the students work. Besides, the audience became acquainted with various projects of theatre in education and classroom drama.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, contains the following material:

Roman Černík: Drama and Story for Czech school – The drama teacher from the Dpt. of Education at the West-Bohemian University in Pilsen, reviews the book by Irina Ulrychová from he Prague Dpt. of Drama in Education (Faculty of Performing Arts) called Drama and Story: Creating a Script for a Story Drama, which was published last year. ”It has not been long,” writes R. Černík, ”since the word ´drama in education´ evoked all kinds of weird notions among teachers, parents, artists and other people. Now it finally seems to have established a stable position within the Czech educational system. This field of aesthetic education (arts) has now found its place (though one of ”additional” status) within the National Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary Education, university departments have been established and original Czech literature contributing to the theoretical background of drama as a unique artistic and educational discipline is being published.” One of such books, he believes, is Irina Ulrychová’s  Drama and Story, which in great detail introduces one of the methodological ways of drama in education – structuring drama work based on a story. ”A remarkable feature of the author’s approach is focusing on an elaborated and functional dramaturgy of drama structures.” Drama and Story is based on I. Ulrychová’s educational work and ensuing theatrical projects.

 

The second block of the Reflections-Reviews-Information section is called ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH and contains the following texts:

Jaroslav Provazník: Fairy Tale – Boxing Ring Free? – The author provides an overview of the various approaches to adapting classical fairy-tales that can be traced in books published in past few years in the Czech Republic. These range from the most outstanding editorial acts (books by Oldřich Sirovátka, Vladislav Stanovský, Pavel Šrut, Jan Skácel and Milada Motlová) all the way to problematic, gaudy and glossy adaptations deforming and abusing the original texts by classical collectors and adaptors of folklore tales such as K. J. Erben, B. Němcová, H. Ch. Andersen or Ch. Perrault. ”Quality texts,” the autor claims, ”unfortunately represent only a fraction of published fairy-tale books. The major part consists of texts striving to ´update´ traditional stories, doing so in a clumsy and insensitive way, whether it may be due to lack of humility and respect to the traditional material, incompetence or just cold-blooded business calculation attacking the wallets of teachers and parents...” He closes by saying: ”Just to blatter through the heaps of often random gibberish of fairy-tale adaptations ´decorated´ by gaudy illustrations is frustrating. Yet it would be highly desirable to focus critical attention on this type of production.”

Eva Koudelková: The Two Faces of Legend – The author, who is a teacher of literature at the Dpt. of Czech Language and Literature in Liberec, has in the recent years directed her attention to the specific folklore genre of local legend. In this article, she focuses mainly on the typology of the genre, but discusses also the issue of adapting and publishing local legends. She does so because the past decades have seen an increased interest among authors and publishers in this genre, which has led to the publishing of some remarkable but also some very problematic books.

Antonín Šimůnek: The Wall: Petr Sís and the Latest of his Captivating Narrations  – A review of a children’s book written and illustrated by the Czech artist living in New York since early 1980s. His latest book for children (the American issue of autumn 2007 was almost immediately accompanied by the Czech one) is subtitled Growing up Behind the Iron Curtain and tries to provide little readers with insight into the 1950s – 1980s in communist Czechoslovakia. The reviewer rates the book as excellent and presumes that the expectations of readers used to the high standard of books by P. Sís will not be disappointed.

Luděk Korbel-Lucie Kudělová: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 26

The 26th text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) offers a dramatisation of the children’s book by Daniela Fischerová Lenka and Nelka or Aha! written by Alena Palarčíková, one of the most talented and original Czech leaders of children’s and youngsters’ theatre groups. It was written for and performed by a group of 14-15 year-olds from the Basic School of Arts Žerotín in Olomouc. Aha! was one of the most remarkable and successful performances at this year’s Children Stage festival, recognised by the jury as a bold and rare attempt to adapt a psychological story with a children’s hero for stage. The script of the performance is accompanied by a brief methodological and direction note of the author.

 

 

SUMMARY 2008/1

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

 

Josef Valenta: Forum Theatre - Don´t Speak, Play! (?) - Referring to his own experience with forum theatre, the author ponders over the question whether and to what extent the play input of the audience, on which this Boal type of theatre is based, should be taken into account. Is it more effective to let the theatre affect the audience, or take advantage of situations by discussing them? J. Valenta points out that ”(…) forum theatre is no personal training or therapy. The aim of this type of theatre is not to teach acting, improvisation or public speaking. That is, if we decide to make a reflection, the discussion should preferably lead from specific action to more general principles. As to the organising of reflections, J. Valenta believes one should consider the ultimate goal of this type of performance, which - despite its unique features - is theatre. The inclusion of a reflection should therefore never interfere with the rhythm of the performance or occupy time reserved for play.” One should be able to identify the core of the current action (and this makes great demands on the role of the Joker, who should be a good psychologist) and its potential for the learning of clients. Goals are therefore the key in deciding whether to use reflections, for as the author says, ”forum theatre does not only have the aesthetic aim, but also clear sociological, psychological and educational dimensions...”

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Eva Ichová: The Theatre of the Oppressed and the two Boals - The author has participated in a one-week workshop called ”The Theatre of the Oppressed and its Tools” which took place in Jičín in September 2007 as part of the 13th National Workshop ”Drama in School”. It was led by Julian Boal, the son of the famous theatre maker Augusto Boal. After outlining a brief history of the theatre of the oppressed, the author of the article compares this type of theatre as manifested in Augusto Boal’s books with the work of his son, which Czech participants have experienced at the workshop in Jičín. She describes some of the techniques used there and presents Julian Boal’s views on using the theatre of the oppressed in today’s Europe and other parts of the world. Special attention is paid to the Jana Sanskriti movement in India (participants of the workshop had the opportunity to see the film ”Jana Sanskriti - A theatre on the Field” directed by Jeanne Dosse).

Hana Kasíková: The Theatre of the Oppressed: Rehearsing Revolution in Post-Revolutionary Times - The author, a teacher at the Drama-in-Education Department of the Faculty of Theatre (DAMU) and the Dpt. of Pedagogy (Charles University), also took part in Julian Boal’s workshop in Jičín. It inspired her to this reflection on what the theatre of the oppressed can offer nowadays and how we should understand its key concept, the oppression, at the present time. She concludes by a few recommendations for those who intend to use the Boal principles in their work.

Jana Andrejsková: Changes in the Leaving Examinations in Drama - J. Andrejsková, a teacher of drama at the Pedagogical Secondary School in Čáslav, introduces the contents of the secondary leaving examination in drama. She is convinced that the nature of the subject calls for a two-part examination, which will include both theoretical and practical parts. In her article she discusses the various types of the practical part of the examination she has experimented with in the past ten years at the secondary school in Čáslav.

Veronika Rodriguezová: Thematic Learning: Drama in Service of History Teaching - An extensive material on the possibilities of applying drama methods and techniques in the teaching of history. A unique glimpse into the work of a teacher from Brno who has designed and led drama lessons based on historical topics, which have been attended by primary classes from the whole region. The material includes a detailed description of a project dealing with the dawn of the human society called ”Prehistory: The Lifestyles of Pickers and Hunters”.
Martin Sedláček: Performing the World: The New York Conference for the Fourth Time - A report on the Conference ”Performing the World” held in New York from 12 to 14 October 2007 with the topic of ”The Performance of Community and the Community of Performance”. As the title suggests, this year was dedicated to applied theatre, community theatre and using drama in social therapy. The author found the way the conference was organised highly inspirational, as well as the non-conformist way of approaching topics. M. Sedláček believes the conference indicated a trend to pay more attention to applied theatre with its alternative and creative features.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Gabriela Sittová: A Glimpse into the Bechyně Workshop - A reflection of the 18th national workshop of secondary school drama and youth theatre Insights 2007, which was held in the South-Bohemian town of Bechyně from 18 to 21 October 2007. The article strives to picture its atmosphere and present inspiring theatrical ideas that appeared in most performances and discussions.

Lenka Ebelová: Pantomime and Drama in Education - Selected highlights of a thesis written by a student of the Dpt. of Drama in Education at the Faculty of Theatre (DAMU), Prague, dealing with pantomime and the possibilities of applying its various forms and techniques both in drama in education and theatre done with children of various ages and levels of drama experience.

 

REFLECTIONS-REVIEWS-INFORMATION

The first block of this section, FIELD LITERATURE, contains the following materials:

Hana Kasíková: Drama and Research: The Ways Our British Colleagues Think About the Methodology of Drama - A review of a highly inspirational book ”Research Methodologies for Drama Education” edited by Judith Ackroyd and published in 2006. H. Kasíková considers the work to be a remarkable source of inspiration for Czech teachers of drama.

Vítězslava Šrámková: Clown Strakapoun - Josef Mlejnek, a drama teacher in the East-Bohemian town of Vysoké Mýto, is one of the prominent personalities of Czech drama in education, ranking among the founders of the field. Since 1950s he has worked with children and youth, but also adults playing for children and young people. His study ”Clown Strakapoun Plays for Children: A Legacy of d 41, a children and youth theatre”, deals with the brief but significant history of a unique theatre studio playing for children during WWII in Prague, and its director and actor Václav Vaňátko. The reviewer appreciates the fact that Mlejnek’s book is both pleasant to read and rich in information about an important stage in the development of theatre for youth and children and theatrical culture in general.

New Books concerning Drama in Education - Information about new books on drama in education published by two Czech Faculties of Theatre in Brno and Prague.

Theses Defended in 2005-2007 at the Department of Drama in Education of DAMU, Prague - A list of theses written and defended by students of the department. 

The second block of the section Reflections-Reviews-Information is called ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH and contains the following texts:

Marta Žilková: Do We Need a Children’s Culture? - A reflection written by a professor of Slovak Literature at the University of Nitra, pointing out the unsatisfactory state of contemporary Slovak culture for children and emphasizing the importance of providing children with quality art.

Luděk Richter: How I Got Lost, or the Little Christmas Tale - A review of one of the best performances for children directed by Jan Borna in the Prague theatre Divadlo v Dlouhé. In 2002, Jan Borna won a prize awarded by the Czech centre of ASSITEJ for his life-long contribution to the theatre for children and youth.

The International Day of Theatre for Children: the Eighth Time - Information on the festival of theatre for children and youth, which is prepared by the Czech centre of ASSITEJ for March 2008 in Prague. On the programme there will be two performances by the famous puppet theatre DRAK from Hradec Králové, an amateur theatre group playing for children as well as several children and youth theatre groups.

Jaroslav Provazník: Zá hádky by Petr Nikl - A review of a remarkable book written by the poet, visual artist, musician and performer Petr Nikl, which no doubt represents one of the most outstanding events in Czech literature for children and youth in 2007.

Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 25

The 25th text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) offers an insight into the work of an important personality of Czech drama, the puppeteer Jiří Oudes, who started to work with children as early as 1960s in a little village school, later teaching at a basic school of arts in Plzeň (Pilsen) and working with hearing impaired children. The Children’s Stage supplement brings four scripts of his performances that have appeared at various national festivals, such as Puppeteers’ Chrudim, national festival of children theatre in Kaplice and a festival of children’s poetry reading in Mělník. The Life of Pebbles is a collage of poems by the Czech poet Michal Černík, in which stones are used as props, puppets and even musical instruments. The Wooden Daddy is a collage of playful, absurd texts by the Slovak poet Tomáš Janovic. The other two scripts are dramatisations of modern fairy-tales. The Big King and the Small Mouse is a rhymed fable by the Slovak writer Elena Čepčeková. The Seven Dwarfs and Another One on Top was put together by Jiří Oudes together with his children’s ensemble to the motives of an unfinished fairy-tale, one of a number written by Zdeněk K. Slabý in 1960s for the children’s magazine Mateřídouška. The texts of Jiří Oudes can still become a source of inspiration for creative leaders of theatre groups or drama teachers nowadays, enriching their work with children and young people.

 

 

SUMMARY 2007/3

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Milena Nečesaná: The Piarist School Theatre - Quite a lot of attention has been paid to the history of school theatre, especially that of the Jesuit and the Utraquist order. However, the school theatre of the Piarist order in Czechlands and Moravia had long remained out of the interest of scholars. So far there have only been partial sources; a more thorough research of this area of the history of drama in education has yet to be made. Milena Nečesaná has attempted to gather the existing studies, outline the history of the Piarist order and its activity in the Czechlands and describe the educational system of the Piarists with respect to the theatrical activities which were part of it. The focus of her work lies in describing the drama activities in Piarist schools, plays and their themes and plots as well as the different forms they take. As sources she used listings that have survived at the various places In Bohemia and Moravia where Piarists had worked.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Kateřina Řezníčková: Using the Drama Methods in Teaching Jewish Issues at Secondary School - This thorough and inventive bachelor thesis written by this year’s graduate from the Dept of Drama in Education examines the possibilities of applying drama to the teaching of history at the secondary school. The author believes history to be one of ”subjects that provide very good material to examine by drama methods, for it - just as all humanities - deals with people and their relationships, with the society and its development, rules and principles, in short various aspects of human behaviour and decision making at critical moments”. Yet she goes on to say that in teaching history ”drama can hardly be the only method or even the prevailing one, but as a supplementary method it can facilitate deeper insight into or more diverse views of the presented topic. They can also provide a more vivid, hands-on experience related to rather abstract topics”. The core of the thesis consists in two drama structures dealing with the issue of anti-Semitism in Central Europe at the turn of the 19th and 20th century and after WW II. Both projects have been tried out with students of a secondary grammar school in Prague.

Roman Manda: From Drama Play to Dramaturgical Project with Christiane Page - A report on a workshop led by the French teacher of drama play from the Université d´Artois in Arras (France), which was held in June 2007 at the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Prague Faculty of Theatre. The author of the article gives a rather detailed description of the workshop activities, the concept of Christiane Page’s work as well as her views on the purpose of drama and theatre in education. He also mentions the unsatisfactory situation in drama and theatre activities in the French educational system today. The workshop as well as the lecture given by Ms Page during the Children’s Stage Festival in Trutnov was made possible due to the bilateral agreement between the Université d´Artois and the Prague Faculty of Theatre within the Socrates-Erasmus programme.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Lenka Novotná: Is the Swell Season So Superb? From Fairy-Tale to Reality: Student Theatre Today - Reflections on the shape and development of the national festival of secondary school theatre held every May in the East Bohemian town of Náchod under the name Swell Season, and a review of this year’s performances.

 

INSPIRATION

Michaela Lažanová-Kateřina Řezníčková-Jaroslava Sýkorová: Selecting Literary Texts for Theatre with Secondary School Students - This article examines several literary texts that could provide inspiring material for working with adolescents both in theatre and classroom drama, ones that have not yet been discovered by many teachers and leaders of drama groups. The authors discuss plots found in some of the stories from the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (in the latter case they mention a very good modern adaptation by Eleanor Farjeon), tales from the Thousand and One Nights, Ramayana, Mahabharata and other Indian sources, as well as Irish myths and legends (they especially point out the adaptations of Michael Scott in the book Irish Folk & Fairy Tales). In the end they ponder over the dramatic potential of the short stories and romanettos by the 19th century Czech writer Jakub Arbes, which seem to appeal to teenagers and which reflect influences such as that of E. A. Poe.

 

REVIEWS

Eva Machková: Games in Kindergarten and Drama in Education - A review of the practical handbook for kindergarten teachers dealing both with play in general and drama play specifically, published in 2005 under the title ”Kindergarten Games in Theory and Practice”. Eva Machková recognises this book written by Soňa Koťátková, a senior lecturer from the Pedagogical Faculty in Prague, as well-organised and useful for anybody who works with pre-school children, but inspiring for others as well.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Gabriela Sittová: Blažena and Karolína. The Girl Heroine in Czech Literature and its Changes: A Comparative Study of the Books ”Robinson Girl” and ”Karolina” - The study deals with ”Karolina” (subtited ”A Brief Biography of a Sixteen-Year-Old”), one of the best contemporary Czech novels with a girl heroine written by Iva Procházková, an author of many books for children and youth, who has been appraised both in the Czech Republic and in German-speaking countries and granted several literary awards.

Luděk Korbel-Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 24

The 24th text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika provides a glimpse into the creative work of Zuzana Jirsová, a teacher at the Basic School of Arts in the South-Bohemian town of Jindřichův Hradec. Her children and youngster groups have repeatedly been chosen to participate in the National Festivals of children theatre, where they always presented performances based on highly inspiring literary texts. The Three Sisters and One Ring is a dramatisation of a modern fairy-tale by the 20th century actor and writer of children literature Jan Werich, in which Zuzana Jirsová employs Brechtian principles of epic theatre and its alienation effect, which enable teenagers to be natural in playing various types of roles, comment on them and play with the narration. The horror story Christoph and Jonas is a author text intended for the younger ensemble, which Zuzana Jirsová wrote to the motives of a short story called ”The Spook House” by the contemporary New Zealand writer Marc Alexander in 1985. Both dramatisations are accompanied by methodological commentaries, in which Zuzana Jirsová explains the ways in which she arrived at the final shape of the scripts and performances together with the children and youngsters.

 

 

SUMMARY 2007/2

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Marta Žilková: Shifts in Meaning in Adapting Literary Works - A literature scholar from the Institute of Literary and Artistic Communication at the Faculty of Arts, Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra (Slovakia), reflects recent Slovak adaptations of epic texts for theatre and radio. She finds adaptations are most frequent in drama addressed to children. However, she finds many of those incline to popular genres and come to meet expectations shaped by commercial production. For example, she notices a widespread tendency to insert singing, musical or dance numbers into drama without relevant justification. Not even radio plays have been spared this tendency. The innovations and chosen adaptation techniques tend to follow only one goal: mechanically empowering the reception experience. In this way, however, they often reduce the expressive and artistic value of the original. The author analyses several adaptations of well-known fairy-tales to support her opinion.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Children’s Stage 2007 - The programme of the 36th National Festival of Children’s Theatre and Poetry Reading held as usual in June in the East-Bohemian town of Trutnov (through which the river Úpa flows).

Eva Brhelová: What Could Be Seen On Both Banks of Úpa - The author ponders over the 36th Children’s Stage national festival of children’s theatre and poetry reading. Out of 17 participating performances she points out seven: a collage of nonsense rhymes Miscellaneous Creatures (presented by seven to eight-year-old children from the Little School of Drama in Svitavy, directed by Jana Mandlová); a satiric cabaret text of the French author Jules Jouy Benches on the Promenade (performed by children from the Basic School of Arts in Liberec led by Libuše Hájková); a pantomime collage inspired by film grotesque A Silent Movie (presented by Ivana Sobková and her group from the Basic School of Arts in Prague 1); adaptation of a short story by Ray Bradbury ”All Summer in a Day" presented under the name Wenus by the group from the Primary School in Slaný led by Kateřina Rezková; a symbolic Chinese story Shadow Theatre for the Beautiful Lin (a group from the Basic School of Arts in Veselí nad Moravou, led by Vítězslava Trávníčková); a modern fairy-tale A Speckled Little Hen (played within puppets by a group from the Club of Children’s Culture led by Barbora Dohnálková in Vsetín); and another puppet performance - a modern fairy-tale The Light- Blue Peter (play by a group from the Basic School of Arts in Jaroměř, led by Jaroslava Holasová). In her article, Eva Brhelová draws our attention to the fact that from the viewpoint of theatrical media, the national festival has seen puppet plays, performances with masks, ones played as drama or epic theatre, performances built around scenography or even projection as well as shadow play or ritual, performances based on movement or using musical features to a greater extent. The author notices there was a prevalence of performances based on metaphoric means of expression. She concludes by informing that workshops for children and teachers again constituted an inseparable part of the Children’s Stage, such as did guest performances, a lecture of Christiane Page, a French teacher of drama in education from the Université d´Artois in Arras, six issues of a festival journal and other events.

Jana Křenková: 36th National Festival and Workshop of Children Reading Poetry held in Trutnov from 15 to 17 June 2007 - The Children’s Stage always opens with a festival and workshop for children who recite both poetry and fiction. Jana Křenková appreciates a pleasant atmosphere both at the festival and workshop, which provided space for the children not only to recite their texts, but also discuss their interpretations among themselves and with a group of lecturers. This was followed by workshops led by students of drama in education from Prague.

Luděk Richter: A Festival of Drama Departments of Basic School of Arts in Hradec Králové - Ever since mid 1980s, a festival is organised that presents the outcomes of the work of drama departments from the Basic Schools of Arts from all over the Czech Republic. This year it was held during the first weekend in June in  Hradec Králové. The impulses and issues it has raised are discussed here by a jury member Luděk Richter.

Michal Hecht: Winding of the Webs: the 6th International Children and Youth Festival - The festival was held in May 2007 in the West-Bohemian town of Ostrov thanks to Irena Konývková, the leader of HOP-HOP, one of the most successful Czech children and youth theatre groups. This year the festival focused on movement and dance theatre and besides Czech groups it featured guest performances from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria.

 

INSPIRATION

Eva Brhelová: Sítko 2007: the 5th Festival of the Studio of Drama at the Faculty of Theatre of JAMU - A detailed account of the annual event organised by students of drama in education from Brno, introducing student performances as well as those played by children with whom the students work. Besides, the audience became acquainted with various projects of theatre in education and classroom drama. As every year, students from the Dpt. of Drama in Education in Prague were invited to participate in the event.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Jakub Stárek: The Magic Bullet of Drama in Education. The 16th congress of Drama in Education, Burg Schlaining 30 March - 4 April 2007 - A student of the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Theatre Faculty in Prague describes the programme of the traditional international congress held in Austria. The main programme consisted of four one-day workshops led by Allan Owens and Patrice Baldwin from the U.K., Larry Swartz from Canada and Petra Rychecká from the Czech Republic. Among the lecturers was also Frank Katoola from Uganda, who led the morning warm-ups. The author emphasises another important benefit of the congress, namely the opportunity for drama teachers from all over the world to meet, make contacts, exchange experience and appreciate their diverse cultural backgrounds. This was made possible thanks to the perfect preparation and organisation.

Anna Tomková-Kateřina Benešová: Innovating the System of In-Field Training of Students Specialising in Drama at the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles University (continued) - Anna Tomková, a teacher at the Dpt. of Primary Education of the above-mentioned faculty, describes the present system of in-field training for students of primary education specialising in drama, and the changes made to it, which make it possible for students to try out various methods of drama as well as prepare and realise their drama projects in various schools. The article is supplemented by a reflection in which a student of drama in education at the Pedagogical Faculty in Prague ponders to what extent the new concept of in-field training prepared her for the job of a primary school drama teacher.

Vendula Kalušová: Strado, Varius, the Little Girl and the Rain at Červený Vrch. Picture Books as a Source of Inspiration for Drama with Pre-School Children - A teacher from the kindergarten at Červený Vrch (Prague 6) describes and reflects two of her long-term drama projects based on working with Czech picture books (Martina Skala: Strado & Varius; Milena Lukešová-Jan Kudláček: The Little Girl and the Rain). The common goal of the two projects was to make children understand more deeply the meaning of the two stories, and thus also understand themselves and the world that surrounds them. An additional goal was to deepen their relationship to literature and visual arts. Both projects were realised with age-heterogeneous groups of kindergarten children.

 

REVIEWS

Hana Kasíková: RIDE. Research in Drama Education from 2004 to 2006 - A reflection of three years of the international revue published since 1996 in Exeter out of the initiative of John Somers. The author, who is a teacher at the Dpt. of Drama in Education at the Theatre Faculty in Prague and the Dpt. of Pedagogy at the Philosophical Faculty of the Charles University, begins her article with the following sentence: ”Having a platform for the research of theatre and drama in the most diverse educational contexts is a bingo. Published in the U.K., but possessing a truly international character, Research in Drama Education is a publishing space for those working in the field of drama in education, theatre in education, theatre for children, theatre with children and youth, dramatherapy, community theatre and all kinds of other educational projects (theatre for health, liberation, development, etc.). It is also a platform for the proponents of various methodological approaches, providing readers with an opportunity to compare, resonate and draw inspiration.” The author lists topics discussed in the last three years of the journal (including the threat of marginating drama within the British educational system, the influence of drama on academic results, drama and negative social phenomena, dramatherapy, ethics, applied drama/theatre, etc.), appreciating the overall concept of the journal and its contribution to the development of the field of drama in education.

Eva Machková: Two Reviews - Reviews of two highly problematic books concerning drama in education and theatre with children.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Lenka Korbelová: Mateřídouška and its Changes During the Last Decade - The author deals with the unfortunate development of the oldest Czech magazine for children, Mateřídouška (founded as early as 1945 by the Czech poet František Hrubín), stating that the once quality literary revue has turned into a cheap popular magazine which tends to discourage children from reading rather than encourage them to read. It is very sad to see a prestigious revue going the way of superficiality and commercialism.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 23

The text supplement of Creative Drama provides three different dramatisations of the same literary source - the popular humorist book of boys’ stories There Was the Five of Us by the Czech inter-war writer Karel Poláček. The dramatisation of Ema Zámečníková, a teacher of the Dpt. of Drama at the Basic School of Arts in Hradec Králové, …A Lot of Snow Has Fallen, ranked among the best performances of the Children’s Stage Festival in 1994. Lenka Jaborská, at present a teacher at the Basic School of Arts in Hlučín, wrote her dramatisation What Happened When we Bathed as an independent creative project on graduating from the Dpt. of Drama in Education at the Theatre Faculty in Prague. The third dramatisation – There Was the Five of Us - was written by Irena Konývková, a teacher at the Basic School of Arts in Ostrov. It was transformed into one of the most successful performances of the last-year Children’s Stage and this year’s festival of the Basic Schools of Arts in Hradec Králové. The three texts based on the same book interestingly illustrate three different approaches to dramatising stories with children’s heroes to be used in theatre with children.

 

SUMMARY 2007/1

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Josef Valenta: Drama in Education versus Personal and Social Education - The aim of the article is to identify both the common ground and differences in two educational systems, drama in education as opposed to personal and social education. Both systems have been made part of the present curriculum reform in the Czech Republic and incorporated into the National Curriculum Framework for Primary Education. The author of the article shows how these two systems can complement each other, while pointing out that they are not identical and should therefore not be mingled or even substituted for each other. He goes on by suggesting ways of implementing both drama and personal and social education into school curricula.

 

 

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Ivana Sobková: The World Festival of Children‘s Theatre - the Ninth Encounter. A report from the 9th Festival of Children‘s Theatre taking place in the German town of Lingen from 14 to 22 July 2006. According to the author, performances shown at the festival can be divided into three main types. The first distinct group were performances in the style of a ”big show” marked by a great deal of perfectionism and drill (the performance of a children‘s musical theatre group from the USA Reach for the Stars, the Japanese dance performance, the German performance called The Play or the Indian performance). Another noticeable type were performances characterised by ”folklore” features such as children dressed in national costumes, singing of folk songs (unfortunately on playback as a rule) and a primitive story (a typical example being the Bulgarian performance). A great theatrical experience was brought forth by children from Zimbabwe who introduced a short play called Tsitsi. The third group was represented by performances which in their concept were close to the type of theatre with children that we know from the Czech Republic (e. g. performances from Estonia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, England and Finland).

Alžběta Ferklová-Čermáková: Using Masks in Working with Children - This fundamental study on using masks in drama and theatre with children was written as a diploma work at the Dept. of Drama in Education at DAMU, Prague. Its author deals with the main types of masks and discusses both their potential and possible dangers while used in doing drama with children. Drawing from her own experience, she goes on to outline a methodology based on a number of games and exercises intended to prepare children for acting with a mask. The author argues that not only do masks teach children the basic principles of theatre, but they can also serve as an effective tool in helping children control the way they act and learn about themselves. What is more, they can provide a sense of safety and relaxation which is so important for children in the process of drama. ”Nowadays we tend to forget the true purpose of a mask,” concludes the author. ”It us usually treated as a sort of toy, as an object hiding our face and used for mere entertainment. This is why it is so enriching when children get a chance to discover the principle, potential and true purpose of a mask through theatrical work.”

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Klára Zachariášová: The Contents and Methods of Drama at Secondary School and Ways of Linking it to Other Arts Subjects - The article subtitled Drama at Grammar Schools - its possibilities and conditions deals with the circumstances of introducing drama as a subject at secondary (grammar) schools as well as the forms it may take. Drawing from her own experience from teaching drama at a secondary school in Čáslav, the author proposes the following format of implementing drama into the secondary school curriculum: in the first two years, there would be an obligatory subject of Personal and Social Education with the allowance of 1 hour per week, in the third and fourth year there would be a facultative subject of Drama (with students obliged to choose out of several subject options) and an optional subject Creating a Theatrical Shape availabe to students in all years, both with the allowance of 2 lessons per week.

Anna Tomková, Radek Marušák: Innovating the System of In-Field Training of Students Specializing in Drama at the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles University - The authors of the article, both teachers at the Dept. Of Primary Education of the above-mentioned faculty, describe the present system of in-field training for students of primary education specializing in drama. The crucial impulse for its implementation was a grant project called Innovating the In-Field Training of Students Specializing in Drama, which made a multi-level system of in-field training possible. At the first stage students carry out observations at various types of schools and educational institutions both in and outside Prague. The aim of this stage is to provide students with an overview of the whole range of ways and places in which drama in education is used (kindergartens, primary schools, basic schools of art, children and youth centres, etc.). At the second stage students plan their own lessons, develop projects for children in classes 1-5 of primary school and try them out in a group of their fellow students. The final stage in the new system of in-field training consists of practical output in the form of projects carried out with children in the last year of the study programme.

Jaroslav Provazník: Connecting our Neighborhoods: Using Theatre to Discover our Common Ground – A report from a conference organised by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) held in June 2006 in Washington.

 

INSPIRATION

Catherine Hughes: Theatre performance and Brain Functions - A translation of one of the most inspiring papers presented at the Washington Conference on drama in July 2006. Its author, a PhD student at the Ohio State University, tries to examine and explain the effect that a theatre performance can have on brain function, emotions, memory and learning, suggesting ways in which these areas might be connected. The material for this research is represented by her experience of working at the Boston Museum of Science, where she participated in special theatrical productions designed as a combination art and education. ”Over the years,” she writes, ”I became fascinated by what might be happening for the visitor through our shows. Did the fact that people expressed emotions have anything to do with whether they learned something?… Part of the challenge in my dissertation research is to show clearly that there was an emotional response to a performance, and that this emotional response affected someone’s memory and learning.”

Vladimír Komárek: Theatre in the Brain and Brain in the Theatre (a commentary of a neurologist) - The article of Catherine Hughes is followed up by a commentary written by a Czech neurologist who appreciates her paper as very inspiring, recommending it to students of drama in education for studying and thinking.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

David Kroča: The Magical Narratives of Petr Sís - A review of the two latest books for children written by a well-known Czech painter, illustrator and writer living in the USA since 1980s, Tibet (2005) and Play, Mozart, Play! (2006).

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 22

The text supplement of Tvořivá dramatika contains two scripts of performances which belonged to the most interesting ones at the last two years of the Children°s Stage national festival in Trutnov (2005 and 2006). Both performances were put together by Václava Makovcová and Jana Barnová, primary school teachers in a small village near Prague, who worked on them with six- and seven-year old children. The first is a collage of nonsense poems by the Czech poet Pavel Šrut Veliký Tůdle, the second one - Tu To máš! – is a montage of three little English stories narrated by the same author (they were published in his book called The Cat King). The scripts are accompanied by methodological notes written by the teachers describing how the two performances were prepared and rehearsed.

 

SUMMARY 2006/3

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Josef Mlejnek: Children in Theatre - Selected chapters from a near-to-classic book on theatre for children by Josef Mlejnek. The author of the book is convinced that the aesthetic perception of theatre (and art in general) must not be limited only to emotions, a statement he finds equally valid for children audiences. If the judgement of young spectators is narrowed down to ”I like - I dislike”, their ability to justify their attitudes remains idle and a substantial part of the art work perception is lost. Josef Mlejnek ponders over ways in which teachers can help children approach art, prepare them for theatre going and further develop their spectators´ experiences in discussions, visual art activities and especially creative dramatic play in which ”children are no more just passive consumers, but instead they grasp the language of drama actively, by means of play. If they get to feel the profusion of thought and art in the performance on their own, their emotional experience will be rich and long-lasting.”

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Jaroslav Provazník: Drama in Education and the Key Competences. A few notes on drama and its position within the National Curriculum Framework for Primary Education - After many years of discussion, the National Curriculum Framework is going to come into effect in 2007. Each school is obliged to develop its own school curriculum depending on its specialisation, circumstances and priorities. The Framework recognises drama as a subject which schools can choose to make part of their curricula (provided they have an appropriately qualified teacher - M.A. graduates of drama schools, etc.). The author points to some specifics of drama in contrast to other art subjects (music, visual arts, literature, dance) and suggests ways in which drama can contribute to the acquisition of key competences which are in the core of the National Curiculum Framework, especially the communication, social and personal competences. He closes by saying: ”Modern school has to provide children with access to all substantial areas of human activity including art in all its forms. Theatre and other dramatic kinds (film, television, radio…) are areas which cannot be omitted when we think of art and culture. And yet theatre has been represented in the curriculum to an unsufficient extent… The subject of drama opens a way for the schools to implement the curriculum area Art and Culture in a full scope.”

Veronika Krátká: The Vikings Project - The project was implemented in November 2005 at the primary school Klíč in Česká Lípa. It had been conceived as part of the author‘s studies at the Dpt. of Drama in Education of Faculty of Performing Arts (DAMU) in the subject of methodology of drama. The goal of the project was to introduce pupils to the time and life of the Vikings, having them research and experience the customs, religion and habits of the culture. The project has been inspired by a book by the Swedish author Runer Johnsson called Vike the Viking and the Red-Eyed Roughnecks. The author of the project has primarily used the story to examine issues concerning expansion to another country, conquest, fight and conflict.

Alžběta Čermáková-Ferklová: Wednesday Tastes Good. A drama-in-education project for the 1st class of primary school - Another part of the series of interesting projects created by the students of the Dpt. of Drama in Education of Faculty of Performing Arts (DAMU). A nine-part project (taking place on Wednesdays) was aimed at pupils aged 6 -7 and focused on the life of children in an orphanage. Pupils could examine the relationships and problems of children living in an orphanage symbolically called the Sunflower. The project was inspired by the book Wednesday Tastes Good written by the Czech writer Iva Procházková. The main heroine of the book is the girl Cilka who possesses a magic gift - if there is good atmosphere in the orphan home she lives in, an apple grows on her forehead.

Martin Sedláček: Drama in Seggau - A report on the 15th World Congress ”Drama in Education”, organised in Austria in 2005.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Tomáš Žižka: An Insight into the 2006 Insights Festival - A report on the national workshop and festival Nahlížení 2006 (Insights 2006) held in the south-Bohemian town of Bechyně. This event focused primarily on devising theatre has entered into its 17th year of existence. The program comprised performances by youngster groups (age 15-20) accompanied by discussions and a workshop for participants. The most inspiring performances were brought to the festival by the PAN CHICITOS group from the Basic School of Arts Žerotín in Olomouc (R.U.R. by Karel Čapek) and by UNISEX UNIČOV from the Basic School of Arts in Uničov, directed by Magda Johnová (a piece of movement theatre called More and More developed as a devising project). Among other interesting performances the reporter mentions are Stories (a montage of absurd texts by the Russian writer Daniil Kharms) and a dramatisation of a tale by Jan Werich Three Sisters and One Ring brought to the festival by a group from Jindřichův Hradec led by Zuzana Jirsová.

Eva Brhelová: Focused on Sítko. A festival organised by the Studio of Drama in Education in Brno - For the past few years, the Dpt. of Drama in Education at Janáček´s Faculty of Performing Arts in Brno has organised a festival of projects and performances developed by students or graduates of the department. Eva Brhelová, who is a teacher at the department, resumes the journey from the initial idea which emerged in 2000 all the way to this year‘s festival. What she appreciates is not only the extensive programme, but also the fact that the whole event is organised by the students themselves.

 

INSPIRATION

Eva Machková: Acting Against Conflict and Bullying. The Brisbane DRACON Project 1996-2004 - Emergent Findings and Outcomes - An article by Eva Machková draws attention to an inspiring project by Australian drama experts John O´Toole from the University of Melboune and Bruce Burton from the Griffith University in Brisbane, which was published last year in the journal Research in Drama Education (Volume 10, 2005, Number 3). Besides providing the readers of Tvořivá dramatika with a glimpse into the pages of this internationally respected drama journal, the article strives to point out that a further development of the field in the Czech Republic shall necessitate a quality research which should be initiated as soon as possible.

 

REVIEWS

Eva Brhelová: Creative Writing - One of the Key Competences in University Studies - A three-day conference of this name was held in October 2004 at the occasion of the 10th anniversary of establishing the Department of Creative Writing at the Philosophical Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno. The event resulted into the publishing of an almanach edited by the director of the conference, Zbyněk Fišer. The almanach comprises theoretical essays on issues concerning creative writing, literature, pedagogy and language teaching as well as contributions dealing with various ways of employing creative writing techniques. Last but not least, the almanach brings brief reports from several secondary schools and universities which have incorporated creative writing into their curricula. Eva Brhelová suggests the almanach may become a useful and inspiring tool for a wide range of readers, such as teachers of Czech language and literature, creative writing, foreign languages and other subjects. It also provides inspiration for educational projects related to the creation of texts and contains reference to relevant Czech and foreign literature in the field.

Eva Brhelová: Creative Writing for Everyone? - In her review of the monography Creative Writing for Everyone by Markéta Dočekalová, Eva Brhelová identifies some problems present in this popular handbook.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Pavla Jiránková: Lenka Lanczová - A Phenomenon in Contemporary Girls´ Literature? - Analysing three books by a popular contemporary Czech author writing for a girl audience, the reviewer arrives at the conclusion that the books contain a lot of chlichés and present a very simplified and schematized picture of the present-day world.

Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 21

Josef Mlejnek (*8 November 1921) is one of the founders of Czech modern drama in education. A primary school teacher in the East-Bohemian town of Vysoké Mýto (from 1950s to 1980s), Mlejnek also belonged to the most successful leaders of children theatre groups. His performances with children and youngsters always ranked among the most inspiring ones, being repeatedly chosen for the national festivals taking place in Kaplice (Kaplické divadelní léto) and other places in Czech Republic, Slovakia and abroad. He is the author of several outstanding plays for children and youth theatre groups. The regular supplement of this issue of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) contains Josef Mlejnek´s Vandr do světa (The Progress to the World), a text which came into being in 1970s, but which has remained up-to-date for youngsters. This ”play about young people on the threshold of maturity employing motives from Comenius´ Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart”, as the sub-title has it, takes plays at a rehearsal of a young theatre group who strive to stage the well-known allegorical story by Comenius dealing with the discovering of the world, being lost and finding one´s place in it. Problems experienced by 15-year-old people who are just ending primary school are projected into the rehearsal of the play as well as the play itself while each of the young people is searching for his or her own journey to maturity.

 

 

SUMMARY 2006/2

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Jaroslav Provazník: Children on Stage: When? How? Why? - This pondering over the purpose of theatre played by children, its possibilities and limits begins with a brief look back: Children participating in dramatical or even theatrical activities can be traced a long way back in history. The problem is, however, that the relationship between children and theatre has for long been a disproportional one: one of the two parties has usually been subordinated to the other one. Theatre or some of its elements or procedures were often used as a tool in the education of children (mime illustrating and staging of Terence’s or Plautus’ plays in Latin lessons at the Middle Ages, reformation school theatre, the concept of schola ludus introduced by Comenius, Jesuit theatre, etc.). The opposite type of relationship is reflected in making use of children in theatrical events (participation of pupils in medieval liturgical plays, hiring boys for girls’ roles in theatre productions in Elizabethan England, children employed in today’s professional theatre...). A totally different approach to the solution of the child-theatre relationship appears as late as the beginning of the 20th century. At that time there are people on both sides of the process - meaning teachers and theatre makers - who point out that the encounter of children and theatre (or art in general) makes sense only when we respect the child with his/her dispositions, interests and possibilities, but at the same time we respect theatre as specific artistic creation. It is not a coincident that the modern American creative drama introduced by Winifred Ward emerges at that time, i. e. the first decades of the 20th century, for it is closely connected with the movement of art education and various reform educational movements in general. The author continues by formulating the conditions that need to be respected if theatrical work with children – perceived not as the goal, but as means of personal development - is to be meaningful. First of all, the presence of children on stage is justified only if they feel safe being there. It is therefore necessary to create such conditions that enable them to be authentic and unaffected. This requires systematic work with children aimed at equipping them with specific theatre-related skills, but also making them understand the nature of theatre. Leaders of theatre groups should be able to choose such tasks and challenges (dramaturgical, acting and organisational) that are appropriate for the children, but at the same time create such conditions on stage than enable them to handle the tasks. On one hand there are aesthetical criteria (i. e. what kind of artistic impression the performance makes), on the other hand there are educational, pedagogical and psychological criteria (what meaning the activity has for the participating children and in what ways the chosen type of theatrical work can develop them). Here the author distinguishes several levels: 1. The first level of dispositions, abilities and skills of pupils are existing, actual ones that the director is able to employ in the given theatrical shape. 2. There are also potential dispositions, abilities and skills that can be achieved by the children when working on the performance. 3. The third level of dispositions, abilities and skills of no lesser importance are ones that are achievable in a long run – the so-called perspective skills and abilities (see Vygotski's Zone of Proximal Development). There are leaders of children’s theatre groups who work with this perspective level consciously and with great results, because they bear in mind that every performance made with children has a development; they therefore let the children face challenges which may in the beginning appear too much for their present abilities, but which they can gradually grow up to, partly thanks to the performance itself. The essential thing - representing the specific artistic aspect of this kind of work - is searching for the proper key to the performance which is in accord with the present possibilities, abilities and skills of the children and which at the same time provides an opportunity to develop and enrich them as time goes. This is, the author says, what at the most reflects the specifics and challenges but also the purpose and meaning of making theatre with children.

 

 

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Václav Klemens: Theatrical Backwater in Trutnov - An article recapitulating the 35th year of the Children´s Stage National Festival held in June 2006 in Trutnov. The author deals with stimuli and problems generated by performances, drawing special attention to the following ones: A montage of verses written by the Czech jazz singer Jana Koubková Welcome in Jazzland performed by the children’s theatre group from the Basic School of Arts in Hradec Králové, based mainly on playing with rhythm; a staging of three English tales Here You Go! performed by seven- and eight-year-old children from the primary school in Třebotov; a staging of comic tales from the book The Five of Us by the Czech writer Karel Poláček performed by pupils of the Basic School of Arts in Ostrov and an interesting attempt for a ”realistic” perspective on teenager problems called So What? performed by a group from Brno. However, V. Klemens concludes by stating that this year’s festival brought neither a remarkable high point, nor a performance causing special controversy.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Gábina Sittová: Drama for the Future - A detailed report on the international conference ”Drama for the Future” organised by the British association National Drama from 11 to 13 April at the University of Winchester. At first G. Sittová describes the workshops and sessions she had taken part in, stating: ”It was a pleasant surprise to see that Czech drama in education was very well keeping up with British drama. On the other hand, I found it surprising that participants from some countries had only a faint notion of theatre in education or the basic conventions of structuring drama work. The presentations of delegates I have attended were interesting and pleasant, yet some of them could have been better organised and led with a greater confidence. Czech festivals tend to offer better-structured workshops, comparable to those held by lecturers from the organising university of Winchester, which were prepared and led in a very professional manner.”

Hana Švejdová: Tell me, Tell Me Where the Path Leads...? or Project Teaching in Kindergarten as a Way to Accomplish the Goals Set by the National Curriculum Framework for Pre-School Education - Using her long-time experience, the kindergarten and drama teacher from the West-Bohemian town of Klatovy introduces her concept of drama work with the very young children including the examples of three extensive projects.

 

INSPIRATION

Martin Vasquez: Developing Preconditions for Drama Improvisation - A theoretical reflection on the preconditions and possibilities of improvisation and theatre sports in relation to different age groups. The author arrives at the conclusion that improvisation, especially in the form of improvisation leagues, is most enriching for adolescents. At this stage of human development improvisation becomes something essential. The need for open solutions, focus on variability, the capability of cooperation and empathy, sense of constructive play, employing imagination in anticipating actions and events, reinforcing opinions and attitudes, developing partnership - all these areas can be enhanced by improvisation, because it can serve as an exercising ground of competences, abilities and skills. Moreover, improvisation in the form of theatre sports with the elements of competition and audience appreciation may represent a great opportunity for self-realisation at the age of adolescence.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jan Hejk: Bajaja - a Way to Holan? (Interpretation of the Poetry Book Bajaja and its Employment in Literature Lessons) - The author, a student of Czech literature at the Pedagogical Faculty in Prague, offers an interesting perspective on the single book for children written in 1950s by one of the most outstanding modern Czech poets Vladimír Holan, which has unfortunately and unjustly fallen into oblivion.

Kateřina Řezníčková: The Beginnings of Fantasy - A historical overview mapping the beginnings of the fantasy genre, which may offer a rich source of topics and themes for drama and theatre work with children and youth.

Jaroslav Provazník: Literature Called FANTASY - The author characterises the main features and aspects of the genre.

Veronika Krátká-Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 20

The regular supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) contains two scripts of performances devised by Irina Ulrychová, a teacher of the Drama-in-Education Dpt. of the Prague Faculty of Performing Arts and Basic School of Arts in Brandýs nad Labem. The first script is a staging of a comic tale by Pavel Šrut Sam the Cook and the Mermaids taken from his book of outstanding adaptations of American tales called Little Tom and Big Tom and Other Very American Stories. The other script is based on one of the stories contained in the book Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales by the British author Brian Jacques, the main heroine of which is the girl Allie/Alma who is unable to suppress her urge to steal. Not only the dramatisation brings an interesting topic, but also suggests possible ways for children to represent adult characters.

 

 

SUMMARY 2006/1

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Eva Machková: Stanislavsky’s Pupil Mikhail Chekhov - Unlike his teacher, Mikhail Chekhov has not influenced Czech drama in education to a significant extent. The reasons are clear: he was not as famous in Czechoslovakia as was Stanislavsky, for his two books were translated into Czech as late as 1990s -  a period when Czech drama in education had already formulated its methodology. Besides, his book To the Actor. On the Technique of Acting heads towards the establishment of roles and performance quite swiftly and the parts concerning drama elements contain a great deal of procedures that can be done only with adults. Still drama teachers should become acquainted with this important work. Especially the principles of drama work described by Chekhov represent a rich source of inspiration, encouraging us to view issues from different perspectives.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Irena Holemá: Storytelling or "Get Hold of Your Glass and I’ll Tell You a Story..." – The programme of the 11th national conference ”Drama in School”, which was as usual held throughout one week in the town of Jičín, included a workshop of the American Professor Rives Collins, who is the chair of the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University (Evanston). He is the department’s specialist in theatre and drama for youth, teaching courses in Theatre for Children, Creative Drama, and Storytelling. In his workshop called ”Once Upon A Classroom: Teaching Through Storytelling”, participants worked with their own stories as well as stories taken from children’s books (including the Fables by Arnold Lobel). The author of the report, a drama teacher at a primary school in Prague, describes the contents of the workshop in great detail, recognising the teaching style and methods of Rives Collins as very valuable and inspiring.

Hana Šimonová: Drama and Children with a Physical Handicap – In the first part of her article, the author, who is a special needs teacher and at the same time a drama teacher, deals with the underlying principles and circumstances of doing drama with physically handicapped children at the Rudolf Jedlička Institute in Prague. She examines the possibilities and perspectives of using drama to enhance not only the personal and social development of these children, but also their aesthetic cultivation. There is a separate chapter concerned with the management strategies, choice of methods and techniques as well as the relationship between drama and dramatherapy. In the end, H. Šimonová shares her own experience of a three-year’s engagement in doing drama and theatre with physically handicapped children in the boarding school at the Rudolf Jedlička Institute.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Zuzana Jirsová: Insights 2005 – Every year in October the South-Bohemian town of Bechyně hosts the national workshop of theatre with youngsters. The author reports on the latest year of the workshop and festival, which saw the performances of nine youngster groups from all over the Czech Republic. Most of those had the character of devising theatre, drawing inspiration not only from modern literature (Terry Pratchett, Gianni Rodari), but going back to older works as well such as a short story by Oscar Wilde, a novel by Alexander Grin or a poem by the Czech romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha. Some were based on the students’s own texts. The author of the article praises the performance Omnis Lucem Suam Habet by the PAN CHICITOS group from the Basic School of Arts Žerotín in Olomouc (led by Magda Johnová) as one of the most inspiring ones.

Jaroslav Provazník: The Dream that Has Come True is a Commitment. The first national festival of theatre groups from orphan’s homes was held on 8 October 2005 – A report on the first year of a national festival of theatre groups working in orphan’s homes which was held in Prague. The author appreciates the fact that such festival has come into being, believing it worth continuing. However, he encourages the leaders of these groups (mainly educators working in orphan’s homes) to participate in and draw inspiration from national festivals of children’s and youth theatre, such as the regional rounds of the Children’s Stage festival or the Insights festival in Bechyně, because drama in orphan’s homes is not - and should not be - a world enclosed in itself. This is because the principal goal, which is the development of a child’s personality through drama and theatre, is what all theatre groups for children and youth have in common, no matter where they work.

 

INSPIRATION

Martin Vasquez: From the History of Theatre Sports – The study resumes the roots and development of theatre sports and the related theatrical activities. He writes about the beginnings of improvisation theatre within the context of English and American theatre, mentioning especially the pioneers of improvisation methods and improvisation theatre such as Viola Spolin, Del Close or Keith Johnstone. In the second part we find brief characteristics of the forms and techniques of theatre sports. The author concludes in a list of the most famous improvisation theatres in the United  States, Canada and Europe.

 

REVIEWS

Eva Machková: Children Do Theatre: The Way the Portál Publishing House Sees It – A review of a new book on drama in primary schools issued by the Portál publishing house (Prague), the quality of whose extensive production the author finds very unbalanced. She claims this book to be a quite amateurish work witnessing the inexperience of its authors, Eva Cílková and Irena Hříbková, teachers at a primary school in Prague. The book includes several theatre scripts of poor quality, which make it clear that the authors are not acquainted with the present situation and possibilities of modern drama and theatre with children. Eva Machková, associate professor at the Dpt. of Drama in Education at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts, concludes her review with the words: ”The authors of the book have probably had the purest intentions. However, they have absolutely no touch with the current reality in the field they have entered. It is their problem, after all, but a publishing house should know better – one would expect them to keep up with the development and prevent such works from being published.”

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Marta Žilková: The Value of Update Dramatisation (or Adaptation) – The Slovak collaborator of Tvořivá dramatika, associate professor of Slovak literature at the Pedagogical Faculty in Nitra, has - among other things - dealt with radio drama works for children for many years. In this study she writes about dramatisations in which their authors adapt the original epic texts, making them up-to-date. She pays special attention to new drama texts written to the motives of other literary works, e.g. the tales by H. Ch. Andersen or the stories of Peter Pan, the adaptations of which have appeared in Slovak drama several times throughout the last decade.

Iva Dvořáková: Pondering Eragon – On the translation of the bestseller written by the young American author Christopher Paolini.

Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 19

The regular supplement of Tvořivá dramatika contains two scripts of performances that appeared at the Children’s Stage national festivals in 2004 a 2005. The leader of the children’s theatre group Koukej! (Look!) from the Basic School of Arts in Odolena Voda near Prague has rehearsed performances based on the principles of devising theatre. ”The Cat Palace” was devised to the motives of a Japanese story, while the ”War with the Newts” is based on the famous science-fiction by Karel Čapek. In preparing the latter, Ivana Sobková also successfully drew inspiration from the modern adaptation of Čapek’s novel, to which Pavel Kohout has applied the principles of Brechtian epic theatre.

 

 

SUMMARY 2005/3

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Irina Ulrychová: Drama and Story - Conclusion: Sense and Sensibility - The final part of a study examining the possibilities and methods of structuring drama work. The author explains why she finds it more difficult to create and implement process drama than other types of drama lessons. Looking back into history, she points out the paralell coexistence of two tendencies in Czech drama in education during late 1970s. The first, which may be called ”lyrical”, strived to develop children‘s personalities through sensory perception - by means of sight, hearing, touch or taste, making them see beauty and inspiration even in the most ordinary objects. The same approach was applied to the discovering of people - not acting people within their complex relationships, but rather people as merely ”existing”. Drama work was also strongly focused on group and establishing harmonic relationships within it. The second prominent type of drama work did not lack a link to its dramatic essence, that is why we can label it ”dramatical”. It employed conflict as well as negative emotions, bearing in mind that human life did not consist only of good and beauty. The central method was dramatic improvisation and role playing. What the first and second approaches had in common, however, is that neither of them paid attention to whole human histories, but instead used fragments or isolated situations. It was not until her encounter with the British type of drama, the author says, that she saw the way to combine both spheres that had so far been separated to a great extent in her mind, namely the emotional and the rational. In 1993 Irina Ulrychová participated in the workshop The Role of a Story in Drama in Education, led by Jonothan Neelands from the University of Warwick. It was a turning point for her. The author shares her discovery of a new insight - she felt there was space both for dramatic action and emotional experience as well as reflection of both. She felt she could identify with a character and the same time adopt a critical view from a distance. She found there was space for imagination, metaphor and logical thinking. If we called the first two tendencies ”lyrical” and ”dramatical”, this one may be called ”epical”. Sometimes this type of drama is called holistic. This is because it comprises both epical and dramatical principles in a balanced proportion, employing small portions of lyrical elements as well. It strives to be complex in order to truthfully reflect the complex world around us.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Eva Brhelová, Radka Macková and Darina Horáková: Theatre Work in the Social Sphere. Reflections by participants of the International Workshops in Austria and Slovenia – Three views of the international project TWISFER (Theatre Work in Social Fields), which culminated in a congress held in the Austrian city of Graz  (Karl-Franzens Universität) from 8 to 11 September. The congress programme included theoretical lectures by theatre makers, social workers and teachers; topics opened up at lectures were discussed during afternoon meetings. Every day some of the TWISFER programme modules were presented, including their structures, goals, descriptions of target groups, practical examples, contents, reflections and final evaluation. The theoretical part was followed by a week’s work in five workshops taking place in Austria and Slovenia. They were intended to present various methods and approaches used in theatrical work and examine their potential applications to the social field.

Lucie Matyášová: The Forum Theatre in Schools is Alive! - Information on the Augusto Association working in Brno, in which several graduates of the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Academy of Performing Arts JAMU work.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Vratislava Vyskočilová: Fairy Tales and Multicultural Education - A drama project based on a Vietnamese fairy-tale implemented by the author in a Prague primary school attended not only by Czech children, but also by a number of children from Vietnamese immigrant families

Aleš Povolný: Cid. A Drama-In-Education Project for the Fifth Grade of Primary School - Another drama project employing the story of a medieval Spanish hero. The project had a cross-curricular character, integrating subject matter of geography, history and literature.

 

INSPIRATION

Jaroslav Provazník: Encounters and Crossroads. A Look Back on the Twelve Years of the National Workshop - ARTAMA, an institute of the Czech Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with the Creative Dramatics Association (Sdružení pro tvořivou dramatiku) and the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Faculty of Performing Arts organise a national workshop called Creation-Creativity-Play. Its profile and purpose, which distinguish it among similar events of its kind, is characterised by its sub-title - ”a workshop of complex aesthetic education”. It is intended for the leaders of children´s art groups of all kinds - drama, poetry reading/recitation, visual arts and music - as well as teachers of all educational levels. Participants include kindergarten, primary and secondary school teachers, teacher trainees studying at faculties of arts and education as well as any other educators who work with children and wish to step beyond the narrow limits of their fields, seeking inspiration with their colleagues from other art disciplines. The article recapitulates all sessions of the workshop held in different Czech towns every year since 1993, drawing inspiration from the genius loci of each place.

 

REVIEWS

Luděk Richter: The Entry "Theatre with children" in the dictionary The Basic Theatrical Terminology - In his review, the author points out several serious mistakes and problems of the entry dealing with theatre played by children, which is a part of the new Czech theatrological dictionary.

Radek Marušák: Let´s begin with Eva Lukavská - A review of the book Beware of Children! (Didactic Issues of Child-Oriented Education), which represents another theoretical contribution to the transformation of the Czech educational system, focusing on child-oriented approaches. The author of the review appreciates the balanced combination of theory and practice in the book, pointing out it might become a source of inspiration for drama teachers.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 18

The regular supplement of Tvořivá dramatika contains three scripts written by Jana Štrbová, a teacher at the Basic School of Art in Děčín. All three fairy-tales met with a success at the Children‘s Stage national festivals in Trutnov, one of them was also highly appraised at the 2004 World Festival of Children‘s Theatre in Havana. The script The Cock Who Went to the Castle to Get an Egg was written to the motives of a Rumanian fairy-tale; Mausa-musaka is an African story and the grotesque fairy-tale The Lazy One and the Greedy One is dramatisation of an Armenian story. All three were performed by means of puppets and used music as an important part of the performance.

 

 

SUMMARY 2005/2

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Josef Valenta: Theatre in Education - Drawing primarily on British sources, but also on the first years of Czech experience, the author describes the phenomenon of theatre in education (TIE), dealing with its purpose, principles and characteristic features as well as its manifold forms and models. What he finds symptomatic is the fact that this specific type of participation theatre emerged in 1960s, having much to do with the theatre context of the time (the so-called second theatre reform, as the Polish theatrologist Kazimierz Braun puts it), but also with the educational situation: ”In the area of education we have witnessed the general trend to loosen the regime of the educational process, promote open school and increase the level of pupils’ active participation in their learning.” The essay is accompanied by information on two Czech TIE groups founded and run by former students of the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Faculty of Performing Arts in Prague

Eva Machková: Drama Education and Acting - In early 1960s, a network of public art schools (since 1992 called ”basic art schools”) was established in former Czechoslovakia; they are afternoon educational institutions open to everyone. Besides other art disciplines, their curriculum includes drama. The first teachers were recruited from among actors most of whom were influenced by the Stanislavsky method and tended to use it in their work with children. Eva Machková, one of the founding personalities of Czech drama in education, claims in her essay that Stanislavsky’s acting method, especially those of its components concerning the so-called internal acting technique, is in many ways still inspiring for doing drama with children - not only in theatre, but also in classroom drama. Besides other elements she mentions Stanislavsky’s ”magical as if”, his term ”given circumstances” and even ”building belief” - phenomena equally important for acting and drama with children. She draws our attention to the fact that Stanislavsky put a great emphasis on imagination and points out that what he called ”the film of mental images” is in fact analogical to the English rule of 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why) used in drama improvisation with children. ”With a bit of exaggeration we could say that one does not necessarily have to know a great deal about the theory and practice of drama in education and its didactics if they want to work with children; knowing Stanislavsky may be enough to start with,” Machková says, closing with: ”Undoubtedly it is no coincidence that it was the generation of actors educated in 1950s who have made such fundamental contribution to the establishment and development of Czech drama in education. It is enriching to come back to the roots from time to time.”

Irina Ulrychová: Drama and Story - 4. Working with the Literary Text - The next chapter of the study written by the teacher of Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Prague Faculty of Theatre (DAMU) deals with the principles of creating drama structures. In this chapter the author discusses the possibilities that a literary story offers to drama teachers. She explains how they can work with what Ingarden calls the ”places of indeterminacy” or gaps in the text, how to identify problem situations in the text and how to build a drama structure. As an illustration of her arguments she attaches two different drama structures created on the basis of the English fairy-tale The Magician and His Apprentice.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Václav Klemens: Trutnov and the Difficulties of Growth - A reflection on Czech theatre played by children as presented at this year’s Children’s Stage National Festival held in Trutnov. Václav Klemens, the director of the Moravian Theatre in Olomouc and a member of the lecturing team of the 2005 Children’s Stage, opens several issues for discussion: the relationship between the group leaders’ knowledge of theatre on one hand and their talent on the other, theatrical metaphors in working with children, stage design, children’s playing vs. acting including the question how children can play adult characters, the dramaturgy and the relationship between speech and action. He also ponders the purpose, concept and organisation of discussion on performances at national festivals.

Hana Doskočilová-Marcela Kovaříková: A tale of Snake Feet - A script of one of the most successful performances of the 2005 Children’s Stage Festival, supplemented by a methodological commentary of the group leader.

Jana Štrbová: Visiting the Neighbours - This report about the national festival of children’s theatre held in the Slovakian town of Šaľa (the 2005 Golden Weaver festival), was written by a drama teacher from Děčín, whose group dDDD has participated in the festival with a successful puppet performance The Lazy Girl and the Greedy Boy.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Veronika Krátká-Kateřina Řezníčková: The Workshop ”Dramatic Conventions and Theatre Texts” – The workshop, organised by the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Prague Faculty of Theatre (DAMU) and the Creative Dramatics Association (Sdružení pro tvořivou dramatiku), took place in the Prague Red Hill Drama Centre from 29 January to 2 February 2005, attended by 30 drama teachers from Czech faculties of theatre and education as well as other schools from all over the Czech Republic. It was led by the British drama teachers Warwick Dobson and Tony Goode from Newcastle upon Tyne, who had lectured in the Czech Republic several times before. The programme of the workshop focused on using dramatic conventions in working with a piece of drama (Sophocles’ Antigone a Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure) and in its second part also on devising theatre.

 

INSPIRATION

Martin Dominik Polínek: The First Conference on Dramatherapy - A brief report about the conference organised by the Dpt. of Special Education of the Pedagogical Faculty of Palacky University held in Olomouc in March 2005. Papers read at the conference included dramatherapy at universities, using dramatherapy and theatre therapy in practice as well as theoretical and practical specifics of dramatherapy.

 

REVIEWS

Roman Černík: Teaching Drama According to Eva Machková,  or the Seminal Textbook of Drama in Education - A review of a fundamental work on teaching drama. The reviewer values the new book by Eva Machková, a lecturer of the Dpt. of Drama in Education at the Faculty of Theatre in Prague as inspiring and crucial for the development of the field, especially at a time when drama is getting a possibility of being included in the curricula of primary and secondary schools in the Czech Republic. R. Černík, a teacher of drama at the West-Bohemian University in Pilsen, appreciates the fact that the author provides readers with more than one point of view formulated not only on the basis of Czech experience, but grounded on the opinions of international authorities as well (such as Gavin Bolton, Jonothan Neelands or John Somers). He acknowledges the fact that every chapter includes a selection of practical examples.

Soňa Koťátková: Will it be common to reach the performance stage in school drama? - A review of the book ”Drama in Education” written by Silva Macková, a teacher at the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Theatre Faculty JAMU in Brno as a contribution to the discussion in progress about the ways in which drama is going to be incorporated into the Czech national curriculum.

Jaroslav Provazník: A Valuable Contribution to the History of Children’s Theatre and Dramatics for Children - The author draws our attention to two studies (written by Věra Brožová and Alice Dubská respectively) dealing with the earliest stages in the development of Czech children’s theatre and puppet theatre for children in the 19th century, which had been prepared as papers for the conference called Education and Enlightenment in Czech Culture of the 19th Century.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jaroslava Sýkorová: A Book For Those Ready to Listen to Others - In her review of an outstanding British novel for youth ”The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” written by Mark Haddon, which features an autistic boy as the main hero, J. Sýkorová deals primarily with the narration of this exciting, almost detective story as well as ways in which the writer facilitates the world as seen through the eyes of an autistic person.

Gabriela Sittová: Who Does the Island of Castaways Address and How? - The reviewer examines an unusual story of a group of children set on the boundary between dream and reality, which the writer and illustrator Jan Bárta has created in this inspiring and stimulating book for children.

Kateřina Řezníčková: The Characters of Daemons in Philip Pullman’s Book ”Northern Lights” (On one of the variations of contemporary fantasy) - A reflection on the first volume of Pullman’s popular trilogy, ”His Dark Materials” (successively published in Czech, though unfortunately in a rather poor translation), focuses mainly on ways in which the author constructs the fictional world.

Naďa Pajanková-Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE 17

Three tiny scripts published in this regular supplement to Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) journal, were developed in children’s puppet theatre groups led by the Prague-based drama teacher Hana Budínská from mid 1950s to early 1990s. H. Budínská ranks among the fundamental personalities of Czech puppet theatre played by children and Czech drama in education. The first two scripts - a collage of poetry and stories by the contemporary Czech poet Josef Brukner How Snails Are Doing and a collage of nonsense poetry by Ljuba Štíplová Let Me Talk Mischief - were developed by H. Budínská during 1970s for groups of young children (aged 8-10) who were only acquiring their first theatrical experience. These tiny texts served as stimuli to play out situations for which the children themselves had made simple flat puppets. The third script called A Tiny Box is a bit more demanding than the first two. It consists of nonsense poetry by Paul van Ostaijen, Gianni Rodari, Samuil Marshak, Lewis Carroll, James Reeves and Julian Tuwim, in which all theatrical situations are created by means of an imaginative play with everyday objects. The Tiny Box was one of the most inspiring performances of the national festival of children’s theatre held in Kaplice in 1989. Each script is accompanied by a methodological note of the group leader which includes both the description of how the script came into being as well as stimuli that teachers can use for their own work with children.

 

SUMMARY 2005/1

Notice on Introduction of Drama into the Framework Educational Programme for Gymnasia - Open letter of teachers of the Department of Drama in Education at the Faculty of Theatre (DAMU) in Prague and Department of Drama at the Faculty of Theatre in Brno (JAMU) that requires the introduction of drama into the Framework Educational Programme for Gymnasia (a kind of national curricula). The notice says that ”it is important that students have an opportunity to learn drama that can significantly (and often irreplaceably) contribute to acquiring of key competences at high school education… We consider the absence of drama in gymnasia as a serious handicap not only for students interested in studying drama art at universities, but also for the cultural education, wider view and social development of all gymnasia graduates… In view of that we appeal on all, who consider art including drama an integral part of human knowledge and understanding of the world and thus an integral part of education, to support our efforts to introduce drama into the Framework Educational Programme for Gymnasia.

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Irina Ulrychová: Drama and Story - Planning Drama (2nd Part) - Another chapter of the study written by the teacher of the Drama-in-Education Dept. of the Prague Faculty of Theatre outlines the basic stages of drama structure planning from formulation of a framework story through the selection of a starting point (including identification of different conventions that the teacher has available to launch drama) up to the building of the drama structure. Irina Ulrychová says that during the selection of individual drama activities six aspects are important: a) the degree of their importance for the development of action and understanding of the problem; b) time that is available for drama; c) abilities and skills of the group for which the drama is intended; d) abilities and skills of the teacher that should implement the drama; e) creation and maintenance of tension; f) use of contrasts. The process of drama structuring is illustrated by the author on examples of different types of drama. I. Ulrychová concludes this chapter by the drama Adam in Difficulties which is about a boy that becomes a chicane victim.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Jana Štrbová: Cuban Impressions and Experience - The report from the 8th World Festival of Children Theatre held in Havana between July 19 and 25, 2004. The festival was attended by 28 children theatre groups from 19 countries and the Czech Republic was represented by DdDd theatre group from the Extramural School of Art in Děčín with the performance of African fairy tale Mausa-musaka. This group was selected upon the recommendation of the Czech AITA/IATA section.

Ivana Sobková: Few Observations from Dziatwa 2004 Festival - This article reports about the foreign festival of children theatres. This was the 15th Polish festival of children theatres Dziatwa 2004 in Lodz that was for the first time also attended by a Czech group with the performance Justine and the Vampires that was described in details in the Issue No. 1/2004. Compared to Czech national festivals of children theatres the Polish festival had a character of competition which harmed the atmosphere. ”In terms of topics the Polish children theatre is very variable,” I. Sobková writes. ”We watched performances about the current problems of children (chicane, friendship, incomplete family, school), performances about the children’s view of today’s world (environment, poverty, prosperity), fairy tales (Cinderella, Nightingale) and classical theatre performances (Romeo and Juliet). Most of the time I had the feeling that this was not a testimony of children but a testimony of their directors.”

Hana Franková-Hniličková: The Child’s Way to a Role on the Professional Stage - An in-depth study on opportunities and limits (and also dangers) of work with a child actor in the professional theatre performance. The author, professional actress and an experienced drama teacher wrote a unique article on theatre, psychological and pedagogical aspects of the work with children in professional performances, on conditions that should be respected if the theatre work should be beneficial for children. Theoretical considerations are documented by her own experience from the work on the performance of Spanish author A. Casona Morning Lady at the theatre in Karlovy Vary. The author concludes the study by the following words: ”The mid-sixties in theatre with children brought about the move of accent from the product to the process. Children performances that tried to look as a creation of adults were strictly rejected. However the baby was poured out with a bath. The theatre with children lost the basic theatre terms and the children were not taught acting techniques. The imitation of acting was replaced by imitation of spontaneous children play… The development of drama-in-education showed how to lead a child to a creative theatre process. However we have to contribute by our own testimony and to co-operate with a child not to manipulate it. We have to work with a child as with a partner while respecting his/her skills and we have to obey theatre principles during this work…”

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Eva Lukavská-Roman Černík: Drama Studio at the Department of Pedagogy in Respect to the Creation of Professional and Human Competences of Future (not only Drama) Teachers - The information on the concept of university (bachelor) study of drama in Plzeň (Pilsen). From the very beginnings the Drama-in-Education programme focused on future first degree teachers and gradually its availability extended. Today this programme is available for prospective teachers of kindergartens, future elementary school teachers and Czech language teachers, teachers of music, fine arts, psychology, civic education as well as students of social work, art culture or cultural and social anthropology. This established the core of a pedagogical laboratory that tests new methods and competences of future teachers.

INTEGRAL, a section for a discussion of drama teachers and workshop leaders, contains a list of students’ graduation theses concerning drama defended at the Dept. of Pedagogy of the Western Bohemian University in Plzeň (Pilsen).

 

INSPIRATION

Eva Brhelová: Creative Writing - An in-depth article on the field that can be inspiring for drama teachers informs on its history and different concepts and methods.

 

REVIEWS

Eva Brhelová: Small Textbook of Creative Writing Techniques - Following the previous study the author wrote a review of the original Czech book on creative writing by Zbyněk Fišer. The author highly appreciates the book and concludes her review: ”The book combines professionalism, comprehension, soundness and terminological accurateness. It is good that it does not pretend to be a comprehensive guidebook or an overview but it stresses the activity of a teacher and a pupil, education to authorship, creativity and development of individual style.”

Eva Machková: Slovak Collection of Plays and Scripts - A review of a Slovak collection of drama texts and dramatisations that was prepared by Elena Bakošová and published few years ago in Bratislava under the title ”The World of Plays”.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE

The regular supplement to Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama) offers three scripts of actor and teacher Jaroslav Dejl from Třebíč, who significantly influenced Czech children and young theatre and drama in the 1980s. The first script was written based on the humorous poem by Samuil Marshak ”The Luggage”, the second script - ”Nezval” - was a montage about the life and work of well known Czech poet (who lived in Třebíč) Vítězslav Nezval and the third was an adaptation of famous medieval French chante-fable Aucassin and Nicoletta. All three performances belonged to the highlights of national and children and young theatre festivals in the Czech Republic. Aucassin and Nicoletta performed by the Třebíč group was also invited abroad - to Belgium (Overmere) and Great Britain (St. Albans, London, Fareham).

 

 

SUMMARY 2004/3

 

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Irina Ulrychová: Drama and story - Planning Drama – The third chapter of the study written by the teacher from the Drama-in-Education Dept. of the Prague Faculty of Performing Arts deals with planning the process drama. In preparing drama, the author points out, teachers usually have either a more or less specifically formulated topic or a concrete problem (or even a problem situation) to start with, or a coherent story. In this chapter, Irina Ulrychová deals with the first option and describes how to proceed if the teacher decides to go from a topic to a script. This is usually the case if the assignment stems from curriculum requirements (e.g. personal and social education: bullying, drugs, generation gap, etc.), or if participants decide what they want to play (they would like to play on ghosts, knights, robbers, etc.). The problem is, however, that a topic formulated in such a general way seldom contains any dramatic ideas to start with. It makes a static impression, making it difficult to decide where to start. This is why we first have to identify what the topic includes, dividing it into smaller and more concrete segments. ”To do this,” I. Ulrychová says, ”we can use brainstorming activities such as creating mind maps, in which we strive to mark interrelations among the segments and their hierarchy in a visual way. The graphic workout can have various forms, e.g.. that of a ´thematic web´.” The author illustrates the process by working out the topic of bullying, explaining that ”the aim of segmenting is to find such aspects of a topic that are most relevant to the educational goals of the teacher and most attractive for the group, can be realised within the group and contain enough dramatic potential.” The next step is to identify and formulate potential problem situations. After examining the potential of a topic as thoroughly as possible, the teacher is able to formulate his/her educational goals more specifically: what s/he wants students to learn, understand and examine in relation to the given topic, in what way the topic should affect all of them as well as the relationships in the group. Depending on the identified goals, the teacher then chooses a specific problem situation, in which the above goals are projected or through which they can be attained. The next step consists in gathering information and building belief. Here the teacher considers the optimum type of drama activities, techniques and conventions.

Eva Machková: The Contents of Drama in Education – The article maps areas that form the contents of drama in education as a school subject. According to the author, there are three main components: a) skills and abilities; b) themes and topics, i. e. facts about life, people and the world; c) attitudes, sets of values, interests, moral characteristics. E. Machková deals with each of these areas, illustrating her findings by a chapter on drama worked out as a subject in the National Curriculum Framework in the Czech Republic (an equivalent of the British National Curruculum).

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Marta Žilková: Globalising Tendencies in Culture for Children with a Special Emphasis on Theatre - An article of a teacher from the Pedagogical faculty in Nitra, Slovakia, points out to the indifferent relationship of state institutions, especially the Ministry of Education, to art and culture and their position in schools. The author critises the conservative and dull approach to teaching the subject of Aesthetics in Slovak secondary schools and ignoring theatre at all levels of schools in Slovakia. Yet, the author points out, ”(…) both children‘s theatre and theatre for children deserve to have their respectable positions in the structure of education, but mainly in the spiritual world of children. This is because theatre, just as any other form of art, represents a safety bareer between children and commercial offer. It should protect their souls and make them ready for a demanding reception of art and entertainment later in their adult lives.”

Jana Křenková: The National Festival of Literary and Drama Sections of the Basic Art Schools in Uherské Hradiště in May 2004 (Private Thoughts and Questions After Half a Year) – In a look back at the National Festival of basic art schools, the author recognises the high quality especially of the literary part of the festival. In chapters on poetry reading, she deals with questions concerning teacher preparation and the importance of poetry reciting in drama as taught in public art schools.

Jana Štrbová- Věra Provazníková: The Cock Shah - the Cock Khan… - Script of a performance which ranks among the most interesting ones performed at the National Festival in Uherské Hradiště and also at the National Festival Children´s Stage (Dětská scéna) in Trutnov.

 

INSPIRATION

Jerzy Trzebiński: Narratives and Understanding Other Person - A paper presented by a teacher from the Polish College of Social Psychology at the International Conference on Drama in Education held in Warsaw (for more detailed information see Tvořivá dramatika 2004, No. 2) reports about a study researching the effectiveness of narratives. According to J. Trzebiński, the outcomes are convincing in that: ”(…) all experiences that stimulate narrative competencies and turn our way of understanding others and their problems into the narrative mode are constructive in term of ongoing social processes as well as personality development and group coherence. Drama seems to be based on narrative kind of understanding and experiencing social reality. From this perspective a drama, in its different forms, may be especially attractive for anyone interested and engaged in developing better education and improving the quality of social life.”

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Silva Macková: Drama in the Curriculum Framework for Primary Schools - A commentary and explanation of the chapter Drama, which is a part of the Curriculum Framework for Primary Schools approved by the Czech Ministry of Education in August 2004.

INTEGRAL, a section for a discussion of drama teachers and workshop leaders, contains a list of student’s graduation theses defended at the Dept. of Drama in Education of  DAMU in 2003-2004.

 

REVIEWS

Jaroslav Provazník: Dramatherapy of Katarína Majzlanová. Pondering Over an Inspiring Monography - A review of a book written by a Slovak teacher from the Dept. of Therapeutic Pedagogy at the Pedagogical faculty of Komenský Univerzity in Bratislava.

Josef Valenta: Gymnasion - a New Educational Journal - The author reports about the first issue of a new journal on experiential learning, in which attention is also paid to drama.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of New Books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE

The regular supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Dramatics) contains a dramatisation Cecy, based on a short story by Ray Bradbury The April Witch, prepared by Hana Nemravová and her group at the Basic Art School in Uherské Hradiště. The script is accompanied by a commentary of the author concerning the way she and her group had to go from choosing the text all the way to its dramatisation and staging.

 

 

SUMMARY 2004/2

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Irina Ulrychová: Drama and story - The second part of a theoretical study on structuring drama work is called Problem Situations. The author claims a problem situation to be the core of every drama structure. She distinguishes the following types of problem situations with manifest conflict: intrapersonal (internal, personal conflicts of one person), interpersonal (conflicts between two people), group (within a group of people), inter-group (between two groups of people). In addition, she points out, there is a special type of conflict in which an individual stands against a group. A problem situation, however, can be defined merely as a potentially conflicting. Conflict is latently present in a problem situation: firstly, because every problem situation has more than one solution, and secondly, because there are usually more people participating in the solution of a conflict - a group of individuals with varying life experiences, attitudes, opinions, values, etc. These may (or may not) get into conflict. The conflict thus becomes manifest at two levels: the level of the characters of the story (fiction) or that of the players of drama (reality). The problem situation can be defined to players either as an open one, i. e. one that is unsolved, waiting for them to take over, or as a closed one, in which the solution is already known. Open situations make players act ”here and now”, make decisions, face certain facts and ”close” the situation by means of their activity, taking over a great share of responsibility for what will happen. Closed situations make players examine what happened and why, discover both manifest and hidden motivations, see interrelations, look for the relationship between cause and effect, or even seek new alternative solutions. To illustrate her arguments, the author attaches a description of a drama structure of hers called Marionettes, Inc., inspired by a short story by Ray Bradbury.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Children‘s Stage ´04 - The programme of the 33rd national festival of children‘s drama, puppet and poetry reading performances and the National Workshop of Children‘s Poetry Reading held from 11 to 17 June 2004 in Trutnov.

Iva Dvořáková: Children‘s Stage at Christ‘s Years - The article provides an overview of all important events occuring at this year‘s national festival of children‘s theatre Children‘s Stage 2004 as well as reviews of all performances.

 

INSPIRATION

Iva Pazderková: Keith Johnstone: Improvisation and Theatre. A reflection on Johnstone‘s methods of actor improvisation - The author presents the key ideas of the popular book by Keith Johnstone IMPRO -Improvisation and the Theatre, confronting them with her own improvisation experience gained in acting lessons at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno.

Katarína Majzlanová-Miroslav Danko: Developing Empathy in Primary School Children Through Drama Therapy - According to the authors, theatre and drama are among possible ways of developing empathy, role playing being the most significant technique. The report describes the process and the outcomes of a research study carried out by the authors with a group of children from a housing estate in a big Slovakian city. ”The goal of our work,” the authors say, ”was to affect the level of empathy in children by means of therapeutic educational techniques used in drama therapy. The research sample consisting of children aged 11 to 12 was chosen from one class with a high occurrence of behaviour problems (disobeyance, hyperactivity, aggression, etc.). Many of these children came from disadvantaged family backgrounds (divorced parents, alcohol addiction of a parent, neglected upbringing, weak economic and social status of the family, etc.) At the beginning of the drama-therapeutic programme we have set out the following issues to be examined: 1. Is it possible to affect the level of empathy in primary school children by means of therapeutic educational procedures? 2. Will the presumed changes in the level of empathy be reflected within the drama-therapeutic group, or also within the wider community (class, club, afternoon activities)?

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Jaroslav Provazník: The Warsaw Conference on Drama in Education - Information on the international conference on drama in education, organised in Warsaw by the Polish ASSITEJ Centre in March 2004 – an article reporting about its conception, programme, organisation and the impulses it has provided to Czech participants.

Martin Sedláček: A Few Personal Impressions from the Warsaw Conference on Drama - The author takes note of some aspects of the conference, comparing the state of Czech and Polish drama in education.

František Oplatek, Tereza Oplatková: The Owl and the Little Yellow Mouse - A script of a drama structure for children from lower primary classes, based on an American Indian fairy-tale.

INTEGRAL, a section for a discussion of drama teachers and workshop leaders: In the present issue the section contains an article by Eva Machková called The Way a Thesis Should Not Be Written, or Quotations, Literature and Theories. The author, a teacher at the Dept. of Drama in Education of the Faculty of Performing Arts in Prague, mentions the most common problems found in student‘s graduate theses on drama in education.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jaroslav Provazník: Picture Books for Very Young Children – Misused Clichés and Ambitious Impulses - After a brief review of the most remarkable exploits in the publishing of Czech children‘s picture books that occurred during the past few decades, the author introduces the most recent initiatives: ”The courage, with which some authors (Petr Sís, Petr Nikl, Martina Skala, Jana Pohanková with Anna Neborová…) and publishers (Meander, Brio, Baobab, Havran…) have set out on the thin ice of attempts and experimenting, is impressive. Nowadays it can be said with certainty that their courage has brought fruit, noticeably affecting the face of contemporary Czech literature for the very young children.”

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE

The regular supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Dramatics) contains two dramatisations of Erich Kästner‘s books. The first dramatisation was created in mid 1970s by one of the most noticeable personalities of Czech children‘s theatre Josef Mlejnek. It is a script to a performance inspired by Kästner‘s book The Flying Class (the performance ranking among the best ones at the National Festival of Children‘s Theatre held in 1976 in Kaplice). The second dramatisation called Emil, Emil… was written by Miroslav Slavík to the motives of the famous novel for children called Emil and the Detectives. In his concluding dramaturgical note called Erich Kästner in Children‘s Theatre, Jaroslav Provazník points out that Kästner‘s books, unfortunately, are seldom dramatised: ”Erich Kästner, the 30th anniversary of whose death we commemorate this year, is by no means an easy author. In some of his stories he uses techniques of a detective story. What is interesting, but somewhat difficult to handle in children‘s theatre, is the fact that he does not separate the world of children from that of adults; adult characters usually play an important role in his books. In addition, his stories are often set in concrete, historically and socially exactly defined settings (Germany in the first decades of the 20th century) that affect the story to a great extent. On the other hand, Kästner offers impressive stories, excitement, dramatic situations, real conflicts worth solving and topics worth dealing with.” And, as J. Provazník points out, although the two dramatisations are separated by a 25-year period of time, they both represent a challenge and potential enrichment for children‘s theatre groups.

 

 

SUMMARY 2004/1

REFLECTIONS-CONCEPTS-CONTEXTS

Irina Ulrychová: Drama and story - The first part of a theoretical study on structuring drama work, called From a Situation to a Story, begins by the author comparing the importance of situation in theatre vs. classroom drama. The study, however, focuses primarily on a story, as it is only in a story that situations acquire their full meaning. ”While a situation usually traces only a certain aspect of a theme, no matter how convincing its dramatic form may be, one has to go all the way to a story to be able to communicate a theme in its totality and complexity. That is why classroom drama strives not only to provide and enhance the player’s skills, but pays attention to the life contents of drama improvisations, i. e. the theme, as well. It employs stories in order to develop children’s understanding of human behaviour, their own selves and the world they live in, as Cecily O´Neill and Alan Lambert point out.” Yet the author claims here that the potential of drama is not exhausted or ended by the generation of a story. The story that comes into being during play, is simultaneously subjected to critical examination. Respective situations employing various conventions are separated from one another on purpose; the action is interrupted intentionally. The breaks emerging as a result are used to allow players to gain distance from situations and roles, observe them ”from the outside”, comment on them, reflect the action and the feelings and thoughts both of their own and those of the characters. They can discuss ways to go on or even ”rewind” a situation and try whether the problem it contains could be solved in different, more efficient ways. The theoretical part is followed by the description of a classroom drama inspired by a controversial photographic display of secondary school graduates placed in a shop window in a small town in which the students had themselves photographed naked. Its dramatic focus lies in examining the reactions of the town people, parents and teachers to this student provocation.

Eva Machková: Drama in Education and Acting - The essay deals with the relationship between mimics and other external expressions of acting, and the inner notion of the actor. In addition, the author explains how these elements of acting are related to the methodology of drama in education. ”Coming out of the inside, from a notion to the action, that is the core of what drama in education provides to its participants: gaining deeper insight into people’s inner processes, enrichment and personal change taking place through this new insight. This is what makes drama in education both an artistic and educational field.”

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Hana Kasíková-Josef Valenta: Between Alpha (Allan) and Omega (Owens) - An article about the workshop led by Allan Owens, a drama teacher from the University College in Chester, which took place during the 9th National Workshop ”Classroom Drama 2003” (”Dramatická výchova ve škole 2003”) held in September 2003 in Jičín.

Hana Švejdová: ”Be a Good Boy, Max!” - This drama project for pre-school children (based on Maurice Sendak’s book Where the Wild Things Are) examines a topic relevant for pre-school children by using drama methods. It does so with respect to the current putting of the National Curriculum Framework for Pre-School Education in practice.

Jarmila Petruželová: Family Education and Drama. Several Notes on Using Drama Methods in Grades 6-9 - Parts of a thesis on using drama methods in family education. The author examines the potential of drama for teaching family education, comparing the goals and contents of both subjects.

INTEGRAL, a section for a discussion of drama teachers and workshop leaders: In the present issue, contains an article by Jaroslav Provazník called Drama and School Inspectors. It looks back at a drama course organised by the Creative Dramatics Association (Sdružení pro tvořivou dramatiku) and attended by twenty inspectors from the whole of the Czech Republic. The course embraced the following topics: Drama in Education as a System (the process of drama in education, its goals, methods and tools; drama in education and its importance for enhancing cooperation, self-knowledge, self-assessment and self-regulation), Drama and the Personal and Social Development (drama and creativity, drama and its place in contemporary school, criteria for evaluating the work of drama teachers), Drama and Literature (drama as a way to the literary text, literature as a material and inspiration both for classroom drama and children’s theatre, the place and purpose of poetry reading in drama in education), Structuring Drama Work, Children’s Theatre (methodology of theatre work with children, criteria for evaluating theatre work with children). The lecturers were recruited from among the leading Czech teachers of drama.

 

CHILDREN-DRAMA-THEATRE

Dominika Špalková: The Insights Festival in Bechyně - Besides the Children’s Stage (Dětská scéna) national festival of children’s theatre groups held in Trutnov every June, the Creative Dramatics Association (STD) and ARTAMA organise a national workshop and festival of youngsters’ theatre groups called The Insights (Nahlížení). Its main goal is to facilitate a confrontation of different ways towards a theatre performance and the various goals and concepts of doing theatre with youngsters. The author of the article appreciates the diverse dramaturgy of last year’s Insights: there was an inventive dramatisation of G. G. Márquez’s short story called The Most Beautiful Drowned Man in the World, an adaptation of P. Coelho’s novel The Alchemist, an ambitious performance based on H. McCoy’s novel Horses Also Get Shot, but also a poetry collage or a performance based on improvisation. The openness and the unique opportunity to gain insight into various ways of theatre work appeared to be the main positives of the festival. Prizes are not the most important thing; what really matters is the opportunity to see good performances that have emerged all over the country and learn more about the background of their creation through debating. There were regular discussion sessions in which everybody could take active part.

Petra Rychecká-Věra Belháčová: ”Nadělení” in Movement - A dialogue on the festival of youngsters’ theatre held on 4-7 December 2003 in Brno, which focused on movement theatre this time.

 

INSPIRATION

Pavel Vacek: Insights into the Psychology of Moral - The Ninth - and Last - Insight: On Obedient and Laughing Teachers, Enthusiastic Wardens, little Yago and the Gun under the Christmas Tree - The psychologist and drama teacher from the Teachers’ Training Institute in Hradec Králové presents a cycle of articles on drama in education viewed from the perspective of the psychology of moral.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jaroslav Toman: On the Typology of Czech Modern Fairy-Tale of 1990s - An overview of modern Czech fairy-tales published in 1990s.

Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of new books - Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE – The regular supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Dramatics) brings a dramatisation of a short story by Brian Jacques from the book Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales created by Ivana Sobková, a student at the Dept. of Drama in Education of DAMU in Prague, and her theatre group; it was called Justine and the Vampires. Ivana Sobková, who is at the same time a drama teacher at the School of Arts in Odolena Voda, chose the short story Jamie and the Vampires and adapted it for a girl’s group, creating a performance that met with very favourable response at the Children’s Stage national festival. The script is supplemented by a description of preparatory lessons and improvisation topics, in which the group examined the theme, preparing the dramatisation. The lessons include: Oath and Promise, Fear, Parents and Children, Gang. In the chapters that follow I. Sobková discusses the way to a theatrical shape and the purpose of doing theatre with children.

 

 

SUMMARY 2003/3

CHILDREN-DRAMA-THEATRE

Martin Plešek: Jesuit Theatre in Bohemia. Theatre in the Jesuit Educational System During the Existence of the Order in Bohemia – The study contains selected chapters from a thesis defended at the Dept. of Drama in Education at the Faculty of Performing Arts in Prague. It describes the roots and the development of Jesuit theatre as one of significant, yet insufficiently explored stages in the history of school-based drama. The study includes items such as: The Development of School-Based Drama in Bohemia (The Middle Ages, Humanist School Performances, Comenius’ Schola Ludus), Overview of Theatrical Activities of the Jesuit Order in Bohemia, The Jesuit Educational System, Baroque Means of Expression (The Notion  of Heroism, The Legend, The Theatricality of Life), The Dramaturgy of Jesuit Plays (The Poetics of Bohuslav Balbín, Actor’s Training, Student Acting, The Acting Technique, The Influence of Preaching on Acting), Scenography, Comparison of Jesuit Theatre with the Educational drama of the Piarist Order.

Irena Konývková: 3. Internationale Kindertheaterfest in Turgi – A report on the international festival of children’s theatre groups provides brief characteristics of all performances shown at the festival in Switzerland, and the acclaim they received. The author is the leader of the HOP-HOP theatre group from Ostrov, who were invited to the festival with the performance The Alchemist based on the novel by the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. She mentions the pleasant atmosphere of the festival and appreciates the excellent organisation including the quality both of the discussions and the associated programme for children, which made the meeting in Turgi a real festivity for all participants.

 

INSPIRATION

Katarína Majzlanová: Using Drama Therapy with Romany Children in a Special-Needs School – A description of a drama project, in which drama methods and techniques were used in working with Romany Children in Slovakia. The article contains descriptions of several dramatherapeutic sessions (workshops), analysis of the course they took and a summary of impulses for further work generated by the project.

Pavel Vacek: Insights into the Psychology of Moral – The Eighth Insight: On False, Third and Often Sharp Angles of View, and on Poorly Measurable Proportions - The psychologist and drama teacher from the Teachers’ Training Institute in Hradec Králové presents a cycle of articles on drama in education viewed from the perspective of the psychology of moral.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Silva Macková: Drama in Education (A Terminological Study) – A contribution to the discussion made by a drama teacher from the Faculty of Performing Arts in  Brno on the concept of drama as a school subject in today’s Czech schools, especially in relation to the Curriculum Framework (The National Curriculum), which is presently being developed in the Czech Republic and contains a separate chapter on drama placed next to music and fine arts.

INTEGRAL, a section for a discussion of drama teachers and workshop leaders: In the present issue, the section contains a list of theses defended at the Dept. of Drama at the Faculty of Performing Arts in Brno.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jaroslav Provazník: Mateřídouška at a Turning Point – A brief note on a dramatic change of the oldest and most significant Czech children’s magazine (established in 1945 by the poet František Hrubín). The author points out that it kept its high standard all the way through 2002, collaborating with the leading personalities of contemporary Czech literature for children (Hana Doskočilová, Josef Brukner, Iva Procházková, Martina Drijverová, Jiří Dědeček, Svatopluk Hrnčíř...). He notes that the quality both of texts and illustrations has rapidly decreased since the change in the person of the editor-in-chief, reflecting a certain chaos in the overall concept. He, however, notices genuine attempts as well to find a new image for the magazine traceable since the beginning of 2003: ”It is obvious that Mateřídouška is standing at a turning point now, just as all Czech literature for children and youth. The splitting from tradition was stormy and painful, just as the luring of gloss was great. Fortunately, there seems to be a strong will to explore untried ways as well – even at the expense of many risks.”

Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of new books – Reviews of new books for children that might inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

OPINIONS-POLEMICS-READERS’ LETTERS

Pavel Petrovský: Dear Mr. Provazník... – A reader’s letter responds to a critique of one of problematic performances of the Children’s Stage national festival, published in the previous issue of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Dramatics). Its author, a leader of a children theatre group from České Budějovice, considers the role of criticism in relation to adult readers and children theatre group members. He also points out that juries at regional festivals not only play an important role in shaping the programme of the national festival, but also help promote the quality of children theatre group leadership.

 

GUIDE TO DRAMA IN EDUCATION

Eva Machková: Geraldine Brain Siks: Creative Dramatics - Art for Children – A detailed information on one of the basic handbooks of creative dramatics. E. Machková places G.B.Siks’ work into Czech context and explains her concept of creative dramatics including its value and relevance for today’s children.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE – The regular supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Dramatics) brings two scripts by Jiřina Lhotská who is currently the head of the School of Arts in Kralupy nad Vltavou, teaching drama there. J. Lhotská played an important role in shaping Czech drama in education in 1980’s, her theatre groups performing at many national festivals of children’s theatre and poetry reading. In early 1990’s, Jiřina Lhotská also taught at the Dept. of Drama in Education of the Faculty of Performing Arts in Prague. This Children’s Stage supplement includes two of her scripts: the first is a collage of Michal Černík’s poetry called Grotesques, in which the technique of film-making became one of the sources of inspiration for the author; the second is a successful dramatization of Jan Werich’s story Queen Koloběžka (Scooter), based consistently on the principles of epic theatre.

 

 

SUMMARY 2003/2

CHILDREN-DRAMA-THEATRE

Jaroslav Provazník: Five Days in Trutnov: A New Generation Asserts Itself in Czech Children’s Theatre. The author reports on all twenty performances of the national festival of children’s theatre and choral speaking groups Children’s Stage 2003 (Dětská scéna 2003) which, as every year, was held in the East Bohemian town of Trutnov at the end of June. He points out that most of the performances recommended for the national festival, i.e. the season’s most remarkable ones, had been put together by young drama teachers. In comparison with the previous years the national festival programme included more quality puppet performances, e. g. the staging of a Czech fairy-tale called The Devil’s Bride created by Ema Zámečníková from Hradec Králové or that of an African folklore tale Mausa-musaka staged by Jana Štrbová from Děčín. According to the author of this article, the festival also proved that children’s theatre was not living in an artificial ghetto-like isolation, reflecting serious problems of the contemporary world - half of this year’s performances had serious, some even tragic character. There were topics like bullying, generation gap betwen children and parents (dramatisation of a short story by the British writer Brian Jacques from the book Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales implemented by the gifted Ivana Sobková from Odolena Voda) or even the death of a child (dramatisation of a short story by Ray Bradbuy Emissary played by a group from České Budějovice).

Barbora Uchytilová: Drama in Irish Version. Another article on the Children’s Stage 2003 national festival describes one of the workshops associated with the festival. The workshop called Working with a Process Drama was led by the Irish lecturer Joanna Parkes.

Hana Šimonová: The Winding Festival in Ostrov. In May 2003 the West-Bohemian town of Ostrov hosted the second festival of children and youth theatre organised by one of the most prominent personalities of Czech children’s theatre and drama Irena Konývková. Among participants were groups from Austria (Bühnenschuss Hall in Tirol - performance Die Irrfahrten des Odysseus), Germany (Burattino Stollberg - performance Hans im Glück), England (Central Youth Theatre Wolverhampton - performance Who Am I?), Italy (Rot-Theaterpädagogisches Zentrum Brixen - performance Franz Moor, unschuldig), Slovakia (MAM - Prešov - performance Piece of Heart) and Czech Republic (studio of Dagmar Theatre from Karlsbad - performance The Bird Assembly, the group Last Minute from Ostrov - performance ... from the daily press... and the local group HOP-HOP from Ostrov with three performances - Listen, The Little Blue Bay and The Alchemist, the latter inspired by the Brazilian novel by Paulo Coelho). The author gives  highest appraisal to the Brixen group’s performance to the motives of Schiller’s Robbers, the English piece The Bird Assembly played by the Dagmar Theatre from Karlsbad and the staging of modern Czech fairy-tales called Listen and performed by the HOP-HOP group from Ostrov. Besides performances, the programme included an evening of theatre sports in which two Czech theatre sports groups, H. M. I. S. and STŘELI, competed.

Martin Plešek: The Winding 2003 Festival - a Venture of European standard? Another article informing about the same festival is in accord with the previous one, its author claiming the Brixen and the English theatre groups to have presented the most inspiring performances.

Dominika Špalková: Play, Acting and Children. Some of the Sources, Conditions and Possibilities of Children’s Drama vs. Elements of Acting. An essential part of this issue of Tvořivá dramatika consists of excerpts from a thesis defended at the department of drama in education of the Prague Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) in 2002. Its deals with the essence of children’s acting from theatrical, pedagogical and psychological viewpoints. In this context, the author of the thesis examines the differences between child play and acting as well as the problem of acting talent in connection with children. Furthermore, she classifies various types of children’s dramatic expression and discusses the inspiration (but also drawbacks and potential risks) that various concepts of acting can offer for drama work with children (Stanislavski, M. Chekhov, Brecht, Grotowski and Brook). D. Špalková comes to the conclusion that ”a child (...) does not and in fact cannot meet the conditions necessary for artistic actor’s performance. True acting requires not only a perfect mastering of the actor’s overall physical equipment, but also, and more importantly, genuine emotional experience which is simultaneously observed, assessed and judged by the inner self-criticism of the actor. As children cannot meet these conditions due to their age, their dramatic expression can hardly be called acting in the true sense of the word. (...) Children’s acting is more about relationships than conscious processes. Children draw on their spontaneous nature in their dramatic expression (...) rather than employ full-fledged acting. This is primarily because they are unable to reach the basic precondition of acting, which is characterising.”

 

INSPIRATION

Katarína Majzlanová: Using Drama Therapy Programmes with Drug-Addicted Persons. A description of a project created by a drama teacher from the pedagogical faculty in Bratislava (Slovakia) which consisted in employing drama methods and techniques in working with drug-addicted clients.

Pavel Vacek: Insights into the Psychology of Moral - The Seventh Insight: On Flying Acrobats on the trapeze, Male and Female Morality and Sigmund Who Did Not in Fact Understand Women... The psychologist and drama teacher from the Teachers’ Training Institute in Hradec Králové presents a cycle of articles on drama in education viewed from the perspective of the psychology of moral.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Jaroslava Sýkorová: Drama in Contemporary School - Creative Drama and the National Curriculum. The author, who is an elementary school drama teacher, analyses the chapter on drama in the new National Curriculum for Elementary Schools, which is currently being developed by the Ministry of Education. J. Sýkorová recognises the quality of the chapter concerning drama in education, argueing that - as supported with her own practical experience - drama should be made an obligatory subject in elementary schools due to its great importance for children’s personal and social development (not just an optional one, which is the current status of drama in the present Curriculum). Although some schools are still short of good drama teachers, making drama obligatory by means of an official Ministry document would create pressure on teacher training colleges and schools.

Hana Šimonová: Drama and Theatre in a Multi-Lingual and Multi-Cultural Society. The author, who is a leader of several Prague-based children’s theatre groups, drama teacher in a centre for handicapped children and drama lecturer at the National Gallery in Prague, participated in this year’s European Congress of Drama in Education held in Burg Schlaining, Austria. She describes the style of work used by four lecturers at the congress, in whose workshops she took part: John Somers (University of Exeter, Great Britain), Kathleen Berry (University of New Bruswick, Canada), Kathleen Gallagher (University of Toronto, Canada) and Chrissie Poulter (Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland). The author has found the congress very inspiring and motivating as participants could attend practical seminars with various lecturers and, most importantly, meet practitioners from other countries and exchange their views on optimum conditions for drama both in schools and out-of-school institutions as well as various methods of drama work.

INTEGRAL, a section for a discussion of drama teachers and workshop leaders. In this issue of Tvořivá dramatika, the section contains an article by Eva Machková called Artistic or Pedagogical Faculty? The author discusses the question whether university studies of drama of education should be carried out at artistic or educational faculties, listing a number of pros and cons for both choices. She does not arrive at a clear conclusion, though: ”If I were to choose, I admit I am not sure for which possibility I would go. If I were a millionaire, however, I think I would establish a brand new college independent of both existing types of universities.”

 

REVIEWS

Luděk Richter: A Tiger in the Eye: Creating Performances with Children and Youth. A review of a new book on children and youth theatre written by one of the most talented drama teacher Alena Palarčíková who teaches at the Basic School of Arts in Olomouc, working both with children’s and youngsters’ theatre groups.

 

GUIDE TO DRAMA IN EDUCATION

Barbora Uchytilová: Augusto Boal’s Forum Theatre. A study on Forum Theatre and its principles.

Adéla Havránková-Zuzana Krausová: Augusto Boal’s Techniques as Inspiration for Drama in Education. The two students of the Pedagogical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague (specialising in drama) report on a workshop led by the Swedish lecturer Asa Falk Lundqvist from the Umea University in Sweden. The workshop that took place in Prague concerned the forum theatre of Augusto Boal. The authors of this article describe exercises, games and plays used by the workshop leader to make participants acquainted with this type of theatre activities. They conclude by a suggesting elements in Boal techniques that could be inspiring for drama teachers at elementary schools.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE

The regular supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Dramatics) brings three scripts by Ema Zámečníková, one of the most original leaders of children and youth theatre groups who teaches drama at the Basic Schol of Arts of Hradec Králové. The first text is a dramatisation of a Czech folklore fairy-tale The Devil’s Bride recorded by Josef Štefan Kubín. The staging of this text ranked among the best performances of this year’s Children Stage national festival of children’s theatre in Trutnov. The second text is a anthology of several ballads by Czech classical 19th-century poet František Ladislav Čelakovský The Abandoned One, which had been created by Ema Zámečníková several years ago for a theatre group of teenage girls. What makes the anthology remarkable is the dialogue between the poetic text inspired by Russian ballads on one hand and music on the other. The third text called A Medieval Love Story in Ten Images is a dramatisation of an ironic short story by Mark Twain. This text was also staged by Ema Zámečníková with a group of youngsters and performed with great success at the Children’s Stage national festival several years ago.

 

 

SUMMARY 2003/1

CHILDREN-DRAMA-THEATRE

Jiří Provazník- Jakub Hulák: Nahlížení 2002 (The Insights Workshop 2002): Somewhat Different This Year – Two articles on the unique national workshop for youngsters‘ theatre groups that has been held annually in October for the past ten years (out of which the past few took place in the South-Bohemian town of Bechyně).The last year saw a change in the character of the workshop, as it was complemented by a festival including a lot of discussion on performances.

Hana Nemravová: Our Weird Barbara – A remarkable dramatisation of a realistic psychological short-story written by the famous Czech 19thcentury writer Božena Němcová emerged in a children’s theatre group at the Basic School of Arts in Uherské Hradiště. The story of a young girl who gets excommunicated from the village she lives in as a result of gossip and slender has been dramatised in a sensitive way both with respect to the literary original and the abilities of the children actors. This dramatisation of the Weird Barbara was among the best performances at the last year’s Children’s Stage (Dětská scéna) national festival in Trutnov.

 

INSPIRATION

Pavel Vacek: Insights into the Psychology of Moral – On models, but not fashion models; the concealed theme of egoism and the revealed theme of altruism... What would Mrs. Wright say about that? – The psychologist and drama teacher from the Teachers’ Training Institute in Hradec Králové presents a cycle of articles on drama in education viewed from the perspective of the psychology of moral.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

INTEGRAL, a section for a discussion of drama teachers and workshop leaders: In the present issue, the section contains an article by Eva Machková On Drama in Teacher’s Training. The author presents a research study carried out by Soňa Koťátková from the department of primary education at the Pedagogical Faculty in Prague concerning the position and possibilities of drama in the training of teachers-to-be.

The section ends in a list of theses defended at the Department of Drama in Education of the Prague Academy of Performing Arts in 2002 as well as theses on drama defended in 2001-2002 at the Department of Primary Education of the University of Ostrava.

 

REVIEWS

The common title The Czech Edition of Teaching Drama introduces four reviews on the Czech translation of the well-known book by Norah Morgan and Juliana Saxton Teaching Drama.

Hana Kasíková: Teaching Drama – The author claims that the Anglo-Saxon resources are invaluable for the development of Czech drama. ”I mean the people who have been coming here since early 1990s to facilitate a live experience of drama in education to the participants; I also mean the literary and theoretical sources.” H. Kasíková considers Teaching Drama to be a valuable resource and welcomes its Czech translation. What she especially appreciates is the fact that the book ”leads the teacher-reader from the eternal and most common WHAT TO TEACH  to questions that are often outshone by the WHAT, namely: WHY and HOW”.

Eva Machková: Drama Teachers Must be True Professionals - E. Machková notes that this is one of the few books that acquaint Czech readers with the structuring of drama work and its components in a well-organised way. She finds the chapter on answering and questioning as well as that on planning of particular importance.

Josef Valenta: Teaching Drama by Norah Morgan a Juliana Saxton – The author discusses several ways in which the book Teaching Drama is useful for Czech teachers of drama. Besides the laconic language which facilitates a comprehensible description of a great number of phenomena related to drama, he appreciates the consistent structuring that makes readers analyse and classify their experience and knowledge. J. Valenta points out that the two authors provoke teachers to promote their thinking on drama.

Radek Marušák: Teaching Drama. A Mind of Many Wonders – The most extensive review also praises the book as very valuable. Unlike the other reviewers, however, R. Marušák investigates the book chapter by chapter in great detail, examining the specific contribution of each chapter while at the same time pointing out certain disproportion or problems.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jaroslav Toman: The ”Normalisation” Period in the Czech Poetry for Children – A reflection on Czech poetry of 1970s and 1980s.

Jaroslav Provazník-Jaroslav Toman-Lukáš Horáček: Reviews of New Books – Reviews of new books for children that could inspire drama teachers and leaders of children’s theatre groups.

 

GUIDE TO DRAMA IN EDUCATION

Ashild Vethal-Elisabeth Heradstveit: Educational Drama in Norway – An in-depth information on drama in Norway contains the following chapters: The Roots, Norwegian Practice 1965-2000 (Drama in the Norwegian Educational System – a Brief Overview (Drama in Nursery School and Kindergarten and Teacher Training; Drama in Primary Schools; Drama in Secondary Schools – age 16-18; Training Drama teachers; Theatre-in-Education in Norway); Research; National and International Networks.

 

CHILDREN’S STAGE – The regular supplement of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Dramatics) brings three scripts by Věra Pánková, one of the most remarkable representatives of Czech drama in education in 1980s. The first text is a collage of poetry by two Czech authors of the 19th century Josef Václav Sládek and Vítězslav Hálek called In Spring. The following one is a dramatisation of a humorous French fairy-tale called Wish-Wash. The most extensive text contains a dramatisation of several Robin Hood stories – Playing on Robin Hood, which was the source of a successful performance directed by Věra Pánková in late 1980s.

 

 

SUMMARY 2002/3

 

CHILDREN-DRAMA-THEATRE

Roman Manda: Improvising with Sandra Tittoni in Trutnov – The Children’s Stage national festival of Czech children’s theatre groups is held every year in June in the east-Bohemian town of Trutnov. While the last issue of Tvořivá dramatika contained a report on the festival’s performances, this one reports about a workshop led by the French actress and member of the Marseille Improvisation League, Sandra Tittoni. It was held as part of the Children’s Stage festival, concentrating on the core, forms and principles of dramatic improvisation and the possibilities it offers for work with children.

Jana Machalíková-Hana Šimonová: Using Improvisation Contests in Working with Youngsters – A summary of a year-long work with two groups of secondary school students focusing on improvisation, particularly theatre sports. The article describes both the advantages and the risks of this type of work, paying special attention to the ways of preparing youngsters for improvisation and helping them acquire improvisation skills.

 

INSPIRATION

Pavel Vacek: Insights into the Psychology of Moral – On Driving Towards One’s Own Conscience, the Ten Commandments and a Swallowed Crib – The psychologist and drama teacher from the Teachers’ Training Institute in Hradec Králové presents a cycle of articles on drama in education viewed from the perspective of the psychology of moral. In the fifth part, the author points out that the internalising of norms is one of the basic processes going on in moral development, and acquaints readers with a theory developed by Norman Bull (see his study Moral Education) as well as its possible applications in drama in education.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Dana Svozilová: Secret Diary of Adrian Mole – The week’s project for drama teachers is based on the popular books by Sue Townsend about the teenage Adrian; it employs a variety of structuring drama work conventions. The workshop programme is conceived as a mosaic of activities corresponding with topic areas related to the book: the child’s personality (Adrian), relationships (family, friends, school, love), etc. The story of the title character works as a framework for the chosen topics. It is developed from the point when Adrian Mole decides to leave home, because he finds his present life unbearable. The inspiring material created by Dana Svozilová can help many students and teachers who strive to win a space for drama in education as an independent discipline which no other subject can fully substitute for.

INTEGRAL, a section for a discussion of drama teachers and workshop leaders: In the present issue, the section contains an article by Jaroslav Provazník Drama-in-Education Courses as Part of Teacher‘s In-Service Training, which gives a systematic overview of long-term (one year- or three-term-) courses that have been organised since early 1990s by the Creative Dramatics Association (Sdružení pro tvořivou dramatiku, STD), a Czech national association of drama teachers, and the Dpt. of Drama-ín-Education of the Faculty of Performing Arts in Prague. The article not only provides basic information on the courses, but also acquaints readers with the ways their concept and goals have changed over time.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Radek Marušák: The Poet Karel Šiktanc and his new stories – A review of one of the most remarkable books of modern fairy-tales On Good and Evil Power (O dobré a o zlé moci) by the contemporary Czech poet Karel Šiktanc.

Vendula Kalušová: The Darkest Forest – The study views the sound and silence motives found in a fairy-tale by Karel Šiktanc from the perspective of story composition. It takes note of the ways the writer employs this type of motives, especially in developing his characters.

David Kroča: A Book That Stirs Emotions – The article on the phenomenon called Harry Potter is intended as a polemic with negative or reserved reviews of J. Rowling’s books. It includes the following chapters: Reviewing Literature from Non-Literary Positions; Ignoring and Putting Down, or Do we Have a Lot of Better Books?; Being Suspiciously True to the Literary Source (a few lines on the criticism of the Harry Potter film); and What the Literary Criticism Has not Yet Admitted.

Ivana Uhlíková: Harry Potter and the Classic Fairy-Tale – An attempt to give a genre characteristic of J. Rowling’s books with an emphasis on the ways the author uses or denies the elements of a classical magic fairy-tale in her Harry Potter book series.

Jaroslav Provazník-Alena Fabová: Reviews of New Books – Reviews of new books for children that could inspire the leaders of children’s theatre groups and drama teachers.

 

GUIDE TO DRAMA IN EDUCATION

Jana Machalíková and Hana Šimonová: The Czech Improvisation League (2nd part) – The appendix found on the middle pages of Tvořivá dramatika introduces Czech readers to theatre sports and their rules as applied in the Czech Republic.

 

DĚTSKÁ SCÉNA – The regular supplement of Tvořivá dramatika brings three drama texts for children’s theatre groups. Three dramatisations created by Krista Bláhová and Jiří Bláha, a married couple who led children’s theatre groups in Nové Město pod Smrkem, Most and Mnichovo Hradiště, rank among the most interesting texts performed at the Kaplice national festival during 1980s. The supplement contains the following texts, which are typical examples of device theatre: Images from Czech Legends, variations to the earliest stories about the origins of the Czech nation; Damián, the Cheeky Kitten, a dramatisation of a poetic book by the author of modern children’s tales Václav Čtvrtek, and The Fisherman and His Wife, a dramatisation of the famous fairy-tale about the golden fish by the Grimm brothers and Jan Werich.

 

 

SUMMARY 2002/2

CHILDREN-DRAMA-THEATRE

Jaroslav Provazník: What Was the Children’s Stage Festival 2002 (Dětská scéna 2002) About? – Theoretical and critical reflection on problems and issues generated by the 31st national festival of children’s theatre, puppet and reciting groups held in June 2002 in the east-Bohemian town of Trutnov. Analysing thirteen of the most interesting performances by children’s companies from all over the Czech Republic, the author deals with the following general concerns: What is the difference between theatre and reciting (poetry reading), and which means and procedures do both genres offer to children’s groups? / The narrator in a dramatic text and his role on stage. / Is the co-existence of improvisation and a fixed dramatic shape possible? / How can puppet theatre elements enrich children’s drama and theatre? / Ethical aspects of drama work. As for this year’s Children’s Stage, the author points out the following three performances as the most inspiring: a stage montage based on a nonsense poem by Edward Lear Yangy Bangy Bou, the Guy who Wanted to Get Married (children’s theatre company from Hradec Králové led by Ema Zámečníková); three modern fairy-tales on Christmas theme called Listen (children’s company from Ostrov nad Ohří led by Irena Konývková); and the puppet performance The Greedy Barbara to the motives of the famous fairy-tale by the Czech author Jan Werich (performed by two girls – members of a group from Chlumec nad Cidlinou led by Romana Hlubučková).

Josef Brůček: Children’s Puppet Groups at the Puppeteer’s Chrudim (Loutkářská Chrudim) Festival – Information on children’s puppet performances presented at the national festival of amateur puppeteers in Chrudim.

Petra Svozilová: People Think about the Same Things, Yet They Are So Different: Several Reflections from Zagreb  - An article informing about a conference on drama and a related workshop held in Croatia’s capital in the spring of 2002.

 

INSPIRATION

Pavel Vacek: Insights into the Psychology of Moral – Heinz, Sam and Joe? – The psychologist and drama teacher from the Teachers’ Training Institute in Hradec Králové presents a cycle of articles on drama in education viewed from the perspective of the psychology of moral. In the third part, the author introduces the phase theory of moral development worked out by the American psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg (know from the work The Development of Children´s Orientations Toward a Moral Order). In this (the fourth) volume he offers an insight into practical applications of this concept in the everyday pedagogical practice of teachers and other educational staff.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Drama in the Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary Education - Tvořivá dramatika publishes here two fundamental documents on drama, which are to become part of the curriculum framework for all primary as well as secondary grammar schools in the Czech Republic. The documents specify the educational contents of the subject of drama as well as competencies to be achieved in the instruction of drama. Both documents, which characterise drama as a school subject, include the following chapters: I. The basic prerequisites of dramatic action: Psychosomatic skills, Play skills, Social and communication skills. II. The process  of drama creation and staging: The process of drama creation. The process of staging. Presenting the final shape. III. Reception and reflection of drama and theatrical arts. The documents were prepared by the two university departments of drama-in-education in the Czech Republic – the Dpt. of Drama of the Theatre Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) in Prague  and the  Dpt. of Drama of the Janáček´s Academy of Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno.

Zoja Mikotová: Drama-in-Education for the Hearing-Impaired at the Theatre Faculty of the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno – Information on the Bachelor’s Degree programme in educational drama for the hearing-impaired established at the Theatre Faculty of the JAMU in Brno, accompanied by a list of bachelors’ theses.

INTEGRAL, a section for a discussion of teachers of teachers and workshop leaders, combines three views of drama-in-education at secondary teacher training schools for teachers of kindergartens and school clubs. It contains two articles concerning the university studies of drama at the Prague Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) as seen by its graduates. The section is concluded by lists of masters’ theses on drama defended in the past few years at the Dpt. of Drama at the DAMU in Prague, and at the Dpt. Of Primary Education of the Pedagogical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague.

 

REVIEWS

Eva Machková: Do not Read Just Any Book You Come Across– In her review of the Czech translation of the text Jeux d´expression et de communication by the French authors Anne Baudis and Yvette Junger-Dufayet, Eva Machková points out a number of serious errors found in this brochure.

Václav Holeček: Moral Development in Psychological and Educational Context – The author assesses Pavel Vacek’s book of the above name as very enriching and inspiring for the teachers of drama and other subjects.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Věra Brožová: The Gurd Empire - Věra Brožová acquaints readers with an interesting attempt of the contemporary Slovakian poet and novelist (and in this case also an illustrator) Daniel Hevier, who has written a fairy-tale partly inspired by Lewis Carroll, which touches on the danger of drugs

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GUIDE TO DRAMA IN EDUCATION

Jana Machalíková a Hana Šimonová: Contests in Improvisation  as an Inspiration for Work with Secondary School Groups – The appendix found on the middle pages of Tvořivá dramatika introduces Czech readers to the theatre sports with their history, rules and the possibilities they offer in working with young people.

 

DĚTSKÁ SCÉNA – Just as in previous issues, the regular supplement of Tvořivá dramatika brings several drama texts for children’s theatre and poetry reading groups. The dramatisations were made by Jana Vobrubová, one of the founding personalities of Czech educational drama who taught at the Basic School of Arts in Jablonec nad Nisou from 1960s to 1980s. The supplement contains the following texts: All Cats do not Scribble, a dramatisation of stories written by the Slovakian author Nataša Tanská, a dramatisation of several epizodes from the popular American book by Joel Chandler Harris Nights with Uncle Remus called Long Live the Rabbit, and a montage of Leonardo da Vinci’s fables called Ideas.

 

 

SUMMARY 2002/1

 

CHILDREN-DRAMA-THEATRE

Eva Machková: In the Labyrinth of the Present World – A detailed review of the book Drama in Education and the Child in the Labyrinth of the Present World that includes presentations from the national conference on drama held on 16 - 17h September 2000. It was organised by the Department of Drama in Education of the Faculty of Performing Arts in Prague and by the Creative Dramatics Association (STD) as part of the project ”Prague - European Culture City 2000”. The presentations are classified here into three areas: Drama in Education – A Pedagogical Perspective, Drama in Education – A Psychological / Neurological Perspective and Drama in Education – A Theatrical Perspective. E. Machková participated in the constitution of modern Czech drama-in-education and founded the Department of Drama in Education in the early 1990s. Her review includes more that mere assessment of the presentations; it also raises questions and formulates contemporary issues and challenges faced by Czech professionals dealing both with the theory and practice of drama in education.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Jaroslav Provazník: Winding of the Webs and the Useful Opening of Gates – The article informs about the successful international festival of children’s and youngster’s theatre organised in May 2001 by Irena Konývková, the leader of several children’s theatre groups in Ostrov near Karlovy Vary / Karlsbad (west Bohemia). Among the participants were groups from Italy, Austria, England, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. The programme included performances created within the Czech-Italian-Austrian long-term project of devising theatre called ”Torre-Brána-Gates”, as well as workshops for children and discussions on performances and methods of theatrical and educational work with children and youngsters. Inspired by the success of the first year, the organisers decided to prepare the second Winding of the Webs that should be held between 30 April and  4 May 2003.

Jindřiška Bumerlová-Hana Strnadová-Iva Uhlíková-Pavel Bednář: The Budapest Theatre in Education, or the Hungarian Inspiration: Joseph and His Brothers, and The Iron Age) - In November 2001, the students of the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Faculty of Performing Arts in Prague visited the Hungarian Káva Cultural Group (Káva Kulturális Mühely), a Budapest centre concerned with T.I.E. (theatre in education). They report on two performances and the group’s style of work with appreciation and recommend it to the attention of the few Czech T.I.E groups.

Olga Strnadová: The story of Frank who Outsmarted the Devils - Olga Strnadová has dedicated the past fifteen years of her life to puppet theatre with children. Her performances are based on modern, metaphoric concept of puppet theatre and theatre with objects. The 2000 Czech Scene (Dětská scéna) national festival in Trutnov saw her dramatisation of the Czech folklore fairy-tale Kate and the Devil performed by her ensemble with hand puppets. Other scripts by Olga Strnadová are included in the attachment to this issue of Tvořivá dramatika.

 

INSPIRATION

Pavel Vacek: Insights into the Psychology of Moral – The Nuremberg Tribunal,  Moral Maturing and the Greedy Pharmacist – The psychologist and drama teacher from the Teachers’ Training Institute in Hradec Králové introduces a cycle of articles on drama in education viewed from the perspective of the psychology of moral. The third part deals with moral dilemmas and is inspired by L. Kohlberg’s  work The Development of Children´s Orientations Toward a Moral Order.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Petra Rychecká: The Legacy of Comenius for the Third Millenium – Information on the international conference that took place in Trnava, Slovakia. It was dedicated to Comenius and his legacy, with the emphasis on employing drama methods in the educational process.

INTEGRAL, a section for mutual dialogue of teachers of schools and workshops, combines three views of drama-in-education at secondary teacher training schools for teachers of kindergartens and school clubs, contains an article by Eva Machková titled Who Are They and Where Are They Heading? concerning the students and graduates of the Dpt. of Drama in Education of the Faculty of Perfoming Arts in Prague and the various ways they find employment in the field.

 

REVIEWS

Soňa Koťátková: Let us Play with Fairy-Tales – A review of a new practical handbook written by Irina Ulrychová, Vlasta Gregorová and Hana Švejdová, which includes concrete examples of drama lessons and drama structures based on well-known fairy-tales; they are meant as inspiration for kindergarten and primary school teachers. The reviewer finds the book very well-written and useful, appreciating both its originality and the logical organisation of topics. She points out its well-organised and comprehensive introduction into the methodology of drama with the very young children, including the description of the basic techniques and conventions.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Pavel Bednář: Harry Potter’s World of Imagination – The author deals with the specifics of J. K. Rowling’s style of writing as employed in the first four volumes of the popular Harry Potter book series.

Alena Šandová: The Long Journey to Santa Cruz – The review of the Czech translation of the interesting book by the German writer Michael Ende.

Daniela Rýcová: A Phenomenon, or Mania? – The author analyses one of the stories published by the American writer Tracey West to the motives of the Japanese TV series Pokémon, which have also become the craze of the past few months in the Czech Republic. D. Rýcová uses concrete examples from the book to demonstrate its weaknesses manifested in the poor language and clumsy work with the characters and the plot.

Jaroslav Provazník: Reviews of New Books – Reviews of new books for children that could inspire the leaders of children’s theatre groups and drama teachers.

 

GUIDE TO DRAMA IN EDUCATION

Irina Ulrychová: Drama, Participant and Spectator – The author introduces in detail the workshop held in the Drama Centre in Prague in January 2001 and led by Tony Goode and Warwick Dobson from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle upon Tyne. She describes their two drama structures, paying special attention to the ways they interpret the activities of drama participants. She explains why T. Goode a W. Dobson find it beneficial to use A. Boal’s term ”spectactor”. In the second part, she informs about the ”living history” project that the British drama teachers presented to their Czech colleagues as part of the workshop.

 

 

SUMMARY 2001/3

 

DOCUMENT

Jaroslav Provazník-Jakub Hulák: The Ministry of Education Demonstrates the Lack of Interest in Extramural Aesthetic Activities of Children and Youth – The representatives of the Creative Dramatics Association, the national institution in charge of amateur arts, and the Department of Drama in Education in their Document stress the fact the Ministry of Education has suspended funding of national festivals of children’s reciting since the beginning of this year. Both authors consider this a dangerous step and invite the Ministry to reconsider its decision. They suggest the way how the teachers working with children as well as organisers of district and regional festivals and all the others developing the relationship of children to literature and reciting should respond. 

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Marta Žilková: Drama-in-Education in the University Teaching – The essay about options of drama-in-education as one of the alternative methods in university teaching that can draw attention to the relationship between teacher and student in the university teaching, can stress emotions, independent thinking, originality, creativity, just in short it can strengthen the humanisation of today’s university environment.

Iveta Kovalčíková: Topicality of Drama-in-Education in Current Educational Theories – Summary of different educational theories and their relationship to the drama-in-education.  

Petra Rychecká: The Legacy of J. A. Komenský for the Third Millennium – Information about the conference about J. A. Komenský and application of drama-in-education methods in education held last year in Slovakia at Trnava University. The attendees included the teachers and students of Trnava University but also students of the Teachers’ Training Faculty of Moravian University in Brno, teachers and specialists from Slovakia and the Czech Republic and also John Somers, drama teacher and editor of Research in Drama Education from Exeter University.

INTEGRAL, a section for mutual dialog of teachers of schools and workshops, combining three views of drama-in-education at secondary teachers’ training schools for teachers of kindergartens and school clubs, contains an article by Barbora Uchytilová titled Teachers’ Training in Drama-in-Education in Sweden. The article is followed by a list of newly defended theses on drama-in-education at the Prague Drama Department of Theatre Academy.

 

INSPIRATION

Václav Šneberger: Drama Therapy in Ethopedic Practice – Important parts from the thesis on drama therapy, its principles, methods and tools.

 

Pavel Vacek: Insights into the Psychology of Moral – Second Insight:

2 + 2 = 5, A DOG BIGGER THAN A COW AND A HOMEWORK ON SNEAKING – A psychologist and drama teacher from the Teachers’ Training Institute in Hradec Králové offers another part of the cycle of articles about drama in education viewed from the perspective of psychology of moral.

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Hana Kasíková: Mask or the Body Language – An article about the workshop of Tatjana Brinkman, the teacher of the Theatre Academy in Utrecht. The Department of Creative Dramatics has invited her to the Children’s Scene National Festival in Trutnov this year where she worked with Czech teachers and drama students. The topic of her workshop was the mask.

A. S. Puškin-Irena Konývková: A Trip to Ludmila! – A script of one of the best performances at the Children’s Scene National Festival this year. A partly puppet performance was given by HOP-HOP from Ostrov nad Ohří based on the well known fairy tale epos by A. S. Pushkin Ruslan and Ludmila.

What Is the Children’s Scene For? – The continued discussion on the function and organisation of the Children’s Scene National Festival.

 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTHS

Jaroslav Provazník: Review of New Books – Reviews of new books for children that could inspire the leaders of children’s theatre groups and drama teachers.

 

GUIDE TO DRAMA IN EDUCATION

Hana Kasíková: Drama and Traditional Story for the Early Years – The detailed information and review of the new book on drama written by Nigel Toye and Francis Prendiville. The article deals with the reason and importance of drama in work with small children, with the teacher-in-role strategy, it also focuses on how to get children into the role, about the importance of drama in social, moral and culture development, about drama and its importance for the development of language skills, about the specifics of drama in kindergarten and about its evaluation and assessment.

 

SUMMARY 2001/2

 

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Roman Černík: What Was It Like? Children’s Scene 2001 for the second time in Trutnov, but generally the 30th (!) National Festival of Children’s Theatre, Puppeteer’s and Reciting Groups and Solo Reciters – The article reviews the 30th Czech National Festival of Children’s Theatre, Puppeteer’s and Reciting Groups. The author considers two performances of HUDRADLO (led by Mirek Slavík) to be the most interesting ones, particularly the performance which is the dramatisation of Andersen’s fairytale Lark. Other interesting performances include Trip to Ludmila by HOP-HOP from Ostrov (led by Irena Konývková) which was created on the motives of A. S. Pushkin’s fairytale Ruslan and Ludmila, and the performance of Grimms’ fairytale Blue Burner by DdDd from Děčín (led by Jana Štrbová). Besides theatre performances the author appreciates high quality of discussions on performances and workshops for children and drama teachers and group leaders.

What is the Children’s Scene for? – A set of ideas about the function and organisation of the national festival Children’s Scene contains contributions of leaders of children’s groups, teachers and organisers.

Hans Christian Andersen-Mirek Slavík: Lark – A script of one of the best performances at Children’s Scene 2001 which was created on the motives of the well-known fairytale.

Jiří Pokorný: Trial to Report on National Festival of Extramural Art Schools – Besides the Children’s Scene held each year in June, a festival of theatre and reciting groups working at Extramural Art Schools (i.e. schools voluntarily attended by children between 6 and 18) was organised this year. The author was a member of the jury and he evaluates the quality of the festival held in Hradec Králové in Eastern Bohemia as well as the quality of performances.

Hana Kasíková: Theatre in Education: The Netherlands – A report on several groups and theatre and youth centres in the Netherlands oriented on interactive productions for children and youth, mainly theatre-in-education. Hana Kasíková also specialises in this area at the Drama Department of the Theatre Academy in Prague. She reports on the organisational forms, methods and topics she met in the Netherlands.

 

INSPIRATION

Pavel Vacek: Insights into the Psychology of Moral – Balls of Jean Piaget and Deliberation about the Rules – A psychologist and drama teacher from the Teachers’ Training Institute in Hradec Králové introduces a cycle of articles about drama in education viewed from the perspective of psychology of moral. He points to still topical study of Jean Piaget from the 1930s ”The Moral Judgement of the Child” and he compares his conclusions about the rules of game in different age with the experience of drama teachers.

Petr Sak: Youths and Their Research - The fourth part of the cycle of sociological analyses into the state of mind of the current Czech youths titled Cultural Activities of the Youths.

 

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Petra Svozilová: International Congress on Drama in Education – An article describing in details the work of teachers at the International Congress D.I.E. (Richard Finch and Jonothan Neelands from Britain, Hort Betancourt from Cuba and Yuri Vasiliev from Russia), held this year in spring in Schlaining in Austria. She also appreciates the excellent work of Austrian organisers.

INTEGRAL, a section for mutual dialog of teachers of schools and workshops, combines three views of drama-in-education at secondary teachers training schools for teachers of kindergartens and school clubs, contains an article by Eva Machková titled Theses in Drama-in-Education, Their Topics and Evaluation Criteria. It summarises the experience of a teacher at the Drama Department of Theatre Academy. The article is followed by a list of newly defended theses on drama-in-education at the Prague Drama Department of Theatre Academy and at Brno Drama Department of Theatre Academy.

REVIEWS

Josef Valenta: Sociologist’s View of Czech Youth – Information about Petr Sak’s book, who co-operates with Creative Dramatics, called Metamorphosis of Czech Youths summarises the long sociological research (1980s and 1990s). J. Valenta focuses on the following areas: values, spiritual and religious life, leisure time activities, media, social deviations.

GUIDE TO DRAMA IN EDUCATION

Eva Machková: Drama in Education According to John Somers – Information about the book Drama in the Curriculum written by a British drama teacher from the University of Exeter. Eva Machková analyses in details those chapters related to the drama application in different school subjects and options of drama application in the preparation of projects.

 

SUMMARY 2001/1

Editors: Dear readers of Creative Drama ...

EVA MACHKOVÁ
Jaroslav Provazník: Eva Machková and a set of its roles
Eva Hanžlíková: "Trouble, we have a new woman there!"
Eva Polzerová: Get-togetherness
Zuzana Jirsová: Thanks to  Eva Machková
Bibliography

HANA BUDÍNSKÁ
Lucie Nosková-Jiří Vyšohlíd-Jaroslav Provazník-Jakub Hulák-Vladimír Komárek-Radim Svoboda-Jiří Provazník-Martin Matějů: Portrait-collage of Hana Budínská
Jiří Provazník: My get-togetherness with Hana Budínská
Productions presented at national and other important festivals and workshops
Bibliography

JINDRA DELONGOVÁ
Silva Macková: I remember the moment when it all started ...
Productions presented at national and other important festivals and workshops
Bibliography

ZDENA JOSKOVÁ
Zuzana Jirsová: An attempt at a portrait of Zdena Josková
Radek Marušák: "I don't like invisible dumbbells"
Věra Dřevíkovská: Zdena Josková
Bibliography

MILADA MAŠATOVÁ
Luděk Richter: Milada Mašatová - artist, theorist, pedagogue
Productions presented at national and other important festivals and workshops
Bibliography

JOSEF MLEJNEK
Adéla Pellarová: Historical chance for drama education
Productions presented at national and other important festivals and workshops
Bibliography

VĚRA PÁNKOVÁ
Alena Palarčíková: Věra Pánková
From productions presented at national, national and other major shows and workshops
Bibliography

SOŇA PAVELKOVÁ
Jiří Pokorný: Soňa Pavelková... What do I really know about her?
Irena Konývková: What comes to my mind when I say Soňa Pavelková?
Věra Hučínová: Sona Pavelková
From productions presented at national, national and other major shows and workshops
Bibliography

ŠÁRKA ŠTEMBERGOVÁ-KRATOCHVÍLOVÁ
Radim Svoboda-Ajka Pospisilova-Táňa Zlesáková-Josef Brůček-Jaroslav Hausdor-Ivana Pultarová-Oldřich Müller: Some words about Šárka Štembergová
From productions presented at national, national and other major shows and workshops
Bibliography

OLGA VELKOVÁ
Marcela Kovaříková: Olga Velková
Bibliography

JANA VOBRUBOVÁ
Krista Bláhová-Jiří Bláha: Jana Vobrubová
From productions presented at national, national and other major shows and workshops
Bibliography

CHILDREN´S SCENE 4
Text appendix Children’s Scene No. 4 brings the dramatization and lessons of the modern fairy tale of the Czech author Ludvík Aškenazy On one tree (Na jednom stromě) prepared by Dana Svozilová.

 

SUMMARY 2000/3

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Dana Svozilová: Drama Structure in the Context of Drama-in-Education – Extracts from the dissertation thesis of one of the leading personalities of the current Czech drama-in-education, head of the Department of Drama-in-Education at JAMU in Brno. The author in her work addresses the basis of drama structure, compares different views on it and develops the systematic methodology of this type of drama. After introductory review of the context which was the basis of this phenomenon in Great Britain and from which it came to the Czech Republic, D. Svozilová describes the drama structure and its principles, conventions, personality of a teacher and teacher’s competencies during this type of work, etc.

INTEGRAL, a section for mutual dialog of teachers of schools and workshops combines three views of drama-in-education at secondary teachers training schools for teachers of kindergartens and school clubs. Besides another article about the quality of drama teaching at secondary teachers’ training schools in Bohemia the section includes an article written by Eva Machková called Didactics of Drama-in-Education in Teachers’ Training which includes the experience with drama didactics teaching especially at the Creative Dramatics Department of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) and with the organization of the practice of students at schools.

 

INSPIRATION

Katarina Majzlanová: Drama-in-Education, Training and Therapy – The teacher of the Teachers’ Training Institute of Komenský’s University in Bratislava wrote an article for the Creative Dramatics addressing the functions of drama in different areas. She mainly focuses on drama as a means of therapy and she points to the risk of its incompetent use.

Petr Sak: Youths and Their Research - The third part of the cycle of sociological analyses into the state of mind of the current Czech youth is called Role of Priest and Allocation of the Search for God in the Religious and Spiritual Life of Czech Youths

Vladimír Komárek: Brain and Drama Therapy – The last part of the free cycle Brain Background of the teacher of the 2nd Medical Faculty of Charles University and external teacher of the Creative Dramatics Department of DAMU, children’s neurologist, who deals with relationships between the processes in brain and drama activities.

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Tomáš Pěkný-Karel Vostárek: Havrane z kamene (Stone Raven) – The script of successful performance of students of the Creative Dramatics Department of DAMU in Prague which was prepared as a graduation project based on one of the most interesting books for children from the 1990s.

REVIEW

Alžběta Dvořáková: The Second Issue of the Magazine Dedicated Space – Information on the second issue of the Slovak magazine in English devoted to the English teaching through drama. 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Svatava Urbanová: Jožin is going in Africa - Review of the new book for children that are worth studying for drama teachers.

GUIDE TO DRAMA IN EDUCATION

Radek Marušák: John Somers: Projects across Curricula. Theatre in Education - Appendix to the Creative Dramatics describes the work of the British drama teacher from the  University of Exeter.

CHILDREN’S SCENE

Text appendix Children’s Scene No. 3 brings the dramatization of the modern fairy tale of the Czech author Ilja Hurník Strange Name written for the children’s group by Šárka Štembergová-Kratochvílová at the beginning of the 1990s (the performance Strange Name was presented at the national festival in Prachatice). Besides that Children’s Scene also brings another script of Š. Štembergová, the dramatization of the modern fairy tale by Karel Čapek About the Solimania Princess as an example of theatre performance inspired by reciting methods.

 

SUMMARY 2000/2

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE

Milada Mašatová: About Puppet Theatre with Children – Milada Mašatová, one of the most important personalities of the Czech children’s theatre of the 1960s–1990s who died this year in June, devoted the whole her life to the puppet theatre and its application in the work with children. Performances of her puppeteer groups (she taught at the art school in Olomouc) belonged to the biggest events at the national festivals in Chrudim and Kaplice. From her inheritance the Creative Dramatics (Tvořivá dramatika) publishes the fragment of a manuscript on which she started to work. Three chapters are devoted to the specifics of children’s acting with the puppet, possibilities of the puppet and metaphoric thinking offered by the work with the puppet for children and the rhythm of the work with the puppet.

Iva Dvořáková: Children’s Scene 2000. Small Guide through Performances – The information on performances presented it the 29th National Festival of Children’s Theatre, Puppeteer’s and Reciting Groups held in Trutnov in East Bohemia this year.

Petra Rychecká-Veronika Rodriguezová-Tomáš Doležal: What Did Children Talk About – Mosaic of records and impressions from the children’s discussion club at Children’s Scene 2000 in Trutnov – Children’s discussion clubs for members of the groups participating in the festival are a regular part of Czech national festivals of children’s theatre groups. Their tutors, drama teachers from Drama Centre in Lužánky from Brno, analyse the methodology of work in these children’s clubs and describe their course this year.

Jana Štrbová: News from Brixen – Impressions from the 2nd International Meeting of Young Theatre Groups Sapperlot in Bri-xen held between 28 April and 2 May 2000. The author is a head of one of two Czech groups that were invited to the festival and she evaluates the inspiring programme and excellent organisation of the meeting.

Hans Christian Andersen-Miroslav Slavík: Princess on the Pea – The script of one of the best performances of the 2000 national festival of children’s theatre groups in Trutnov Children’s Scene.

INSPIRATION

Petr Sak: Youth and Their Research – The second part of the cycle of sociological analyses into the state of mind of the current Czech youths is called Does the Czech Youths Knows the World Religions?

Vladimír Komárek: Brain Background – The twelfth part of the free cycle about neurology and drama by the teacher of the 2nd Medical Faculty of Charles University and external teacher at the Department of Drama-in-Education of Theatre Academy, children’s neurologist, who deals with links between the processes in the brain and drama activities.

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Jana Andrejsková: Small Projects or School Leaving Exam a Bit Differently – The article has the subtitle “The school leaving exam from drama in education at the Secondary Teachers’ Training School in Čáslav in 1997/98” and describes the experience of the drama teacher with the introduction of the practical school leaving exam from drama in education.

INTEGRAL, a section for mutual dialog of teachers of schools and workshops, combines three views of the drama-in-education at secondary teachers training schools for teachers of kindergartens and school clubs. The survey is closed by the article of Eva Machková “Challenges for Discussion", summarising problems in the area of drama-in-education at secondary teachers’ training schools in the Czech Republic and offers possible solutions.

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Jana Machalíková: Humour and Its Tools in Books of Richmai Crompton – The study dealing with the poetics of popular books of Richmal Crompton on Williams which offer the good basis for the work with children in drama until today.

Other articles in this section bring information on new books for children and youths that could inspire drama teachers and heads of children’s theatre and puppeteer groups, especially the excellent story Twelve Romany Commandments written by Hana Doskočilová (it was published in 1999 in parts in the magazine Mateřídouška) and other books for children.

GUIDE TO DRAMA IN EDUCATION

Eva Machková: John O’Toole: Drama Process – 2nd part – The appendix to Creative Dramatics reviews the book of the Australian drama specialist.

CHILDREN’S SCENE

The appendix titled the Children’s Scene (Dětská scéna) No. 2 brings the dramatisation of excellent book of Daniela Fischerová Rainbow Fairytale written for the children’s puppeteer group by Hana Budínská in the 1980s (the performance of the Rainbow Fairytale was presented at the national festival in Kaplice in 1986). Together with Milada Mašatová Hana Budínská belongs to the classics of the Czech children’s puppeteer theatre – since 1960s she influenced its character and methodology, her groups performed many times at Puppeteer Festivals in Chrudim and at Kaplice Theatre Summer (Kaplické divadelní léto) and she led many workshops for teachers and heads of childrenְ’s groups.

 

 

SUMMARY 2000/1

DRAMA-EDUCATION-SCHOOL

Radek Marušák: John Somers: Drama-in-Education – From Games via Improvisation to Theatre – Detailed reminiscence of one-week workshop led by drama teacher John Somers from the University of Exeter at the national seminar Drama at School. The article focuses on improvisation, fiction and the use of theatre procedures in drama in the classroom.

John Somers: How Do Teachers Choose Material for Their Drama Lessons? – The article of John Somers analyses the relationship between the form and material in drama and stresses the importance of research. At the end the author writes: ”The three that interests me most are: What is the nature of the relationship of the individual teacher to the material they choose and how do they learn in the process of selecting and using it? What issues are embedded in the ´topic name´ given to Drama in Education themes - what issues are the students confronted within drama? What sort of child development model is at work within the teachers´ choosing mechanisms and how do they acquire and operate it?"

Drama-in-Education at the Conference on Pedagogical Diagnostics – Between 17 – 18 September 1999 the Teachers’ Training Faculty of Ostrava University organised already the forth international conference ”Pedagogical Diagnostics ‘99” which was also prepared by the drama-in-education section called ”Diagnostic Function of Drama-in-Education in the Work of Teacher and Educator”. Three papers presented there are published in the Creative Dramatics.

John Somers: What must be our special case when we argue for Drama in Education to be in the school curriculum?

Soňa Koťátková: Position of Diagnostics in Drama-in-Education – The article deals with the diagnostics and the process of learning via the feeling, the analysis of the state of the member of the group via the work with emotions created above the framework of drama-in-education and analysis of the state and development of the group.

Jaroslav Provazník: Unused Diagnostic Potential of Drama-in-Education – Notes on Possibilities that can be offered by the drama-in-education as means for identification of teacher’s competencies.

INTEGRAL, a section for mutual dialogue of teachers of schools and workshops, contains three views of the drama-in-education at secondary teachers’ training schools for teachers of kindergartens and educators of school clubs.

The rubric contains a list of diploma works on drama-in-education defended at Czech universities in last few years.

INSPIRATION 

Federico Mayor: Creativity Is Our Hope – The call of UNESCO Secretary General for the support of art education and creativity at schools adopted at the 30th meeting in Paris on 3rd of November 1999 starts with the motto of the world known musician Yehudi Menuhin: ”Mutual sharing and creativity is missing everywhere. Especially at schools. Art in our life is missing and we submit ourselves to violence”. It then leads to general call for the support of art activities of children in all areas. ”At the time when family and social structures dramatically change often with a negative impact on children and teenagers, the school of the 21st century should foresee new needs and should strengthen art values in education as well as creativity development and human being cultivation. Creativity is our hope.”

Petr Sak: Youth and Their Research – The first part of the cycle of sociological analyses into the state of mind of the current Czech youth leads us to spirituality, relation to the religion and belief.

Vladimír Komárek: Brain Development and Child's Behaviour - The 11th part of a free cycle Brain Background devoted to the information transmission and intercellular space.

DRAMA-ART-THEATRE:

Brian Jacques-Irena Konývková: R.S.B. Ltd. – The script of a remarkable performance that was inspired by the mysterious story of B. Jacquese and written by I. Konývková who staged it last year with the children’s group HOP – HOP at the Basic Extramural School in Ostrov nad Ohří.

REVIEWS

Soňa Koťátková: Drama-in-Education and Social and Psychological Training  - Review of the new publication of Josef Valenta which compares both systems.

Alžběta Dvořáková: Dedicated Space – Information on the new international magazine that started to be published in Slovakia for those who are interested in drama as a method of English teaching. 

LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Marta Žilková: Children’s Culture at the Crossroad – Deliberation of a Slovak specialist in literature for children on problems of the contemporary art for children, on its changed situation and also on the change of the children’s addressee.

Pavlína Dvořáková: As in the Mirror, Only in the Puzzle – Review of the latest book of the Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder.

A block of mini-reviews LOOK INTO NEW BOOKS lists interesting books for children and youth published recently that drama teachers and leaders of children's theatre and reciting groups should draw attention to.

GUIDE TO DRAMA IN EDUCATION

Eva Machková: John O´Toole: Drama Process – Appendix to the Creative Dramatics reviews the book of the Australian specialist in drama.

Children’s Scene

The text appendix to the Creative Dramatics will be published from now on. It will bring high quality scripts for children’s theatre groups, mainly those that were tested in practice. For the first volume we selected scripts of one of the most important personalities of Czech children’s theatre Milada Mašatová. Between 1960s and the beginning of 1990s she taught at the basic extramural school in Olomouc and she led children’s puppet groups. Her performances belonged to the best events at national festivals of children’s groups. The first scrip in the 1st volume of Children’s Scene – How we fixed the slippers – is a dramatisation of a modern fairy tale of Olga Hejná and it is intended for newly established groups of small children. The other – There Is a Pear Tree – uses motives of folk fairy tales concerning the mystic relationship between the girl and the tree inspired by a ritual.

The contents of all published issues of Tvořivá dramatika (Creative Drama), the archive of earlier issues and all important information on drama education can be found on the website www.drama.cz.