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Drama and Theatre in and for Schools: Referencing the Nature of Theatre in Contemporary New Zealand

This thesis considers the nature of drama and theatre in and for schools and references the nature of theatre in contemporary New Zealand. Drama in schools in New Zealand has developed from the earliest school productions in the 1800's, through its perceived role to enrich lives, to becoming a discrete Arts subject within the New Zealand educational curriculum in 1999. During this development, theatre companies began to tour schools and arguments ensued regarding drama's role in education as a process or performance. This development is charted through a range of historical and current curriculum documents. The thesis references the importance of the Australian UNESCO Seminar on drama in education in 1958 which explored the relationship between the educational aspects of Drama and Drama as an art form, and which inspired New Zealand Drama teachers. The research contains interviews conducted during 2009, with Drama teachers, students and theatre practitioners, as well as considering examples of performances by schools and professional theatre since the advent of the new curriculum. The thesis investigates some of the many kinds of Drama work taking place in contemporary New Zealand schools, including co-curricula and curricula productions concerning a wide range of issues and utilising a range of dramatic styles. These include, an Intermediate School's collaboration and contribution to capital E's production of Kia Ora Khalid, and examples of devised and scripted projects undertaken at Secondary Colleges in New Zealand. The research explores the relationship which exists between schools and professional theatre practitioners, and establishes some of the ways in which the relationship is beneficial for the development of high quality Drama programmes in schools. The contribution of the Auckland Theatre Company's Educational Unit to schools is investigated, as is an example of the Artist in Schools programme at Pakuranga College in Auckland. The introduction of the National certificate in Educational drama in 2001 has undoubtedly contributed to the range and quality of work being undertaken in schools, allowing the contention that their Drama performance work can, and often does, contribute to the cultural welfare of local communities and to a New Zealand theatre identity in general.
Type of thesis
Luton, J. I. (2010). Drama and Theatre in and for Schools: Referencing the Nature of Theatre in Contemporary New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3949
The University of Waikato
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