The Drama Teacher
The Drama Teacher was founded in 2006 by Justin Cash and is packed with resources for drama teachers, theatre-goers, entertainment lovers, artistic professionals, students, and educators at all levels.
If you love teaching drama, then make us your home away from home. Here, you can read about theatre shows, performance styles, theatre practitioners, theatre history, and theatre-specific terminology, plus find lesson plans and other resources for the classroom.
Over the years, this website has become increasingly popular with not just theatre enthusiasts and teachers, but also students, who visit this website from across the world.
Justin Cash has been teaching high school drama for over 30 years and was recently awarded the Drama Victoria Award for Excellence in the Digital/Online Delivery of Drama in 2021. Justin was acknowledged for his continued contribution to online teaching. Drama Victoria is the largest professional association for drama and theatre educators in Australia.
The Drama Teacher‘s sister website, Theatre Links, is also the recipient of a previous Drama Victoria Award for Excellence.
Hi I’ve just stumbled across this site, fascinating, useful and thought provoking. I’m a retired drama teacher in the UK having worked in most areas of education and age groups of children over a period of something like 30 years a teacher, faculty lead, manager, adviser and examiner in schools, also in communities and health! I was also a professional Disc Jockey for 10 years too. Currently I am involved as a strategic volunteer for the NHS and I’ve also just started to work with a company made up entirely of retired people in London who deliver training to health and care professionals and performances too. I am about to start directing a piece of absurd theatre with this collaborative company most of whom are not trained actors.
I would’ve loved your website had it been in existence in the early 1970s when I trained. So much here that I had to learn the hard way, working with other drama teachers around the country and locally and by watching others work. Lovely to see lots that I worked out on my own, reflected back here and also surprises and new ideas and all the ideas that I’ve missed. Also sharing of the joy of others interested in our art and the huge benefits it provides to people involved in any manner. Thankyou to everyone who is contributing. At 71 I continue to learn.
Thanks for your comments and gracious feedback, Kevin! Just me here on my lonesome at this website. A labour of love that I have maintained since 2006 in my spare time as a secondary school drama teacher. Thanks for reading and commenting! – Justin
I am blessed to have come across your content on this blog Justin… I am a playwright and poet from Kenya… My desire is to become the greatest teacher of drama ever.
Justin Cash- Best drama teacher I ever had
Thank you Vickie! But you’ve got me stumped. I’m guessing Mt Lilydale, early 90s? Am I on the right track? – Justin
Very resourceful data.
Hello Sir ! l am a student of French literature, and passionate about theatre. Is your blog purely academic or it encourages amateur and professional theatre people as well ?
The Drama Teacher is mostly an academic website Debashis.
Hello! I have perused some of the articles on your site and was wondering what kind of advice you could give to an English teacher at a middle school who has never directed before. I have just ‘stepped up’ as our theater director (the Social Studies teacher) has left. I will be putting on two productions ( a play- we picked a spoof of Beauty and the Beast) and a musical which we haven’t decided on yet (none of the music teachers are available to help so I am trying to find a music director). I am excited, and I know I can do this BUT extremely nervous too as I prep for 7th, 8th and 10th grade classes during the year. I have acted and sang in plays but have no experience running a show. Any pearls of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!
I feel ya! This is a bit of a daunting situation for you. There are a number of things you could do to get up to speed with running this show:
– go back over any film footage the school may have of previous shows to check the quality, sets, costumes etc.
– network with a neighbouring school where a director of another school’s show is happy to sit down with you over a coffee and share docs, timelines, running sheets, offer advice and tips etc. I’d just get on the phone and ring up a few schools in your area who you know do similar productions and/or have a strong performing arts programs, because most teachers are more than willing to help a colleague (even if they are a complete stranger)
– call the nearest drama/theatre professional teachers’ association (or curriculum authority if there isn’t one) for help, advice, resources, someone they can put you on to etc for assistance
– if all else fails try Book Depository (or similar). There are always step by step guides on directing a theatre show or school production which can help you
If you have never directed a school show before, then I wouldn’t fuss too much on the artistic side. I’d focus on creating timelines and the organisational side of things. I find school shows are as much admin and organisation as they are creative and artistic. Nevertheless, I’d recommend getting someone who can help you on staff with the admin side of things (publicity, tickets, budgets, venue bookings, rehearsal spaces etc) if you can.
Hello everybody, I first apologize for my poor english. I am a french playwright and scriptwriter and I offer the full scripts of my plays to free download on my website http://comediatheque.net in french of course (60 plays), but also in spanish (11 plays) and english (3 plays for now). I invite you, if you please, to visit this website and particularly its pages in english : http://comediatheque.net/traductions/playsinenglish/ to discover my comedies. Thank you for yout attention. Jean-Pierre Martinez
I’m hoping you can give some advice. I am currently studying a bachelor of education with the hope of teaching this once finished but but after seeing the major subjects offered
Drama is no longer a major subject because of lack of interest at Vic Uni. So I was thinking of majoring in Media studies and then I can bring the drama into it but am wondering if you know another way around this.
I started a b.ed in dance drama teaching back at Rusden in the 1990 but deferred and concentrated on performing professionally instead.
I know Deakin has a masters of drama ( performing arts) which will take another year once I finish my b. Ed.
Of four years.
I have a vast background in dance and performance making experience. VCA animateuring course in 1999.
Yes I am older so time is of the essence ????
I would appreciate your advice.
Anything in our area Deakin uni can offer you is damn good in my opinion. I can’t praise Deakin University’s Drama Ed program enough. I, too, went to Rusden like yourself (B.Ed Drama, Dance 1989), majoring in Drama and Literature. Unfortunately, Drama, Media, Dance – they are all small(ish) subjects at secondary schools. I understand the link you cite between Media and Drama, but my advice would be to forget the Media Studies and see if you can transfer to the applicable course at Deakin. Here you will get the proper Drama studies (and I’d throw in some Literature units if you can). Drama/English teaching methods will make you much more employable than Drama/Media or Drama/Dance/Media, I’m afraid. Employability ranking order: 1. English, 2. Drama, 3. Media, 4. Dance (simply based on how many classes most schools run in these subjects). If you don’t mind me being a bit blunt, I’d get outta Vic Uni fast, if you can (especially seeing the Drama has dried up there) and see if you can get into Deakin (Burwood Campus). Hope this helps a bit. All the best! – Justin
I love your website. It is so in depth and I love reading it. I found it and joined a year ago. I am a drama teacher in Sydney and this site saved me yesterday! I forgot all my resources to revisit Brecht with my Year 12s on my kitchen table and thought I would have quickly write up notes. I decided to check your site and bingo! … there was a great resource! Thank you – you are one talented and amazing drama teacher! An absolute inspiration!
Thank you for your kind comments. I’m glad you have found my website useful in your teaching.
I also teach girls, but on the other side of the world, at Cheltenham Ladies’ College in England. I came across your site as I was marking an IB paper which used a definition of farce from one of your pages. It all looks very useful and I shall come back to it and browse when I have more time. My own website is in its infancy at http://www.theatrenotes.org and is more geared for our UK exam system as you would expect. Let me know if you ever visit Europe; you’d be very welcome to visit us in Cheltenham. We have a beautiful theatre and I’d like to get some schools to bring productions from other countries.
All the best
An IB paper used my definition of farce? How cool! I like your new website. It looks great, already! Love the images of your set designs. Looks like it has some really useful resources, particularly for UK students. I’ll be visiting your site, too, as it is always handy being familiar with drama/theatre syllabi from other parts of the world. I’ll be sure to get in touch for a visit to your school if I’m in England.
I am so excited at discovering this site. Looks amazing and can’t wait to implement some of those ideas. Keep up the great work and thankyou!!! Amanda
My pleasure, Amanda! Thanks for the feedback.
Hi Justin, I met you recently at the drama victoria exam day. I’m just ordering some resources to help me set up the new VCE department at my school. Do you have any ‘essential’ books/resources student or teacher that you can suggest?
Essential resources I would suggest are Living Drama, 4th edition (Burton, Bruce) for students Units 1-4 Drama and Acting Smart: Drama, 6th edition (Bird, Jane & Sallis, Richard) for students in Units 3 & 4 Drama and the teacher. Living Drama is an excellent book for students and covers activities on many performance styles. Acting Smart is specifically written for the VCE course and is a manual for students on how to tackle the various SACs, step by step. For many teachers and students, this resource is a bible. It also has some great definitions of the 12 dramatic elements for the VCE Drama course in it. Hope this helps.
It does! Thanks very much! I’ve already got living drama, but will look into Active Smart!
I remembered using this resource a lot when I was in VCE, and I wanted to let you know about a performance of Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth that’s going up on Thursday. I know the Inspector is one of the Theatre Studies monologues this year, and the play isn’t staged often, so I thought it might be relevant. Our inspector (Genevieve Kingsford) is absolutely lovely, and we’re all (Myself, my co-director Zorro Maplestone, and Genevieve) happy to speak with students after the show, if they have any questions. Please let me know if you’d be interested in posting about the show, and i can send you more details.
(i’m only commenting this because the link to your email is not working for some reason. Please feel free to delete the post if it counts as spam, that is not my intention.)
Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth
Monash University Shakespeare Company
Yes, please send through info about the show (the contact form is now working) and I’ll post it on the blog. As you said, this show is of particular importance to Theatre Studies students thinking of choosing The Inspector from this play for their monologue examination later in the year.
Hi Justin. This is a great site. We’ve been developing a suite of resources for drama students and teachers with reference to performing contemporary monologues, as part of the Fresh Ink new playwright program at atyp in Sydney. Check out The Voices Project here: There is also a monologue writing competition, that could interest your readers, students and colleagues.
This is great stuff! Is your emphasis solely on Australia, or do you keep tabs on what’s happening globally? It seems like you have a pretty broad scope.
If you would, check out http://scenographics.com. Scenographics provides blueprints for set designs for high schools, universities, and local theatre companies in the U.S. Thanks!
I too was at Jumpstart and thank you for your presentation. It was really helpful getting some ideas on ensemble topics. Like Melissa, my students are tackling ensemble work for the first time and the black death performanvce was fantastic. Would I be able to ask for a copy as well? It would really give my students an insight on what is required for an oustanding ensemble piece.
Once again, thanks for Jumpstart and I’ll hear from you soon.
Thanks for your comments Mark. I hope to have the video in question uploaded to The Drama Teacher for all to view by early next week. I’ll let you know when it is up.
Video is up.
I attended your session at Jumpstart and was just following up about getting a copy of your ensemble about the black death to show to my kids. We are doing VCE drama for the first time and don’t have any other previous years which I can show as examples.
I tried searching ‘ensembles’ and ‘VCE Drama’ but couldn’t find it and wasn’t sure if you had got a chance yet to look into permission from the girls.
Thanks for your message. I’m on to it.
Video is up!
Thought I’d just get these details in to your hands – any promotion via your site will be greatly appreciated mate.
That URL again: http://pagetostage.artscentremelbourne.com.au/
Awesome product for drama and theatre teachers, so I will happily blog about it very soon!
Hi Justin, just wondering if there was any chance of you coming out to my school to critique my yr 12 Drama ensemble. At the Drama conference teachers from Our Lady of Mercy College shared that they had got other teachers to come in and critique their kids and how incredibly benefitial it had been. So I thought I’d aim for the top and ask you. I told my kids that I was going to ask you and because they use Justin’s theatre links they were excited. I’m not intending to twist your arm just explain why some random teacher is contacting you. Our school is in Doreen 10 mins nth of Greensborough. I teach at Plenty Valley Plenty Christian College I have 5 students and the Ensemble performance is on Friday the 18th of May 7.30. Looking forward to hearing from you. Tracey.
Thanks for the offer but unfortunately I can’t help you out on this occasion. My availability at that time is very limited. Hope you understand. Good luck with your ensembles!
I am currently teaching my year 11 students the play ‘Stolen’ and I was wondering if you know of any theatre companies that does performances at schools because it would be extremely beneficial for the students to see it live.
Sorry Jenny, I don’t know of a theatre company performing Stolen in a school setting at the moment.
I want to know more about drama ,i am new to this but i know i can learn something about my favourite subject drama
Very resourceful information – thank you for sharing. Completing final draft on a screenplay and needed info on Drama Teacher – as one of the characters is a English/Drama Teacher.
You’re the best!!
My pleasure, Guy! Glad I could be of assistance in your research.
I just found this site and I am very glad! I am passionate about theater. I have my degree in theater, was a member of a theater company (as an intern), lived in NYC trying to get “discovered”, and now find myself being a first year high school drama teacher!!! I haven’t even started digging into this site, but just from the first glance, I know I will be in for some wonderful resources and recommendations!!
Never a dull day in the land of drama teaching, Laura! You’ll love it (I hope!). If I knew of a more rewarding profession than teaching drama, this website wouldn’t exist. Nothing beats drama teaching. It’s a wonderful career. Buckle in and enjoy the ride!
I am ready for the wonderful ride! A bit nervous…I have been teaching for the last 5 years, in a middle school and as a Spanish teacher. So classroom management, lesson planning and all that entails…well I am up for the challenge. It is all the other stuff…the directing and the vortex of time that I know I will be finding myself in. Thanks for the welcome!
This is an amazing resource! Thank-you for sharing your knowledge and experiences so freely.
I am a fellow Melbournian and member of DramaVic starting up a new Drama department.
Do you have a twitter account that you post to regularly?
Thank you Amber for your kind comments. Unfortunately, I don’t use Twitter. Maybe I should start tweeting?
Hi Justin, not sure if this is the best way to leave a message so let me know. I have a story about Cebu Pacific that will make you smile.
this is an excellent website! please don’t stop running it!
Justin I find this website helpful – thanks for sharing.
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