Drama Australia Conference Workshop

Several members of the Drama Victoria committee of management (myself included) recently presented a workshop at the annual Drama Australia conference, held at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney.

The worskhop was based on playbuilding, adhering to the conference theme Turning The Tides,and threw in a bit of recent technology (blogging) for good measure. Conference sub-themes included

  • Precious water – drama as essential learning
  • Into the sea of discovery – new ideas and landscapes
  • Reflections on practice… tales of lifesavers, adventurers and drought busters
  • Against the tide – changing patterns, currents and practices through drama
  • Surfing the imagination in digital seas – drama and immersion
  • Safe harbours – strengthening communities through dramatic processes

The workshop involved participants creating a ship using the technique of silent negotiation. Then some of the challenges the ship and its crew faced were brainstormed. Still images of these challenges (eg. storm, mutiny) were then created by group members using the technique overheard conversations. A vocal collage of various characters’ experiences on the ship were then created (with background music). Finally, scenes were developed and then performed together at the end of the workshop:

Departure (in the style of a documentary)
Voyage (using movement and sound)
End of journey (surreal/dream-like)

While all this was happening, at 20 minute intervals during the first hour, one-third of the group was taken out of the workshop room at a time and introduced to the value of blogging performance-making experiences in the Drama classroom on the Vineblogs website. Blogs on the web can be a fantastic reflective tool in Drama and in many cases can replace the traditional classroom journal in this subject.

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