Drama has the ability to make real change in this world. Yes, it has the power to ignite confidence, but it does so much more than that. It can and does open students’ eyes to the world around them in a way no other subject can.
So whilst it can turn the shy quiet girl, who was too afraid to raise her hand in class, into the bubbly confident class president who organises charity events for the school, it can also open children’s’ minds and inspire action.
Only recently our department ran two workshops designed to explore gritty topics, which are too often brushed over in the PHSE curriculum across the country. Our anti bullying workshop partnered our students with those who visited us from Hugh Sexey’s School in order to find ways of meeting the issue head on. The students who had never met worked as a team to create beautiful scenes that demonstrated kindness and compassion and many of them were driven to taking action in their schools.
We then ran a disability awareness programme with our Year 7s. This involved our sixth form students using drama to open their eyes to the reality of life as a disabled student. The Year 7s then worked as a team to create performances that would inspire others to think about how their actions and words would affect someone with a disability. One of the students said to me afterwards they had previously had a discussion in a different class about disabilities but had never really understood the issue until he played the role of a child with dyslexia.
If you can experience someone else’s life then you can begin to truly empathise with their situation and from that a new understanding is born. No other subject has the power to put students in someone else’s shoes in such a deep and moving way. Without it our children’s world will be a shallower and less vibrant place.
Teacher of Drama