Devised Drama, Shakespeare and Creativity: Practical Work on Othello’s Pathos

By Persephone Sextou and Dave Trotman.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores a cross-disciplinary approach to performance studies (devised drama) and creativity, and their role in contemporary communities. Specifically, it discusses the possibilities of using drama practice and Shakespeare’s themes as a means of learning about ourselves and the world we live in. Drawing on observations and discussions conducted during an undergraduate drama programme, the authors experiment with ideas that connect drama to the students’ contexts and favourite social issues. They then examine the impact of teaching drama on students learning as both creative artists and citizens. From these accounts, the authors explore how devising new dramatic characters and scenes can develop students’ powers of critical perception and contribution to the community. Practical work based on “Othello,” a play by W. Shakespeare was used to generate examples of creative practice within the conventions of drama. The paper argues that devised drama on Shakespeare’s themes and characters can be used to address current social issues in contemporary community contexts, and intrigue undergraduate drama students to produce creative work and develop a sense of self and others in the community.

Keywords: Drama, Creativity, Shakespeare, Community, Devising

The International Journal of Arts Education, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.47-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 215.670KB).

Dr. Persephone Sextou

Senior Lecturer in Drama, Drama Department, Creative Arts, Newman University College, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

Dr. Persephone Sextou is a senior lecturer in drama/creative arts at Newman University College Birmingham, England. She has a background in drama and theatre in education, with a specialization in applied drama. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK and the author of three monographs and papers in international journals. Her work has gained the support of HEfCE and UnLtd and EU organisations during her work abroad. Her research interest includes community drama, theatre in education and theatre in health and wellbeing. Her main current research focus is on theatre for children in hospitals and is conducted with NHS Trust, BCH. She also works with health professionals, community artists, theatre companies, health clinics and schools. She set up the Community/Applied Drama Laboratory (CADLab) and devises touring projects in the community.

Dr. Dave Trotman

Principal Lecturer and Head of Education, Education Studies, Newman University College, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

Dr. Dave Trotman is a principal lecturer in Education and Professional Studies at Newman University College, Birmingham, England. A former teacher in secondary and primary schools, with a curriculum specialization in arts education, his research interests includes creativity, imagination, management of change processes and collaborative professional learning cultures. He works extensively with primary phase practitioners on initial teacher education and in-service programmes.