Introducing University Students to the Possibilities of Performing in the Community: A Case Study of Early Childhood Dramatic Performance

By Delyse Ryan.

Published by The Arts Collection

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

This paper is a case study outlining the processes undertaken by the presenter as the director of early childhood performances by first-year University students presented to children aged between 6 weeks and 5 years at St. Paul’s Lutheran Child Care Centre in Brisbane, Australia. This paper will chronicle the process that students follow in order to create their performances to demonstrate the ways that the Academy can encourage students to become actively engaged in the presentation of the Arts within their own communities. In their first semester of study at Australian Catholic University students create their own performance of a picture book or traditional tale for pre-school children. The most important function of this early childhood performance activity is to help students to learn how to be active members of the wider community. Students are shown how to instil their passion for the theatre in the hearts of young children. In this performance context they share the roles of learner and teacher with me and they often are empowered to go on to more adventurous projects later in their academic careers and after their University studies.

Keywords: Early Childhood, Theatre, Performance, Community, Tertiary Education

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.91-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 613.801KB).

Dr. Delyse Ryan

Senior Lecturer, School of Arts and Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Delyse Ryan has worked at Australian Catholic University since 1995 and during these years has been dedicated to providing students with invaluable opportunities to produce public performances in a community context. As a theatre director she has created an eclectic range of performances including self-devised performances as well as unique versions of classic and contemporary plays. Her teaching and research interests primarily relate to Australian theatre history.

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