Drama in the Classroom- Some Reflections

So today we had drama classes and I think they went reasonably well. The class had an overall clever structure. I intend to detail the experience further, but I would first like to explain the overall structure Of the class. The teacher first explained to us- very clearly- what activity we were supposed to do. The class would then carry it out, and the result was always enjoyable, and biased toward a more comedic approach, which contributed to a relaxed atmosphere. The teacher then explained to us what we just did, how we could apply it in the class, and actually took it a step further by giving us some troubleshooting tips- more on this as it comes.

Our first activity involved us moving around the class, and greeting each other. This started off as a pretty standard action, only as it went on, it grew more complex. What began as walking in a circle and shaking hands became something different entirely as we were told to move around the room erratically and perform unorthodox greetings like knocking our left knees together. It was meant to be a good greeting exercise, and kind of broke down any inhibitions one could have about acting in front of a class by getting to "know" everyone in that class to begin with.

Another exercise, which was my personal favorite, was a game where we had to insult one another. The catch was that we had to use fruit. (E.g. "Sometimes you can be a real pear, you know that?" "You're nothing but a banana!") The challenge was to convey the insult by means of intonation and acting. The teacher actually warned us to tell students to only use fruit- once students add an adjective (e.g. "you bloody banana!") the exercise tends to degrade into actual insults, which was a worthwhile warning especially given that this was the first any of us had seen of such an exercise and if applied, could have been a possible mistake.

More exercises included making characters based on a very vague script, creating a story with one person saying one sentence at a time, and rehearsing the same line with different emotions. In the last exercise, we took the Beatles song "She's Leaving Home" and interpreted the emotions felt by each character in the course of the song. It was an absolutely invigorating experience, and it really inspired me to try incorporating drama into a classroom setting, especially after getting to experience firsthand how much fun it could be.