A.M. Qattan Foundation launches the book “Pupils as Playwrights” as part of a playwriting workshop
Ramallah – (A.M. Qattan Foundation):
On Thursday, 29 August 2019, the Educational Research and Public Programme (ERDP) at the A.M. Qattan Foundation launched the Arabic version of “Pupils as Playwrights” authored by British playwright Brian Woolland and translated by Haifa Abualnadi. The launch was held in partnership with the Arab Theatre Training Centre as part of a playwriting workshop attended by 35 teachers.
Wasim Kurdi, Director of ERDP and trainer in the field of Drama and Theatre in Education expressed his delight that the AMQF translated the book into Arabic. Kurdi noted that the book holds many easy-to-apply examples in the classroom which simultaneously combine fun and hard work, and which will contribute to the development of reading and writing skills in children.
Brian Woolland, who worked as an educator with different age groups in England, a drama consultant and senior lecturer in Theatre and Drama at Reading University, started his speech thanking children, young adults, students and teachers whose contributions were instrumental in developing many of the book’s materials.
“In order for process drama to succeed, the trainer must be vigilant of each participant’s contributions.” Woolland explained how the creative process is essentially a collaborative collective process.
He also thanked the participating teachers in the workshop saying, “I learn a lot by working with you.”
Woolland highlighted the common features between theatre and process drama, stressing that his experience in working with children and teachers in the field of drama has enriched his playwriting, it has also been the reason that led him to write this book.
A training workshop was held over three days between the 29th and 30th of August 2019. The workshop was led by Woolland at the headquarters of AMQF in al-Tireh neighborhood in Ramallah and was attended by 35 teachers from the first two levels of the Drama in Education Summer School.
During the workshop, Woolland used the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk” as an example of popular children stories, to discuss how to use well-known stories in a way that does not influence the level of children’s engagement and interest in drama. He highlighted the important of struggle in the story, along with the possibilities of exploring the pre- and post-story world and the worlds of the secondary characters as useful examples for the educators to use when working with children.
Woolland also used the graphic novel “The Arrival” (2006) by Shaun Tan to explore themes of immigration. At the end of the training, participants installed an interactive exhibition portraying the bedrooms of new immigrants, shedding light on their lives before and after immigration, thus merging the past and the future in the present moment.
“Pupils as Playwrights” adopts an innovative and exciting approach that addresses drama and the development of reading and writing skills among children between the ages of 6-12. The book also features comprehensive exercises and activities that can be used with children, in addition to a set of tips on how to develop similar materials with students.