The Importance of the Social and Political in Children’s and Young People’s Theatre
“If education is about opening the doors for young people onto the whole of human culture, then drama in education is about enabling those young people to find out who they are; who they want to be; what ground they wish to stand on; what sort of human person they want to become. They will inherit a world on the brink of ruin.
What sort of drama can help them locate themselves without dictating who they should be? As they grow up they are socialised into a form of ideological blindness. What form of drama can give the gift of sight and insight?” (David Davis, 2019).
‘Who am I? Who can tell me who I am?’ brought together a rich array of voices from different traditions and perspectives in drama and theatre in education to discuss the central theme of this conference: the importance of the social and political in children’s and young people’s drama. Invited speakers addressed this theme with reference to their own practices and how they engage children and young people in different parts of the world, where social and political themes are being pushed further and further to the side in favour of the individual and the subjective.
As we approach the end of the second decade of the 21st century, David Davis provides a message of hope, offering another route for developing the theory and practice of making drama, and a wake-up call to all of us in the world of drama and theatre in education to help children and young people ‘imagine the real’.
The Conference was organised by Professor Carmel O’Sullivan in association with ADEI (the Association for Drama in Education in Ireland) and the Arts Education Research Group on behalf of the School of Education in Trinity College Dublin.
This Conference heard contributions from Professor David Davis himself, Professor Carmel O’Sullivan, Chris Cooper, Kostas Amoiropolous, Adam Bethlenfalvy, Selen Korad Birkiye, Yuk-Lan Phoebe Chan, Wasim Al Kurdi, Guy Williams, Estella Wong and Cao Xi.