I thought you should be informed of the recent passing of John Doona after a long illness.
As I am sure you are aware John is a published practitioner in the world of drama in education including A Practical Guide to Shakespeare for the Primary School, Drama Lessons for the Primary School Year and his most recent book, Secondary Drama: A Creative Source Book (Practical Inspiration for Teachers) was published by Routledge earlier this year.
John was an incredibly talented teacher, having been an Advanced Skills Teacher and LEA Drama Advisor for Cheshire. His skill in engaging young people through drama, combined with his great warmth and sense of humour, meant John’s reputation always preceded him. He also had a strong relationship and collaboration with Edward Bond.
In the North West he was best known as the Artistic Director of North West Drama Services (www.northwestdramaservices.co.uk) and the pioneer of the Children’s Shakespeare Festivals. Last (academic) year, NWDS facilitated ten such festivals involving primary school children to enjoy and explore Shakespeare texts and ultimately perform their own original drama using a combination of Shakespeare’s text and their own writing at prestigious venues including the Royal Exchange Theatre (Manchester), Liverpool Playhouse, The Lowry and Oldham Coliseum.
The Children’s Shakespeare Festivals and the Children’s Time Travel Festival (which ran for the first time earlier this year) will continue and the NWDS team is inspired by John’s passion to grow it further and impact positively on the lives of the children and young people of the North West for whom John cared so much.
Our thoughts of course are with his wife Heather, and their children Chris, Tom and Mia.
If you wish to know anything further, please contact myself directly or Matt Wardle (Creative Producer at NWDS) at firstname.lastname@example.org