Becoming Somebody Different- Drama Education Conference

Written by Christopher Bolton, Senior Lecturer in Drama Education, Birmingham City University@MrCJBoltonChris B

Human experience is endowed with meaning and the moral and ethical choices we face by living in an uncertain and changing world can be explored through drama. Perhaps our practice is all about becoming somebody different. It seems that the world is on the edge of something yet un-imagined and that humanity is forgetting to remember itself; particularly in light of recent social and political events. One way to remember what it is to be human in this time of crisis and to explore what the world means, is to “turn to art” for a “necessary response” (Neelands 2010:121). However, if we turn to art we must consdramaider its place in education and the challenges that it faces in existing in that structure.

The title of the conference- becoming somebody different- was borne out of a realisation that values change practice and that practice changes our values. This is demonstrative of drama’s slithery nature; what is it? What is it for? Why are we doing what we are? What do we hope to achieve? Why is it important?

What is recognised is that by imagining and reasoning ‘as if’ and as an ‘other’ understandings of different contexts and peoples are created. Thus we can see, feel and imagine who we might become or indeed, who we might want to become.

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