Monday, April 13, 2009

EDU3217 : Learning the Essence of Theatre

What I Have Learned

I have learned about drama since I was in Form 4 but they were in the Malay Language. I could still remember a few Malay dramas that I’ve learned in Form 4 and 5 in the Literature Component class such as Serunai Malam, Puteri Li Po, Titik-Titik Perjuangan and Kerusi. Then, when I pursued the Form 6, I got to learn about Malay dramas again in my Malay Literature class such as Lawyer Dahlan and ….. I really enjoyed learning dramas during my school time because the lessons were really enjoyable that I had learned a lot about the aspects of theatre. Then, this semester I was really thrilled to continue my enthusiasm in learning about dramas because I got to learn about Greek, Shakespearean, and 20th Century theatre. I have gained a lot of knowledge about the world of theatre during Dr Edwin’s lectures and Miss Kasthoori’s tutorials. Beforehand, I had zero knowledge about Greek, Shakespearean and 20th century theatre and taking this course has broadened my mind into the world of theatre. I had learned about the development of theatre which started from Greek Theatre > Roman Theatre > Medieval Theatre > Restoration Theatre > 18th-19th Theatre and lastly the 20th Century Theatre. Besides, I also learned that theatre involves various genres such as Tragedy, Comedy, Tragicomedy and Farce.

Enough with the history of theatre, Dr. Edwin’s lectures also let me expanding my knowledge about the conventions in theatre such as the text, acts, scenes, actors, the passing of time, flashback, language (verse or prose), speech and other conventions such as the aside, the chorus, disguise, as well as turns in dramatic conversation such as proposing, building, disagreeing, defending, blocking, and summarizing. While in Miss Kasthoori’s tutorials, I had the chance to act out a play with my course mates. I couldn’t forget the first tutorial that I had to act out the play Bingo by Edward Bond with my course mates. She divided us into groups and we discussed about how we should act the roles out to make the play enjoyable to students. The tutorial was indeed an enjoyable one because we learned that a play can be performed in many ways. Apart from that, the group work activity also enabled us to generate creative ideas to make our performance enjoyable and made us appreciated the essence of theatre more than before. Thank a bunch Dr. Edwin and Miss Kasthoori!

The Aspects of Lectures/Tutorials That are Useful


My Area of Study

The first aspect that I found really useful to my area of studying theatre learning that theatre itself is a unique form a literature. Many people find theatre as boring and irrelevant especially in this millennium because of the existence of cinema and home theatre but I think theatre is also a medium of entertainment especially for those people who appreciate arts. So, I think the uniqueness of theatre is something I need to share with my future students so that they would not find drama class as boring. Drama is written to be performed and it has script, dialogue (monologue, soliloquy, aside), stage directions, character parts, acts & scenes, and costumes. Drama concerns the script to the performance while theatre concerns the performance of the script. The second aspect that is useful to my area of study is learning about criterias of a good play. Learning about the criterias of a good play is important because I need to choose a suitable drama for my lesson. Students would find my lesson boring if the drama I chose doesn’t make them think, question them what will happen, and provoke them to use their minds. To make my lesson more enjoyable, I need to select a drama that satisfies the intellect, shows organization and ideational content, concerns human experience, has economy, novelty, impact, and can grip the audience.

Interpret the Content Differently

The lectures and tutorials I have attended for 14 weeks have given me better understanding and clearer picture of theatre so I would not interpret them differently but stick to the interpretations from Dr. Edwin and Miss Kasthoori. Before I took this course, I have little knowledge about the origins of theatre and the important aspects in theatre but through the lectures and tutorials, I gained more knowledge and they helped me to build my own understanding through their interpretation of the plays. Dr. Edwin’s lectures have helped me to understand the plays better through his explanations even though some of the books provide notes to make us understand the language better but his explanations gave clearer pictures of what the plays are all about. His explanations from scene to scene helped me to understand the meanings better and made this course even more enjoyable. As for Miss Kasthoori’s tutorials, I think her teachings were interesting.

The group discussions we had during the tutorials also helped me to get more ideas about certain plays and made me understand the plays better. Learning about theatre in this course was indeed challenging because of the language used in the plays and the length of the plays but at the same time it was enjoyable with the help and guidance from Dr. Edwin and Miss Kasthoori.

Adopt and Adapt the Skills I have Learned


My Future Lesson

I have learned about the criterias of a good play in Dr. Edwin’s classes and Miss Kasthoori’s tutorials and it helped me to develop the skills of choosing a good play for my lesson. So, I think I would adopt the skill in my future lesson of teaching drama. To teach drama, I can use the skill of choosing good plays to choose a play which is interesting and attractive. In other words, it helps me to choose a play that students would find it enjoyable to read again and again. This is very important to avoid students to feel bored when they need to analyse it for many times in my lesson. Besides, the learning process will slack down once students stop reading or even refuse to look at it again. So, I think this skill is beneficial and adopting this skill is not hard with practices and lots of reading. Choosing a play is one thing but choosing a suitable play is another. Finding a suitable play for my students is essential. This is one skill that I need to adapt. In choosing a play, I would choose plays that are suitable to students’ level of proficiency, level of understanding and world knowledge and their interests. So, I think I would be able to adopt and adapt the skills of choosing a good play for my future lesson and the skills will be very useful for teaching drama in ESL.

Questions After Lectures/Tutorials

The lectures and tutorials for this course have ended and I have gained more knowledge about theatre tha before. So, I think there are no major questions after the lectures and tutorials since Dr. Edwin and Miss Kasthoori are both informative and knowledgeable about theatre. I think the only question left is: how to improve my interpretation of any literary work? In any literary works, we need to interpret the meaning as this is an important aspect after all. Only through the meaning we can get the message or the theme. I think in order to resolve this; group discussions and further researches need to be done. Through group discussions, I can get other people’s ideas and interpretation. Therefore, I can build my own interpretation as well. Everyone has their ideas and views and by exchanging ideas and views, I can improve my interpretation better. Another way is through research. Finding more information about a play or drama through the World Wide Web and books can improve my interpretation and it is a form of input as well. It is the most effective way for me to gain my knowledge about a play and appreciate it more.

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