ERIC Identifier: ED457534
Publication Date: 2001-12-00
Author: Sun, Ping-Yun
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Reading English and Communication Bloomington IN.
Online Resources for Theatre Education. ERIC Digest.
Research demonstrates that dramatic play has a strong impact on children's
cognitive and social development as well as provides children with opportunities
to learn to express their feelings and become sensitive to the values of others
(Coney & Kanel, 1997). Theatrical expression-both oral and written
language-is also a medium through which teachers may under-stand and interpret
children's thinking (Sierra, 1997). Further, since drama has become an important
method of understanding others and our own lives, children need to learn to
appreciate, interpret, and evaluate it. Regrettably, theatre education has often
been missing from school curricula (Wright, 2000).
The National Standards for Arts Education in Theatre, written by the
Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, are designed as guidelines
to introduce teachers and students to multiple aspects of this art form within
an age-appropriate framework, to help them develop new breadth and depth for
teaching and learning, and to encourage them to study the discipline as a
professional practice (Mahlmann et al., 1994).
Since the Internet has become a primary information source, this Digest
offers a list of online resources to assist teachers and educators in conducting
research and curriculum development and in meeting the National Standards for
Arts Education in Theatre. The Digest provides some general resources. It then
details the theatre content standards, and presents related research and
supporting websites for each standard. Finally, it lists and describes important
professional development organizations.
Theatre Lesson Plan Exchange
The Theatre Lesson Plan Exchange provides a large collection of lesson plans
on all aspects of theatre and also includes resources on using drama to teach
emotional intelligence and improvisation for social studies.
Children's Theatre Resource Webpage
The mission of this award-winning website is to assist the growth of
Children's Theatre into the 21st century by expanding the resources and
information into Cyberspace.
The WWW Virtual Library for Theatre and Drama http://vl-theatre.com/
The WWW Virtual Library for Theatre and Drama offers links to international
online articles, journals, museums, organizations, and theatre companies. It is
a valuable site for amateurs, professionals, and students from all over the
THEATRE CONTENT STANDARDS
Content Standard #1: Script
writing by planning, recording, and creating improvisations based on personal
experience, heritage, imagination, literature, and history.
Students are encouraged to create characters and environments for classroom
dramatizations, to record the dialogue and improvisations, and to construct the
scripts. Improvisation, often applied to strengthen social studies concepts, has
been found to be effective in building relationships between teachers and
students (Sierra, 1997).
Readers' Theatre Resources for teachers and students
This site is clear and comprehensive, and includes: (1) definition of
readers' theatre; (2) samples of readers' theatre scripts; (3) an opportunity
for writing your own readers' theatre scripts; (4) recommended resource books;
and (5) recommended on-line resources.
Content Standard #2: Acting by playing roles, developing basic acting skills,
communicating characters in improvisations.
Students imagine and analyze characters and their relationships, and they
develop acting skills. By portraying roles in dramatic plays, students gain
better understanding and empathy toward others (Farris & Parke, 1993).
The Drama Teacher's Resource Room http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/erachi/
The Drama Teacher's Resource Room encourages creative and challenging
theatrical experiences and provides teachers and students with lesson plans to
improve acting skills as well as other resources to support classroom
Content Standard #3: Designing by arranging and developing environments for
improvised scenes and informal or formal productions.
Students learn to create an environment appropriate for the play and to work
collaboratively to construct designs for the environment. It has been shown that
student designers have a broader view of theatre than the actors, who often view
theatre as a place for gaining self-satisfaction based on audience response
Glossary of Technical Theatre Terms
Many teachers and students find that technical terms in the field of theatre
are complicated. This website offers definitions of stagecraft terms and a forum
for answering questions about theatrical terms.
The Original Online Resource for Stage Managers http://www.smnetwork.org/
This site, maintained by a professional stage manager, is an excellent source
of help for technical questions. It is a professional site but also a good
source of ideas for amateurs.
Content Standard #4: Directing by planning classroom dramatizations,
organizing and conducting rehearsals for improvised scenes and informal or
Students plan improvisations, demonstrate varied ways of presenting classroom
dramatizations or improvised scenes. Traditionally, teachers are the directors
in student productions; however, research has concluded that students who have
worked as directors gain the deepest understanding of theatre (Wright, 2000).
Introduction to Directing http://www.byu.edu/tma/arts-ed/units/1dirunit.htm
Introduction to Directing is a lesson plan, which takes students step-by-step
through the basics of directing. The objective of this unit is to help students
learn the fundamentals of directing for the theatre.
Content Standard #5: Researching by finding information to support classroom
dramatizations, improvising scenes, and by further evaluating cultural and
historical information to support artistic choices.
Students communicate and exchange information with each other about their
play, apply their research to script writing, acting, design, and directing
choices, and evaluate cultural and historical information for informal or formal
productions. Through this experience, students will be motivated and be given
the opportunity to develop artistic skills and theatre literacy (Wright, 2000).
Artslynx International Theatre Resources
The mission of Artslynx International Theatre Resources is to provide the
most efficient navigation to valuable information for the student, scholar,
educator, and researcher. Teachers and students can utilize this website to
search for resources to support their productions.
Content Standard #6: Comparing, connecting, and incorporating art forms by
describing and analyzing theatre and other art forms.
Students describe and compare different elements in theatre, express personal
reactions to several art forms, and illustrate the integration of arts media.
Through theatrical experience, students will discover the unique characteristics
of theatre: it is active, collaborative, temporal, interactive, and composite
(Farris & Parke, 1993).
Storytelling, Drama, Creative Dramatics, Puppetry & Readers' Theater for
Children & Young Adults http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/drama.htm
This website presents various resources for theatre as well as other
performance arts. Teachers and students will find it useful for demonstrating,
comparing or incorporating the different functions and interaction of various
Content Standard #7: Analyzing personal preferences and constructing meanings
from dramatic play or other productions.
Students articulate emotional responses to personal experiences, support the
meaning constructed from their own and others' dramatic performances, analyze
and critique the dramatic context, constructively evaluate their own and others'
efforts and artistic choices in both informal and formal productions. This
standard is supported by an educational concept, "develop through drama," which
means that dramatic experience will promote development of the child (Urian,
Comprehensive Guide To Theater on the InterNet
This Guide provides varied resources, and includes electronic journals and
magazines to support students' advanced studies.
Content Standard #8: Recognizing and analyzing the role of theatre, film,
television, and electronic media in our lives.
Students discuss characters and situations in dramas in sociocultural
context, analyze drama's impact on our lives, and explore how social concepts
such as cooperation and communication apply in theatre and our lives. In this
way, students discover how dramatic context, as a vehicle to develop thought and
language, can be incorporated in art forms such as literature, visual arts,
music, and dance (Farris & Parke, 1993).
Television, Radio, Film, Theatre Internet Resources
This site, developed by San Jose State University, provides broad information
for different art forms, and links to professional organizations and research in
TV, radio, films, and theatre.
Advanced Professional Development
The struggle for comprehensive theatre education is difficult and ongoing,
and many teachers are concerned about dealing with all these standards (Bedard,
1994). Theatre educational organizations provide a broad range of professional
services and support to both teachers and students.
American Alliance for Theatre and Education http://www.aate.com/
This professional theatre educators' organization provides teachers and
students with opportunities to connect with each other and exchange ideas and
Educational Theatre Association's (ETA) website
The ETA provides a broad range of professional services and support such as
theatre festivals for students, professional development programs for theatre
teachers, a magazine, and a quarterly journal.
Bedard, R. L. (1994). The American alliance for
theatre and education: Scenarios for the future. Arts Education Policy Review,
Coney, R., & Kanel, S. (1997). Opening the world of literature to
children through interactive drama experiences. Paper presented at the Annual
International Conference and Exhibitions of the Association for Childhood
Education,Portland, OR. [ED 412 577]
Farris, P. J., & Parke, J. (1993). To be or not to be: What students
think about drama. Clearing House, 66(4), 231-34. [EJ 466 679]
Consortium of National Arts Education Association. (1994). National Standards
for Arts Education: What Every Young American Should Know and Be Able To Do in
the Arts. Reston, VA: Author. [ED 365 622]
Sierra, Z. (1997). Children's voices through dramatic play. Paper presented
at the 14th Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference, Toronto, Canada. [ED 418
Urian, D. (2000). Drama in education: From theory to "study cases."
Contemporary Theatre Review, 10(2), 1-9.
Wright. L. (2000). But are they implemented? The promise and reality of the
national theatre standards. Arts Education Policy Review, 102(1), 11-19.