Home' Capricornus Quarterly : CQ July 2016 Contents 15
Drama can be unpredictable and often demands fast
reactions, clever decisions, flexibility and improvisation
– all creative and transferable skills that apply to all
types of learning according to Anthony Campbell
Drama fosters creativity,
innovation and leadership.
and develop a performance piece that
is meaningful to them. Their topics
have included world peace, embracing
fear, the positive impact of ambition,
the negative impact of prejudice and
the consequences of bullying.
Year 10, 11 and 12 Drama students too, who
are offered increasingly complex challenges,
are learning more about themselves and
the world around them by engaging in a
range of historical and cultural experience
that involve a variety of live performances.
We see RGS Drama today, therefore,
fostering creativity, innovation and leadership.
American social and economic theorist
Richard Florida argues (in The Rise of the
Creative Class) that creativity is the driver
of a thriving economy. If that is true (and
I believe it is), t hen fostering creat ive and
innovative minds through Drama is the
single most valuable transferable skill we
can offer within the study of Drama.
It is essential to raise awareness of
that point not only for Drama, but
for t he broader learning experiences
available to student s by participat ing
in the dramatic arts curriculum, co -
curricular activities and productions such
as RGS Has Talent, the Year 7 Drama
Nights, and Year 8 – 10 Performing Arts
Evening that is scheduled for Term 4.
RGS aims to link the study of Drama with
a strong aesthet ic engagement, increasing
chances for opportunity, accessibility,
collaboration and authenticity. This allows
for our student s’ higher order thinking
and reflection. It also allows us as a School
community to better understand Drama, as a
capable and valuable education component
that furnishes our students with attributes
that make them more capable people.
Anthony Campbell is the Coordinator of Drama
at The Rockhampton Grammar School.
It is exciting to be an RGS Drama student. On stage,
boys and girls are experiencing the intrigue and
wonder of theatre, yet behind the scenes, upon a closer
inspection, Drama is enlivening their learning and
supporting their holistic development, challenging
them to think creatively and exercise their senses.
Year 7 students, for example, are studying Drama as a
one-term elective and have collaborated on Fractured Fairy-
tales, developing important leadership and communication
skills as they present their scripts to a live audience.
Throughout the term I’ve seen them develop their creative
thinking, better understand the power of imagination and
really get stuck into problem solving – all of which are skills
crucial to learning across all subjects and career paths.
And it has prompted me to share some of my
thoughts on the “value of creative learning.”
Former Artistic Director of the Sydney Theatre,
Andrew Upton, discussed the value of creative learning
embedded within Drama in his keynote speech
at the Drama Australia National Conference last
year. He suggested that creative learning cultivates
interest and authenticity in the classroom.
“It is a way to reinvigorate practice and students can
honestly say they know what character means, what
an improvisation is and the creation of theatre is a
collaborative dialogue that involves text and visuals and
more than anything else, Chutzpah,” the playwright said.
RGS Drama offers opportunities to students to
experience a range of dramatic styles and participate in
the arts, as creators and active audience members. This
“aesthetic engagement” is an integral component of
student development as critical thinkers and learners.
As English poet and academic Peter Abbs describes
it, the aesthetic experience is “overwhelming; [it]
engages powerful sensations, brings a heightened sense
of significance, cannot be communicated adequately
in words and it leaves in one a desire to share it.”
For me, it is a state of being where a moment
of clarity and understanding is experienced by a
student which causes an emotional reaction and
sparks a sense of greater purpose in life.
I see it among Year 8 students, who can study Drama as a
year-long course. Here they learn about the notion of ‘voice’
as part of their performance instrument, but also ‘voice’ as
a notion of self. This year they have been able to propose
Pictured on page 14 is Benjamin (Ben) McMurtrie,Year 7 Drama Night); Top left Chelsea Wu and
Maanya Avalapaty (Year 7 Drama Night); Top right Kole Kingston (Year 12, at RGS Has Talent);
Top middle: Daniel (Danny) Staines, Benjamin (Ben) McMurtrie and Lachlan McCauley (Year
7 Drama Night); Above: Emily Kajewski and Mika Green (Year 11, at RGS Has Talent).
PHOTOGRAPHS: DAVID THOMSON
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