Drama’s rules of engagement to help teachers and students

YO DIDDLE DIDDLE: An adaptation to the stage of Tony Wilson’s well known book The Cow Tripped Over the Moon. Photo: SUPPLIED
YO DIDDLE DIDDLE: An adaptation to the stage of Tony Wilson’s well known book The Cow Tripped Over the Moon. Photo: SUPPLIED

DRAMA is a very effective tool to assist teachers to engage students, impart knowledge and learning about almost any subject.

The learning can occur by seeing a performance with a certain theme and subject matter and then unpacking these elements through a range of activities in the classroom.

These varied forms of learning can cater for young people who learn in different ways, such as young people who learn by doing and not just sitting at a desk and being given information aurally. Lead-up activities, experiencing a performance and then follow up activities can make the experience even richer.

Another form of learning through experiencing the arts is called “aesthetic education” and usually involves performing arts practitioner/educators who go into schools to work alongside teachers to impart an understanding within young people of what inspires an artist, how they develop work and why they make artistic choices.

BMEC works closely with Patch Theatre Company because they are committed to assisting teachers to use drama as a tool for teaching across the curriculum and they are also committed to aesthetic education.

In August 2016 Patch artists visited Bathurst as part of the early development of the play Yo Diddle Diddle.  This is an adaptation to the stage of Tony Wilson’s well known book The Cow Tripped Over the Moon

atch was interested in involving young people’s ideas of how to bring this story to the stage and spent a week conducting workshops on the themes in three schools in Bathurst.

Now in 2018 the finished product is coming to perform.

Patch artists will revisit schools involved in the first stages of the work to give children the opportunity to prepare for and respond creatively to the production and in the process deepen their understanding and personal connection to the themes, characters, story and artistic form of Yo Diddle Diddle.

The workshops will:

  • Explore the animal characters of Yo Diddle Diddle – Cow, Cat, Dog, Dish, Spoon, Moon .
  • Explore music and poetry in the styles of nursery rhymes, rhythm and rap.
  • Explore design solutions for set and costume.
  • Explore the theme of resilience, productive failure, friendship and creativity.

Following the performances the Patch artistic director will present a professional development session offered to all teachers attending Yo Diddle Diddle and assisting them to unpack the themes of the show in the classroom.

Stephen Champion is the manager at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre