Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2013 Issue »

    Drama in the Dale

    Transformation Through Community Drama

    JULIE WARD, HELEN FRANCES MILLS, ALAN ANDERSON
    During the winter of 2011–2012, Weardale, England, was the setting for an ambitious informal adult education project. In this rural area in the northeast part of the country, the local arts collective, Jack Drum Arts, established a community play project entitled The Bonny Moorhen. This dramatic undertaking aimed to retell the story of the infamous Battle of Stanhope, a local lead miners’ uprising. The project took place in a converted barn and involved a group of sixty learners of all ages and from all walks of life. The troupe formed the choir, band, backstage crew, and company of actors who, with the support of professional artists, built a temporary theater space. Each member of this collective made a personal journey. Here Helen Mills and Alan Anderson, in association with Julie Ward, cofounder and project producer at Jack Drum Arts, offer their personal testimonies from the project.

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    Julie Ward is a writer, theater-maker, creative producer, and cultural activist based in northeast England. She works primarily within the framework of the arts collective Jack Drum Arts, which she helped found in 1986. She is primarily concerned with using the arts as a tool for community empowerment, which includes uncovering hidden stories from the past. Her recent work includes a youth theater project exploring the heritage of slavery and the abolition movement, particularly the role of women campaigners in her home area, and a research project on intercultural learning in northern Brazil. She is currently working on a play for children inspired by the ninth-century illuminated Lindisfarne Gospels made by monks on Holy Island near where she lives.

    Helen Frances Mills is an independent counselor working for Durham County (U.K.) Carers Support and Durham County Council School Counseling Service. She is also a registered caregiver for her fifteen-year-old son, who has learning difficulties as a result of epilepsy. As a parent of three children, she supported both her son and daughter when they attended the drama projects at the drama/film group Jack Drum Arts, and in 2012 she became an adult learner with the group and played two parts in the production of The Bonny Moorhen.

    Alan Anderson spent nineteen years in the British Army serving in many theaters of conflict. He left the military and, for the next fourteen years, served as a police officer. Upon incurring an injury in the line of duty, he was forced to retire. He became involved with Jack Drum Arts’s Drama in the Dale initiative through a production of the play The Bonny Moorhen and found that it eased his symptoms of PTSD. Although not cured, he has fewer dark moments and night terrors and continues to work with Jack Drum Arts on other projects. Alan lives with his wife, Jean, and dog, Asti.
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    Spring 2013 Issue

    Abstracts

    Foreword: Exploding Parameters and an Expanded Embrace
    A Proposal for the Arts in Education in the Twenty-First Century
    STEVE SEIDEL
    Editors’ Introduction
    Expanding Our Vision for the Arts in Education
    Edward P. Clapp and Laura A. Edwards
    Expanding Our “Frames” of Mind for Education and the Arts
    JENNIFER S. GROFF
    Expanding Our Vision of Museum Education and Perception
    An Analysis of Three Case Studies of Independent Blind Arts Learners
    SIMON HAYHOE
    Universal Design for Learning and the Arts
    Don Glass, Anne Meyer, and David H. Rose
    Graphica
    Comics Arts-Based Educational Research
    STEPHANIE JONES AND JAMES F. WOGLOM
    Why the Arts Don’t Do Anything
    Toward a New Vision for Cultural Production in Education
    RUBEN A. GAZTAMBIDE-FERNANDEZ
    Afterword: The Turning of the Leaves
    Expanding Our Vision for the Arts in Education
    MAXINE GREENE

    Book Notes

    The Learner-Directed Classroom
    Diane B. Jaquith and Nan E. Hathaway (Editors)

    Critical Aesthetic Pedagogy
    Yolanda Medina

    Hip Hop Genius
    Sam Seidel

    Design and Thinking
    Mu-Ming Tsai (Director)

    Changing Lives
    Tricia Tunstall

    Art Education Beyond the Classroom
    Alice Wexler (Editor)