Animate Companionship: Drama, Performance and Education
Date: July 4th, 2023
In this exposure, Monica Prendergast, Juliana Saxton and Carole Miller consider Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies as companionship for thought and for our engagements with education. The panelists discuss how their personal and professional lives encounter their love for Theatre and their interest in performance. They propose considerations on the ways in which this form of art can be a companion for thinking education and for creating educational experiences. Each panelist shares insights from their work within Drama education and the processes that this work enables.
Dr. Monica Prendergast, is Professor of Drama/Theatre Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Victoria. Her research interests include curriculum studies and pedagogy, drama/theatre in community contexts, and arts-based qualitative research methods. Dr. Prendergast’s books include: Applied Theatre (3rd ed., 2023) and Applied Drama; Teaching Spectatorship; Poetic Inquiry; Staging the Not-yet; Drama, Theatre and Performance Education in Canada; Poetic Inquiry II; Web of Performance; Teachers and Teaching on Stage and on Screen; Applied Theatre: Ethics (2022). Her CV includes 50+ peer reviewed journal contributions, 30+ chapters, book reviews and professional contributions. Monica also reviewed theatre for CBC Radio Canada for 15 years and wrote a regular column on theatre for Focus Magazine.
Juliana Saxton, after an early career in theatre, television and film, is now professor emeritus of Drama/Theatre in Education and Applied Theatre in the Department of Theatre, University of Victoria. Recognized as a Teacher of Excellence, holder of three Distinguished Book Awards from the American Alliance of Theatre and Education that also presented her the Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award. Trained as an elementary teacher, she has taught at all levels. Her most recent publication is Asking Better Questions: Teaching and Learning for a Changing World (2018, 3rd Ed.) and her first was Teaching Drama: A Mind of Many Wonders (1987), with Norah Morgan. The 3rd Edition of Applied Theatre: International Case Studies and Challenges for Practice (with M. Prendergast and Y. Kandil) has just been completed. In 2013, the Canadian Association for Theatre Research awarded her an Honorary Membership. She has found that age does wither but continues a life of of infinite variety with much joy.
Carole Miller spent her early teaching career in elementary, middle and high schools. She is presently an emeritus professor at the University of Victoria where she continues to mentor pre-service students, exploring pedagogies that engender competent and comfortable classroom drama educators. Her collaborative studies with Juliana Saxton focus on inquiry-based instruction, applied theatre, and drama in education. Their latest text (2018), Asking Better Questions: Teaching and Learning for a Changing World (3rd ed. with J. O’Mara & L. Laidlaw) encourages teachers and facilitators to challenge participants to assume a deeper ownership of their learning. Co-author with Saxton of the award winning book, Into the Story: Language in Action through Drama and Into the Story 2: More Stories! More Drama! Miller is a recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award and was recently honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Journal of Applied Arts and Health.