We introduce you the thematic section Drama and Education, in which we had the rigorous aid of professor Chantale Lepage, from the Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada, as the editor especially invited to follow up the evaluation of this section's papers.
The theme is as meaningful for the education field as for the artistic one. This section on drama and education aims at, besides other issues, reinforcing the importance of theatre in the education of children and young people as its main goal.
But what is this pair about? Would it be an unlikely double? Could creation and normativity be together in the same teaching-learning process? Obviously teachers, artists-pedagogues, and artists in general play an important role in the artistic and aesthetic education of children and school-aged youth. Be it by means of doing or seeing, the access to the experience of the sensitive is essential for education, providing interrogative views of the world and distinct questioning on different ways of life and citizenship.
The questions on teaching and learning are in the core of these debates, but there is also a forcefully emerging theme in the interior of Drama and Education practices, which is here discussed and problematized: theatrical mediation.
The effects of the reception in theatre largely trespass the territory of the theatrical discipline. The education of viewers and the increase of the audience attending to the theatre may follow a great human adventure.
Thus, the section opens with a text by the philosopher Alain Kerlan, entitled A Experiência Estética, uma Nova Conquista Democrática [Aesthetic Experience, a New Democratic Conquest], in which the author advocates for the aesthetic experience as a space of freedom that faces democratic and political challenges. Inspired by Schiller's writings, the author examines the cultural democratization by means of three extracts: the appropriation of the heritage, the seeing; the accessibility to the artistic practices, the doing; and the accessibility to the aesthetic experience as an essential human experience. By means of the links established between educators and artists, he invites us to observe what brings arts and education closer, in order to check the goals and the issues that both have in common, as well as to interrogate the existence of an imbalance between what is utilitarian and what is art. For the philosopher freedom, democracy, and education for citizenship follow the path of aesthetics and the relationships that men interweave with artworks. According to this perspective, he does not consider aesthetic education as an educational complement only.
Carole Marceau and Maud Gendron-Langevin question themselves about the characteristics of some proposals of education in the school education - more specifically in drama projects - and in the community. In the paper A Emergência de Vozes Distintas na Escola e na Comunidade: práticas singulares de teatro no Quebec [The Emergence of Distinctive Voices: unique practices of drama at school and in the community], the authors aim to know whether theatre in the school education and in the community share the same goals, in spite of having a different public and being different educational proposals. Do these distinct educational environments consider drama education as an end or as a means to favor personal and social development of the youth? The authors present the specificities of these distinct environments and, above all, their points of convergence. The paper also highlights the contribution of the Canadian nation - proposing some programs aiming to support this different educational environments - and its implications.
The third text of the section is signed by the guest-editor, Professor Chantale Lepage, under the title Ter 20 Anos em 2015: uma experiência exemplar de mediação teatral [Being 20 Years Old in 2015: an exemplary experiment of theatrical mediation]. According to the author, when analyzing the project that entitles the paper it is possible to perceive the experience of the sensitive, articulated with the opening to other realities, to the cultural heritage, to a personal and identitiarian appropriation, and to the experience of leaving a mark of this generation. Ter 20 Anos em 2015 is an experience of cultural mediation distinguished by the richness and complexity of the privileged devices of access to the theatre and to the culture that is offered to the youth. The article reports the experience of reception of artworks, trips, as well as encounters and interchange with remarkable people. It also shows that young people build collectively the meaning of artworks and how they reflect upon the role of the art and the function of the artist in our society. For the young people, it is as an adventure as a big school.
The work of the Brazilian Maria Lúcia Souza Barros Pupo is the fourth paper of the section. In Luzes sobre o Espectador: artistas e docentes em ação [Lights on the Spectator: artists and teachers in action], she examines the public culture and education policies which address the education of the viewer and aim to favor the access to aesthetic and artistic experiences. The analyses of the initiatives proceeding from the artistic milieu and education takes into consideration the nature of the projects, their goals, and the methodologies used for their accomplishment. The reflection, inspired, among others, by Jacques Rancière, questions the relation between viewer and work and the posture of the teacher and the artist. Her interest is to discuss the trip to the theatre, the seeing, as well as the confrontation with the game, the doing, taking into account the mediation devices that we propose to the students.
Aiming at knowing better the richness and diversity of the education provided to 12-18 year-old adolescents, Francine Chaîné and Mariette Théberge present two schools specialized in drama education. In Programas Especializados em Teatro: um caminho para si e para a arte na sociedade [Specialized Programs in Drama: a gateway to self and art in society], they portray how the education of students contributes for the elaboration of their identities and the construction of their view of the world. According to the authors, along the course of the school path the students experience several processes linked to creation, role play, and reception of artworks. The diversity of projects and the types of engagement required constitute a way of privileged self-access for the students, as the theatre lead them to question themselves about their interests and attitudes, as well as the relations with the other, about the artists, the art, and the society by means of the experience of characters and drama situations.
Finally, the paper by Lucie Villeneuve closes this rich section on Drama and Education. O Percurso Estudantil do Festival Transamériques (FTA): uma experiência de mediação cultural marcante [Student Outreach at Festival Transamériques (FTA): a cultural mediation experience that stimulates personal transformation] presents a survey with adolescents enrolled in the Percurso Estudantil of the Transamériques Festival project. Within a culture-school partnership, young high school students are initiated in the contemporary creation. Besides watching important artworks in theatre and dance, they are initiated in the creation process of some artists participating in interchange programs with them in practice atelier, in conferences etc. The activities accomplished in the classroom before the festival aim to give rise to their interest and prepare them for a better reception of the artworks, enriching their experience as viewers. For the author, the student pathway is a true rite of passage for the students: an experience that gives rise to the wish to create, to be more daring in the creation, to explore new aesthetics, to take a risk.
What the section tries to show is that the encounter between Drama and Education takes us to a consistent coming and going between the aesthetic and the artistic experience. The passages between seeing and doing are complementary in the education of students and bring to the light the learning that crosses the borders of theatre, marking the importance of this kind of discussion.
Following this cover section, as usually in our journal, we present the section Outros Temas [Other Themes] containing the selection of what comes to us on diverse themes. Thus, we present three excellent papers.
The first one is PARC (Performances de Arte Relacional como Cura): performance e somatic experiencing [PARC (Relational Art Performance as Healing - RAPH): performance and somatic experiencing], by professor Tania Alice, a report and reflection on performances accomplished by the author.
The second one, by Antonia Pereira Bezerra, is entitled Verdade na Cena, Verdade na Vida: Boal e Stanislavski [Truth on Stage, Truth in Life: Boal and Stanislavski], making an interesting comparison between the work of the two directors.
Finally, the third paper, Energia da Presença, a Meta Principal do Treinamento do Ator [Presence Energy, the Main Goal of the Actor's Training], by the Italians Nicola Camurri and Christian Zecca, problematizes the concept according to the neurosciences perspective.
Once again, we offer to the readers the result of a serious and thoughtful work, both on part of the authors and our own, as in the whole process of evaluation, edition, and proofreading we spend the necessary time to be able to publish the best. Thus, we hope the reading is useful and potent.
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