Drama, Disability and Education
A critical exploration for students and practitioners
What can society learn about disability through the way it is portrayed in TV, films and plays?
This insightful and accessible text explores and analyses the way disability is portrayed in drama, and how that portrayal may be interpreted by young audiences. Investigating how disabilities have been represented on stage in the past, this book discusses what may be inferred from plays which feature disabled characters through a variety of critical approaches.
In addition to the theoretical analysis of disability in dramatic literature, the book includes two previously unpublished playscripts, both of which have been performed by secondary school aged students and which focus on issues of disability and its effects on others. The contextual notes and discussion which accompany these plays and projects provide insights into how drama can contribute to disability education, and how it can give a voice to students who have special educational needs themselves.
Other features of this wide-ranging text include:
- an annotated chronology that traces the history of plays that have featured disabled characters
- an analysis of how disability is used as a dramatic metaphor
- consideration of the ethics of dramatising a disabled character
- critical accounts of units of work in mainstream school seeking to raise disability awareness through engagement with practical drama and dramatic texts
- a description and evaluation of a drama project in a special school.
In tackling questions and issues that have not, hitherto, been well covered, Drama, Disability and Education will be of enormous interest to drama students, teachers, researchers and pedagogues who work with disabled people or are concerned with raising awareness and understanding of disability.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Dramatic encounters with disability 2. A chronology of disabled dramatic characters 3. ‘Damaging mythology: disability and stereotype 4. The dramatic symbolism of disability 5. Performing disability 6. The body beautiful, the beautiful mind 7a. Who cares? 7b. Play script: For ever and ever 8a. Peer perspectives 8b. Play script: Buckethead 9. From the horse's mouth Plays referred to References Index
Andy Kempe is a Teaching Fellow of the University of Reading, UK, where he is Professor of Drama Education.