1st Edition

Putting Process Drama into Action
The Dynamics of Practice

ISBN 9781138858466
Published June 22, 2017 by Routledge
156 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

USD $38.95

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Book Description

This new book provides a clear and accessible guide on best practice to support teachers when using process drama in establishing creative learning partnerships with their students. It offers a detailed analysis and explores the roles of actor, director and playwright that the teacher must adopt in order to develop the ‘thinking on your feet’ skills and knowledge necessary to deliver a complete process drama experience.

Addressing the dynamic nature of process drama, it provides a clear and rigorous explanation of the theory of process drama and links it to practice. Drawing on a wide range of detailed examples from the authors’ international and cross-cultural practice, it demonstrates how an effective process drama operates in action.

Written to help practitioners and students produce powerful, artistic and educative experiences, chapters cover:

  • pedagogy and the improvised nature of the art form;
  • the structural framework and making shifts in the drama;
  • the role of actor, director, playwright and teacher;
  • monitoring emotional range;
  • progression and the importance of reflection;
  • the spiral of creative exchange and the complexities of co-creativity.

Putting Process Drama into Action will be an essential guide for students undertaking initial teacher training at primary level, in addition to those studying both Drama and English at secondary level. It will also prove to be essential reading for specialist and non-specialist teachers in the primary and secondary sectors who teach, or wish to teach, process drama.

Table of Contents

Preface  1. Process Drama: Art Form and Pedagogy  2. The Improvised Nature of the Art Form  3. The Structural Framework and Making Shifts in the Drama  4. The Head of the Actor: Working within the Drama  5. The Head of the Director: The Centrality of Sign  6. The Head of the Playwright: Developing the Narrative, Shaping and Linking Dramatic Episodes  7. The Head of the Teacher: Maintaining the Learning  8. The Imperative of Task  9. Monitoring Emotional Range in Drama  10. The Spiral of Creative Exchange  11. Progression and the Importance of Reflection in Process Drama  12. Process Drama and the Complexities of Co-creativity

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Pamela Bowell is an international drama in education consultant, workshop leader and speaker. Formerly Principal Lecturer at Kingston University, London, UK, and Visiting Reader at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, UK, she continues to teach regularly at BGU.

Brian S. Heap is Senior Lecturer at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. He is also an international drama in education consultant, workshop leader and speaker.


In this succinct and brilliant book, Pamela Bowell and Brian Heap map the dispositions and intentions necessary to co-create meaningful dramas with young people. Examining process drama from the minds of the actor, director, playwright and teacher, the authors provide a vital compass to successfully navigate the complex and multi-faceted spiral of creative exchange. Rich with examples of practice and written as a collegial dialogue, it complements their previous book, Planning Process Drama, by helping practitioners manage a drama beyond the planning as it unfolds in action. Offering specific and clear examples, this is an essential text to practitioners' and teachers' libraries.

Peter Duffy, Associate Professor and Teaching Fellow at the University of South Carolina, USA