Why drama is distinct from English

29th September 2006 at 01:00
In her article on teaching Shakespeare, Maria Evans never once acknowledges the existence of drama departments in our schools ("Bored with the Bard? Then tread the boards", TES, September 15). Drama teachers have a very different approach from English teachers and will be well versed in theatrical approaches that focus on creating actual realisations of the text. Drama departments throughout the country regularly breathe life into Shakespeare and a whole range of other playwrights, as well as create their own theatre.

The problems your articles allude to can occur where discrete drama departments don't exist and drama is subsumed within the English department. This is all compounded by drama being "submerged" within English in the national curriculum and being "looked after" at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority by English subject officers. Ms Evans' article is more a promotion for the work of the RSC than an informed analysis of the situation in our schools.

David Cross


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