Playwrighting is an art and craft. In English the word ‘play’ applies to both forms of playing (imaginativeplay, games, sports etc., and drama. In Old English it also means applause).The word ‘wright’ is also an Old English term for a craftsman or builder. Play and wright combine to indicate a person who has ‘wrought’ words, themes, images and actions into a dramatic structure and form to embed meaning in what we call a play (The homophone with write is incidental here). So, the playwright is also a maker. But what are they making?
Shakespeare wrote “All the world’s a stage”, and dramatist commissioned to write a play script, is required to ‘wright’ human experience in one form of other to engage us in the world. As playwrights of human experience, therefore, we need to know how to select stories/materials that offers content that has significance, enacted in a Site, with a Centre,and concerns the sequencing of dramatic action. The same also applies to anyone who structures and facilitates a TiE programme or Process Drama, where we playwright the material we are exploring with the participants to shape and access its meaning in the moment. And the same too can be said in relation to leading/directing a devising process for children or young people. To do this effectively we need to develop the self-spectator, become an empathic watcher and a dramatic engineer.
Has worked in TIE and educational theatre and drama since 1988 as an actor, director and playwright. He was the Artistic Director of the internationally acclaimed Big Brum Theatre in Education Company for 17 years (1999-2015) where he directed 38 new TIE programmes; including 9 World Premiere productions of new plays by the great British playwright Edward Bond. Since 2009 Cooper has been working with Drama Rainbow. The work with Drama Rainbow includes the training of teachers in drama education and the development of theatre education. He has also created picture books illustrated by Ceri Townsend as part of a Creative Curriculum the Company offers for children aged 3-8yrs in kindergartens and arts centres. He is a frequent visitor to China working extensively in the field of drama and theatre education in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Guangzhou and other cities. Cooper has also been an associate artist with TEFO in Hong Kong since 2018 and directed a new site-specific TiE programme, Splintered, based on his play of the same name in partnership with the Red Cross.
In 2008 Cooper set up Accident Time Productions which works mostly in Europe on theatre productions and projects, teaching, training, lecturing and presenting workshops, including ongoing long-term collaborations in Hungary, Slovenia, Malta, Greece, Norway and Ireland. In January 2017, he also became a founder member and the International Director of JianXue (See & Learn), which is a research and development NGO in the field of educational drama and theatre. Since 1996, Cooper has been the author of 44 plays. In 2019 as well as Splintered, he adapted R L Stevenson's great novella, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and wrote Minotaur for Big Brum; The Journey for Drama Rainbow Youth Theatre; The Silence, for Birmingham's The GAP Arts, about the marginalisation of the Irish and Muslim communities in the city, a new version of the traditional fairy tale of Jack & the Beanstalk for Drama Rainbow's TiE Company and his Frankenstein was performed by MikrosNotos Theatre Company in Athens. In 2020 there will be 4 new community, youth theatre and TiE productions of his plays: Youth Theatre productions of Field of Stones and The Soil for Drama Rainbow, Beijing; a TiE production of a his latest monodrama Socially Distant, a new about the Covid lockdown and isolation for Big BrumTiE, and Cooper will perform his Community production of Bunkered at the GAP Basement Theatre, for JianXue in November.
This comprehensive online course will explore and develop the following (although not necessarily in this order):
Your understanding of theatre and drama.
The imagination and human value.
The function of theatre insociety, in particular the power of tragedy and the relationship between selfand society.
The importance of Story.
Which stories/materials to choose and how to deconstruct them as part of a process.
Using different starting points for playwrighting human experience.
Engage with the artistic, philosophical,and pedagogical thinking that underpins the approach to playwrighting in facilitation.
Explore what Facilitation is, and the function of the facilitator.
Frame, role and task.
Choosing appropriate subject matter for children and young people.
Exploring a specific play.
The theory of the Site & Centre and Gap.
The Self Spectator.
The empathic watcher.
The dramatic Engineer.
Who Can Benefit from the Course
This advanced level professional training will be of benefit to dramatists and theatre practitioners as well as drama teachers, art educators, education professionals, and those who work with children and young people and are interested in their individual and social development.
Note: we will proritise those who have been attending JianXue Summer School between 2016 and 2022.
How You Will Connect to the Programme
（Oct 2022-Mar 2023）
You will have 12 120-minute sessions with the Course leader on Zoom with co-leaners.
Bi-weekly 90 minutes peer group sessions with co-leaners (withoutCL).
You will join WeChat group discussion with the JX online course community.
You will receive written materials specifically designed for the course as well as video/audio materials, talks, lectures, workshops.
Individual and group tasks.
Undertake a project for young people or children.
You will prepare a project plan for the one to one project tutorials with the CL and submit it before 11 Mar 2023.
You will engage in 6-hour one to one tutorials (these could be 6 on hour sessions or fewer sessions for longer up to to 6 hours) with the Course leader to focus on developing your project.
You will develop your project plan with your Course leader.
You will continue to participate in group discussion on WeChat.
You will continue Bi-weekly 90 minutes peer group sessions with co-leaners throughout this part of thecourse.
[ Your Commitment ]
The Online Course offers guided support to your own reflective practice. It’s not an introductory course. You are required to:
Dedicate a minimum of 8 hours per week study.
Dedicate extra time toreading, including but not limited to the course materials, books, extracts.
Complete course tasks forfurther analysis when required.
Attend bi-weekly group discussion. Peer learning is no less profound than the tutor led learning.
Complete a course assessment provided by JX.
pink - is the dates for online sessions
Green is the dates for the peer meeting
Time（GMT）:7am-9amor Time (CST) : 2022.10.30-2023.3.11 | 15:00-17:00
This advanced professional development course for playwrighting in facilitation for is broken down into the following modules for the purposes of applicants, but it will not necessarily be taught in discrete modules or in thelinear fashion laid out below. There will still be flexibility to respond to the emerging needs of the group.
Self and Society
The Greeks: Dran and Trauma and the birth of tragedy
All the world’s a stage
Theatre and drama- the relationship between form and content
The need for story and how to choose them
Ideology and the extreme
Suitable for children: choosing appropriate material for the appropriate age
The dramatic child, imagination and meaning making
The Drama of Being a Child
Play and drama
Imagination and human value
Entering the Gap
Narrative thinking and pedagogy
The culture of education
Imaginative Seeing and disciplined intuition
The Zone of Proximal Development
The Art of Facilitation
From teacher to facilitator - mediation and co-constructing meaning
Angle of connection
Frame, task & role
The Art of Facilitation II: Here and now
Don’t teach yesterday’s Kids today! – Facilitating the children not the structure
The Empathic watcher
The Dramatic Engineer
Plays – dramatic structure
(selected based on participants' needs)
From play to process drama and devising
Image, action, object
Different starting points for playwrighting human experience
USD Remittance Information： Beneficiary Bank:China Merchants Bank, Head Office, Shenzhen, P.R.China Beneficiary Bank Address:China Merchants Bank Tower NO.7088,Shennan Boulevard, Shenzhen,China SWIFT CODE:CMBCCNBS Beneficiary:JIANXUE INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION AND CULTURE INSTITUTE Account No.: 110924882432801
HKD Remittance Information： Beneficiary Bank:China Merchants Bank, Head Office, Shenzhen, P.R.China Beneficiary Bank Address:China Merchants Bank Tower NO.7088,Shennan Boulevard, Shenzhen,China SWIFT CODE:CMBCCNBS Beneficiary:JIANXUE INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION AND CULTURE INSTITUTE Account No.:110924882421601
[ Course Withdrawal / Cancellation ]
The course is an online experiential programme with a limited number of spaces available to facilitate in depth learning and one to one tutoring. We value your commitment to the course curriculum and schedule and hope you respect your own and others’ commitment.
A refund will be given under the circumstances that applying refund one month before the official opening of the course(before Sep 29, 2022), and there will be no refund after the formal opening of the course.
You need to submit the application form online. The applicant should have practical experience in educational drama or have participated in professional courses of educational drama;
If the applicant's professional level is not suitable for the course temporarily after the trainer's review or online interview, we will recommend other project courses for you.
Enrollment Consulting:firstname.lastname@example.org& cc to:email@example.com
Certificate of Attendance
Students who have successfully completed all online courses can obtain course completion certificate with Course leader coments.
During the class, you need to abide by the following online classroom rules. If there is any illegal operation, we have the right to terminate your participation.
The copyright of this online course belongs to:
JianXue International Education And Culture Institute. No screen recording is allowed for other purposes. Any use of this course for other purposes must be authorized by JianXue International Education And Culture Institute.
We have the right to terminate your participation if you spread negative, illegal and harmful remarks in the online communication in network or website.