2020 JianXue Year Long Online Course | Playwrighting for Children

Self and Society:
 for Children and Young People, 
Young People’s theatre &
Theatre-in-Education (TiE)
An approach to theatre making
The Course
This course will explore a contemporary approach to the art of writing for children (3-12) and young people (12 upwards), educational theatre and TiE. Creating theatre and writing plays for children and young people has a long tradition in the west. 

This course will demonstrate how its roots lie in the tragic tradition of Greek Drama and Shakespeare, engaging young minds in a universal exploration of what it is to be human. TiE, and new writing for it, is at the forefront of developing this tradition. 

The course will provide an opportunity for participants to chart this journey and explore the theory and practice underpinning it. We will explore key texts on drama, education and TiE, including detailed analysis of Cooper's own plays, Making Mummy (for 4-7 y.o) and Touched (13-16 y.o) and The Examination (Youth Theatre 7-9 y.o) to deconstruct writing for children and young people and how to integrate the plays into TiE programmes or use as part of an educational theatre programme. 

Course Leader

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.

Chris Cooper

International Director of JianXue
Chief Cultural Officer of  
Drama Rainbow

Course objectives

How You will Benefit

This comprehensive online course will explore and develop:
  • Your understanding of theatre and drama.
  • The function of theatre in society, in particular through the relationship between self and society.
  • Develop an understanding of a unique approach to writing plays for children and young people.
  • Engage with the artistic, philosophical and pedagogical thinking that underpins this unique approach to writing educational theatre and theatre-in-education for children and young people.
  • Choosing appropriate subject matter for children and young people.
  • Deconstruct plays written for children and young people with the writer including the practice of putting text ‘on its feet’.
  • The importance of Story.
  • Mind in society.
  • Bondian dramaturgy and the Dramatic Child.
  • Contemporary TiE methodology.
  • Structuring a TiE programme.
  • Learn how to engage in an empathic process of exploring children's lives, selves and the world.

Enrollment target

Who Can Benefit from the Course

This advanced level professional training will be of benefit to dramatists, writers 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.

Notewe will proritise those who have been attending JianXue Summer School between 2016 and 2019.

Course plan

How You Will Connect to the Programme

Term 1
(Oct 2020-Jan 2021)
  • You will have 10 120 minutes sessions with the Course Leader(CL) on Zoom with 15 co-leaners.
  •  Interval week 90 minutes session with co-leaners (without CL). 
  • You will join WeChat/Facebook 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 written tasks.
  • Undertake a writing project for young people or children.

Half term
You will prepare a project plan for the Term 2 one to one project tutorials with the CL and submit it before 22 Feb 2021.

Term 2
(Mar-Jun 2021)
  • You will continue to participate in group discussion on Wechat/Facebook.
  • You will engage in 8-hours of one to one tutorials to be decided by participant and the Course Leader(CL), it will focus on developing your interests from the 1st term work.
  • You will design your own project plan with your the Course Leader(CL).
  • You will continue to participate in group discussion on WeChat/Facebook.

[ 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 to reading, including but not limited to the course materials, books, extracts.
  • Complete course tasks for further analysis when required.
  • Participate in group discussion (refer to the schedule below). Peer learning is no less profound than the tutor led learning. 
  • Complete a course assessment provided by JX.

Course Date
Slide left and right to switch schedules
Orange date - online teaching
Green date - peer meeting

GMT 8-10am
BJT 3-5pm(4-6pm after 25 Oct.)

Course Outline

This advanced professional development course for writing for chidlren and young people is broken down into the following modules for the purposes of applicants, but it will not necessarily be taught in discrete modules or in a linear fashion. The modules provide scaffolding for sessions but there will still be flexibility to respond to the emerging needs of the group.

Module 1: 
Self and Society
  • Theatre and drama- the relationship between form and content
  • The Greeks: Dran and Trauma and the birth of tragedy.
  • Shakespeare: All the world's a stage

Module 2: 
Writing for children & Young people
  • Philosophy and Pedagogy
  • Mind In Society: The importance of Play in development
  • The culture of education
  • Suitable for children: choosing appropriate material for children and young people
  • The need for story
  • The dramatic child
  • Resonance

Modules 3: 
Introduction to TiE
  • The history of the movement
  • The nature of the art form of TiE
  • Blood Brothers: The relationship between TiE & DiE Bruner: narrative and disciplined intuition
  • Structuring a programme
  • Frame, task & role
  • Protection

Module 4: 
Entering the Gap: Bondian Dramaturgy
  • Bond and Big Brum TiE
  • The Site
  • Centre
  • Bondian imagination and the making of meaning

Module 5: 
  • Making Mummy
  • Touched
  • The Examination

Module 6: 
Beginning writing
  • Starting points
  • Structure
  • Enactment

Course Fee

HKD 22000 per person
USD 2830 per person
(Tutor teaching + Peer meeting + 8-hours Tutor 1v1 )

HKD 27300 per person
USD 3520 per person
(Tutor teaching + Peer meeting + 16-hours Tutor 1v1 )

[ Bank Information for Payment ]

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
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
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.Refund only will be granted if you notify us before 11 September 2020and there will be no refund after the formal opening of the course.

Application process

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.

[ Application Form Collection ]

You can fill in online or download to fill in

Method 1 :Fill in the application form online

Method 2 :Download the application form to fill in,
send to the E-mail:429382351@qq.com & cc to: jxieci@gmail.com

Enrollment Consulting: 429382351@qq.com & cc to: jxieci@gmail.com

Certificate of Attendance

Students who have successfully completed the online course can obtain a certificate of the Course Leader's(CL) comments.

Curriculum requirement

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 (Beijing) Institute of international education and culture. No screen recording is allowed for other purposes. Any use of this course for other purposes must be authorized by the JianXue International Education and culture Institute.
  • We have the right to terminate your participation if you spread negative, illegal and harmful remarks in network and or website.