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Creative Drama
in the ARTS

Prepared by:
Mary Leigh Ann C. Perez
Faculty of Arts and Languages
Philippine Normal University
Improvisation as Art
(William Harris)

Improvisation might be
metaphorically described as
the act of stepping out of the fixed
and fossilized world of the Past,

standing for a moment on a tight-

rope wire representing the moment
of the Present,
while preparing to test the waters
of the Future with an exploratory
Started as a reaction in the early 20th
century against stiffness which has taken
the inventive spirit out of theater, dance, &

It was a plea for a freedom which would

revitalize new performance & new
composition in all the arts.
Some definitions: (Oxford English Dictionary)
Something composed or uttered without
preparation or premeditation; an extemporaneous
composition or performance; an improvisation. Also,
a musical composition having the character of an

Without preparation or premeditation; off-hand, on

the spur of the moment; extempore.

Composed or uttered without preparation or

premeditation; improvised; invented, produced, etc.
on the spur of the moment and without previous
Strategies of Improvisation
Dr. ADU F.O.: Adu E. I (M.Ed)

The members of the group,

referred to as “Players”, must
trust one another

Offering to improvise using

ideas, words or movement and
must build on it. It is this
Acceptance process that harnesses the
power of collaboration
(Koppett, 2001).
Strategies of Improvisation
Adu, F.O. & Adu, E.I.

Awareness of the partners with

whom they are co-creating in
Attentive order to increase their
Listening understanding of each other
and to be able to communicate
Initiate words and actions,
building trust with the other
teachers. This enhances co-
creation in the moment, without
the opportunity to revise
(Keefe, 2002).
Strategies of Improvisation
Adu, F.O. & Adu, E.I
This strategy often results in
memorable content, when
Storytelling ‘players’ develop the ability to
create a story on their
This involves the use of facial
expressions and body
Nonverbal language to help communicate
Communication attitude, character, and
Strategies of Improvisation
Adu, F.O. & Adu, E.I
They are strategies that
provide opportunities to
develop trust and safe
environments, where the
teachers can feel free to
explore the world of
improvisation. These activities
focus on changing into an
improvisational mode to allow
the ‘players’ to improvise
verbally and physically
(Koppett, 2001).
Learning through Creative Drama
Boal (1974) asked: “should art educate,
inform, organize, influence, incite to
action, or should it simply be an object
of pleasure”?
McCaslin (2006) answered: Drama as a
learning medium has an extrinsic goal
to convey knowledge, arouse interest,
solve problems, & change attitudes.

Landy (1982) affirmed: Creative drama

as education of the senses, of the
intuition, not necessarily a cognitive or
explicit didactic education.
What is Creative Drama?
“It is an improvisational,
form of drama in which participants are
guided by a leader to imagine, enact, and
reflect upon human experiences.”
 It is promotes the continued development of
creativity & the imaginative potential of students.
 It creates a mirror with which to critically examine
society and the human experience, and provides
an opportunity for students to deepen their
understanding of humanity and cultures, both past
and present.
What is Creative Drama?
 It is about process and building the necessary
skills for students to participate in learning
 To help students develop new understandings of
themselves and the world around them.
 To become skilled in new ways to communicate
through voice and body.

Creative dramatics allows participants to

have multitudes of creative opportunities,
and provides sequential learning
activities that build on one another to
deepen participants’ understanding.
Requisites for Leaders
• Understanding of human behavior &
relationships, and who are able to help guide
and facilitate learning opportunities that allow
students to explore while building content
knowledge in the discipline.
• Facilitating processes by which one begins to
create, take on characters, and explore voice
and movement from a variety of vantage points.
It is important that instruction in creative
dramatics be well delivered, well
organized, and very thoughtful, so that
the participants have an opportunity to
creatively express themselves in a non-
threatening environment .
Exploring, Experimenting,
& Discovering

Creative Drama
Learning Process
What Filipino values are included in the story?
Write your answer in the paper doll chain:
1 Create your pattern on a cardboard

Fold paper
continuously &
trace your pattern
& cut

Draw faces &
decorate your
paper doll
Let us watch!!!
Exploring Movement
Rudolf Laban’s 8 Basic Efforts use 3
parameters: weight, space, & time
Movement Weight Space Time

Float Light Indirect Slow

Glide Light Direct Slow

Dab Light Direct Quick

Flick Light Indirect Quick

Exploring Movement
Rudolf Laban’s 8 Basic Efforts use 3
parameters: weight, space, & time
Movement Weight Space Time

Punch Heavy Direct Quick

Press Heavy Direct Slow

Slash Heavy Indirect Quick

Wring Heavy Indirect Slow

Let us create!!!
Group 1: Group 2: Group 3:
1.Choose a 1.Choose a 1.Choose a
scene from the scene from the particular
story that you story that you emotion that
would like to would like to you would like
play. interpret using to express
2.Using body movement. using body
improvisation, movement.
present the 2. With a
scene in class. partner,
present a
Let us create!!!
Group 4: Group 5: Group 6:
1. Create a 1.Create an 1.Create a
musical improvised wordless
accompaniment costume for the picture book
that would characters of the based on the
appropriately fit story. story.
the different
moods of the
Adu, F.O. & Adu, E.I. (2014). Improvisation as a Tool for Improving the
Teacher Knowledge in Basic Technology. IOSR Journal of Research
& Method in Education (IOSR-JRME). Volume 4, Issue 1 Ver. I , pp.
Boal, A. (1974). Theatre of the Oppressed. New York
Keefe, J.A. (2002). Improve yourself. Business spontaneity at the speed
of thought. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Harris, W. Improvisation: the New spirit in the arts.
Koppett, K. (2001). Training to imagine: Practical improvisational theater
techniques to enhance creativity, teamwork, leadership and learning.
Sterling, VA
McCaslin, N. (2000). Creative dramatics in the classroom.& beyond, 7th
ed. New York: McKay
Landy, R. (1982). A handbook of educational drama and theatre. Wst
port, CT: Greenwood Press