Last year was my first year marking HSC Drama. It was an enriching experience because it exposed me to so many plays and ideas to use in my classroom. Every monologue I watched that I enjoyed a made sure I looked in the student’s logbook and got the name of the play that it had come from. Many of these are now on my Suggestions for Monologues page. I also wanted, however, to have the time to read a lot of these plays from start to finish. I wanted to do this so as to deepen my knowledge as to what plays would be appropriate for my classes and individual students and to really broaden my knowledge of plays. Now I struggle to find time to read at the best of times. It’s a bit like going to the gym for me. I’ll find any excuse to avoid it these days and I used to be an avid gym goer.
I recently caught up with a teaching colleague @clarindabrown and I queried her on a challenge she had set herself: to do some form of exercise, every day, for at least 20 minutes, for one year. She called it the #365daychallenge. I was amazed at her disciplinen and it reminded me of this idea I had awhile back but had not put into action: to read 52 plays in 52 weeks. One for each week of the year. I found another blog that was doing a similar thing and I thought it was a brilliant idea. It really isn’t that many but it is more than I would’ve read otherwise. The beauty with plays is that they don’t take that long to read. Knowing I can share what I’ve learnt with other Drama Teachers gives me a little more motivation to read them too. It should make me more accountable to ensure I am enriching my knowledge base about Drama. It’s also an excuse for me to finally use my Kindle.
So beginning this Sunday September 2nd, once a week I’ll post a little bit about the play I’ve read, chuck in some photos and some clips and add some suggestions for how it could be used in the classroom. You can follow it on Twitter at #52plays52weeks. If you have any suggestions for plays I just have to read please add it to the comments below.
First cab off the rank: The Cagebirds by David Campton.