Theatre of the Absurd Workshop Series

Since my honest post a couple of months ago I have been very grateful for the many positive comments and messages of support for the blog. So, thank you very much. I am timidly returning to regular blogging and share this with you today.

I often receive emails of support, encouragement and requests for resources.

One of the most viewed sections on the blog is the lesson ideas for teaching the Theatre of the Absurd. It’s a tricky theatrical style to break down and teach. Over the years I’ve scaffolded and scaffolded so that finally I have a workshop series that seems to capture the essence of Absurdism. I often end up emailing this to various people who message me with resource requests which is quite often. So, to make it a little easier on me and you, I’ve added it to this blog post today or you can find it on my Resources page (click on the link in the left hand tool bar). It should be used in conjunction with these suggested teaching strategies: Absurdism 1 and Absurdism 2.

I’ve recorded a short video to explain how to read the table. You can check it out below but it is also available at my YouTube channel.

Here is the Workshop Series – The Theatre of the Absurd PDF referenced in the instructional video.

A little reminder: These resources are not designed for assignments or assessments for University students. If you wish to use these resources for this purpose please send me an email requesting permission.


The Theatre in the 21st Century

After a much needed break over Christmas I have started to prepare for the new year ahead. I have Year 9 and Year 11 this year.

In preparing for Year 11 I have looked over my scope and sequence, program and resource booklet that I use. I like to do this every time I am preparing for a unit because there are always things that you learn to do better or differently once you’ve actually taught a program.

I’ve blogged about my Theatrical Traditions and Performance Styles unit on The Theatre of the Absurd before (you can find it here) and I’ve also shared a post with you about a context activity that I teach in this unit about Theatre History. In revising the activity I was looking over the information available for the 21st Century. What does theatre look like in the 21st Century?

In having a search around on the web I came across this lecture presented by Rod Carley. This resource is long but can be used in two ways:

a) If you are looking for a visual/aural version of theatre history, perhaps in addition to the timeline that I’ve blogged about before, the first half of this lecture is very good for that.

b) The last 20 minutes has some views on the theatre now and in the future. The student’s ask questions at the end which may be a good place to start a discussion.

It is useful but also positive in that it certainly reassured me that theatre has a place and will continue to hold its own in the future.

Fantastic Find: How to Keep All Those Great YouTube Clips!

The classroom environment has certainly changed now that technology is ever present in our lives. The relationship between the teacher and the student is such a different one now. The shift in a lesson between teacher as leader and student as leader is always changing. Especially when using technology.

What amazes me is the wealth of knowledge students have about what is available on the Internet to make things easier for us. I’m not that old but I don’t have a lot of time to sit around on the Internet and look for resources. Thanks to the Edublogs Kick Start Your Blogging Challenge I’ve recently discovered ways of gathering a lot of resources in a few simple locations so I’m keeping up to date with things a lot better. Things like Twitter and Google Reader and Email Subscriptions. I recently had an experience where I felt like I was the student and I’m all the better for it.

I’d been struggling to get my YouTube clips to play because I couldn’t update Adobe Flash Player. The DER laptops we have been given do not allow us to update to the latest Flash Player software (the issues with this I could save for another post!)  I told my students this and one of them promptly piped up with a website suggestion, took over downloading it for me and then watched over my shoulder as I showed him how to download a second video in the way that he had taught me!

The gem of a website one of my little darlings showed me this week was a website called

Simply copy and paste the URL of the video you wish to download, select the file type (preferably MP4 according to my star pupil) and ta-da! It downloads it, saving it wherever you’ve requested it to be saved. I now have a permanent folder full of YouTube resources that I can use over and over again without ever having to go onto the site! Easy.

Have you had a student-teacher moment in reverse? Share in the comments below.