Barns teaterskapande : En ämnesdidaktisk studie av drama och teater i kulturskolan

Sammanfattning: The subject of this thesis is children’s theatre making in the Swedish School of Arts (Kulturskolan), which involves the creating work that children do on their own when they are asked to craft dramatic scenes without relying on a script or a story. Despite the fact that this is a common way of producing theatre in the Swedish School of Arts, little research has been done on the collective process when it is controlled by the children themselves. This thesis explores what children are actually doing when they collectively develop their own scene and what they need to master to make it comprehendible. The thesis is based on two empirical studies – a field study and a learning study – carried out in three drama groups with children aged 9–11 at a School of Arts in Sweden.In the field study, I observed a drama group during the process of creating their own play. By applying ethnographic methods and multimodal interaction analysis combined with theories about children's creative process and connections between play and drama/theatre the study explores what children do when they are set free to make scenes in small groups. The result shows a speedy, multi-layered, collaborative process in which they all, in different ways, responsively participate in designing roles and events through interactive verbal and bodily improvisation. The field study was followed by a learning study to explore how the multifaceted, simultaneous, and interactive activity of creating dramatic scenes could be specified and articulated as subject-specific knowledge. For this purpose, two other drama groups were chosen, and the subsequent study was conducted in collaboration with their respective drama teachers. A total of six lessons were designed and videotaped. The empirical material was analysed by using phenomenography. The result shows the skills divided into four subthemes: making the story logic, creating meaningful roles, coordinating the big picture, and adding relevant events. The co-creation of characters and events involves the ability to both talk about ideas and try them out through acting. When they create a scene, they use strategies similar to those children often use when role-playing; they alternate between being in and out of character, in and out of fiction. What essentially distinguishes theatre making in this sense from children’s ordinary role-play is the concern for and awareness of an imagined audience. Taking on the perspective of an audience includes the ability to design roles and events to make the play understandable from the outside: what I call aesthetic triangulation.