|dc.description.abstract||Theatre in Education (TIE) has a long history of impact and development, and in South Africa,
has been particularly instrumental in bringing about social change, challenging young people
to reflect on their lives and their role in society. In this dissertation, I explore the usefulness of
Action Research (AR) for the process of devising a TIE production using a case study of Trulife,
a non-profit organisation working in schools across KwaZulu-Natal. Action Research has been
shown to be useful in education but has not been properly explored in the context of the
devising process for TIE programmes. This dissertation is structured into three parts – the
initial establishment of the literature and a theoretical framework; followed by a description
of the practical creative project and script; and concluding with a description of the methods
used to reflect on the work as well as key observations and reflections.
Central to this dissertation is the script of Hooked, a TIE programme which focuses on the
impact of young people’s decisions relating to drug and alcohol use. The script, which is
included in Chapter Four, was created using collaborative devising – with a focus on
brainstorming, improvisation, and borrowing the storyboarding technique from the world of
film. The study explores how the process of devising for TIE programmes relates to the
intersecting ideas and frameworks of practice as research, self-reflection and the AR method,
using postmodernism conceptually to examine how subjective truth is communicated and
also practically as a stylistic approach to best engage high school learners using theatre. The
data was drawn from both the script itself, group interviews with the participant actors, and
my own observations captured in private journaling.
The most important finding of this work is that AR was not only useful for helping to
streamline the devising process but was already deeply ingrained in the way the team of creators and performers approached the task of creating a new TIE production. The benefits of using AR in guiding devising are explored, while parallels to other cyclical processes found in self-reflection and theatre are acknowledged.
This study contributes both to the field of TIE – suggesting that AR can be a useful tool fordevising, and calling for future studies aimed at further developing and refining AR for TIE – and to my own personal development as a creative practitioner involved in producing TIE productions.||en_US