As the use of technology in classroom is increasing day by day, it becomes important to make some serious observations on its usage and impact on the learners. I wish to write a trilogy of blog posts on poetry and fiction, as well. This is the first one one Play / Drama.
I make extensive use of technology in my literature classes. The statement is not made in self-eulogy or from a sense of pride. I know, all teachers these days are using technology in their classrooms. So, it is new or unique. Mine is just a humble attempt to see how far it works in the literature classrooms. And if I get some success with it, I am happy to share it with other teachers. This presentation was made for/in the Refresher Course in English Literature, organised by Academic Staff College, Gujarat University.
These were the points discussed with the help of various videos and select scenes from the stage performance of the plays:
Literature is made up of words. Colours, visuals, musical notes etc have no space in the aesthetic delight which literature gives through words to the readers.
The use of visual mars the free play of imagination which words are capable of.
There should be no medium between the words and the reader - if the literature is to be relished.
But when it comes to plays, it becomes necessary to understand that play are not meant to be read as poems or fictions are.
Plays are to be performed and visuals of the performance is to be relished. Words on the page are not enough to give the beauty of play - the aesthetic delight lies in viewing the performance, rather than in reading it. Though, reading a play is also equally satisfying.
To prove this point an interesting example is given in the presentation: refer to the slide on which Tom Stoppard and performance of 'The Tempest' is discussed.
Well, some interesting scenes from 'Doctor Faustus' by Christopher Marlowe, 'Hamlet' by Shakespeare, 'Waiting for Godot' by Samuel Beckett, "The Birthday Party' by Harold Pinter were presented with important points.
It was proved that the nuances of plays lies in the acting, dialogue delivery, pauses, silences, stage spectacle and several other stage devices. Reading a play, never gives the satisfaction which viewing a performance gives.
However, in the classroom, while teaching the plays as texts, we cannot take students to the theatre to view the plays. Henceforth, we have bring in the video recordings of the play performances.
Hey, there is a rub! There is a problem. The problem is inherent in video recordings of the performance with happens through 'camera'.
This limitation is discussed in the slide on 'Camera as Technopoly'.
Your queries, observations, suggestion are welcome in the comments below this presentaton.