e-Learning through Digital Theatre: Breaking Down the Tyranny of Distance and Limits of Location

By Yoni Prior, Louise Johnson and Rose van der Zwaard.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this article, we report on a cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural digital exchange project between Australian Drama and Education students and Dutch English Language and Culture students, and examine the impact of the place-independent, technology-mediated communication and collaboration on their learning trajectories. The intensive, intercultural collaboration between the two groups of students resulted in a 50-minute group-devised, digital theatre play entitled Quarter Acre Dreaming. This play, performed through live interactive media by both Dutch and Australian students, traced the historical development of the Australian suburb, while integrating scenes of Dutch immigration into Australia. In the creative process, the students on either side of the globe interacted through Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC), and used videoconferencing and Skype for live rehearsals and discussions to advance their learning of English, their performance repertoire and cross-cultural understandings.

Keywords: Digital Theatre, e-Learning, Cross-disciplinary, Cross-cultural, Interactive Performance

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.37-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 993.141KB).

Yoni Prior

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Education, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia

Yoni Prior is a Senior Lecturer in the Drama Strand of the School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University; She has served as a member of the Theatre Board of the Australia Council, and the National Multicultural Arts Advisory Committee. She is on the board of Back To Back Theatre Company, and was Chair of the Big West Arts Festival from 2003 to 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree (Rusden State College, 1981) and a Masters Degree in Theatre Studies (Monash University, 1998). She has worked as a performer, animateur, director, dramaturg and writer with many major theatre companies in Australia, and in Israel with the Cameri Theatre. Her PhD research centres around the creative use of limits in performance-making processes.

Assoc. Prof. Louise Johnson

Associate Professor, School of History, Heritage and Society, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Associate Professor Louise Johnson is a human geographer with particular research interests in the social construction of space. She has published extensively on the ways in which gender relations and economic restructuring have interacted in manufacturing workplaces but also on how gender is inscribed into the design and use of shopping centres, houses and neighbourhoods. Current work is on how the arts are valued in a regional centre, on the nature of cultural capital and how it contributes to regional regeneration in cities around the world, on the meaning of post-colonial planning as well as on the gendering of the contemporary Australian suburb.

Rose van der Zwaard

Lecturer, Department of Language and Literature, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rose van der Zwaard teaches English as a Second Language at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has set up and been involved in several international exchange projects. Research areas: Language Acquisition through Creative Writing, Language Through Arts and Literature, Computer-Mediated Communication.