published February 1, 2015




Please find below the SHAPE 2019 Workshop Program and Panel descriptions. The Friday and Saturday Keynote Sessions will be announced soon!

You can also click on the following link to download the 


A1 The Shape of Then, Now and to Come: Drama Inquiry for Eco-Justice


How can we use process drama for inquiry in the elementary classroom to explore sustainability issues and global citizenship with a social justice lens? What drama conventions lend themselves to this work? How and when might we use them? How can we unpack big systemic ideas like power and privilege with drama? How can we use powerful provocations? What are the entry points? How does role drama and process drama lend itself to exploring many perspectives and missing voices?

How can we use these processes in a respectful way without appropriating voice? Teachers will have an opportunity to explore with a pre-created Inquiry example. This workshop will embed the Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators inquiry resources all the way from Canada with practical take-aways for your classroom.

Presented by: Sarah Papoff

B1 Sounds Funny: ICT tools for shaping podcasts and radio sketches

(Middle Years)

A practical demonstration of the freely available software and readily available hardware that teachers can use to guide their students into becoming confident shapers of sound. Onstage, soundscapes and effects vitally contribute to mood and meaning.

Online, podcasts are increasingly popular, audible has expanded access to dramatic readings, and radio drama has broken beyond the airwaves. Handouts, examples and links to Junior (Comic Sketches, Physical Theatre) and Senior Secondary (Verbatim, Epic, Gothic) units will be given, as well as the opportunity to upload and use editing software, if teachers bring their laptop or Macbook (not iPad or tablet).

Presented by: Tavia Seymour

C1 SHAPE and REFLECT: Magical Realism and the Brisbane Experience

(Senior Years)

Designed for Senior Secondary Drama teachers as they shape learning and teaching for Unit 2: Reflect, this workshop will explore ideas for teaching magical realism and drama that reflects lived experience, using Matthew Ryan’s stageplay Brisbane. Ryan’s play, set in Brisbane during the Pacific War, not only documents the forgotten history of the city, but dramatises its theme through an imaginative boy trying to recreate his own past. The workshop will engage participants with magical realism conventions through the playscript, and will shape meaningful learning experiences through an exploration of how true history can be served and reflected through the power of drama.

Presented by: Charlene McMenamin & Matthew Ryan

D1+2 Devising great sh*t

(Masterclass | Curriculum Focus)

Deep dive into the devising process in this practical workshop. Learn how Claire uses pre-texts, and student-centred devising techniques, to support her young artists to make really great sh*t. Play with conventions, form and structure, to get your students excited about the dramatic meaning of their own work.

What we need to do is shape experiences for ALL of our students that empowers them as young artists. They need to feel inspired, supported to have great ideas and excited about the work they’re making. We need to support their artistic process, so they can dream big, devise work they give a sh*t about it, so they can argue it in their dramatic concepts.

Presented by: Claire Christian

E1+2 Devising theatre: viewpoints & composition

PRACTICAL (Masterclass over 2 session times)

Since 1992 Zen Zen Zo has been introducing Queensland to new theatrical forms and practices, including Physical Theatre, Viewpoints, Butoh, Suzuki Method, Site-Specific Theatre, Immersive Theatre and Intimate Theatre. This practical Masterclass explores the dynamic world of devised theatre through Viewpoints and Composition. Viewpoints and Composition provide creatives with a shared language and methodology to better understand, critique and create theatre.

In 2019 Zen Zen Zo’s The Tempest (adapted by Dr Lynne Bradley) will be on offer as a syllabus text in QLD. Lynne will demonstrate how she and the company adapted Shakespeare’s classic text using innovative contemporary practices. She will also suggest ways students can re-imagine, adapt and transform texts to express their own artistic voices.

Presented by: Dr Lynne Bradley & Nicole Reilly

F1 Where are the boys?

(Research and Papers)

In Drama classes across Australia, boys are rare. They account for approximately 30% of enrolments in the subject in any given year. Many teachers lament the absence of boys in Drama, but often we dismiss the problem as something that can’t be helped, and we’ve learnt to just appreciate the boys when we get them. But Drama is a subject that seems almost tailor-made for boys.

It is tactile, emotional and relies on learning through physical exploration, all things that boys naturally engage with. Unfortunately, it is a culture of masculinity that isolates young men from Drama and we may be guilty of perpetuating this culture without realising it. This seminar will explore how masculine cultures can be shaped and unshaped to impact boys’ enthusiasm for Drama, and what we, as teachers, can do to draw boys to this subject.

Presented by: Bradley Chapman

F1 ReShaping our teaching: Listening to the student

(Research and Papers)

The paper explores how listening to our students’ voices might reshape our teaching practice, our curriculum and enhance student agency and learning in the drama classroom. The paper presents the voices of four drama students obtained through in-depth interviews as part of a recent PhD study and suggests ways that we may reshape our approach to engaging and challenging our students.

The key messages of this paper would be of interest to all drama educators however due to the nature of the sample student snapshots – secondary drama educators may gain more from the paper.

Presented by: Sharon Hogan



A2 “For this is our world, we’ve made from stories”

(Primary Years)

This workshop is designed for early career teachers who are attempting to position Drama within the school as an integrated part of the curriculum. Exploring the picture book “A Child of Books” by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Watson, the characters in the book take us on a journey to explore children’s classic stories. This workshop assists teachers in primary school to develop a unit of work using storytelling to integrate Drama, Dance, Media and English. A unit of work will be available to take away.

Presented by: Marthy Watson

B2 Talk less play more

(Middle Years)

As we shift toward the New QCE Drama Syllabus we need to consider how to provide our students with the best possible platform to succeed. Instructional pedagogy focuses on students being able to track their progress and we are encouraged to work beyond the assessment cycle and utilise a feedback loop. But how do we do this when we are evidently so time poor? This hands-on workshop will guide you through a range of feedback strategies that enable students to track their progress, learn concepts through academic games, improve the application of feedback from drafts to finals and place accountability on students for their learning. How? Delegates will experience a range of formative tests through online games and digital collaborative tools such as Padlet and OneNote 365. And just for extra measure delegates will gain a crash course on Flipped Learning and Flipped Feedback. For this session it is advised that you have a device that can access the internet.

Presented by: Moneth Montemayor

C2 Plays for 2019

(Senior Years)

At Playlab we’ve gone through and created a resource for Queensland Drama teachers that breaks down which of our plays are most appropriate for the 2019 ATAR syllabus. We’ve been running surveys and have found that 98% of teachers are interested in this as a workshop/discussion topic. In this hour, we’d like to run a workshop looking at some of our favourite titles from the list and then run a Q and A to answer any questions teachers may have about the content of our plays.

Presented by: Alexander Bayliss

D1+2 Devising great sh*t

(As Above)

E1+2 Devising theatre: viewpoints & composition

(As Above)

F2 The virtual drama classroom – an innovation project

(Research and Papers)

As the recent recipient of the Murrumba State Secondary College Innovation Grant, Danielle was allocated significant funding to develop her proposed project; The Virtual Drama Classroom. The project was underpinned by her research into the availability and access to Drama education for students in remote, rural and offshore locations, with the project aiming to connect these students to the students within her school context in a virtual learning environment. The project was researched and planned in Term 4 2018 and implemented in 2019. Danielle’s presentation will explore the research, planning and assessment writing, as well as the complexities of delivering the curriculum and engaging students in an online environment.

Presented by: Danielle O’Dwyer

F2 Best practice performance spaces

Are you involved in managing your school theatre or performance space? Or do you present shows in your local community theatre? This session will provide a whistle-stop tour of common venue management issues, will touch on current venue standards, and will overview best-practice technical and production management. Our two speakers are specialists who live and breath theatre operations so you’ll be sure to pick up some tips for smoother management of your performance spaces. Got a specific problem? Bring your questions!

Presented by: Stage Queensland



A3  Primary Process – John Brown and the Midnight Cat

(Primary years)

A process drama that uses the beloved children’s Australian Picture book of the Year- “John Brown and the Midnight cat” as its focus. A practical workshop that uses simple Process Drama Conventions that any Primary teacher can adopt and shape into performance. It’s a sweet story about new beginnings, acceptance and change and will delight all ages.

Presented by: Kristie Cochrane

B3 Free your voice

(Middle Years)

A responsive, clear, and flexible voice is our most powerful ally in expressing and communicating our thoughts and feelings, onstage and elsewhere in our lives. This workshop introduces teachers and their students to the basic principles and exercises used by thousands of actors around the world to prepare their voices to communicate with nuance, clarity, power and freedom. Teachers will leave the workshop with a deeper understanding of the vocal production process, and a tangible voice-work progression to use with their students in working towards Presenting. We will explore through practical activities: the connection between impulse, breath, and voice, freeing the voice of habitual tension, resonance and range, increasing expressive potential and articulation and clarity of thought. This workshop is based on the Linklater method, aka Freeing the Natural Voice, in which all QSE company members are trained by Rob Pensalfini, who is one of only two Designated Linklater Teachers in Queensland. We recommend participants wear comfortable ‘rehearsal’ clothes as this workshop will involve some movement work.

Presented by: Rob Pensalfini

C3 Reshaping Greek texts

(Senior Years)

This practical workshop will take participants through the reSHAPing of the classic Greek text Medea. This Senior unit aligns with Unit 4 – Transform, of the new General Drama syllabus, and focuses on using Physical Theatre and Contemporary Theatre practices to reframe the meaning of the original text. While the focus of this unit is on Medea, the activities can be applied to many heritage texts. The workshop will be highly practical, offer teachers the opportunity to participate in a range of learning experiences within the unit.

Presented by: Stephanie Tudor

D3 Shaping and Making Performance


Come and play with the shake & stir team as we explore our unique approach to performance making. We’ll examine an actor and director’s journey into shaping & making performance, and together we’ll unpack core techniques which can be utilised to help deepen a student’s understanding of text & character, showing how these can help shape drama on stage and in the classroom. You’ll be equipped with a suite of practical activities that can be adapted for different ages groups, texts and ability levels. If you’ve got the will, we’ve got the way.

Presented by: Ross Balbuziente

E3  Full Face non verbal mask theatre


Full Face Non Verbal Mask Theatre conceals, gives permission to play, allows expression, liberates and reveals. Participants will be continually amazed by their own and their peers, at their transformations. This particular mask style has the capacity to instil a sense of joy, vulnerability, physical discipline and freedom of expression in the performer.

The workshop gives participants the opportunity to play, express, be physical, relate and discover in real time and space. My approach is underpinned by the assumption that everyone has something to offer and that mask work is a unique and powerful engager that has the capacity to inspire participants who might otherwise hang back.

Presented by: Clint Bolster

F3  Dramatic transformations in primary literacy learning

 (Research and Papers)

This paper will share the findings from Saunders’ current PhD research exploring the student academic and non-academic outcomes through a drama-based intervention in primary English classrooms through the School Drama program. The paper will compare the multi-cite qualitative case studies exploring the transformational shifts in student academic (literacy) and non-academic (engagement, motivation, confidence and empathy) outcomes. The School Drama program was developed by Sydney Theatre Company and The University of Sydney’s School of Education and Social Work with Professor Robyn Ewing AM. The program involves a teaching artist working alongside a primary teacher for a term in a co-mentoring partnership where drama-based pedagogy is combined with quality children’s literature.

Presented by: John Nicholas Saunders

F3  Rockpockalypse: shaping new work in regional Australia

(Research and Papers)

In this session, Jessica will present her recent examination of the potential of the role-playing game in theatre-adverse and ambivalent communities, through the case study: ‘Rockpocalypse’. Drawing on an interdisciplinary body of research spanning game theory, frame design and gifting, she will take delegates through her own experiences as a (tone-deaf) regionally-based teacher struggling to come to terms with life in a musical monoculture. Part academic findings, part pep talk, this session is for teachers, researchers and practitioners searching for unexpected ways of shaping theatre and shaping attitudes (both publicly, and within ourselves).

Presented by: Jessica Lamb


This final session brings together delegates from all over Queensland in a culminating conversation about what is shaping Drama in their context.

A great many changes are occurring on both a state and national platform and in the primary and secondary sphere – thus it is important to engage in best-practice discussions and share our combined knowledge to shape Drama for the future.


Do you want to be part of a new exciting primary/ middle school DQ drama group? Come along to this session to join forces with other drama teachers to establish a forum supporting primary and junior secondary drama teachers teaching drama in their schools.


Hey DQ – is there something you need to know or want to ask about the new STATE system and senior Drama curriculum?

QCAA will be leading our closing conversations at the end of SHAPE 19 to provide delegates with the most up-to-date information about the changes facing teachers and students this year!

They will also be responding to your questions – submit them through our survey!

Presented by: QCAA