Organised Chaos: A Very Practical Guide to Drama Teaching by Harry Tawse


I know how valuable time is for teachers. I remember well, thumbing through book after book looking for some practical advice on drama teaching; frustrated at having to wade through page after page of theoretical waffle to get to some practical gems. You need some real keys to success. What you need are practical ways to survive on a daily basis; teaching a subject that is, traditionally, vastly undervalued in schools and has challenged and will continue to challenge you to the core as a teacher.

What I share with you in this book is knowledge and information gained from 30+ years of tough teaching experience.

The more I have learned the more convinced I am that there are no easy answers to effective drama teaching but there are clear strategies and approaches that can make life easier and ensure a high measure of success.


E-book Contents

Chapter 1.  Portrait of a Sucessful/Failed Drama Teacher

     A brief outline of my career from it’s early beginnings till now.

Chapter 2. The Teacher/Student Relationship

     Some hard lessons I learned on how to establish the right relationship with your students to ensure success.

Chapter 3. The Drama Class is Dynamic and Unpredictable

     Some insights into what to expect and how to deal with the dynamics of a drama class.

Chapter 4. The Drama Space

     An outline of what are the best spaces and best resources for an effective drama teaching space.

Chapter 5. The Problem with Mandatory Unitised Curriculum?

Some key guidelines on how to organise a drama program and what to expect when you run it.

Chapter 6. A Practical Approach to Drama

My personal approach on how to structure a drama program and why.

Chapter 7. Sell Your Subject

Some keys on how to promote drama as a subject  within the school community to students, parents and colleagues.

Chapter 8. Games are Essential not Optional

Insights into the importance and use of games in the drama class.

Chapter 9. Group-Work Keys

Real gems on how to work with diverse groups of students to achieve desired outcomes. What to look for in group dynamics and

some solutions to problems.

Chapter 10. Improvisation – The Foundation of Drama Work

A very thorough outline of how to teach improvisation in the drama classroom and why it is so important.

Chapter 11. Clowning

One of my most successful units of work with young drama students and an excellent foundation for future work.

Chapter 12. Theatre-In-Education Project (TIE)

One of the most popular, productive units of work in my drama program. Excellent for teaching a broad range of performance and

stage craft skills.

Chapter 13. Community Theatre Project

An outstandingly successful and popular unit of work for senior students. This project has enormous value by itself but could also be

the springboard for other Community Theatre projects.

Chapter 14. Characterisation

 I have been absolutely ‘blown away’ by the standard of performance and depth of characterisation that students have achieved in this

unit of work.

Chapter 15. Scripted Drama

This unit of work lays great foundations for student understanding of the complexities involved in taking a script, analysing and

interpreting it and finally turning it into a performance.

Chapter 16. Group Devised Performance

This outlines a journey which is not for the faint-hearted but one which has the potential to produce your most memorable moments      in theatre performance and your most rewarding achievements as a drama teacher.

Chapter 17. The Big School Production

 The keys to mounting a successful large scale school production. Distilled from years of experience working not just in the school

environment but also in professional and amateur theatre.

Chapter 18. Cross-Curricular Units of Work

The outline of several units of work designed to be conducted in collaboration with colleagues in other teaching disciplines.

Appendix: The appendix includes a range of resources to help organise and conduct your drama program.