Reconnecting Learning to Development Through Performance Ensembles

  • Carrie LobmanEmail author
Part of the Creativity Theory and Action in Education book series (CTAE, volume 2)


Economically, politically, and socially, society needs people who can work with others different from themselves and, as a group, create innovative solutions to collective problems. With its focus on ensemble development, drama education is an attractive training ground for this kind of transformation. In the theatre, the ensemble is not just a collection of individual actors, but is the unit that comes together for the performance to be successful. In this chapter I will show how bringing the tools of theatrical ensemble building to non-theatrical settings can create an environment where learners and teachers learn to listen, support, and create with others, while engaging with all kinds of content. I share three examples of ensemble-focused teaching, ranging from a preschool classroom to an outside-of-school youth development program. I argue for a Vygotskian inspired approach where the focus shifts from the individual learner acquiring knowledge, to the ongoing creation of a performance ensemble whose job is to support the development (and learning) of the group.


Development Ensembles Improvisation Learning environments Theatre education Vygotsky 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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