INTRODUCTION ————<~o»—___ This book captures the journey of a practice-based PhD action research”! conducted in the field of drama in education born out of the need to develop my own understanding and work in the field of drama. The process builds on the theoretical and practical exploration of two different fields: the ‘Living Through’ approach to drama in education and the work of the dramatist and theatre theoretician Edward Bond. Rather than offering lesson plans that can be implemented directly I decided to offer detailed analysis and share a process of coming to understanding about my own practice and how to incorporate the work of some pioneers in the field of drama education and theatre. As many other journeys this also started out from my frustration with myself. After working for a few years in Hungarian drama in education I realised that my drama lessons had become somewhat mechanical. My lessons usually built on the same dramaturgy and a limited number of conventions from the Neelands and Goode book Structuring Drama Work.” I would construct a fairly happy community with context building conventions, then bring in a problem from inside or outside the group which participants would try to solve in some way or the other, and finally reflect on the story, mostly by rationalising our learning in some form. I and my colleagues fought against the dullness of our lessons by finding more vivid contexts, or inventing new conventions, new forms of representation. Participating in a drama lesson writing contest where we had three hours to hammer together a lesson based on a piece of news pulled out of a hat brought me to a turning point. I began to suspect that my lessons lacked depth, they seemed quite mechanical. My personal story echoes what David Davis” writes about after conducting a wide survey of recently published literature on drama education. He argues that the conventions-based approach is being used formulaically, and reflects on the lack of new directions, stimulating theories in the field of drama education. The PhD research was conducted at Birmingham City University (UK) under the supervision of Prof. David Davis and Prof. Richard Hatcher. Jonothan Neelands — Tony Goode: Structuring drama work, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1990. 23. David Davis: Imagining the Real, Stoke on Trent, Trentham Books, 2014.