Mosaic: re-imagining the monolingual classroom through theatre-in-education

Room 139, School of Education, University of Birmingham
Friday 27 February 2015 (13:30-15:00)

For further details contact Jaspreet Takhi: 


MOSAIC Seminar Series, Spring 2015

This talk explores the development of Mosaic - a piece of multilingual participatory theatre for 5 – 8 year olds that toured to schools in 2011.  The piece was created by Theatre in Education Company The Play House, and was designed to promote linguistically diverse practices in Birmingham primary schools. 

Presented from a practitioner perspective and based on data collected during the touring of Mosaic – primarily audio recordings made of the interactions of six participating pupils – the talk focuses on three significant moments from the performance, examining how participatory theatre pedagogies were successfully employed to promote multilingualism and to begin to challenge a culture of monolingual teaching and learning. 

The talk also explores the idea that the participatory approaches adopted in Mosaic,not only mounted a modest challenge to dominant monolingual norms, but also enabled children to explore and perform new social identities in relation to their multilingual resources.

Deborah Pakkar-Hull

Deborah has over twenty years’ experience of educational and participatory drama and theatre.  She began her career in community arts before working as a secondary school drama teacher.  She joined The Play House - a Birmingham-based Theatre In Education Company – in 2001, working for six years as an actor-teacher before becoming the Company’s Artistic Director. She followed this by taking on the role of Artistic Director of the York Mystery Plays in 2013 overseeing the performance of a cycle of medieval plays on the movable wagons in outdoor locations by community participants. Since September 2014 Deborah has been the Artistic Director of Leeds-based Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah - a Company that works exclusively with children and young people in educational settings – combining this with work as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Leeds.

Deborah has an M.A in Drama and Theatre Education from the University of Warwick.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities