Financial Slavery

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Musings on Why We Do Applied Theatre - Written by a student

I wanted to take a moment to post some reflections written by one of my students.  This young man has been in my program four years now.  He'll be off to college next year (and sorely missed).  I asked all of my students to stop for a moment and reflect on why they like this type of work, what it means to them and why public schools should try to implement it.  I asked because every year, they tell me it is there favorite project.  I wanted them to try and articulate why.  (Not to mention, we are getting yet another new principal - fourth one in seven years - and I will have to start the education process again with a new administrator).  I found this young man's reflections particularly poignent.

"Applied theatre is an educational experience that transcends what we know as the classroom environment and expands our knowledge of the world on a 1st person scale. It allows every individual of a student body to participate in almost every way possible. From research, to audio-visual skills, to performing arts, it is a process that includes every different sort of obscure talent that you could find in a public school atmosphere in the present day. The integration of these fantastic abilities gives students an outlet to express themselves while keeping a focus on important social studies. I learned a vast amount of information about the advancement in social activism in our country's history, about the detrimental effects of bullying on our modern society, and many more influential life-lessons because I was able to live them. Opening one's mind can be difficult to do in a classroom, but bring them to the stage and they will never forget the level of intimacy, wisdom, and acknowledgment that touched their souls."

Eloquent, isn't he?  I'm pretty sure he is a far more powerful writer than I am!!

I'm going to continue blogging about our ongoing Year of Respect.  I met with my colleague who teaches Social Studies, and she is going to have her students create an "action plan" for our high school for this project.  I also am trying to get permission to get murals painted on our (very boring) white school hallway walls about diversity, respect, acceptance, etc.  I'll keep everyone in the loop as we go forward.

Happy Fall All!


  1. I love applied theater: process drama, collaborative and devised theater, and the like. It's really what I'm about teaching wise and have been for awhile now. Studying a play: not so much. Creating work that the students are engaged in? Oh, yes.

    Lucky you to work with a student like that. Or students.

  2. Thanks Stu! I am lucky. This is one of many reflections I have collected. My students really are inspired and empowered by this work, which inspires me.