Thursday, 8 December 2011
The last performance of the student-directed one-act play where i played a comic role as the prim, proper and uptight lady that comes to take a young man to his death was on Monday. The Theater Arts teacher, the students and i were glad it was over because we are all so frightfully busy. But we were also sad it had to end. Because yes, it was a lot of fun. It was a great process of coming together, of working on something that is not part of a syllabus, of addressing a real audience. It was exhilarating to be on stage and it was particularly exhilarating to be on stage with the students.
The adults had some particularly funny moments; like when i said "of course i mean dog" instead of "of course i mean god" at rehearsals. Learning my lines was not as easy as i thought it was going to be. And trying to take my lovely student to his death was a bit awkward. Rehearsals were another demand on what precious little time we have in the midst of deadlines and assignments.
However, the energy of the theater, in all its forms, remains highly empathic and cathartic. (I could say therapeutic too, but i do not want terminology to distract me from the issue.) As a theater-lover and educator, i feel that it is the only tool we have for communication on a cognitive and emotional level, but simultaneously with a symbolic and conceptual content.
The theater is a mode of thinking and a mode of enquiry. Thank you, Keith LeFever, and IB students, for reminding us.