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Access to theatre arts provides young people with one important part of a broad-based education that will foster creativity, encourage collaboration and confidence, and hone critical thinking skills. Experiencing theatre helps young people to identify characters, techniques, and themes that help them interpret their surroundings, develop a vocabulary for expressing themselves, and create strategies for taking action in the ways that feel most comfortable for them.
As a teacher and facilitator, I see myself as a guide and collaborator who helps students understand how theatre can make a difference in their lives and communities. I can contribute to my students’ life journeys by using theatre to help them find vision and voice. Vision allows young people to imagine a life different from their current situation; voice allows them to ask for what they need—justice, a sense of belonging, space to be creative—all important parts of a young adult’s identity.
As a mixed race theatre artist, I understand the significance of diverse representation in all forms of media. I encourage young people to see themselves as performers, writers, technicians, and makers of all kinds--regardless of experience level or previous access to the arts. My students have the chance to explore theatre outside of the traditional canon and develop work of their own, and this will allow them to create a mental archive of various ways to approach theatre and tell stories. This wide base knowledge in theatre and theatre practitioners will encourage students to envision what kind of impact they want to have on the world of theatre.
By guiding young people through activities that engage them physically, mentally, visually, and artistically, I create the space and provide them the opportunity to develop their unique voices. Genuine self-expression manifests itself differently in each individual student, and this can only be attained in an environment where students feel free to be themselves. I actively work to build a sense of ensemble and community through activities where the students work together towards a common goal and learn to encourage each other even when success isn’t achieved. Young people working with me will discover how they want to tell their own stories through devising exercises in movement, writing, improvisation, and ensemble collaboration.
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