The ‘Theatre’ I create serves as a catalyst for change. I find that creating work that is meant to teach your audience, is powerful. My mission is to educate humans who have otherwise no prior experience with theatre. I will provide them with the tools to vocalize their ideas. This is the best way to help cultivate communities that otherwise would be left behind. Everyone has the ability to become a student, everyone has the ability to be taught, and everyone has the ability to speak and then create.
I believe in the ideas of Augusto Boal, in the quote below he states:
“Anyone can do theater, even actors. And, theater can be done everywhere, even in a theater. We are all actors: being a citizen is not living in society, it is changing it.”
I encourage experiences outside of our discipline to cultivate richer work. I find it important to bring installations from museums, interactions with other artists, visiting galleries, music, film and other art mediums, and as often as possible into the classroom. I find that inspiration from the work of others is a contagious flame that can ignite passion, and generate new ideas.
I find that the best lessons come from exploration. The most successful environments I wish to use in practice require a safe, studio or lab quality, where mistakes are welcome, and where learning will be richer as a result of an equal playing field, something not often found in real life. This provides a new supported path of learning unobstructed by oppressive surroundings. I encourage student participation to create work that is student centered, and the approach falls in a Socratic method of pedagogy. Students will work with nontraditional mediums, and ideally incorporate practices that are ecologically sustainable. The work they create will question traditional ways of thought.
The goal is to allow students to break down preconceived ideas of what they think the world of a story is, and create an emotional response to what the world could be under a specific set of themes a story provides. I believe students are capable of using theatre as a tool for social commentary as well as a tool for self-discovery and promotion. I teach with empathy as the foundation of a teacher/student working relationship. I aim to provide tools for students to better develop themselves and the lives they live, knowing no two students’ paths will be the same.
The ability for students to dive into a topic gathering research, being able to speak on their research and vocalize ideas is vital to the collaboration process that is making a theatrical work. The sharing of these ideas is how we promote thoughts and action for change. In a classroom setting, students will work with newer works diverse in culture, class, and other intersectional components of life. I believe in the importance of creating space for text to come to life. I believe in creating the world within a play, musical, opera, or dance piece within a liminal space is the most important. The job we have as artists and as educators is to cultivate a generation of artists working to make the world a better place.