Theatre Education Philosophy
I believe theatre is one of the best, most productive ways for a learner to express their ideas creatively. I acknowledge that theatre as a discipline isn’t for everyone, but I believe theatre can reach every student on some level. I hope for the learner to see the power in theatre to uncover ideas and emotions not previously tapped. I also believe theatre can change lives; the arts have transformative powers especially when approached with diligence, respect, and belief.
The mode of theatre in multicultural education is proven to be effective for urban students. Theatre gives these students, who may feel they have lost their voice, a say in the outcome of a story or situation. This is a direct parallel to their lives. Theatre naturally asks for power share, self expression, cooperation, communal orientation, and personal voice – all hallmarks of culturally responsive teaching. This is evident in performance tasks such as play rehearsals, scene work, playmaking, and self-written monologues. When students have the opportunity to express what they feel and what they are thinking, they experience a type of catharsis in dealing with the challenges of their lives. I desperately want to facilitate the student’s experience of self expression and resulting growth and change.
To be an effective theatre teacher, I believe the following components are necessary. I will be organized. I will post the monthly calendar of theatre department events as well as a curriculum calendar for each course I teach. I will always be prepared for teaching, yet, flexible enough to change my plan when the moment arises. I will work hard to maintain a safe space for students to learn and for an ensemble based student-centered classroom and curriculum. I will establish an active presence during class time whether in giving group side coaching or one-on-one feedback. I will make every effort to communicate directions quickly and clearly in order to effectively guide and manage the learning environment. Learning activities will be formatted to allow for a low level of student risk, but will yield high success results. Above all, each student's voice will be central to a theatre program or classroom in order to build student's sense of ownership and commitment to the exciting, artistic work we do together.