Exit stage left (08/13)
A little over a year ago I left the stage as theatre teacher. After working for more than a dozen years, on numerous productions, with hundreds of keen theatre students it was time for me to move on and find growth elsewhere as a professional educator. It wasn't easy letting go. One quickly gets attached to the people and the space surrounding you, the colleagues' camaraderie, and obviously the role played in the school community.
Enough time has passed now so I can look at it and put it for the first time in perspective. What an unbelievable time it was! Surrounded by the vibrant energy of creative chaos. These are the words that define the experience. Multitudes of pictures, sound bites, costumes pieces, memories accumulated during the journey can hardly translate the energy felt and shared by those involved. Educationally you can explain and justify the knowledge, skills, and practical components that each theatre project provided to the students. The most difficult task is to communicate the feeling that one felt when in the group. Audiences certainly received the fruit of our experiences in different ways and probably many times felt, coming through the fourth wall this vibrant energy of creative chaos.
The point I am trying to make, or rather the question I am asking myself since my exit, and that I even probably asked myself before, is how can that energy, at that intensity level, be generated with a largely randomly selected group of individuals that are called students assigned to your class? Truly any classes will have its own energy, we refer to chemistry or culture usually, and that chaos might be present once on a while. But what is the formula that when combining these elements will be resulting in positive outcomes?
This could be one of my goals for this year: applying what I have learned and felt through theatre. Positives outcomes will happen when aware of the vibrant energy of creative chaos. It sounds pretty unusual for an inspirational poster in a classroom but I might just do it. Like our Theatre Company motto, a quote from Shakespeare, used to say: "Things won are done; the joy lies in the doing".
I sincerely want to thank all of those I had the pleasure to create with during those years. I have a real gratitude for the lesson you taught me.
A Christmas Carol - in rehearsal, Johnston Heights Theatre Company, Fall 2009
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