Blog » Theatre Outside of Theatre

Peer to Peer as Theatre Part 3

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 in

The Peer to Peer program is part of a larger group of programs we call Creating Communities We Want.

The act of preparing Peer Leaders to step away from their own studies and work with the younger members of their school community in a theatre process does more than just address the vulnerability of the transition to high school.

It addresses the need of the Peer Leaders to grow socially and emotionally by participating in their school community as more than just ‘consumers’ of academics and skills.

As such it addresses the need for all of us to create the communities and world we want instead of experiencing both as something that just happens around us.

It is a shame that we unconsciously create school communities where the unspoken curriculum is that it’s ‘every man for himself ‘– that all life is about is acquiring information and skills and then going out into a world that basically is operating the same indifferent way.

In this unconscious curriculum, we prepare our young for the idea that wealth and personal comfort are all that matter and that ultimately you can only look after yourself and perhaps those closest to you.

But the fact of living – despite our curriculums- is that we are not happier the more we possess but with more contact with others, more creative activities and more meaning arising from both.

We are happier when we feel part of something bigger than us. When we see the results of our efforts in the faces of other people and not in our acquisitions.

Creating the Communities We want is an enterprise for all of us.

Peer to Peer as Theatre Part 2

Posted on Jun 16, 2015 in

The other issue that blocks people from seeing the Peer Leader process as an act of theatre is the perception of content.

In the traditional practice of theatre, it has always been assumed that audiences are interpreting the play’s content the way the playwright and actors etc delivered it to them. But the fact is the audience is always taking in the play according to the dominant social intelligence of the period -despite the likelihood that certain individuals in the audience were capable of seeing more.

In the Peer Leader process the leaders are addressing the social/emotional development of the ‘audience’ members. To do this, they use the content to nurture the inherent life ‘insights’ of the group members to surface during the workshop. Basically, this allows the ‘audience’ members to create their own vision of the content and witness other’s.

This is essentially not very different than the use of content in traditional theatre.

The ‘gift’ of the theatre process is that its participants simultaneously recognize themselves in the content of the ‘play’ while also as members of a community. This is a very beautiful aesthetic and community process.

The poet Mary Oliver once wrote:

“ What does it mean…that the earth is so beautiful? And what shall I do about it? What is the gift that I should bring to the world? What is the life I should live?”

“What is the life I should live?”

How do we continue to deliver the theatre process in the community? What lives could we all be potentially living- beyond the inherent voyeurism and passive consumption of other’s wisdom?

 

Peer to Peer as Theatre

Posted on Jun 8, 2015 in

We have often been asked how a group of students delivering workshops to younger students on different themes that aim to nurture the students social/emotional growth, make them aware of belonging to a specific community, and help them to learn about various aspects of life- how is all that like a theatre performance delivered by actors in a specific community?

How is it not?

All we have changed is the context. And we have ‘democratized’ the process so that the content is no longer solely in the hands of a playwright, nor the delivery in the hands of professional theatre people

Theatre is basically a community’s social/emotional development process- though over the last 800 years different cultures using theatre have preferred to see the process in ‘patriarchal’ terms ie as a top-down process with the professionals delivering plot , character, theme, sensation etc to passive audience members.

This is still the dominant way of looking at theatre, especially since the process has been taken over by cinema and music performance.

But the teams of Peer Leaders trained in presentation, facilitation, mentoring, and prepared with the content of various themes are delivering the theatre process to their community. And their ‘audience’ is witnessing and participating in an aesthetic experience that is simultaneously raising the social capital of their community.

 

Alan Insights

Posted on Jun 3, 2015 in

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Alan Insights

Posted on May 27, 2015 in

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Theatre Outside Theatre

Posted on May 27, 2014 in

What is Theatre Outside Theatre?

Theatre Outside Theatre Takes Theatre Off the Stage

When you think of theatre you probably picture a group of actors presenting to an audience in a darkened space. The presentation takes place over a defined period of time and involves some degree of spectacle created through costumes, sound and scenery.

Trinity Theatre began as a traditional theatre ensemble in this popular sense, but before long, as well as performing in theatres, we began to take our shows to schools and recreation centres as well as outdoors to parks, markets and the streets. We nevertheless kept the traditional idea of theatre as a presentation witnessed by an audience. Over time, however, we began to expand theatre’s role. This meant going farther “outside” theatre by examining the fundamentals of the art form. Continue reading →