Workshops and creation around the globe.
I am back in Philadelphia and have returned to my local job, but I feel like I should be returning to work at the Colombo tomorrow or the next day. I was so incredibly happy and fulfilled leading the CreACTion workshops, that time flew by and ended, almost abruptly. It seems only natural that a speedy completion of the workshop would follow the passionate frenzy with which we worked. We, ( the students, teachers, administrators, and I), became completely absorbed in our creative endeavors. Theatre and performance related activities were giving our English language studies meaning in the present. We were speaking English order to share our experiences and out imaginations. Everything was humming with meaning.
I talked to friends over a meal the night I returned. (I returned to the U.S. on April Fool’s Day, a day which I have a special appreciation for, as a silly person and clown.) We talked about trying to learn a foreign language and failing at it, and I began to think that no one should blame oneself for failing to learn and speak a new language if there exist no opportunities to use the new language in a meaningful way. It’s hard to learn and retain a skill that you don’t actively use. This thought brings me back,full circle, to the value of teaching English through theatre. Theatre is action! It is creativity, storytelling, movement, rehearsal, and performance!
I asked a group of adult students why they want to speak English. I was hoping to hear the story of a romance encumbered by the “Lack of a Common Tongue”. I know it’s out there. I just haven’t heard it yet. In actuality, the answers I received were not unlike the ones I have given when asked why I want to speak Spanish. The answers were,essentially,”to be eligible for better jobs,” and “in order to understand another culture’s point of view.” The second answer is the one that makes me absolutely devoted to people who want to speak a foreign language! All people are, in my opinion, on a quest for a greater understanding of the world. Using language as the key, one can open the doors to deeper understanding of the nature of different cultures. When I meet people who recognize the value of learning a new language, and who yearn to learn mine, I feel like it is a my opportunity to help. For me, helping the groups participating in CreACTion reach this goal has been deeply meaningful work.
I’m beginning to write myself into manifesto mode, and I feel like an excited novice, so I’ll break for today, but I promise to write again much sooner with actual details about the culmination and completion of the workshops, and how the consequential performances commenced! Enjoy the pictures and your morning/day/evening!