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Friday, July 22, 2011

Totally Technical Theatre

For the past two weeks I have been co-teaching a class at the Dallas Children's Theater called "Totally Technical Theatre."  The class was for middle school students.  We had 6 brave souls sign up for this inaugural venture.  The class covered the basics of technical theatre, you know, lighting, scenery, costumes, props, video, and sound.  Yes, the students actually had hands on experiences in some aspect of all the previously named areas.  It was a busy two weeks.  Our class worked in conjunction with one of the acting classes.  We designed the lights, set, and costumes for their final show case.

The students loved it.  They showed up early for class.  Were eager to get started, and on the last day said they were going to be sad when the class was over.  I think one of them might have even said they might cry when it was over.  As I sat back stage and watched the students I realized another important role that theatre can play for children this age, it provides a place where they fit in.

I continued to observed the students, all the reasons I loved theatre, and chose it as my career came flooding over me again.  I stood there, and relished those feelings.  It made me love theatre again.  I had gotten so used to the "theatre factory" that I work in, that I had almost forgotten the things that made me fall in love with theatre.  Then, like a gift from heaven, these students helped me remember the fun, excitement, coolness, magic, entertainment, happiness, and joy that is theatre.  They also helped me remember that theatre is a place where I am the cool kid, I fit in, I am good, and the acceptance that we all really want from others can be had, if only for a moment.

I was told once that success is helping others achieve their goals.  The students in the Totally Technical Theatre class made me feel like a success, and all I had to do was share what I know, and pay attention.

We made a video of the highlights of our class to show the parents what we had done the last two weeks.  I figure I should share it with you.  The link is below...

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