“We have the whole building to ourselves.”
“Can we perform in the hall?”
“Or maybe in the study room? Some of us could stand on the chairs and tables.”
“Yeah! But we can’t turn off the lights in there and we’re supposed to perform in darkness.”
“How about the bathroom?”
“Let’s do it.”
“Alright everyone,” we announce to our audience, the other half of the class, “We’re going on a field trip. Follow us.”
We quickly place ourselves one-a-stall and close the doors.
A drone begins a few stalls over.
A whooshing rhythm joins in.
Our individual sounds build as someone experiments with stomping on the floor. Another classmate hits the wall. I feel inspired to shake my door.
Without centralized direction or visual cues, we listen for our times to add or subtract sound, and slowly, our composition comes to an agreed resolution.
We are fortunate that this kind of activity is encouraged. Because it is the norm, the stakes are lowered.
Although we come to class as artists and educators who are mostly predisposed to practicing outside of the box, we create this environment together.
As Fels and Belliveau write in Exploring Curriculum: Performative Inquiry, Role Drama, and Learning,”The kind of curricular experiences you create with your students reveal your values, who you are as an educator, and how you believe students best learn.”1
Because our professors have modeled vulnerability, we have made ourselves vulnerable.
Because our professors have modeled playfulness, we have space to be playful.
Because I feel trusted, I can trust others.
1Lynn Fels and George Belliveau, Exploring Curriculum: Performative Inquiry, Role Drama, and Learning (Vancouver: Pacific Educational Press, 2008), 40.