I posted this to my instagram account (@figzoi) last year as a reminder to teach the passion for theatre, not force it on students. Last week after a fall play rehearsal two students stayed after to work on some One Act class choreography. This hadn’t happened in over a year… the want, the need within the students to stay and continue working was palpable.
In this late night rehearsal they told me that everything had been leading up to the One Act class’s choice to devise their own physical theatre piece… As Seniors I had lead them to this final task over the four years at HHS. Freshmen year they watched the older kids in the One Act production of Rose and the Rime create dazzling visuals and dance in a theatre piece. Sophomore year challenged them when I said we were going to create our own version of Alice in Wonderland in a physical theatre style. This lead to their junior year where they performed Peter Pan and the Girl who Grew Up, an original story based in physical theatre and aerial dance. So come July, leading into their senior year, it was only natural for them to ask to create their own piece. They long for the endless immensity of the sea… so they need to build a boat. I will guide them and help them wherever they want to travel.
I am not a parent in the sense that my husband and I have children, but I am a parent every day in my One Act class… a very proud parent. I watched these kids take their first steps into the world of HHS theatre and the scary realm of Physical Theatre and now they are sprinting, creating on their own.
“The point of theatre is transformation: to make an extraordinary event out of ordinary material right in front of an audience’s eyes. Where the germ of the idea came from is pretty much irrelevant. What matters to every theatre maker I know is speaking clearly to the audience ‘right now.'”
Most of these students will not go into theatre after graduating HHS, most won’t even go into any art form, but they will have these memories and abilities that will further their careers in ways they can’t even comprehend yet. They are making connections in classes and realizing they are so much more than what they thought they were. I get to watch former football players find out they are good at dancing, or listen to a former wrestler tell me partner dancing is a great workout. Musicians and tennis players, artists and runners all unit as one to make a play… all from different parts of the school, but all the same the moment they step through the doors to the Black Box Theatre.
Musings from Ms. Figg-Franzoi