Process vs. Product
By Kevin Williams
Process vs. product. In the world of theatrical performance both are essential however the process in an educational setting illuminates an abundance of space for growth not only as performers but also as citizens within a community. This semester I have had the opportunity to work with two different ensembles- a second grade class at Josiah Quincy Elementary and a self-selected third grade ensemble at Phineas Bates Elementary. The second grade students created a mystery for a set of toys as they tried to uncover through both song and dance the contents of several packages. While the third grade students devised a vignette of short morality plays focusing on how to be extraordinary by telling the truth and being unique. Both final performances were fantastic on their own and definitely moments to take great pride in. With these residencies through the Boch Center, the memories that stand out most often is when a student finds their place or even comfort within the greater class community. Starting from merely an assortment of big ideas, each ensemble is assisted in navigating the task of negotiating group concepts and communicating to resolve concerns. Once we begin to develop a script, skills of writing and reading are strengthened. Then the rehearsal process develops confidence and the chance to work on public speaking. Having time to work alongside peers even for me as a teaching artist creates a strong bond with those that are apart of the team and assists in forming a support system. In the end, our time is spent not only developing ideas and skills but also simply allowing opportunities for students to take risks, learn in a safe environment, and flourish as individuals.