We all have a story to tell. Theatre is, as far as I know, the most exciting and dynamic way to share ideas, emotions, hopes and fears. It is a form of expression that is deeply personal and necessarily public. And so I am delighted to return to AUP this semester to teach DR/EN2000 and collaborate with students who are eager to add their own personal touch to the curriculum. I place character and script analysis, ensemble building, and voice and movement exercises at the core of DR/EN2000. But what I really love about this course is that it is always different. It is shaped by the students who take it. Their showcase at the end of the semester will be uniquely their own — and it’s so great to watch. Every semester I get to witness the actors’ “breakthroughs” — those singular moments when what they express onstage seems even more real than what they express in their everyday lives. Sure it takes some talent, but acting can also be learned and cultivated. Through the exploration of Meisner techniques (among others) applied to both classic and contemporary American texts, students will learn how to emotionally and physically prepare for a role (and, of course, when they analyze their characters’ actions and objectives, they usually learn a thing or two about themselves as individuals). It is immensely rewarding for me to see the students’ sparks of creative potential, but my purpose as a teacher is to help them recognize it for themselves … and then trust in it. And I sincerely hope that by the end of the semester, my theatre students will become more confident as both actors on stage and as storytellers in this world.
Chris is a theatre writer, director, producer, actor and instructor. He currently teaches at Bilingual Acting Workshop and is also producing The Race of the Ark Tattoo. Some more information about him here.