Classroom Territoriality (Left to Right) Joe Norris, Rich Edmonson, Sharon Gile, Rick Breault, Janis McTeer
A Play in Four Hours
Using the playbuilding research process, Dramatic Arts Chair Joe Norris and graduate student Kevin Hobbs co-directed delegates at the Curriculum and Pedagogy conference in New Orleans, Oct. 17 and 18.
After two, one and one-half hour devising sessions, and a one-hour rehearsal, they performed their series of nine vignettes, entitled: The Shape of School, at the closing conference event. The emergent themes included territoriality of classroom spaces, the pervasiveness of heteronormativity in the school yard, forms of administrative control of students and teachers, perceived status of particular schools and competing educational philosophies. It was concluded that these and other issues are strong undercurrents that contribute to the ethos of school experiences.
Audience members participated in workshopping the scenes through body sculpting and discussions, with one conference delegate claiming that the images and issues would haunt her for some time to come.
In addition to Norris and Hobbs, the participating playwrights were Rick Breault, Ashland University; Sharon Gile, Claflin University; Janis McTeer, Kent State University; Karen Morris, RJ Reynold High School, North Carolina; Sam Tanner, Penn State University; and Miryam Espinosa-Dulanto, Rich Edmonson, and Zulema Williams all from University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley.