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Theater artists believe that theater and drama are a unique and effective means of communication among individuals and diverse groups of people. Of course, a major part of this supposed communication is between the people who create the performance and individual audience members who experience it (Elam, 10-20). The works seen and read this semester have "spoken" to me in a similar manner. Actually, theater and drama communicated to me in a very great way. It helped me discover myself. Moreover, I was able to understand myself and the way I am supposed to relate with my world, other people and with God generally. All throughout the semester, theater has been a force of affirmation in my life. It brought up things that I could easily identify with and brought out some sense which to me was very informative as it pertains to life and the society in general.
I felt that the absolute intense emphasis that was in theater this semester was on me as a person and the issues that surround me. It opened up my insight into the existence of human beings and the intimate relationship with life. I came to realize how art in theater and drama is really a part of the nature of human beings. It brought up the sense of examining the people we are in comparison to the locations where we are. Ultimately, the fundamental elements of drama and theater that were presented appeared to match very well with the society’s values, norms and teachings (Burke and O’Sullivan, 33-87). It was a very exciting moment and a refreshing time in the theater to see the impression that was being brought up.
Through the way I could identify with the theatric performances, I came to know that all human beings have an artistic sense. This was very much evident as I watched the actors and actresses and even as I read about others. The performances and content included singing, painting, dancing, drawing all actively engaging in imagination (Asher, 23-47). For sure, the artists had a highly developed sense of art. Through the careful study by the various artists in play, I came to learn that a lot of discipline was required to develop such technique in art and transform it as either a universal or a cultural symbol. There was an overwhelming expression and predisposition to the society. It was not about just seeking fame, but giving back to the society and presenting factual information in a language that the audience could understand. This was evident through staged plays and even through the readings we had this semester.
According to how I viewed theater, I came to realize that theatre is something that is created and through that, it determines its nature and what it can do. The theater was specifically created in manner that expressed spirit, meaning and feeling. It therefore gave me an opportunity to have an encounter with what was being presented both in book and at stage. For instance, I could feel and understand the challenges faced by people from different social status. In one instance, I experienced how it is like living in a cardboard box inside a passage and felt some element of urban problems (Burke and O’Sullivan, 33-87). The theater experience was even more than what could be shared literally by word of mouth.
For me, theater really communicated to me in a way that broke separation barriers that exist in our societies. Naturally, human beings tend to separate themselves from individuals who are different and at the same time living in different situations. In a way, the theater allowed me to experience the world in which other people live in. At the same time, it also made me experience myself in my own world. The theater tied me and my world to other people and what they experienced in their world. I came to experience and comprehend, intellectually and emotionally that my life can connect to another person’s life and that my world also connects to another. Through this, the theater actually tied together our personal humanity. I actually discovered the whole concept of theatre (Elam, 39-66).
Well, many people might have approached theatric study differently including myself in various ways. Some take a correlation study between the art work and the artist with an emphasis on the artist specifically. For example, a premise that a given play script reveals some societal aspects in which the artist writes follows a certain kind of approach that amounts to sociological, historical and biographical criticism methods. Therefore, I came to realize how theater is significant precisely since we are all human beings. I came to really know that human beings need more than esteem, security, love and food. Theater and drama was very real and seemed to bring out an indescribable satisfaction within my soul. In reality, theater and drama taught me the need for human beings to create because they are meant to do so. Therefore, it was so clear that the highest level of creation was through experience (Burke and O’Sullivan, 33-87).
It was very fulfilling to realize that theater on its own is a creation of the human living encounters. It was indeed an expression to me about various things. Through theater, I knew I could express who I am by exploring the relation between me and other people, God, nature and the society at large. This kind of examination amounted to a literal experience for me and it was amazing to realize how the same was replicated in the artists (Asher, 23-47). Through this, I was able to share the expression. As I shared the experience, I also became expressive. As human beings, I came to realize that we are moved to understand, feel, explore and express the human nature in us in the world. Indeed, theater was both a creation and a place of creation for me. I felt that I was in a world that was being created. I actualized myself as I even made attempts to create through the theater and through the lessons of drama.
I really got a new insight of drama and theater as the very great place of creation for human beings as it literally creates an absolute and living universe which emphasizes on me as a human being. The experience alone by the artist and for me in particular makes the world that has been created living. The situation could be fabricated or made although the experience is absolutely real. Since the experience is important and real, the theater literally forms the world in which human beings live and more specifically during the real experience. For me, I can say that theater has the power to change lives in a significant way and can at the same time create the world from the theater (Asher, 23-47).
Through the learning activities of this semester, I really saw the educational significance of drama. It may not have had a central place in the learning curriculum but its contribution to the process of learning is immeasurable. Drama helped me to develop my social and personal skills. It involved me in exploring and investigating the things that were presented in it through interaction and co-operation with my colleagues and the class participation in presenting and developing ideas. Ideally, drama contributed to my aesthetic and critical consciousness. It gave me a knowledge and comprehension of the art in theatre and the way drama is used as a way of expression and communication. Effective teaching and reading on and/or about drama enhanced the quality of my cultural and social experience (Burke and O’Sullivan, 33-87).
Drama and theatric performances helped me to develop effective skills of communication and the importance of writing and reading. They also promoted my competence in listening and talking through the emphasis put on the need of purposeful exercises of language. I can say that my learning, social and personal development has received a major boost through the communication that I have received from drama. I got the opportunity to get into other worlds imaginatively. I am now able to consider issues and make an exploration of the relationships from the perception point of various people. My understanding of the universe and my skills has generally been broadened. Drama has effectively communicated to me matters of exploring values, behaviors and attitudes. The creation of relationships and roles has also been built effectively within me. It has also increased my level of co-operation in groups. I am now able to relate various occurrences, interpret and analyze them and pass on to others (Asher, 23-47).
According to me, I gained understanding of myself and my environs through imaginative and dramatic experience. I can now communicate feelings and ideas with the use of movement, expression and language in both imaginary and real scenarios. Moreover, I have also developed self-esteem and confidence in my relationships with other people and I am very sensitive towards other people as learnt from the communication I got from theatre and drama. I have developed quite a number of dramatic techniques and skills. Through the use of techniques, materials, media and skills helped me experiment and investigate relationships and roles, making use of mime, props, language, sound, movement, light and materials (Asher, 23-47).
The expression of thoughts, ideas, feelings and solutions gave me the opportunity to create relationship and roles to explore the behavior of human beings in different settings. A theatric performance cannot be realized through one person. Therefore, this taught me how to work in groups. I learnt the aspect of co-operation in groups importantly needed to agree on the communication and interpretation required to present a certain theme. With appreciation and evaluation in the various scenes, I saw it as a time of listening, observing and reflecting on what I saw and read. Through this, I was able to develop appreciation for my own contribution and what other people contributed. It also developed appreciation of the amateur and professional performance as well as the mass media role. I can now comfortably use what I learnt in all this to respond to my experiences (Burke and O’Sullivan, 33-87).
Developing knowledge about me and others came through in the way I explored relationships and through my imaginative experience. Additionally, the use of movement, theatrical techniques and language as well as exploring values and attitudes were very evident throughout the semester. I also learnt how to work positively with other people, something that was of great challenge to me previously. Generally, there was the critical awareness development and the general interest created in the entire aspect of enjoying drama. Through the art of creating, I could act out my response to stimuli, using suitable movement and language. In this way, I could very well explore situations and relationships (Elam, 44-73).
The sharing of creative work products with others engaged me in theatrical activities of some kind. Even though the presentations were normally an activity of the group, the contribution of a particular person could be singled out. I acquired experience, information and awareness of skills in the major aspects of drama. Actually, theatre and drama game is a versatile tool of teaching that reaches a number of learning styles, age groups, levels of experience and language and content areas. Indeed, preparation, rehearsing and performance for significant life events like college application, wedding or a job interview are very natural occasions in the experience of human beings from various cultures of the world. This is what came from the plays I watched as well as from the literature books I read. Actually, theatre is an elementary part of the existence of human beings and must therefore be a very basic part of learning. It brings out great elements in learning that cannot be achieved through mere learning (Elam, 55-80).
Imagination is indeed more significant than knowledge itself. Theatre and drama was therefore significant through its imaginative work as we learnt this semester. Imagination was a great way through which my knowledge was advanced. Theater brought along a very important imaginative concept that brought a new definition to my education. Initially, education was like a type of intellectual recycling of the only knowledge that the teacher has transferred to the learner and the teacher again on the test. According to me, drama and theater did more than just transiting information. Drama and theater developed my skills of imagination that evolved my knowledge and advanced my learning generally. The passing of ideas and knowledge through drama and theatre in general was very instrumental at this stage of my life. I got a deeper meaning and understanding in what I saw and read about (Asher, 23-47).
It was a very remarkable experience because I can attribute my progress so far to the imagination I got from the theatre. It made me think outside the box and the results were overwhelming. Looking back at history, people who thought differently from the normality of things have made great impact in the history of human beings. Imagination like seen in theatric work is at the core of problem solving, invention, science, innovation and the arts in general. Writing, creative self-expression and writing were positively impacted in my life. Drama taught me how to explore, imagine, create and at the same time share in the presence of other people. My interpretation skills and individual creativity have received a major boost. Engaging in games of drama taught me trust and how to develop my creative imaginations. I can say that drama is hands-on, experimental learning that engages body, voice, mind and emotions to convey and interpret to others ideas and information (Burke and O’Sullivan, 33-87).
Each sense that was engaged provided me with an opportunity to recall the information and the experience as well. My memory was time and again triggered through the things I saw, heard and read about drama through simulation and pretence. Each sensory input offered me another chance to retain and learn more about the information. Research has shown that the emotional attachment in the activities of drama enhances an understanding deepening and superior preservation of the information ((Elam, 111-34). While I went through these drama and theatre lessons, information retention was very much enhanced and I found the lessons very much useful. The energetic and emotional nature of theatre and drama offers an individual connection to the art material. It embedded the information firmly in my mind.
Drama and theatre education is an influential tool of learning and teaching with reflective positive effects on the emotional, physical, social and cognitive development of learners. Through this semester, drama and theatre gave me a first hand experience. The benefits of habitual theatre instructions of art spill over into many school disciplines and daily lives. Creative drama is a great pedagogy that reaches learners of varied styles of learning and multiple intelligences. Drama stood out as a multi-sensory form of learning that engaged my senses, body, mind and emotions to enhance personal connections to the substance that enhances retention and comprehension. The games of theatre and drama are a superlative approach for differentiated instruction. I found it useful even for learners with learning and language disabilities who normally struggle with conventional learning methods. Drama and theatre was particularly a very important and significant form of communication in the learning process.
Highly motivated and talented students who need to be confronted can show their capabilities and synthesize discovering in drama. There can be barriers in communication at different levels of education but drama seems to provide an alternative to these difficulties. To both the confident and the shy, the linguistically challenged to those gifted and from the advanced and the incompetent, drama included all degrees of differentiated abilities in a positive thriving imaginative experience. For the purposes of presenting information to other people, drama effectively and creatively communicates to the audience concerning the issues being addressed. Thus, knowledge is not really enough; creativity, imagination and communication are needed for effective learning. Theatre and drama transformed the conventional teacher-student relationship which is mainly a form of authority-recipient learning strategy to one that demonstrates a shared experience of creative exploration and discovery.
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