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Monday, April 24, 2017

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'Devising Theater With Youth'

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In a Princeton theater course, University students are working with children in an on-campus after-school program to produce a play. Read more.

Video Closed Captions


BRIYANA DAVIS: We have lots
of sheets of paper.

We told them to think about
stuff that they're thinking

about, stuff they want
to know more about.

And so they all wrote it down
on pieces of paper and put

them up all around the room.

And then everyone got
super fun stickers.

And we'd like...anything that
you had a story related to, you would

put sticker on that sign.

NAIMAH HAKIM: This course is about
bringing together two

teams, the university team and
the youth ensemble, which is a

conglomeration of students from
various middle schools

and high schools.

TADESH INAGAKI: We're meeting up,
once a week, with a group of

awesome kids, from the Princeton
area, and working

with them to create a devised
theater piece.

SARAH PATON: The class has been amazing
we have a group of young people,

ages, like middle school age.

And they get to come
here every Friday.

And we are devising
a piece with them.

ERICA NAGEL: I'm Erica Nagel.

And I'm the Artistic Engagement
Manager at McCarter

Theatre Center.

And I also teach for the Lewis
Center at Princeton.

When we started the project, we
didn't know what the play

was going to be about.

We just knew we had a bunch
of enthusiastic people.

And together we came to
the topic of dreams.

ALLISA WAGNER: It seemed like a
perfect blend of theater and a

service initiative.

ERICA NAGEL: So our partner for
this course is Community

House, which is an on-campus
organization that runs after

school programs.

And a lot of Princeton students
tutor for them.

And we are their Fun Friday
activity for this semester.

So we have some kids from
Community House.

We also have some kids
just from the

broader Princeton community.

MAEVE BRADY: I think one of the
most exciting thing is while

they can be shy and a little
tentative in this new

environment, once they're really
comfortable, is how

uninhibited they can be and how
much fun they can have.

MIRIAM HOLMES: I hope that the youth
ensemble members feel

proud when they see their work
on stage but also feel proud

that they worked together to
make that happen and not just

by themselves.

MAYA: I'm having fun.

It's a great way to interact
with people at different ages.

And we're doing all these
different things,

improvisation, tableaux.

It's really fun.

NAIMAH HAKIM: I think one of the
best things about this course

is it's shown me how you don't
need some kind of Einstein,

aha moment to be able
to create a play.

It can just be a series of
little moments, working with

people that you know, working
with teachers.

And building upon those
moments can

create something awesome.


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