Early in my career, some moons ago, I sought out ways in which I could attain my intermediate teaching qualifications so that I could officially teach those amazing creatures in middle school. When I saw that OISE was offering the course with a focus on drama, I was intrigued and signed up in a fairly casual manner. Little did I know it would spark my growth as a learner and an educator in so many vital, foundational ways. I now realize it helped me become a nimble, modern learner.
Story is Everything
Drama taught me that story is the foundation for all knowledge, thinking, communication, and application. If you can see stories where others cannot, and create them when others struggle to do so, then you are taking literacy, learning, and human connection to newer heights.
In drama, there is no such thing as being one thing, there is only being many things, and changing and switching depending on the circumstance or person(s) in front of you. Although growing up in a diasporic environment helped lay the foundation for this incredibly underrated skill, drama taught me how to leverage it.
When you do drama, you learn techniques to stay calm under pressure, and to do so in front of an audience. When we learn in the contemporary world, many have argued that it is not enough to simply know and understand, but to apply and demonstrate it. Drama helps you practice, make mistakes, and learn the art of performance.
Using the Senses
Words are not enough, nor are words on a page, or a flashy powerpoint. To capture the imagination of the distracted world, we must attend to more than just one sense. Drama helps you get in deeper touch with your own senses, and thus understand how to provoke it in others.
Synthesizing and Building on Others’ Ideas
“Yes, and…” is the ethos of the dramatic arts. You accept what someone provides you and you build upon it. People who innovate have a “yes, and…” approach to collaboration and problem solving. They see fertile ground where others see concrete.
Making Something Out of Nothing
What can you do if given only your body, mind, space, and time? This is the exciting problem drama always places in front of you to solve. With this mindset, everything has possibility. In the complex world we live in where every important problem is multi-layered and migraine-inducing, we need the efficacy and resilience to to make the “impossible” possible and turn the “nothing” into something.