Theatre Camp: What do you wish you had known at 13?

From flickr user ampersan, through Creative Commons licence

The summer is almost upon us (I sincerely hope) and, as such, I will be returning to my role of teaching teenagers about theatre for eight or so weeks at my favourite cultural institution in Toronto.  This year, there is a strong focus on artist-driven programming, which I think is fabulous, and on sharing passion, whether it’s for theatre, for visual arts, for skateboarding, for sports…because, if you’ve ever been taught anything by someone who was truly passionate, you know that it can be a life-changing experience.

With that in mind, I’m hoping my friends out there on the interwebs might be able to help me out as I launch into organizing my programming.  I will be teaching 13-15 year olds about drama.  I believe in adjusting what I’m facilitating for the group I’m working with, and I plan to incorporate a lot of their own curiosities and interests.  I’m hoping to structure my plans for each session around a list of questions that I hope each of them will be able to begin to answer at the end of two weeks–such as, why is theatre important?   And so I’ve started the list…

But I’m wondering, what do you think is an important question related to drama/theatre?  What do you wish someone had told you or taught you when you were 13?  What would you teach 15 year olds about theatre now?  Or, was there an important lesson or experience you had about theatre (or not) when you were that age?  What do you still wonder about now?

From flickr user xiaming, through Creative Commons licence

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3 responses to “Theatre Camp: What do you wish you had known at 13?

  1. At 14 I stage managed my first show, having no idea that my little foray into the high school drama department would be the beginning of my career path. When I think about being that age & what I wish I’d been told or am glad I was told, one of the things I am most grateful for was having an opportunity to try every part of the process. My drama 9 class included improv, scene work, monologues, set building, poster design, etc. How great would it be if you had the opportunity to give those kids a vast experience also.

    Is there a performance expected at the end of the camp? If there is, have the kids fully produce it. If there’s not, find ways to explore all of the aspects of theatre in another way.

    As for a question about theatre or pertaining to theatre in some way, can you explore http://www.2amtheatre.com and pull some ideas/questions from there?

    Also, Travis has a great post at http://blog.cambiareproductions.com/2009/10/25/10-things-i-wish-id-been-told-in-college-and-1-i-was/ about things he wishes he’d been told in college…perhaps some of that can translate for you.

    • You should probably do my programming 😉 I agree that it is incredibly valuable at that age to have some kind of exposure to everything. If there is one thing I wish I’d had a better idea of at that age it is what a big world the theatre is and what all it actually encompasses…definitely noted!

      And now I’m going to go read Travis’s post…

  2. Soooo, how’d it go?? I just wrapped up my month-long conservatory on Aug. 1st and am prepping for a program I’ll be creating in the fall for a much younger age level. I’d love to hear about your experience!

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