Now that our Arts In Action class has ended, we asked a few of our students to share their thoughts on the class and how it went. We sent a few questions to get them started and they took it from there. Here's what Rossana Takhsh had to say about her time in the Arts In Action: Teen Ensemble!
Overall, I have only positive things to say about this new AIA class. The #train2act motto was incorporated through the discussions we had as a group, and I think that the connections we made between the plays and musicals we explored and the social justice issues that are investigated during these were important and helped us to make meaningful changes in ourselves and those around us.
I believe the hybrid model worked well for this program. The online classes worked better for the discussion and individual movement activities of the class, whereas - especially later in the program - the in-person classes were preferable when we were working together on the final performance piece. I didn’t have a preference between the two forms; I think they worked well for different aspects of the program.
"...this program allowed me to let go of the built-up insecurities I had of my creative work and it let me see how important and purposeful my own work was." - Rossana Takhsh
The inclusion of a final group piece allowed us as an ensemble to connect all of the discussions we had about a variety of topics; our individual pieces allowed us to express the aspects that were more important and personal to us, but we were able to link them together to create a final piece.
Throughout the discussion and performance aspects of the program, both of the instructors made sure to let us know that we were doing meaningful work for ourselves and the world around us, and that every piece of work we did, no matter how small, was important and valid. I often struggled to see the strengths of my work, especially when I created my own piece (e.g. a monologue), and this program allowed me to let go of the built-up insecurities I had of my creative work and it let me see how important and purposeful my own work was.
"I would say this class is definitely worth joining, as it encompasses so many aspects of the world of theatre as well as the world around us." - Rossana Takhsh
We spent a lot of time as an ensemble talking about difficult subjects, but we also made sure to make time for games and fun activities as a group. For example, we made stories with everyone having to somehow connect a random first and last line of a story together, and used zoom to create a piece where it looked like we were all talking to each other through our own squares. These activities allowed us to separate ourselves from the difficult discussions and serious pieces we were working on.
I would say this class is definitely worth joining, as it encompasses so many aspects of the world of theatre as well as the world around us. Not only does it introduce you to a range of plays and musicals by different creators, but it was very educational and brought me closer to those around me, whether it was other members of the class or those in my own life who I now feel comfortable talking about difficult topics to.