Our last day at KIE was a bittersweet one. After our group split up to teach our final workshops (Theatre of the Oppressed and Playbuilding) in the morning, we took a break and headed to what had become our favorite lunch spot, Aromas Coffee. After lunch, we headed back to the school for a lecture led by Chris and Helen, which was meant to serve as an introduction to Applied Theatre for literature students. The drama students we worked with also came to the lecture, so this gave us the opportunity to have one final chance to work with them. After a brief overview of what we do and where this kind of work can happen, our session of about 50 students turned into a group of more than 150 people! Always flexible, our esteemed leaders (Chris and Helen) changed their plan and showed how our work can be used in conjunction with any subject, since the students were studying subjects ranging from studying a range of subjects from English literature to physics. To prove this, we created a picturebook of images using the story of Romeo and Juliet, and showed the three states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas) with dancing molecules. While entertaining, it also stressed the belief that we can use theatre to educate a range of subjects.
After the session, we were treated to a series of performances by the drama students. They danced and sang for us, and we got a chance to get up and try our hand at traditional Rwandan dance. Next, they shared three original scenes, the last one focusing on the theme of torture. What was thrilling about it was that the students decided to make the scene into a piece of forum, and used many of the same methods we shared with them over the past two days. We were incredibly moved by the willingness of the group to take risks and try out what they had just learned. Thinking that there could be nothing to top the forum, we were treated to a beautiful original poem by Paul. Most of us were in tears by the end, and our tears continued after hearing an original song by another student, Jean. It was influenced by Langston Hughes’ poem Troubled Woman, and titling it Lost Woman, shared an experience of a woman trying to find herself. Rose Marie, another student, physicalized the poem with our own Lexy as the lost woman.
Overall, the day was one that weighed heavily on us. We know we have to leave, but continue to remind ourselves of the work we have put in, and how much it was appreciated. We have greatly enjoyed our time at KIE, and as always, many thanks to everyone who opened their doors to us.
PS. Apologies for Day Twelve coming after Day Thirteen.