This is Joey:
Coming off of yesterday and a full day of devising with the 2nd year KIE students, I began the morning greatly excited to see how our process would lead in to today’s sharing of ‘The Drummers’. The KIE students arrived early, ready to work, and enthusiastic about prepping for the performance. We began in the ampitheatre, under the morning sun, reviewing our bits as ‘villagers’, ‘drummers’ and ‘flies’. From the beginning, this has truly felt like a collaborative process where all participants have had the chance to share their creativity in abundance.
After a quick picnic lunch (and our obligatory daily trip to the African Market), we heard Chris and Helen talk about Applied Theatre. In hearing them speak, I felt great pride as a practitioner of the work and extremely grateful to have this time in Rwanda. The meeting of theory and practice, which was discussed, and is so integral to our work, was reflected in the creation and performance of our play.
The performance itself proved thrilling for all involved. I had an exceptional time acting as a fly and buzzing around with the students and my fellow MA’ers! In watching those playing the villagers and hearing the booming sounds of the drummers, I was reminded once again of how our collaboration with KIE is truly an exchange. I have learned many songs, met many new friends, and am constantly amazed by the scope and possibility that our work holds.
The play was both funny and thought-provoking, and a stimulating dialogue followed in which the audience had the opportunity to intervene in the drama’s outcome. Afterwards, I felt extremely hopeful to hear the KIE dean talk passionately about the need for theatre and creativity as a way to move forward. If only such sentiments were so openly expressed in our country! Yet I recognize the need to channel and focus the energy I feel here in to work I do back home.
I can’t believe tomorrow is our last day with the students. I have definitely formed bonds and relationships that will be difficult to depart from. I am thinking about all of this however, as a first step. I’m eager to see where the KIE students—and we—go with all of the knowledge that has been shared.