I have been watching movies and looking at images of the hills of Rwanda and it is still hard to believe that I will be there less than two weeks. Helen and Chris gathered our group over the weekend to prepare to meet the warm, kind, creative, and intelligent students and faculty at the Kigali Institute of Education, tour the beautiful country, and share our love of theater skills, games, scenes, and conversations. We can barely wait to get there.
Like Helen and Chris, I am a faculty member in the Master of Arts in Applied Theater and have been envious of the past three years’ visits to Kigali. This is my first year joining the trip. My role is to document the project in order to write and publish stories and journal articles about it so that more people in the theater and theater education communities can learn about the remarkable collaboration between CUNY and KIE.
During the two weeks that we are there, I will observe and record workshops and talk to KIE students, faculty, and administrators about their experiences with Project Rwanda. I am interested in how the people at KIE feel the Project has affected their understanding of themselves as theater artists and about the different purposes, forms, benefits, and risks of theater as art and as a pedagogical method. I want to hear what they find useful, challenging, and important as well as what they find problematic. I will ask whether and how they imagine using applied theater in their classrooms and communities; what role theater could play in the Rwandan education system; and what small role we might play in helping to make those visions become reality.
Muraho, Kigali. I will see you soon.