What a whirlwind of a day. Eva and Heather here, writing from the lovely courtyard at the Civitas Hotel – our home away from home. Today we started with hearing a story presented quite entertainingly by the one and only Chris Vine. By the end of the day, together with the KIE Level 2 students, we had created a play – in one day!
In the morning some of our very own KIE Level 5 drama students led us all in warm-up games. It was exciting to see them make the theatre games their own and articulate what purpose and objectives each of the games contained. The group then broke off, Linda continuing to work with Levels 4 and 5 on their play and workshop, while we began the process of creating an original piece of theatre. Our play is based on a version of a classic fairytale looking at a moral message about the gift of love. In typical applied theatre style we end the play with a question. What question? What fairytale? You will have to wait until tomorrow to find out.
In order to create the play, the CUNY students worked together in small groups with KIE students, acting and helping to devise short sections of the story which were then tied together to create the play. The students hung in there and contributed their passion, ideas and personalities, incorporating traditional Rwandan song and dance. These elements help make the play come alive and provide an extra and important challenge to the CUNY students….our Kinyarwanda is improving bit by bit.
One inspiring part of today was watching the KIE students come alive on stage. Their theatre skills and performance capabilities have grown exponentially in the short time we have been here. After a day full of dancing, singing, laughing and hard work, we are ready for tomorrow when we will hone and rehearse in the morning and have a performance in the afternoon.
As our work grows so do our personal relationships with our fellow cast members, which deepens our experience. The reality of us having to say goodbye to our new friends is beginning to dawn. Tomorrow will be a day of celebration, sharing and sad goodbyes. We will focus on the work and honoring all we have achieved together.
2:00 pm Rwanda time – top floor, New Building – be there or be square (or at least send us your opening night love).
Eva and Heather