Today we had time to reflect as a large group on the theatre sessions we all worked on over the past four days. Reflection with a group of eighty people can feel overwhelming, if not impossible. If I’m being honest, at the beginning of our reflection I felt tired. We had come to the end of these sessions, I wanted a break.
Then the discussions started. The excitement and enthusiasm that the Rwandan students bring to everything makes it impossible to remain tired, and I remembered why reflection is so important to the work we do. Reflection makes us better practitioners; we are able to look at the work we have done and see the value in it as well as what needs to be improved. This is how we grow and become stronger. Listening to all of the feedback from the Rwandan students, all of the things they had learned and discoveries they had made, gave me a new perspective on my work. Many of the students mentioned the importance of fun and playfulness; this is something I sometimes forget and it was great to be brought back to this aspect of the theatre.
This focus on reflection also reminded me of what an incredible opportunity it was to lead four sessions in a row. Everyday we were able to reflect on our session and improve upon it. Our work grew stronger each day and we grew as practitioners. This time and space for reflection is not always possible. I am so glad that I have had this experience and have been able to work on and refine a session in this way.
Everyday the CUNY students reflect as a group; we discuss things from the day that have been significant or raised questions for us. Some days, I just want to skip this part and eat my dinner and relax. But this time for discussion is invaluable. I will try to hold on to and remember this feeling of wanting to reflect, of knowing that it is the part of the work that will allow me to grow stronger and become a better practitioner.
Thank you to all of the Rwandan and CUNY students for making the past four days so memorable, and I look forward to the work ahead of us!