Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Theatre and Performance Studies

Abstract

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

This line of William Shakespeare’s, itself often redrawn and refashioned to suit different intended purposes, perhaps never rings as poignantly as during high school. Students speak of trying on a particular personality or character, as they desperately seek for what TRUE player dwells behind the mask. The years between junior high and secondary education exist for many students as their own personal time of remaking. Students exit one wing in adolescence, rush behind the curtain as they take up or cast off whatever masks and accoutrements they desire, and emerge at the opposite side, maybe as an entirely new character. This paper seeks to explore the relationship between creativity in the Modern Theater classroom (as taught by myself at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy [IMSA]—a residential public high school for highly gifted STEM students) and its benefits to and creative application of the students across all their classes. And, naturally, I do not here intend to advocate for or claim the absence of such challenges to students in their STEM-focused coursework. Rather, I seek to show the highly beneficial and often unique challenges experienced by these students within a different type of class. As many schools move, or are forced to move away from the arts and humanities, my experiences with this course have solidified even more the understanding of just how crucial these types of classes can be.

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