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Devising Theatre for Social Change in Zanzibar, Tanzania

       I traveled to Stone Town Zanzibar with my professor Dr. Ashley Hamilton and 4 other DU students for a practical, travel based, interterm course. For two weeks we worked with a group of 20-25 Zanzibarian students (ages 14-17, mixed gender) to devise a play about social justice issues in their community.

      In this course, Devising Social Justice Theatre In Zanzibar, I learned a lot about what it means to be a facilitator, an artist, and most of all I learned about how theatre can be made beyond the stage. This course opened up my eyes to the world and the people in it. The experience showed how similar social issues can exist in two cultures but can impact and/or be viewed very differently. During the process of teaching our Zanzibarian students, not only did they learn much from us, I learned a lot from them. I was able to see how they view the world and what they hope to become. I also learned how much a simple thing like theatre could help one’s confidence in life moving forward.

Costume Shop Work

At the University of Denver, we are required to have 5 shop credits as a Theatre Major.  These 5 shop credits can be a combination of Scene shop and Costume Shop, and you build the sets and costumes of current Department productions. In Costume Shop, we learn how to hand sew, use a domestic sewing machine, and use an industrial sewing machine. We also learn different techniques of sewing such has hemming, sewing buttons, gathering, making alterations, etc.

Scenic Shop Work

Within Scene Shop, I have learned how to use multiple power tools, different carpentry techniques, different types of wood used to build theatre sets, painting techniques, etc. I walked into Scene Shop not very confident in my carpentry skills, however through team work, lessons, and mentoring from the TD and Shop Foremen over the years I gained confidence and began to lead teams in projects.

Lighting Design

Work

As part of my Theatre Major, we were required to take a design class, and I chose to take Lighting Design. In this class we learned about the different types of lights used in Theatre, what components are in each light, how light works fundamentally, the theory behind stage light adding to the story, etc.

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