As part of getting to know each other activities in drama classes at the Durham Arts Council Summer Arts Camp this year, I often asked students what they liked about performing. They offered a variety of answers – from getting the attention to singing or dancing or becoming different characters in the plays, but the answer I received most often was this: the students loved to perform because they liked the feeling of sharing something with an audience. They couldn’t exactly say what that feeling was, except to say it felt good.
I was looking at some pictures today from the summer plays and noticing the joy and excitement, the sheer exuberance on the children’s faces and I got it – I think performing with an audience – when the performance is a generous sharing of a story, a character, a feeling, a gift, talents – creates a bonded community. A bonded community dedicated to the experience together, all wishing that the vision will be fulfilled and that everyone will use their best selves, their whole selves, together, in community, to make the wish come true. That’s a good feeling.
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