“Through the Lens: Developing Praxis in Studio Theatre Production”

Jennifer Parker-Starbuck


There is a space between wondering and experiencing or doing, a raw and complicated space, a risk taking, provocative space that is the space of praxis. This is the space of the classroom, a place to rehearse these unknowns, these “what ifs.” The classroom referred to here is an open space of dialectic and engagement, falling into what Freire calls “problem-posing education.” It is a space also perhaps that relies on Jacques Ranciére’s equality of intelligences, in which a pedagogue “does not teach . . . knowledge to the students” but instead “commands them to venture forth in the forest, to tell what they see, what they think of what they have seen, to check it and so on.” Both Freire and Ranciére here argue for pedagogy that is a give and take, a pedagogy of possibility and of praxis.
This essay focuses upon one specific project and the author's own pedagogical methodology within the Studio Theatre Production module, which is a second year production-based class at Roehampton. This module is tutor-led in that, while there is some independent work involved, the tutor comes to the class with an idea around which to begin. One of the goals of the author's pedagogy has been that the students emerge from the learning process with an awareness of how to approach devising, as many of them go on to a final year independent production module.

Full Text: