Last week, three MYP and six DP Theater students from ISD travelled to New York City for workshops, Broadway shows, and a week of NYC culture. The students attended a DP Theater Workshop for the first 3 days. To say that this was an invaluable experience would be an understatement. They got to attend workshops that were led by industry professionals in a working NYC acting studio. As the students were in their workshops there were Broadway auditions happening at the same time in a studio next door. For some of the students this was a hopeful peak into their future. For others it was a look into a world that they have never been introduced to. In both cases horizons were broadened and lessons were learned.
In addition to seeing a few of the many sights in NYC, playing a pick up volleyball games with a local High School team from the Bronx, walking the High Line, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, seeing the Statue of Liberty, and basking in Times Square, we were fortunate to see three shows.
As I pondered the shows back to Dakar, I realized that they all had a central theme that is the same as our theme at ISD: Community. Come From Away, The Play That Went Wrong, and a physical theater performance by Push Theater Company were quite different in their topics, staging, and venues, but all had a thread that made us reflect on how powerful community can be. In one it was a town in Newfoundland that offered strength and support after a terrible tragedy where the cast skillfully sang and told their story with 12 chairs and two tables, in another it was a group of five masterful storytellers who showed us different scenes where they relied on each other for physical support and brought us all along with the emotions of their tales without speaking a word, and the final one was a play where anything that could go wrong did go wrong, yet through laughter we were witness to how a cast of 12 could be there for one another in a hilarious story of “the show must (and did) go on.”
We were fortunate to travel together as a community of learners and are even more fortunate to get to return to ISD where our entire school community will only be strengthened by the experiences shared over the course of our time in New York City.