The Staging Journeys approach to youth theater is rooted in the belief that…
Theater art is a vehicle for expression and connection.
Kids have important things to express and an ability to connect.
Theater is best created in community,
with an emphasis on process over product.
Theater and young people are a joy;
we all need joy!
A beautiful example of what can evolve when those beliefs are practiced with a gaggle of multi-age, multi-talented kids, is 8-year-old Noah’s original song “What is this Life?” in our recent production of “We the Dreamers” at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.
The process went something like this…
We were discussing our dreams for the world in a rehearsal one day,
so Noah started writing a poem,
which became a song,
that he performed as an aria with his new friend Ariella
who improv’d the supporting lines.
They rocked expression and connection in community.
It brought joy to Noah, Ariella, the cast, and the audience.
Noah had profound things to say.
We all listened.
Ariella boldly joined him.
“What is this life?”
Who am I? What is this life? It is nothing (nothing at all).
How does this continue? How can just 10,000 years change the world of man?
We are in a luxury trap, stuck in our phase of kings and the bottom half. History is nowhere near our soul (nowhere near our soul).
The sea is a history, a blue morality, a cover from darkness and light.
Through these broken walls and pine trees, (beds of stone and lava). Our rulers are taking our dreams away (taking our dreams away).
It’s all about to erupt. What is humanity? (what is humanity?) It’s wanting to be free in every way.
How will we battle our wants with our dreams? We will never be satisfied (never be satisfied). Until we break free, (free of our one master), we shall not continue.
Is it the purpose or the safe meaning; you are torn between your ambition and your soul. Humanity is never satisfied (never satisfied).
How will we battle this with our dream, our great dream, equality? (Never Never Never)
It’s all not enough. It’s hard to understand. What are we like? We are gods that do not know what to want.
It is nothing (nothing at all), (nothing at all). It shall never continue (never continue) (Never Never Never) Not at all. What are we?
But Earth has had enough killing, (has had enough killing). Our bodies will not hold (will not hold), with this as life (with this as life)
With this as life! As we struggle to survive!
There are so many takeaways here; too many to list.
We’ll leave it at this: let’s trust the kids, elevate their voices, and share their joy through theater.