The Ideal Educational Experience:
Examining Different Styles of Teaching and How They Relate to the Stage
Performing in theater has consumed my life since the young age of six. Recently completing my thirtieth show, I am aware of the kind of direction, or education that is needed to help me achieve performance level. Walker Percy, author of "The Loss of the Creature", believes a person must experience the subject being taught in its natural state; untainted and unspoiled. A preconceived notion, he suggests, only distracts from the initial lesson being taught. Paulo Freire is writer of "The Banking Method". He on the other hand, believes in education where students and teachers collaborate, and learn from one another. These methods are not just valuable for students in the classroom, but on stage as well. By combining Percy's and Freire's education theories, the ideal educational experience can be created for an actor.
In acting it is necessary to attempt new ideas, and test altered approaches to the character being portrayed. Every actor must find and interpret their character at their own speed: every actor must get off the beaten track. The beaten track according to Percy is one of the ways to overcome educational packaging. This package is what the school system, or in his example, a tour of the Grand Canyon, has put together so the student, or the sightseer can only view the material in a certain light. Percy describes various ways to truly see the creature, the object or material being learned in its pure state.
"Leaving the beaten track"(Percy 566) is one way to approach overcoming the educational packaging. "He sees the canyon by avoiding all the facilities for seeing the canyon"(567). This enables the man to experience the canyon for himself. He does not have preconceived notions or rules to abide by. "If the benevolent Park Service hears about this fellow and thinks he has a good idea and places the followin...