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Boise Contemporary Theater Lab

Boise Contemporary Theater

BCT Theater Lab offers students in after-school programs, spring break programs and in-school workshops the opportunity to not only appear in a play, but also to conceive, write, produce and perform in their own original production. It creates a space that is both safe and challenging, that allows students to learn about the art of theatre, something about each other and about themselves.

The Essential Question that guided our projects’ focus was:

What happens when theater artists apply imagination and skill to their creative inquiries?

The result is a stunning array of plays devised by students that represent their ideas and give voice to their ideas, fears, and unique world views. In addition, they developed deep bonds of friendship and learned how to better collaborate, compromise and lead.

At the conclusion of the project, students responded to questions related to the identified Standards:

Theater Lab is also a good way for me to learn to be more courageous. I am quite shy at school, but being on stage changes that. On stage, the combination of movement, speech, and emotion, make me more brave than ever before. It is definitely one of the places I feel most comfortable and ready to work. I am so glad I have had a chance to be in Theater Lab once and it would be wonderful to do it all over again! A new year and a new story to experiment with and explore together.

Impact

Over a thousand students throughout the Treasure Valley (and beyond) worked together to create and perform theatrical pieces. The performances were attended by over a 1,500 audience members. With the skills they learned, many of the students have created their own arts organization to continue work outside the program when the program is not in session.

Reflection

By giving students they need to create original theatrical works, we’ve witnessed them become brilliant collaborators, skilled writers, brave performers, confident public speakers, trustworthy leaders and great friends. It proves to us that the value of arts education goes far beyond the creation of the art itself and extends into so many facets of our community in positive and uplifting ways.

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