For the past year, I have been honored to serve as an adjunct faculty instructor in Theatre at Guilford Technical Community College. Serving almost 150 students over two semesters, I taught Theatre Appreciation, Literature of Theatre, Stagecraft, and (my personal favorite) Dramatic Writing. I also offered workshops on Acting for the Camera and Audition Techniques.
While I loved the opportunity to engage in the work of many talented young artists who were beginning to develop their craft, I must admit my favorite experiences were with students who had NEVER touched a stage, but that found an outlet that gave meaning to their lives. In particular, I was moved to tears by a monologue from a student in her 40s who had never even seen a play, much less act in one. She had endured a hard life, and she was at GTCC to find new opportunities. As a child, she had gone through the foster care system. So, when she performed a monologue about being thrown away like a piece of trash... she meant it. She meant every word. And the students who were watching learned what the true power of theatre, of art, can be.
I only hope that I have had as powerful of an impact on the students as they have had on me. This time as a teacher has reminded me of why I set out to be a writer in the first place. Their passion, their ambition, their eagerness to learn -- it has renewed my own.
As I move forward in seeking new opportunities myself, I thank these students for the inspiration.