What’s It All About? – Educational Meditations on Theatrical Themes
For those who like to go to the theatre and those who do not. So that we can decide together why good performances are worth viewing.
For those who find it hard to open up to others or those for whom it has been a while since they last given themselves time to deal with their own feelings and opinions. Moreover, for those who could not even imagine all the things one can do in an empty room a few days before and after a performance. And most of all, I recommend it to those who have little community experience or who feel that their lives are rather monotonous.
Our What’s it all about? project was launched in September 2015. Our goal is for the participants to the program – school-age children, adolescents, university students and adults - to be transformed into socially sensitive theatre lovers and theatre connoisseurs, while at the same time implement within their own lives the skills and experiences developed throughout the sessions and the viewing of the performance itself.
The activity of theatrical pedagogy is an alternative teaching method that enriches the participants’ general knowledge, empathy, self-knowledge, self-confidence and encourages them to take responsibility within their community. The educational program helps them to prepare for theatrical performances and offers them the opportunity to playfully reflect upon and experience certain situations and roles through the prism of the play they watched, as well as the themes addressed.
Throughout the years, our specialists (a director, drama pedagogue, family therapist, psychologist, literary researcher) worked with hundreds of high school and university students, as well as adults from Cluj-Napoca and Cluj county, on educational packages that cover various issues affecting our daily lives. Since spring 2017, the What’s it all about? program also offers special classroom lessons for students from and around Cluj-Napoca, where, by way of addressing issues raised within a certain theatrical production, we are also tackling themes proposed by the Ministry of Education. These special What’s It All About? classroom lessons are still available by request in connection to any of the productions that feature within the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj’s current repertoire.
The project’s coordinator is drama pedagogy specialist Tünde Kocsis, whose work is supported this year also by other professionals, such as: family therapist Lídia Berszán; psychologists Ágnes Dávid-Kacsó, Polixéna Keresztesi, Éva László; psychotherapist Izabella Kasza, alongside writer and associate professor István Berszán.
Testimonials from high school students who had participated in the program:
“The encounters made me realize how much the theatre and everyday life have in common.” (Csaba)
“This was great! I got to know others, myself, the perspective of other people on several different topics. FUN!!! I got to relax, think about certain things; the topics were interesting.” (Robi)
“Many people who are different can still form a rock solid team. It was a great experience.”(Zoárd)
“Nowadays, young people do not really consider the theatre as an important element of their lives. These encounters can help promote theatrical performances, as each is unique and so highly interactive that one simply cannot get tired of them. In addition, the activities also expand our general knowledge.”(Matyi)
Here are the steps that make up the program:
Theatre professionals hold two 90 minute long sessions to the participants – one prior to the chosen performance, the second after the viewing of said performance. The teacher can also participate in the activities proposed.
1. The teacher and the project manager jointly select the date and the title of the chosen performance, as well as the theme (of the special class) through which the performance and related activities will be approached.
2. The project manager reserves the tickets for the What’s It All About? sessions (the price includes both the actual tickets for the performance as well as the cost of the related activities), the teacher then has the obligation of purchasing the reserved tickets from the theatre’s ticket office at least one week before the date of the chosen performance.
3. The project’s specialists hold preparatory session prior to the performance, the participants view the production, and finally, the post-performance session is organized.
For additional information and registration please contact project manager Tünde Kocsis at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 0743 341 781, daily between 9 am and 5 pm.