Monday, April 12, 2021


 In honor of The City College of New York’s Centennial Celebration, and as an ensemble building activity, the students in Artistic Lab 1, those at the very beginning of their relationship with the Graduate Educational Theatre program, were invited to complete a Scavenger Hunt in which they had 100 seconds to find an object in their homes to represent each of the following: Past, Present, and Future. Those objects were then used as inspiration for devised theatre pieces of no longer than, you guessed it, 100 seconds! Then, each student was asked to write 100 word pieces in response to the prompt: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE: WHO AM I? AS ARTIST. AS EDUCATOR.

Here are some of their 100 word responses:

Aliea M Lindsay
Who am I?
I am a woman who has suffered many hardships.
With each challenge I’ve come across, I’ve embraced it with tears, sweat, laughter, and the encouragement of my family.
I am an aunt to two of the sweetest boys that will test your patience.
I am my parent’s wildest dreams, two immigrants from the sweet island of Trinidad and Tobago.
I am a role model, an educator, a sister, a niece, a daughter, a girlfriend, and a friend to some of the most loving people you’d ever meet.
Who am I? What can I say, I am me.

Simon MacLean
The first time it clicked was in Jodi's Improv. Was I thirteen? Doesn’t matter. I was no longer too impulsive. My racing mind focused, the world slowed down.  

I was twenty-two, they were twelve, they thought I was old. I was so proud of how they spoke the language. Little Mechanicals. And yet my heart longed to be in their shoes.

Does a boat founder or flounder? I suppose it’s immaterial. Sometimes I am the boat. Sometimes I am the sea. 

Will dry land make me suffer? 

Was Jodi worse off than thirteen year old me? 

I don’t think so.

Laixsa F Mercado
I am the product of my ancestors. Born into a society where I’m not Latina enough for my own people, but not white enough because of my physical body features. Identity crisis - happens at such a young age due to passed down trauma. Acting has always been my get-away-from-reality tool - until I was able to face all the past trauma. A new passion has developed which is learning how to teach children how to learn about their ancestors’ history through Theatre Arts and learning to love and accept themselves as the beautiful individuals that they are now. 

   Sarah Quane Smyth
 I found theater-- or it found me.
            It felt like the intersection of creativity, thrill and community-- like finding a missing piece I hadn’t known I needed. 
            I loved being part of something so intricate. All the moving parts assembled into a breathing story-- carefully constructed with a limited lifespan. 
            And here I am again, looking for that intersection of elements to make me feel whole-- finding it in the little faces still looking for something meaningful
            ​Feeling that same intersection of creativity, thrill, community-- the hot lights on a stage I never knew would feel so much like home

Jamie Thiessen-
I believe art is for everyone
I believe making a piece of art:
A song,
A poem,
A dance,
A joke,
A painting,
A cake,
Is to take a segment of your soul and give it life 
To take a tiny wisp of your humanity and give it 
And offer it up to other souls
So that we may look at it and say:
“This is who we are!”
“This is why we are!”
We come together and we learn
A little more about
Each other,
And ourselves,
And who we could be,

And, since I believe no educator should ask a student to do anything they aren’t willing to do themself, here is mine:

Elizabeth Dunn-Ruiz was/is/will be
an educator
a word wielder
community builder
theatre lover
I want us all to play games and read and talk and listen and collaborate and create and make meaning and become friends and change the world?
Too much pressure. Unrealistic goal?
Let’s aim to change
the mood of a room if it feels cold/ wounded/ mean spirited/ unsafe
the thought processes and behaviors that are self and society defeating.
Let’s aim to be
honest and reflective
aware and inclusive.
Let’s aim to support
access and opportunity creating
ensemble building
art making
truth telling
question asking.

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