In Roundabout's production of The Road to Mecca, Education@Roundabout brought together Roundabout subscribers and students from the Brooklyn School for Global Studies, one of Education@Roundabout's partner schools, for an inter-generational theatre workshop. The whole group took part in a pre-show workshop before attending The Road to Mecca matinee together.
The workshop began with students and subscribers forming groups using quotes from The Road to Mecca. The teams became fast friends. Together the groups were presented with the challenge of visually expressing these quotes in 15 minutes. As the groups collaborated they were given obstacles including "One person in your group cannot use his/her hands in making this project, but still must contribute ideas.” Those who had been the dominant artist in their group were forced to give responsibility over to others who tried to understand the directions and visions of the other artists. Each group worked in harmony to create 8 varying representations of The Road to Mecca.
After they completed this project, the groups were then handed a scene from the play that highlighted the central conflict of the play. They explored Miss Helen's divided feelings between seeking care and preserving her freedom. The students performed this scene for the subscribers and invited the subscribers to join in an improvisation exercise to better understand Miss Helen's struggle.
Then the groups were tasked with writing their own scene. The scenes explored two scenarios: an older person deciding between independence and great care, and a younger person deciding whether to stay or leave home.
At the end of the workshop, students and subscribers reflected on their experience over lunch. One student shared, "I enjoyed meeting new people like Miss Janet. She had some very good ideas."
By the end of the workshop students and subscribers bonded over what they had learned about The Road to Mecca and made a connection with the characters from the play. They watched the show together, and following the performance, experienced a post-show discussion with the cast. One of the subscribers reflected, " I enjoyed meeting new people and seeing the creative, fertile minds that represent students from your school. It was a most enjoyable experience."
For more information at Education@Roundabout, click here.
2011-2012 Season, Education @ Roundabout, The Road to Mecca