Youth from nine DOE schools will engage with three trained Teaching Artists and four Assistant Coaches, to create their scenes about bullying and cyberbullying in a five-day drama residency at their school. They’ll be learning basic communication skills, developing empathy through ensemble work and enhancing their self-esteem. The 5-day residency will culminate with classes having written and performed their own original Kipuka scenes which will be captured on video for reflection and mentor feedback.

Kipuka 5-day Drama Residencies on O‘ahu

In the classroom, a five-day Kipuka residency would use drama to explore the themes of bullying and cyberbullying. TST will conduct nine, O‘ahu-based 5-day residencies that start with setting ground rules. Teaching Artists identify tools and model what to do and not to do, as a performer and audience member. Our rule “Safety of the heart” reminds students to be safe with their words and actions. Each student gets to take the floor with their own personal introduction and receives applause. The tone of safety is set pretty quickly and the empathy begins for each person committing to our last rule; “Do your best!”

Day 2 we will employ our kinesthetic learning techniques to explore the use of participant personal “Tools”: voice, body, and imagination. Each activity begs group participation and encourages the students to try while scaffolding proper performance techniques.
We will break up into groups and hand out selected short scripts from Kipuka for the students to first, do a cold reading, then Teaching Artists and Assistant Coaches will assist with blocking. The day ends with each group showing a rough version of the scene, with script in hand if necessary.

Day 3 will start with a review of the previous days performances. Making sure to identify key choices made by each group that was successful and how challenges were met. The class will get broken up again to form different groups and this time to come up with a scene themselves. Teaching Artists will use story circle techniques to have each student share a personal story of bullying or cyberbullying. The story sharing in itself builds empathy among the group and challenges them to listen. After sharing the students will choose one story to stage. Teaching Artists will use TST methodology to have them stand up their ideas. Homework for that day will be to write out a script based on the story that they chose as a group.

Day 4 groups will reconvene and choose a script. Teaching Artist will coach and direct the scenes. The day will be spent refining character and line choices, as well as locking in blocking options. This part of the process challenges the students to be diligent in executing their ideas and owning their contribution to their group work.

On the final day of the residency, students will rehearse for and video their final performances. Videos can be strictly a learning tool for the class and not shown anywhere else. These last two ways of platforming the scenes students created gives an incentive to share their Kipuka and anti-bullying messages with their peers, in their schools, with their families, or even – on the TST or school website with the proper permissions.