E-Postcards: Reflection as a Scholarly Act

Lynn Fels
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Playing in a House of Mirrors: Applied Theatre as Reflective Practice


“Whose script are you performing?” I ask. “How will you improvise your life?” Or, as poet Mary Oliver poignantly writes, “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” (1992, p. 94). For students and educators, for each one of us, these questions carry life-long significance. But beyond the bar stool, or a loved one’s ear, how and where can such questions be explored?

In all the courses I teach, whether for undergraduates curious about drama and education, or graduate students investigating their educational practices, my pedagogical and theoretical vehicle is performative inquiry. Performative inquiry provides students opportunities to voice their presence, to work collaboratively across disciplines in a creative environment that welcomes who they are and what they have to offer. We engage in role drama, playbuilding, improvisation, tableau, and other arts activities that invite us to explore our challenges, our stumbles, our questions, our concerns, our practices, our lived experience.