We are halfway into the production of our ESL ethnodrama at the UBC Learning Exchange. I have been too busy and abandoned this blog for a while, but this project is too fun not to share!
In 2015 my colleague (and friend) Spring and I co-wrote a short ethnodrama “Fear, Courage, and Joy: Three Conversation at the Learning Exchange.” Ethnodrama is an arts-based research method that generates or presents data through the process of creative non-fiction writing, such as playscripts. Sometimes ethnodramas evolve into performances and full productions. We based this piece on a research project with volunteers at the LE, observations, and our personal reflections. We went on to present our work at the University of Victoria and I read it at my department during a Research Seminar series. While both times the feedback on the ethnodrama was extremely positive, we thought this would be as far as the project could go. We put it on the back burner for a while and focused on other projects. However, the universe works in its own way and in January we got a wonderful opportunity to take our ethnodrama one step further.
As a part ESL programming within Seniors Thrive initiative our ethnodrama is now going into the full production and I could not be more excited! We’ve got amazing graduate students Matt and Sarah on board! Matt is an experienced director and and actor. Sarah is a playwright, an actor, and a storyteller. Well, Spring and I are there too. We’ve got super talented and engaged learners signed up and rehearsing their roles every week. And next week Matt, Sarah and I are going to check out the venue for the performance. Our performance is scheduled for May 3rd this year!
I will be updating this blog weekly to keep track of our progress and will be sharing some activities with you. Our Drama Club is both an ESL class and a Drama Class; a combination of both is promising to be extremely beneficial for senior learners. Stay tuned!