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      PERFORMING ONE ANOTHER by Barbara Biddison

      b4 11 21Or "In Your Shoes."  It's the story of a joint project between two schools, Patrick Henry (a small conservative Christian school) and Georgetown (a liberal school).  Performing One Another uses theatre tools to help students accept different perspectives.  Two individuals, one from Patrick Henry and one from Georgetown, pair off and write on a given topic, and then they swap words.  This whole story was on PBS "Canvas" on April 6. You hear them saying each other's words.
      The project began in 2018.  After January 6 they switched to zoom.  The students say they do not feel like they are imposing on one another, or making fun of one another.  This is a theatre exercise as well as an understanding exercise.  They don't just listen to what someone else says.  They actually speak the words of one another.  Thus performing one another.  I watched it on the news on April 6 then found it again on my handy-dandy computer the next day. It is beautiful; it brought tears to my eyes.
      I don't know if this works better for theatre people who are accustomed to memorizing and speaking someone else's words, but I think it sounds like a wonderful opportunity for high school, university, and older (way older) human beings to work at understanding each other. The difference is that we who speak another's words on stage are not saying it in the presence of the writer with whom we may in person disagree. But we could do this "performing one another" exercise within any two small groups.  I'll bet it's enriching and empowering.
      [Last chance this afternoon to catch the final Zoomed Staged Reading at 2:30. MRS. SORKEN & BOISE, IDAHO close out our series. Check the PRODUCTIONS page on our website and click on the Sunday Zoom meeting.]
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