The Tide Turns … a bit

I’m entering into a new phase, or “workflow” of projects right now. Mad Forest is playing out its season this week, so I’m in the room assessing student progress and providing feedback via the group and individual blogs. They are going well.

I’m getting some time at last to start writing again! This time, it’s two papers on e-learning and my own adventures in the trade … looking forward to presenting the results at a couple of conferences later in September: USQ’s 3rd International Pedagogies and Learning Conference at USQ Springfield, the AUC Conference at Royal Pines Resort at the Gold Coast and its tag event, AUC Create World at Griffith University in Brisbane. Also getting back to writing early in the morning. It’s nice as the sun starts to come up over the ridge outside my window; writing first thing in the day does the head and the heart good I think. At least it gets me going as much as the coffee which accompanies the tapping at the keyboard.

Next week I start another performance project. It’s a one-person show (up to 20 mins) being developed and written by the final year acting majors. This project has been inspired in part by the necessity for young actors to create their own material, especially in the first year or so out of training. Waiting for the job opportunities isn’t going to cut it, and to empower them through finding another “voice” i.e., through learning how to create their own show as a showcase, is going (I hope) to assist. I trialled the first stage with last year’s class, and the results were pretty remarkable. I had such positive feedback, that I decided to extend it this year across two semesters, to bring the first stage to performance-ready stage at the end of semester 2 i.e., just before they fly away from us. So “Flying Solo” is now ready to get up on its feet and start being worked up for first public showing in June. A colleague has completed the first, scripting phase, and I’m taking over the presentation phase. Looking forward to this project also. Also to completing the mini-research project on the efficacy and reception by students of the rubric which I discussed in an earlier post.

And last, and by no means least, the working party addressing the new degree program in creative arts seems to be occupying some head space. We have the opportunity to create something quite significant here and to reposition USQ in the field. Our reputation in theatre, in particular, is very good, and with the amalgamation of several disciplines (music, theatre, visual arts, media production) into a new administrative structure, the breaking down of former silos is being addressed through the creation of new courses and ways of working. There are hurdles to get over, not the least of which is rethinking how we work … no bad thing either. Hosing out the build up can have a wonderfully regenerative outcome. That’s the plan.

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