It is this assignment of Creating a One Person Show that the students of The International Theatre Academy Norway learn the most from. In this process, the students must, for the first time since they began training, create an original production which is student written, acted, directed and produced and premiere it in the community, away from the school and asking people to pay money to see it. They must rent a theatre in the community and negotiate that contract. They must fund the shows themselves, generate press, market them and, in all ways, be self sufficient.
The process is one of trial by fire. It can be an exhilarating process to stand before an audience with your name upon the evening’s play.
This project embodies the philosophy of the school and is their first attempt to put all that they have learned this year into practice. It is a defining moment and the process changes them for the better. As a result of this assignment, their discipline will improve. Their egos will grow (good and bad) and they will approach their future work with a greater sense of seriousness and urgency.
Some will fall on their faces and feel humiliation and others will have some measure of success, which will make them feel like champions. Both experiences are rich learning experiences and it is this sort of “experience” that defines our modality of “experiential learning” that we practice at TITAN. They learn by doing.
Jim Hart is the founder of The International Theatre Academy Norway.