Marci J. Duncan
Every student has potential for growth and progress; therefore, their benchmark must be tailored individually. I believe each student is talented and that is why they are in my program; however, where they start can’t be where they finish.
In my classroom, our learning relationship goes both ways. My students are respected, affirmed, and encouraged to make peace with the journey of building a creative process, as well as the mistakes that come with it. Consequently, these values are reciprocated for me.
How do I do this? Class is divided into three parts: building trust, learning technique, and providing feedback. Research shows that the Ask-Tell-Ask Method, including the student in giving feedback, is effective. Following the student's reflections, I offer specific action items to incorporate. Constructive criticism from all is welcomed in class, but I serve as a filter if need be.
From delegating classroom responsibilities to providing professional networking opportunities, I strive to foster emerging leaders. For instance, I invite students to assist me in the Professional Theatre Auditions at the Southeastern Theatre Conference. When I direct a show or conduct onsite BFA program auditions, I welcome students to join me in the room. When I hire students with my production company, I give students a perspective on professional artists' work.
Whether it be in the classroom or onstage, my motto is leading in love. We purposefully focus on the positives in the process while aiming for excellence.
Archaic, abusive theatre culture and tear you down to build you up” methods is not practiced in my environment. The productivity and wellbeing of my artists are priority. I believe we can rebuild a strong, positive theatre culture, one we don’t have to heal from. I strive to lead in love, changing toxic theatre culture one student at a time.