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Encountering Texts

The Multicultural Theatre Project and «Minority» Literature


Joi Carr

Encountering Texts represents the theory and praxis uncovered through an ongoing interdisciplinary arts-based critical pedagogy that engages students in critical self-reflection (disciplined, sustained thinking, requiring engagement) on difference. The Multicultural Theatre Project (MTP) is a dialogical encounter with literature through the dramatic arts. This book provides a blueprint for the multiple ways in which this enacted theory/method can be utilized as a high impact practice toward transformative learning. The significance of minority literature as fertile testing ground for raising and seeking to answer questions about difference is undisputed. To address this dynamic, this research utilizes Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutical method of understanding to engage students in the interpretive process using theatre as methodology. Gadamer’s concept, described as a fusion of horizons, provides a methodological approach by which students can bring their own «effective history» to the hermeneutical task. He argues that hidden prejudices keep the interpreter from hearing the text. Thus an awareness of these prejudices leads to an openness that allows the text to speak. The MTP facilitates this kind of subjectivity by engaging the interpreter holistically. This integrative work provides a promising pragmatic interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that creates bridges to liberatory knowledge, both cognitively and affectively.
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Chapter 5. Project Description and Overview


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MTP is an encounter with yourself …

It is who you are, and whom you never knew you could be. It is an exploration of your talents and discovering something new inside yourself. It exposes the beauty of the human soul and the necessity to explore a story other than your own. It is realizing that we have the capacity to understand the stories of others and an importance of creating a voice to share our own. MTP takes you beyond your comfort zone, pushing you to the edge, and gives you the opportunity to have the confidence to fly.

MTP is literature and history …

It reminds you of the power and richness of our history. It reminds us to seek out the true and real stories, the ones that will move us, shock us, and inspire us. MTP is filled with literature that explores the human condition. It weaves history and literature into the dialogue, always reminding you that education and enlightenment is what can help us break down the walls of ignorance we often confine ourselves in.

MTP is an encounter with faith, with spirituality …

A strong spirit has flowed through each MTP performance that I have been blessed to be a part of. I walk away each time with a stronger sense of self and a renewed sense of purpose. The spirit of MTP is like...

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