The Fullerton College Theatre Arts department is allowing students to be seen and making sure they feel important in society.
This year has been soul-shattering, but Professor Candice Clasby is ready to give her students a voice in the new “Exploring Identity” podcast.
“I really wanted to give students the space to explore. College is such a space for exploring identity and deciding who you’ve become, whether it’s sexual gender or even race of really getting in tune with your own cultural roots and backgrounds,” said Professor Clasby.
Even though this course wasn’t supposed to be a part of virtual learning, Professor Clasby didn’t want to see another learning opportunity slip away.
“Last semester, we were working on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which sadly, has not come to fruition because of the pandemic. That show was really centered around movement and touch and working together. So, I originally thought maybe we could do that into a radio play version, but I think it would have been a missed opportunity to pass up allowing students to kind of use this space use this class to explore their own backgrounds and how they become who they are,” said Professor Clasby.
The students are currently completing weekly exercises that focus on their cultural background. One of the exercises was to complete their family tree. The exercise allowed the students to search for missing parts of their family tree by talking to their family members that they don’t see on a regular basis.
Raeloni Bender, a third-year student who is receiving her Stage Manager certificate, is glad to have a safe space to practice these exercising with Professor Clasby and gives advice to prospective students who want to be a part of this class.
“Don’t be afraid to use your voice,” said Bender.
Bender and the other students in the “Exploring Identities” are learning how to “record audio to understand tone and message.”
Since this is a new class, the students and Professor Clasby are swimming in new waters.
“We’re all kind of navigating new territory. You know, as a theatre practitioner, I love voiceover work, so this is really giving us a chance to explore that element of theatre, and art that we don’t get to do very often,” said Professor Clasby.
William Hanson, a second-year Theatre Education major, has been acting for eight years and this class allows him to focus on changing his voice and opening up to tell his story.
By the end of the semester, the students will be able to write their own radio play and dramatize their own stories.
Hanson is ready to show the final product because the “Exploring Identities” podcast promotes empathy.
“People are going to know that you can’t categorize people,” said Hanson.
Professor Clasby already has been able to see the cultural differences in her students and is excited to see how they explore their identities.
The Fullerton College Theatre Arts “Exploring Identity” podcast will be available to listen by the end of the fall semester.