I was talking education with some friends of mine who are from Brazil. They were saying how they had noticed a trend in Brazilian education away from any kind of repetition. When they came to America, they found this model was firmly entrenched in our system. "American children learn about everything but practice nothing".
I couldn't agree more.
It made me think about all of the work I have been doing to prepare for my role as Oberon in A Midsummer's Night Dream. I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 lines for this show. This is significantly beyond, in terms of quantity of lines, anything I have had to do so far. To prepare, I go over my lines daily - I carry a copy with me at all times, so in any down moment I can review lines. I got an audio copy that I listen to when driving and when I am going to sleep. It has taken many, many weeks; but I finally have my lines down. With a number of run-throughs, I will be ready for opening night August 6th.
Preparation has consisted of repetition, repetition, repetition.
A thought occurred to me while I was chatting with my Brazilian friends. What if I had prepared in a fashion similar to how we teach in schools? Instead of studying my lines, I might have:
- done a report on William Shakespeare... which would consist of copying and pasting from Wikipedia
- made a shoebox diorama, displaying Titania and Oberon (constructed of dried macaroni) fighting over the changeling child
- watched one of the many movie versions of a A Midsummer's Night Dream
- done a Venn Diagram comparing items from the movie to the script
- interviewed an expert to find out what the culture was like in England during the late 1500's
So when opening night came around.... I would be the ass, instead of Bottom.