Acronym Soup

Three letter acronyms are aplenty in Singapore. Here are just a few I had up close and personal contact with during my day today:

MRT: Metro Rapid Transit (subway)
MOE: Ministry of Education
AST: Academy of Singapore Teachers
NUS: National University of Singapore
TSD: Theatre Studies (not sure what the D stands for – maybe stuDies)
MOM: Ministry of Manpower
TEP: Temporary Employment Pass
SPG: Singapore Party Girl

And I’m sure there were more, but these are the ones I am remembering at the moment…

While I am in Singapore, I will be auditing two courses, one called “Intercultural Theatre,” and the other is called “Southeast Asian Theatre and Perrformance” at NUS.

I had my first class today. I attended the “Intercultural Theatre” class, taught by the very awesome (and quite hilarious) Dr. Robin Loon. I was really impressed by the class, the students, and the professor.

The conversation the students had about the differences between “intercultural,” “multicultural,” and “intermediality,” got me thinking about some of Maxine Greene’s writings. In particular, I am thinking about her thoughts about the relationship between the viewer and a piece of artwork, and the dialogue that happens as part of this interaction. That liminal space in between… between the intersections of culture, of lens, of people. And how do / can these spaces play on stage? To actors? To an audience? How can a company create a piece that creates
an authentic (and aesthetically interesting) piece of theatre that explores the intersections of cultures without being didactic or offensive? I’m intrigued by these questions…

After class I met with Dr. Loon and we talked a bit about my research project. I’m still looking for a local advisor to assist me with the project and I am hoping Dr. Loon might be able to help me.

As I’ve mentioned, my research project is centerd around intersections, connections. How can drama / theatre be used (or cultivated, that’s a better word, isn’t it?) to help develop students’ capacity for empathy. I have been struggling with the project as I had originally designed it; a few of the pieces of the project may not be possible here for a whole host of reasons. Dr. Loon was helpful to pare down the project to be manageable in the time I’ll be here.

Because of the intergenerational program developing at JC, I am going to focus my research around data I collect during this project. I am super excited about it….

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