Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Drama/Dharma T-Shirt

For a class I am taking at Western New Mexico University, I had to design a t-shirt depicting "myself." Oh dear.

Since the intersection of my drama practice and dharma practice has often been a topic on this blog, I may as well share the design here as well.

We'll start with the front of the shirt:


Not an elegant design, I grant, but it communicates. This is a bodhisattva holding up the masks of comedy and tragedy. In the Buddhist religion, the bodhisattva represents to us a being compassionate awareness, resolved to remain in this world rather than escape into nirvana. She is often depicted with a thousand arms (or, as in this case, several pairs of arms) to remind us that the bodhisattva has many ways of functioning in the world, so as to help anyone. Each hand has an eye in it, as well. Among many other tools, the bodhisattva can use the arts of theatre.

Theatre education, as I teach it, need not be concerned with an interest in "show business." Theatre education for the young is an opportunity to role-play social skills, practice elementary language arts, broaden ones use of expressive arts, and as an adjunct to elementary physical education. For older students, theatre is a way of looking within, at the student's own persona, how they made it, and how it works. If we view persona as non-persona, it is possible to tell any story and play any part, because they are all you.

Here's the back of the shirt:


1 comment:

Kelly said...

Clever design!