Welcome to the PCAP Brazil Exchange for 2017: A blog post about theatre class at UDESC by Adelia Davis

4 Jun

Dear Readers,

It’s that time of year again! University of Michigan students have traveled with me to Brazil for a three-week prison theatre exchange program. You will now start seeing posts from the students about our journey. Enjoy!

Ashley

UDESC:PCAP students in class

UDESC and PCAP students together in Prof. Vicente Concilio’s class on May 29, 2017.

Hi, my name is Adelia Davis. I just graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors of Science in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience on the pre-med track. I have had the privilege of participating in Prison Creative Arts Program (PCAP) this past Winter semester for the first time, which gave me the opportunity to facilitate a theater workshop with teenage boys in the Spectrum Juvenile Justice Calumet Center in Highland Park, Michigan. That experience of working together to create a space where the boys and my co-facilitators and I could be creative and joyful in a space that is typically bleak and painful truly touches my life. I think about the idea of humanity with a broader point of view recognizing that we are all deserving of it. The Theater and Incarceration course as well as the facilitation experience has challenged me to not define people by the worst thing they have ever done whether they are strangers or have hurt me personally. My desire to learn from people who society has disregarded by denying them their humanity also led me to apply to study abroad in Brazil for three weeks over the summer with the professor leading the theater and incarceration work.

The Brazil program includes visiting two cities: Florianópolis (Floripa for short) and Rio de Janeiro. We will be meeting students and professors doing similar work to PCAP in both cities. One of the first experiences we have had in Floripa was visiting a theater class at UDESC – Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina. As we entered the theater portion of the UDESC campus we heard a roaring chant: “MI-CHI-GAN, MI-CHI-GAN, MI-CHI-GAN!” The students greeted us with a kiss on the cheek and big hugs. The were so warm to their new friends from the U.S. before we were even able to become friends. The rest of the day followed with as much energy and love. The two-hour class consisted of sharing theater games with each other. My group taught games we played in our workshops in Michigan, like “DOWN,” where we ask each other to show us a new dance move and “Whoosh,” where “energy” is sent around a circle with many different twists to get people interacting and excited. Similarly, they should us games with passing energy around a circle (Zip, Zap, Doing) and a game to get more comfortable with each other through a name game (saying the name of the person to your right or left in the circle but the direction and speed changes). The biggest thing I took away from the class we shared is how grateful I am to have met people from across the world who treated me and my classmates like old friends. Since the class, the students of UDESC have gone out of their way to show us a good time, especially one student in particular who I love so dearly. I will miss them when we leave for Rio, but I will always cherish all that they have shared. This time in Floripa has shown me how it doesn’t matter how much people have when it comes to showing love. Many of the students here have never left the island where Floripa is located but have found joy in hearing our stories from across the world. I hope I have given them as much inspiration and hope as they have given me. Thank you, UDESC, for having us and loving us.

 

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