Words by Sarita Pockell, Performing Arts Teacher.
As Green School matures as a community of learners, our students, who have already cultivated a love of nature and a drive to create a more sustainable, equitable world now want to be active participants in the global movement for climate justice and peace. This is what we have always envisioned for our school. We would educate “green leaders” who would go out into the world and make it a healthier place for future generations. Help to fix the damage we have done with our careless practices.
I am one of these learners. When I first became a Drama teacher at Green School, I thought that meant I would be using more natural or recycled materials in our sets and props and using Wayan Kulit (Balinese shadow puppetry) in our productions. All of this was a great step in the right direction, but it was just the beginning. When I really questioned “What does it mean to be a Green School Drama teacher?” I realized that we had to use theater to help students connect with real world issues on a deeper, more emotional, even spiritual level and we had to use it to inspire change in the hearts and minds of our audiences. This would be integral education for sustainability. My teaching practice transformed.
How can schools make a meaningful and relevant impact on their communities and world?
Students at Green School have been focusing on waste in Bali and Indonesia, where pollution from plastic is visible and extreme. We created, Noble Material a musical which would be a platform for our students to understand the waste problem in a more intrinsic, embodied way. The original musical is about the physical and existential journey of plastic…from its invention, to its ocean fate. And yes, our costumes and sets were made by students from our community’s rubbish, but the performance allows the audience to empathize and connect with….the plastic itself.