1st Edition

Lessons from our Students Meditations on Performance Pedagogy

By Stacey Cabaj, Andrea Odinov Copyright 2024
    138 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    138 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Lessons from our Students: Meditations on Performance Pedagogy is a collection of thirty short personal case studies about pedagogical issues that arise in theater classrooms and rehearsals.

    Teaching in the acting and performance classroom is rapidly changing in the early 2020s. In the wake of the global pandemic, online education, massive trauma, and a social justice revolution, educators are seeking wisdom, clarity, and reassurance about their pedagogy. The authors speak to the current moment and the unique challenges of teaching theater by presenting a personal, practical, and authentic expression of vulnerability, humanity, and artistry as teachers. Through thirty personal meditations, the authors pose reflective questions and discussion prompts that evaluate the craft of teaching theater, issues that arise, and ideas about how to respond with vision and integrity. Accompanying exercises invite readers to reflect on their own teaching practices.

    This book serves as a text for theater teachers and teachers-in-training in search of inspiration, validation, and transformation in drama education and theater pedagogy classes.


    Dear Reader 

    Part 1: Inhalation

    1. Why Theater?

    2. An Ecosystem of Love

    3. I Am, I Feel, I Am Bringing

    4. Teacher Talking Time

    5. The Jargon Finger                            

    6. Everything but the Kitchen Sink

    7. Standard Operating Procedures

    8. Perennial Questions

    9. To Grade or to Ungrade

    10. Evaluations and Evolutions

    Part 2: Exhalation

    11. Prototypes

    12. The Wisecracker

    13. Breakdownthrough

    14. Permission Slips

    15. The Psychology of Apology

    16. Ahimsa

    17. Whole Body Yes

    18. Hover and Hunker

    19. Spoons

    20. I Need a Champion

    Part 3: Transformation

    21. Whose Need Is It Anyway?

    22. Lessons from my Dream Students

    23. Teaching through Chaos

    24. When the Teacher is Not Alright

    25. Unspeakable Wounds

    26. There’s Always One

    27. There’s More than Meets the Ear

    28. Lessons from my Recent Role as a Student

    29. When Death Comes

    30. Holding Space

    Conclusion: Lessons from my Co-Author




    Stacey Cabaj is an Assistant Professor of Acting and Pedagogy at Loyola Marymount University. Her spirited approach to performance is grounded in her teaching certifications in Meditation, the Meisner Technique, Vibrant Voice Technique, Hatha and Vocal Yoga.

    Andrea Odinov is a Voice, Speech, and Dialect Specialist, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Voice and Speech at Loyola Marymount University. She has provided coaching for theater companies and actors in the greater Los Angeles area and is a Certified Associate Instructor of Fitzmaurice Voicework®. www.andreaodinov.com