Exploring Diversity

Students will work independently and in groups to create monologues, raps, and scenes that explore themes of diversity, tolerance, and bullying through the experiences of themselves and those they know. Students will experience the value of diversity and community firsthand by participating in collective theatrical exercises, including ensemble-building theatre games and a final group sharing.

1: I Am
Students discuss labels/perceptions versus who they really are. They write down one or more labels they’ve been given, and an example of something they did or said that contradicted the label. Then, using hip hop monologues from No Lie as inspiration, students create and share “I am” raps exploring the difference between how they’re perceived and who they actually are and want to be.

2: Being the Other
Students brainstorm incidents from their lives in which they felt like an immigrant: a moment of separation, transition or unfamiliarity; a moment in which they discovered they were different from others; a moment in which they had to enter someone else’s culture, neighborhood, language; a moment in which they did not understand what was going on. In small groups, students describe, assign roles, and stage each person’s incident – as scenes or tableau.

3: Inhabiting the Other
Students write a monologue from the point of view of someone with whom they’re in conflict. They write and understand the other person as they see themselves, not as the student sees them – surrendering to their wants, fears, and perceptions as they address the student.

4: We Are
Students brainstorm moments from their own lives in which they experienced or witnessed the positive effects of diversity. In small groups, they create tableau and then improvised scenes that further develop the brainstormed ideas.

5: Rehearsal & performance
Drawing on all the previous individual and group work, students and teaching artists create and rehearse a series of vignettes about diversity and tolerance. Students will share their play, interspersed with diversity-themed excerpts from No Lie and other teaching artist work.

To learn more about this workshop, contact Aaron.

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  • “Creative riches explode from one small, claustrophobic space in ‘Stuck Elevator,’ the extraordinary musical that... pack[s] an epic’s worth of inspired music and inspirational content, performances and design... A vibrant opera-musical theater hybrid with a story both personally compelling and eye-opening.” – San Francisco Chronicle
  • About Aaron

    Aaron Jafferis is a hip hop poet and playwright. Read his bio, his CV, or contact him.