It’s incredible how many times you can watch a show and still learn something new each time. We’ve read and rehearsed this show and unbelievable amount of times—and yet, I notice something new almost every run. A couple things I’ve noticed in the past few rehearsals:
Rebecca Hilliker’s line—“You know, I really love my students because they are free thinkers. And you may not like what they have to say, and you may not like their opinions…but they are honest and they’re truthful—so there’s an excitement here…I’d rather have opinions that I don’t like—and have that dynamic in education.”
It’s important that she has this view of her students and appreciates this quality. This is such a crucial part of college—meeting people from different worlds with various lifestyles, customs, and ideas. You encounter some pretty remarkable students in college with pretty remarkable stories and ideas. I love college because I’m surrounded by people who are, typically, just as engaged as I am—engaged in thought and change; engaged in art, or politics, or human rights. I’m surrounded by people who are engaged in life and are “free thinkers.” People here have their own grounded ideas and are willing to challenge your ideas and reconsider theirs. This is monumental in just growing and becoming a better you, defining and redefining your ideas.
I wish more people had Rebecca’s take on education and just…life. She realizes that it’s not necessarily about changing others’ opinions, but creating this active dialogue where we all can share our ideas and thoughts, developing a sort of shared expression and learning. We’ve all met those people or have had those teachers that just want to tell you something instead of having a discussion. A discussion is so much more dynamic, so much more fulfilling. They follow the “my way or the highway” mentality that is so one-dimensional and limiting. There exists a lack of open-mindedness.
She also mentions that her students are honest and truthful, and that’s how we should all strive to be. I often become so wrapped up in what everyone else is doing or what is expected of me that I’m not truthful to what I should be doing or perhaps to myself. My responses in class or my actions in a particular situation may not be honest or genuine because of outside circumstances, how I think I’ll be perceived, or because of the consequences. I really think that this play tries to do just that—be honest and truthful. We’ve seen from a formal Tectonic Theater member how a bias may taint this truth and honestly, but it does strive to be so by providing multiple perspectives and prodding the audience to come to their own conclusion. I think that our production is true and honest. Each of the characters on that stage is honest and true in their gestures, their tone, and their thoughts. That’s what makes this production so amazing—that’s what’s kept me engaged.