Future-oriented and collaborative practices of knowing and learning
My teaching practice holds the same values as my research and artistic work: planetary awareness and global community making. I teach with the goal of promoting intellectual and creative rapport through collaboration in the classroom or studio. I craft scenarios and identify teachable moments where my students, and myself, can experience the practice of producing, discovering, and transferring knowledge as a naturally collaborative practice that although immediate to our situation, is extensive to and from the world.
I have been a theatre and performance teacher since 2004. Below are key moments of my teaching career.
LASALLE College of the Arts
Since 2018, I am a full-time (permanent) Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at LASALLE College of the Arts, in Singapore.
At LASALLE, I teach Dramatic Literature, Interpreting Dance, History of Theatre and Performance, Practice Research, various research seminars, and oversee all graduating students within the School of Dance and Theatre in their dissertation-writing/making process. I also direct student productions regularly, and teach seminars on devising and theatre making.
An important impetus in my teaching practice at LASALLE is the research project I am developing in collaboration with various colleagues from around the world, through which we seek to establish networks of remote and collaborative teaching across the planet. You can read more about that project here.
National University of Singapore
From 2012 to 2017, I taught at the Theatre Studies Programme of the English Language and Literature Department. I taught introductory modules to theatre and performance, performance research, and directed the graduating show for the 2015 cohort.
Although this was not my first time teaching in higher education, this period was paramount in the formation of my identity as an educator. At NUS I developed a keen awareness of multicultural learning scenarios, and acquired a deep interest in experimenting with various forms of delivery that can, in themselves, be considered practice-as-research.
Singapore National Library Board
I conduct regular workshops about devised theatre at the library@esplanade. These workshops are open to public. I consider these opportunities as a space where I can connect with learning communities outside of formal education settings. These workshops are always rewarding experiences, and some students return every year.
Photo credit: Syahirah Karim
United Nations Alliance of Civilisations
In 2013, I was invited by the United Nations to lead two workshops at the United National Alliance of Civilizations Summer School, in New York, USA. The workshops were focused on applying theatre-making techniques to peace processes and intercultural negotiations. An incredible experience that seeded my interest in thinking of education, formal or otherwise, as a practice that is performative of new and better ways of making global communities.
Photo credit: Aisha Habli
Universidad National Autónoma de México
From 2009 to 2011, I was the founding academic head of the Artistic Outreach Unit at Tlatelolco, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). I was in charge of designing the entire curriculum for this new arts school. The school was planned as an interdisciplinary arts centre, with a semi-formal academic offer of the highest artistic quality. The school was located in one of the zones with higher crime rate in Mexico City. Its mission was to contribute to the social recovery of that area.
Doubtless, this experience is the cornerstone of my teaching ethos. As a socially-oriented educational project, the Artistic Outreach Unit embodies an example where education in the arts has can have a direct and positive impact in the betterment of situations of extreme violence and poverty, without sacrificing the freedom that is intrinsic to artistic work.