Miles Macdonnell Collegiate invited Red Threads of Peace to perform for about 100 Grade 9 to 12 students at their Peace Day event on September 21. The theme was ‘Reconciliation,’ a significant and emotional exploration which can touch on so many sensitive experiences. We focussed on Senator Murray Sinclair’s description of reconciliation as ‘restoring respectful relationships’ and what that entails.
Certainly, it is a theme which is very challenging in a large group of people of any age and in a school context where most are finding their place of belonging, it is a delicate topic.
We opened with some warm up games to help students feel more comfortable with the troupe, the space and opening up. Even low risk games can be out of a comfort zone for some. Awkwardness, being ‘cool’ or shy are all part of warming up. Nonetheless, we all moved, talked and laughed together.
As we moved into telling their personal stories of reconciliation with friends and family, the students and teachers offered moments from their participation in Peace Day presentations and experiences from their own lives. They talked about finding inspiration in the activism of others, the perseverance of re-building a community without resources and resolving conflicts with their family and friends.
Some of the feedback from the teachers was:
It was really great to have your group take part in the day - theatre and the arts provide a unique opportunity to explore difficult topics and from the feedback that I received, most of the audience seemed to appreciate this and were excited to take part.
It was an awesome event. We need more events like this as it has such an unbelievable impact on our students. In speaking to the students afterwards it was clear that it was thought provoking and challenged them to think and act in a more tolerant and respectful manner.
I really enjoyed it, there was comedy and interaction with all of the students. You’re never too cool to have fun, which is why I enjoyed it so much. You could see the joy on all of your faces up on stage. It really made my day, so thank you!
Thank you to Miles Macdonnell Collegiate for giving us the opportunity to honour your stories. As always, we are inspired by the courage of those who choose to share and by the surprising ways that playback can evoke response, even in those awkward and uncertain moments!
- Red Threads of Peace Founder, Dana Rungay