School: Lehman Alternative Community School
Project Title: Ethnographic Theatre
Class: Migrations and Immigration
Project: Students in Alexandra Hartley’s Migrations and Immigration class, which explores topics of immigration through literature, developed and performed a play about immigration based on first-person interviews they conducted with members of the LACS community who have immigrated to the United States. The class performed a staged reading of the play, “Home,” for their peers in May. Students created a list of interview questions based on class texts and developed a list of ideas to focus on. They then interviewed students, teachers and teaching assistants about their experiences immigrating to Ithaca, transcribed them and used that material and what they’d learned about the immigration experience to create theatrical scenes that were woven into a 20-minute play. Afterward, students reflected on how the project helped them to gain perspective on immigration and privilege.
Local connections: Students worked with Civic Ensemble, an Ithaca-based theatre group, and teaching artist Sarah Chalmers Simmons, who facilitated conversations on documentary theatre and helped students build collaboration and team skills through drama games.