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The Cirkus Theatre Project at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA)—a collaboration of the UNCSA School of Design and ...
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Use this short film to explore the creative process with students. Although the video focuses on a theater/dance performance, you can use the video as a starting point to discuss any creative endeavor—in the arts, sciences, and business.
Before watching the video:
- Discuss the creative process with students. In order to come to a more thorough understanding of what the creative process is, brainstorm with the class definitions for the following terms:
- Use the definitions to write a description or definition of the creative process.
- Discuss the difference between creativity and talent. What are their similarities? What are their differences? Can either be taught or are they innate? Do you need them both to create something? Why or why not?
- Students may associate the creative process only in relation to the arts. Encourage students to expand their thinking by suggesting other fields in which the creative process is used, such as in business (advertising, entrepreneurship), and science (discovery, invention). Ask students to contribute additional instances of how creativity has influenced the world around them.
- Have students share their own experiences with the creative process. How did they come up with their ideas or questions? What were the steps they had to take to complete the process? What obstacles did they encounter? What was the final result?
While watching the video:
- Have students jot down instances where they see the creative process in progress.
After watching the video:
- Ask students to discuss what they noticed about the creative process. What elements of the process were displayed in the video?
- One of the students in the video says, “Everybody has their own way of working and you learn something from how they work.” Another student says, “There’s no reason for you to assume that I know more than you do.” What do these two statements express about collaboration and the creative process? Ask students to think about a time when they learned something from working with someone who had a different approach. What happened?
- One of the artists says that he and his partner were looking for “people who are willing to try anything.” This approach can lead to many interesting outcomes. It also implies that not every attempt will be successful. Explore with the class how frustration or even “failure” can ultimately lead to success.
- Discuss some of the ground rules that help make people comfortable enough to take risks, often an essential part of discovery and innovation. For some, it might be risky just to speak in front of the class. For others, it might be risky to look inward. Discuss with students barriers to creative thinking and strategies to overcome one’s shyness, fears, or reluctance.
- Have students reflect on how they can better use the creative process to help them in school and beyond.