Sunday, September 30, 2007

violence on stage

Concerned viewers demand that television and movies should censor the amount and nature of violence they feature as it greatly affects or influence the minds of young viewers. Acts of killing or brutally hurting others should not be served "raw" to the audience. Moviemakers are challenged to present scenes in the most realistic fashion without hurting the sensibilities of people or without distorting the facts or without showing the "act" itself,sparing the audience from seeing gory details of spilled guts and smashed skulls. Gory details of killings or massacres should be done so artistically that the scene shouldn't look like an abattoir.

However, who censors what students present on stage? Teachers of course should be the first ones to check that student presentations onstage should not break the above rule regarding violence. Otherwise, the school will become another breeding ground for hardened and violence-tolerant individuals. When outside trainers are hired to train students in their stage presentations, the teacher usually adopts a hands-up attitude, entrusting the whole thing to the hired trainer who, at times, does not have an eye for such concern. Result? The whole student population watches an array of killings, as in a character stabbing with a knife another character right before the very eyes of student audiences. A depiction of war among gun-bearing characters on stage becomes a common sight. Rape on stage, physical fights which involve kicking, pushing, boxing, slapping are all commonly shown on stage as part of student presentations. Of course we know that some of these happen in real life but shouldn't there be a more creative way of presenting these horrid details without presenting them in an exaggerated fashion or in a way that gives more emphasis on the violence of the situation?

I think educators should teach students how to think creatively, how to transform the raw facts of life into an art form in their stage presentations. There is no real art in presenting life as it is. Education should include the teaching and learning to recognize values in what students present in the classroom or onstage.

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