Academic department under which the project should be listed

Theatre and Performance Studies

Research Mentor Name

Margaret Pendergrass

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The Collision Project is a performance-based project that introduces young artists to an inspiration which drives them to create their own performative art. During my time participating in Kennesaw State University's 2022 New Connections Collision Project, I had the privilege of working alongside the talented youth graduates in the Department of Justice system. Through my first-hand experience and by examining the works through the lens of Megan Alrutz’s book Digital Storytelling, Applied Theatre, & Youth: Performing Possibility, I learned the importance of personal expression through creation. Projects such as our Collision Project and Alrutz’s Performing Justice Project present highly beneficial experiences for the youth, permitting them much-needed outlets for unapologetic expression. Many of the youth were forced to grow up far too fast and the area for expression and creation were not well-fostered during their up-bringing. To observe the youth graduates work alongside myself and the other university peer mentors granted me many valuable lessons, including those regarding biases, harmony, and most importantly, empathy. I entered this project as someone blinded by the biases of my own environment, but can now assuredly say I am a much wiser person thanks to this enlightening experience. I am eager to share the lessons I learned from the youth graduates with all who are willing to open their minds and listen.

Disciplines

Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Other Theatre and Performance Studies | Performance Studies

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The Importance of Creation: Lessons from the Collision and Performing Justice Projects

The Collision Project is a performance-based project that introduces young artists to an inspiration which drives them to create their own performative art. During my time participating in Kennesaw State University's 2022 New Connections Collision Project, I had the privilege of working alongside the talented youth graduates in the Department of Justice system. Through my first-hand experience and by examining the works through the lens of Megan Alrutz’s book Digital Storytelling, Applied Theatre, & Youth: Performing Possibility, I learned the importance of personal expression through creation. Projects such as our Collision Project and Alrutz’s Performing Justice Project present highly beneficial experiences for the youth, permitting them much-needed outlets for unapologetic expression. Many of the youth were forced to grow up far too fast and the area for expression and creation were not well-fostered during their up-bringing. To observe the youth graduates work alongside myself and the other university peer mentors granted me many valuable lessons, including those regarding biases, harmony, and most importantly, empathy. I entered this project as someone blinded by the biases of my own environment, but can now assuredly say I am a much wiser person thanks to this enlightening experience. I am eager to share the lessons I learned from the youth graduates with all who are willing to open their minds and listen.