KC theatre instructor Meghan Potter has smoothly carried her class to the end of the Spring semester amid the COVID-19 outbreak. As KC was forced to reshape its programs into a remote modality starting the semester, Potter has remained energetic and positive in an attempt to deliver quality education to her students in spite of the circumstances.
“Being in theatre, I’ve learned to ride the tide of change without much hesitation,” Potter said. “Stagecraft has been interesting to convert to remote learning.”
Potter, who’s been a member of the Texas Shakespeare Festival for almost ten years, agreed the content her students are to learn in the field of theatre is rather designed to be hands-on and taught face-to-face. However, despite the KC campus not being open to students, Potter was able to teach her program for the Spring semester as she revamped her class’ syllabus to make it more online-friendly.
When it comes to the class Potter teaches at KC, her goal for the semester has been for students to familiarize themselves with a new area of technical theatre on a weekly basis. Consequently, her students have completed activities, which were purposely designed to encourage them to explore training programs for when they graduate from KC. Among other activities, students have also analyzed job ads for required skill sets, and interviewed assigned artists for each area they studied.
Potter is a member of different theatre educator groups on Facebook. According to her, the artist community on the platform has been significantly helpful with remote-lesson plan suggestions. In fact, some of the projects her students have completed or will in the last week of the semester include creating foley sounds—that is, sound effects added to visual media post-production—practicing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) voice over work from the comfort of their homes, and calling cues for a virtual show as a result.
“Without the help of professional artist friends from around the country, this wouldn’t be possible,” she said. “I am always amazed at the fact that in an industry that’s been hit as hard as the performing arts, there are still these artists frantically trying to find their own way in this new world, and freely offering their time, expertise, and creativity to others in need.”
Potter was also quick to express the satisfaction she feels being an instructor at KC and having the opportunity to give back to the community through education.
“I’m not perfect and have many teachers that I look up to and aspire to be like, but helping to shape a new generation is probably the most rewarding work I’ve done in the last 15 years,” she said.
Potter maintains her determination to make the most out of the situation regarding COVID-19 as she chooses to use the opportunity to connect with her students and further her teaching abilities. She also plans to keep teaching and contributing to the arts for as long as she is able to.
“The pandemic is jarring and traumatizing to many, but like mostly anything in this world, there is always a silver lining,” she said. “This COVID-19 ‘pause’ has forced all of us to be creative and get down to what it really means to teach, mentor, and care for these students with whom we are entrusted.”
Irene Lucas – Staff Writer