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Faith & Learning Blog


Connecting Faith &Learning: On Stage

October 20, 2011
By Terry Kok


In the last blog I shared some ways Faith and Learning are connected in the counseling department.  This time I am hitting some highlights of a conversation with Dirk Jasperse, our high school science teacher and drama coach, discussing how faith and learning are connected in an extra-curricular activity like drama.

Extra-curricular activities are vital in the life of any school.  Students and adults share much time together in a sport, drama, or other activity for which they share a passion.  How the coach or director works with students can do much to enhance a young person’s Christian education.

Mr. Jasperse shared with me that he talks with the students in his plays about how drama is art and art is creative.  God, creating us in His image, created us to be creative beings.  As actors develop their characters, they are creating something.  Dirk regularly tells his actors to not only to listen to him but to create an interesting character.

Talents are given by God.  In the annual play Mr. Jasperse reminds students that drama is one way to put those talents to use.  He teaches them that like a sport, drama demands teamwork.  Actors have to rely on each other and form a unit.  As in everything else our God wants us to do our best and students are pushed to excellence.

In this extra-curricular activity students pray together before every performance.  They are encouraged to depend on the Lord and to dedicate their performances to Him. 

We see many examples of students who have been in plays becoming more comfortable in leading others in chapel and other spiritual emphasis times. 

Mr. Jasperse strives to pick plays that have something valuable to say.  He works with the actors to tell a story and reminds them that the performance is for the audience.  The plays remind the actors and the audience of the human condition and gives them a broader understanding of the world.

The stories of conflict, climax, and resolution can help us more deeply appreciate God’s redemption story in the Bible and our own lives.

We are grateful that in all areas of learning, including drama, we have teachers who consciously connect faith and learning for and with their students.

Mark Steenstra says:
October 24, 2011 10:30 AM CST

This year's play was excellent! Congratualtions to the students and Mr. Jasperse, and prasie God for blessing them with these talents. I attended along with my wife and four children and everyone enjoyed it.