Teaching Spatial Theory and Theatre ‘Site-Specifically’
In this chapter, the author documents her teaching experiences in the MAIPR programme in terms of how a course unfolded in its two iterations in Finland: in Tampere and Helsinki respectively. She outlines how this form of teaching instilled in the students an active learning about spatiality in the theatre. It brought an element of site-specificity to this type of teaching, something that is rarely possible in the institutional context presented by most universities. Instead of using the lecture theatre or the classroom, the students in the first cohort encountered spatiality through the different (theatre) locations in which the classes were held. They attended live theatre productions and discussed each performance’s use of space. Many students reported after the course was completed that they finally understood the significance of and possibilities in space. The author thinks what really raised their understanding about spatiality was the opportunity to understand its potential in numerous ‘locations’. This chapter maps how a form of ‘site-specificity’, a well-known and popular genre of theatre, is an ideal means for introducing students to the intricacies of spatiality in performance.