David and Caullen of SoapBox were honored to be a part of the True/False Film Festival Education Team this year, co-leading a four-day creative workshop for Camp True/False along with the wonderfully talented Pearl Quick. Camp True/False is a media literacy program for 75 select high school students from all across the country (40 local, 35 out-of-town). The students meet five times leading up to the Fest then attend the Fest together. In the pre-Fest meetings, students learn about the history of documentary, documentary ethics, how to critically read documentary film, discuss relevant issues, and share research. A the Fest, the students experience a weekend of exciting films, music, art, conversations, and workshops with a diverse crew of exceptional guests and local hosts.
March 2018: Artists-in-Residency
In this four-day journey, we worked with the students on telling their authentic narratives through interpersonal relationship-building and poetry, culminating in a two or three-voice poem at the end of the weekend.
We broke up the creative lesson into four sessions with three overarching frameworks:
- Authenticity and Telling Your Truth
- Art in Activism in a Push for Social Change
- Interpersonal Relationship Building is Movement Building
- DAY 1: Welcome and Introduce Creative Project
- Pearl, David, and Caullen introduced the creative project by performing a three-voice poem of their own then debriefed by discussing the logistics of the weekend, working frameworks, and encouraging students to connect, be creative, and get outside of their comfort zones.
- DAY 2: Two-Voice Poem and Meisner Technique
- Pearl, with her background in spoken word and power writing, talks students through the importance of telling their own story. Caullen uses the repetition acting exercise, congruent with the Meisner technique, to allow students to CONNECT with each other in a more organic level.
- DAY 3: Poetry Mechanics and Structure
- David leads students through a brief history of poetry before students prep for their pieces.
- DAY 4: Students Present Work
- Run like an open mic, students performed their amazing and diverse pieces to Camp True/False. We were so very inspired with the students' attention, passion, and creativity.
On the second day of the festival, David and Caullen led the session "Social Media Literacy and Activism" during DIY (Do It Yourself) Day, which hosted hundreds of high school students from the area. Speaking truth to power comes in many forms. In the age of social media and technological advances, how do we harness our creative skills to foster a community of discussion, education, excitement, and, most importantly, action? This workshop taught students how to utilize everyday digital tools, traditional branding techniques, as well as a radical imagination to create and proliferate creative authentic narratives capable of change.