Upper School Students Engage in Cultural Connections through the Arts

Earlier this month, Upper School students participated in a Culture Connections Field Trip to view Studio Tenn’s The Battle of Franklin: A House Divided offered through TPAC-HOT programming.
Reflecting on the field trip’s purpose, CPA Artistic Director Paula Flautt commented, “Our goal was to prepare students to view The Battle of Franklin, so art can do what it has the power to do… speak to the heart. This play deeply plumbs the topic of reconciliation. In the end, the story of the Battle of Franklin is about more than mere history--it's about relationship, and how as humans we treat each other.”
The preparation was launched through a chapel introducing students via a film trailer to elements of the production, and multiple faculty sharing on relevant historic, relational, and biblical connections to the art form.
Special guests Studio Tenn Artistic Director Matt Logan (’95) and writer A. S. Petersen met with history and Bible classes sharing about the creative process, themes, and the power of theatre to create a dialogue on current events. As Logan stated, “The play is a platform to have conversation about things that all of us may not see or feel.  It is a consideration of others and what they have gone through.  Every person has a different point of view and we have to listen to each other…” Both men encouraged students, and all The Battle of Franklin audiences, to ask themselves, “What do these stories have to say to us today?”
Theatre and music students also engaged in study with teaching artist Carolyn German from TPAC. German’s workshop used excerpts from the script to teach subtleties in music choices and character dynamics to illuminate the artist’s responsibility to open up the emotional journey of the production. 
Advisories further provided a forum for students to discuss, question, and connect the historic events in light of the themes of hope and reconciliation relevant to life today asking questions such as:
  • How does society influence our identity and the choices we make?
  • What does it mean for all mankind to be created in the image of God? (Gen. 1:27)
  • How does humility toward others show up in connection to the play?  To life in the halls, classrooms, and down time? (Phil. 2:3)

Christ Presbyterian Academy

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