Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning: Leadership Lessons from some Youth Thespians
Stroud Stasel, Rebecca
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The development of youth agency and leadership skills offers many long-term benefits. This paper analyses an experimental high school action theatre project in the American Midwest, entitled Beyond the Borders (BTB), through the lenses of leadership and action theatre. Action theatre is an alternative theatre form that seeks to raise critical literacy and incite social change. It is often used by marginalized groups (Boal, 1985, 1995, 1998, 2001) but has yet to be adequately represented in educational curricula. I use Tuckman’s (2001) group theory processes of forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning to create an ecological model that supports the analysis of BTB’s lifecycle because this study involved participants that took on distributed leadership roles and because many theatre processes metaphorically simulate these processes. The data in this paper is reviewed retrospectively. I use a narrative approach in order to present the data “as embodiments of lived stories” (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000, p. 43). Conclusions include the need to further cover action theatre pedagogies in educational systems because they provide rich experiential learning and leadership opportunities for youth and teachers and a call for organizational school leaders to commit space for optimizing leadership capacity and supports given to teachers and leaders engaged in said processes.