An inside look into the 2015 Fall Semester Reading in Action course.
By Lauren Padilla
It was on the syllabus of course, but when we were reminded that they’d be acting out A Raisin In The Sun, the Reading In Action Class was still rather in denial.
“Act? Live? In front of people of all things?”
Thankfully a general enthusiasm lived on (as our clip denotes), the number of missed entrances was minimal, and the performance passed us enjoyably—thanks to the acting and also the unreal amount of snacks.
Even though it was executed by amateurs, seeing the play firsthand revealed all kinds of nuances we may have missed when reading it through the first time:
Being able to hear a penny drop when Walter Lee discovers that Ruth is pregnant.
The vehemence in Lena’s reply when Beneath denounces God.
These sensations can all be written perfectly well into a novel, but only real voices can achieve them. It was a reminder to us all as readers that literature is not static—in the case of a stage play, or otherwise. Of course, stage plays are the most physical and tangible form of this concept, but literature should always be an experience; in the hands of a good reader, a piece of literature is alive
This project was part of Professor D’Amico’s EL115H Reading in Action Course. This freshman level honors course explores a variety of reading practices beginning with our initial love of literature, moving into advanced scholarly reading, and engaging in service-learning with reading communities in Spokane. Padilla was one of her freshman students.