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ERIC Number: EJ1002958
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
The Blue Glow from the Back Row: Live Theater and the Wireless Teen
Richardson, John M.
English Journal, v102 n1 p88-91 Sep 2012
Every year the author and his colleagues take their grade 12 English students to see four plays at one of Canada's major theaters. Chatting about the series on the last day of class, his students asked him if he had seen "the blue glow from the back row." Laughing at his bewilderment, they told him that during the performances so many students were texting and surfing the Web on handheld devices, the entire back row had radiated an eerie blue light. The author found his students' comments intriguing. Two questions occurred to him, and a study began to take shape. First, how do students raised in the world of instant access to information, entertainment, and communication experience live, literary theater? Second, what is the best way for an English teacher to prepare these young people for a trip to the theater? This article describes this study and discusses its implications for educators. By teaching students to appreciate live theater on its own terms, the author's goal is to "build bridges" between students' digital mindsets and the stage. He hopes that his students will come to see that theater invites them to watch real people moving in real space, and that more than two thousand years of theatrical tradition await their discovery and enjoyment. (Contains 3 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 12; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada