Ibsen making a difference through visual arts and theatre
July 28, 2009

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Ali explains how the children
will play their acting games
Senior Ali Ibsen is interning this summer at the Red Door Playhouse, a children's theatre in Roswell, GA. She is a teaching and production assistant to Seth and Leah Decker, Red Door's founders and directors, during art and drama camps for 5-8 and 9-12 year olds. Each drama week has a color and location theme, such as "jungle orange,” around which the kids develop their own original play, design costumes, paint a set, and put on a production of their play open to the public on the last day of camp.

Ali describes her experience as “an absolute blast!” and one that God used “to reveal some of His purpose for me.” She explained that when she entered Bryan as a communications/ theatre major three years ago, she had assumed that she would end up acting professionally or going on to study theatre in graduate school. 
Learning about scenery
Instead this experience has reinforced her love for and desire to work with kids. She has seen how art and theatre can be wonderful mediums to encourage children's creativity and imagination. At the same time Ali states that “creative, imaginative play is dying out in our culture, as we are entertained to death, allowing others to do all the creating and imagining for us. In a world that so often frowns upon innocence and pushes children to grow up too fast, kids participating in the creative process through visual arts and theatre provides a time when they can just be kids."

Tying together her internship experience this summer with last summer’s travels in Guatemala, Ali said that when she would go to the park to sketch, the Guatemalan street children would flock around her with the intention of trying to sell her their goods. Instead she would invite them to sit next to her and draw. She saw their little faces light up as they talked and drew. As Ali tells it, “these street children got to take a break from the reality of work and poverty and enjoy the beauty of creativity for a few moments. They could just be children again. Those were the sweet moments to move deeper and explain the awesome hope and redemption that I have in Jesus Christ, the gift that He also offers to them!”
Acting out an intense improv scene

Ali concluded, “As the Lord directs me, I hope to use the mediums of art and theatre to encourage children’s gifts of imagination, to foster the joy and innocence of childhood, and to creatively teach Christ's incredible truth through dramatic story and artistic symbolism. I am so grateful for this internship; through it, the Lord allowed this passion in my heart to finally materialize. He's awesome!”

Helping the kids develop their play
characters using character info sheets
Enjoying a break together
between scenes