Kris Freerackers

Monday, Oct 26, 2015

Richard Schechner

Richard Schechner

Attending Performance Studies in 1983-84 under the visionary Richard Schechner was a revelation for me, not only because of the riveting discussions and unforgettable seminars with living legends of performance practise, but also for the way study and life became inextricably linked. I will never forget circumambulating a smoking hibachi with some thirty other students during a recreation of an Indian fire ritual, after hours inside a Tisch School dance studio, or the moment a panicking security guard was told not to worry because "I am professor Schechner and everything is under control." I will also never forget the fear I felt walking to school in a borrowed skirt and bra for a course in Gender and Performativity, or the relief when halfway there I spotted a burly, bearded Australian classmate in a sparkly dress and boa. That year I had the opportunity to turn into Pinocchio for Susan Kleckner's Performance for Camera class. I experienced Psychodrama, Forum Theatre, baroque dancing and whirling like a dervish. And I got to write a Master's thesis on postmodern puppetry...As an international student from Belgium, I should have been prepared for good dose of magic realism, but my year at NYU surpassed my wildest expectations!

— Kris Freerackers, Class of 1986, Vancouver, BC, Canada