Carrie has been a teaching artist in NYC for 10 years and a mom for 6 months. She received her MA in Applied Theatre from CUNY School of Professional Studies in 2011. Carrie is currently working for organizations such as TDF, The Roundabout Theatre Company, and The Museum of the City of New York doing playbuilding, and connecting theatre to literacy and the Common Core Standards. Below are her thoughts on the art of mothering:
If you had asked me a year and a half ago, a year ago, even six months ago, how I would feel as a working mother, I would have said: “I love my work as a teaching artist and an applied theater practitioner. I’m passionate about theater and the power of theater to transform, and my child will be proud of me for doing what I love. What an example I will set!”
Fast-forward five and a half months.
Instead, I feel pulled in a million directions. The passion for my work and my students are still there but I am also passionate about my son. I have noticed that when I am working with a difficult group of students, my patience is thin and I wonder why I am not at home with my own son who is probably crying because his first teeth are coming in. When I am planning for my next day’s lessons, I feel guilty that I am putting effort into the development of another person’s child instead of playing with my own son. I feel guilty all of the time because my passions are split and I can no longer give one hundred percent to my work.
I wonder, how long does the guilt last? How long can I keep fooling everyone—my students, administrators, and teachers—that my thoughts are elsewhere? When I’m playing Walk, Stop, Jump, Clap, can I be fully in the moment and there for the needs of my participants? When will I stop recycling lesson plans and challenge my own creativity again?
I thought the art of applied theatre was challenging but the art of mothering is a feat as well. So, I am currently working on my master’s in applied mothering. I’ll let you know when I’m ready to share my thesis.
The Master’s Degree in Applied Theatre, the first program of its kind in the United States, is a sequential, ensemble-based program for students interested in the use of theatre to address social and educational issues in a wide range of settings. The program stresses the unity of theory and practice, and is linked to the professional applied theatre work of the renowned CUNY Creative Arts Team.