Workshop Portfolio Essay

3741 words - 15 pages

performance for stage and screen |
Workshop Portfolio |
Arts in the Community |
Sarah Milner |

“Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.” (Boal, 1992, p. 31) For this module in Arts in the Community I wanted to work with children and after talking to Alice I discovered that she did too, we thought that it would be a good idea to find a placement together. We wanted our workshop to be influential and build on children's skills. Initially the idea was for our placement to be with disabled children as Alice and I wanted to create a workshop that centred on ...view middle of the document...

A reason we found it difficult is that Alice and I did not have a CRB check; a lot of schools were unwilling to take us without one. I researched and found the contacts of every primary school in Sheffield, as well as my home town and Alice’s. After emailing 78 different schools I received one reply from Ecclesfield Primary School saying that they wanted to have us come in on Wednesday 19th September. Hannah Smith the deputy head of the school and I arranged to come in on the 19th of December, and to put on four workshops with each class in the year one and two which was our target age group. This was an ideal placement as it allowed us to put on more than one workshop which would help us gain more experience.
At times we struggled with putting the workshop together as I wasn’t sure what the children were capable of doing and I was worried we had planned activities too complex, it was hard to anticipate how the children were going to react as we were unable to put it into practice. I researched different games and activities and thought about how we could adapt them to our theme and use them for the children’s advantage. The outline of our lesson plan can be found in the Appendix (Figure 3). 'It's all about creating moments where participation is impossible to resist, moving forward into the process you have set up, and having fun along the way.' (Paterson, 1998, p. 4) This is exactly what we wanted to do with our workshop. At first we thought of using the activity that we did in lesson of using voices and sound to create for example a factory but I thought we could use this to create the sound of Santa’s workshop. We changed this as we decided that it might be too difficult for the children to follow and too hard to control, instead we played a movement game of them walking around the room and we shouted for example Reindeer and they had to do the movement of that. Another exercise that we adapted was a treasure hunt, I saw this and thought this would be a brilliant way to engage the children and make them work together with each other to find the stolen present that we had hidden, and they used the clues that we placed around the room. The clues can be found in the Appendix (Figure 4). A disadvantage we had was that we didn’t have a way to put our workshop to the test to see if children responded well or if our activities would work and are easy for the children to understand, the first workshop was also our first run through.
There were unknown factors about the classes so when planning we had to assume there would be at least thirty children in the class. At the end of the workshop we gave sweets and honorary elf stickers to the class to reward them for their hard work. We planned for thirty five people in the class in order to make sure that we had enough for everybody and we brought extra just in case. Alice and I both wore matching elf costumes; we wanted to wear the same for it to be more believable for the children as we were...

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