Two further long, packed, days with KIE 1 (the first year students) have left us tired but satisfied. It has been exciting to see how eager they have been to develop their skills and acquire new understandings of the work. Using a folk-tale (an adapted version of Little Red Riding Hood) to provide a stimulus and template for creating a short original play, we have explored together the use of dramatic tableaux (still images); devising essential dialogue; creating and breaking routines; concrete mime (the physical representation of inanimate objects such as trees, flowers, undergrowth, rocks etc.); making soundscapes (the noises of the forest); and the use of ‘customized’ songs and dances.
By the end of our final day together, the students had created five versions of the story, incorporating many of the new devices and conventions we had explored. They had also learned a wide-range of skill and group building games and exercises – and were hungry for more. The level of their concentration, commitment and ability to work together also increased considerably. They were all a delight to work with, and one or two displayed exceptional talent and quickly grasped the principles of applied theatre to which we were able to expose them.
An added bonus and pleasure was the number of Level 3 students (already referred to as Level 4) that came by, joined in and supported our efforts in leadership roles – without ever dominating or appearing ‘superior’. They are of course eager for next week to begin.
Chris and Helen