In The Thick of it (where there is a lot of stuff to say)

| November 3, 2012

The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. ‘Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?’ he asked.
‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’

I can’t really remember where I last stopped and I am not going to look back. I do know that there has been no time to write so I shall obey the King.

After landing and finding myself in a magnificent heritage home run by an interesting woman who had much in common with my aunt, including her name, I was whisked around Regina to meet people, visit our work location at the university, play tennis and go out to eat. The next day we shopped and I planned for the workshop that would begin the next day.

Context – all this series of workshops are part of a project called Mindfield. Mindfield is part-funded by Arts Council England and the purposes of the project are to initiate the School of Workshop, run a series of workshops to provide the material to give School of Workshop a good start in life; and for Anglo-Canadian series to be run  in collaboration with Prof. Linds, interactive drama practitioner and good guy based at Concordia Uni, Montreal, and then fo9r the dastardly duo (me and him) to write a travelogue across our 10 workshops – a sort of Atlas of Workshop.

It has been said, and I can verify this, that workshop is the art of anomaly (Maggi Squire, some time ago). Here’s an anomaly then – we began our Anglo- Canadian series in Italy near Bologna. And here’s another one, we did not begin as practitioners/ facilitators/ leaders or guides. We began our journey as participants in a course on the Role of Joker in Boal’s Forum Theatre.

Then we ran our first workshop on workshop together. It was called Image of the Hour. It was a little hurriedly assembled and a wee haphazard in its design but what emerged were the rules of Praxology. When time allows I shall most them in the manifesto section on this website. There was then a gap  of several months until Autumn has set in and I flew to Canada. So that is a little in the way of a catch up.  The Canadian part of the series looks like this:

  • A two-day workshop with a Health Research Team looking at the use of Applied Arts in improving health conditions in First Nations people around Fort Qu’appelle and based at Regina University.
  • Immediately followed by two days with the young people of Peepeekisis who are part of the Cree nation at a The All Nations Health Centre near Fort Qu’appelle.
  • Then a flight back to Montreal and a weekend with the Living Histories Ensemble, a group of practitioners who employ various forms of interactive theatre to engage with the stories of refugee communities and genocide survivors.
  • Immediately followed by four  half-day workshops at Concordia University – three in Theatre for Development and one for a Facilitator Class.
  • Finishing with a two-day course for facilitators at Concordia called The Laboratory of Imagination.

That more or less is the outline of what I/we are doing here and then in January there is the final workshop in the Mindfield series back in the UK – Guests of Chance.

NOW I CAN begin the next bit of my story….

Any questions so far?

Category: Canadian Blog

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Director of School of Workshop

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