Sunday, 24 January 2010

Workshop at St Brendan's Sixth Form College

On October 7th we did a workshop and presentation at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College. The workshop was planned so that Firebird Theatre and 25 theatre students from St Brendan’s could work together. One of the positive criticisms we have received from past workshops is that students would like to work more closely with Firebird Theatre Company. We decided to plan a workshop that would involve the students working with us around a scene from The Tempest.

We wanted to try to show the students how we approach our theatre work. These were the main points we wanted to share with them.

How we look at the characters in a story and what happens to them; how we use our own experiences, our own feelings and emotions to do this. We identify with the story; we study and explore the characters in the story and all their relationships.

How we study the story and the themes that come out of the story; we discover our own meanings and thoughts about it. In the end we make the story ours through what we understand about it and how we want to tell it.

How hard we work and we always work together. Each one of us is important to Firebird. We have no stars. We all support each other and help each other on stage. We describe ourselves as a family of actors and we work as a team.

The workshop focussed on Prospero’s rise to power as a magician. Firebird gave examples of some of the theatre conventions we use to make our style of theatre, to tell stories in our own way. We then worked with the students in four smaller groups and came up with masses of different ideas, which were shared with everyone at the end of the workshop.

Some of the ideas that came out of the workshop will be used in Firebird’s performances of The Tempest. Thank you to the theatre students at St. Brendan’s Sixth Form College for a great workshop session together and for helping us develop our ideas around The Tempest and running workshops for young people.

Comments from the students
“They taught me to be very creative and that good ideas can often begin with a simple improvisation.”

“Just being in a group working completely together was incredibly effective because no one felt they were at a disadvantage and it was easy to listen to everyone’s ideas.”

Comments from Firebird Theatre
“It was brilliant. The students were good and very nice. It was a really enjoyable way to link-up with the students.”

“The students are very good to work with. They have enthusiasm. They are young and energetic with fresh ideas. We do feel this is the right way to work, more practical workshops where we work together with young people.”

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