Theatre and Mindfulness

This month in the UK there is a focus on wellbeing and mental health, which of course links to mindfulness, which is what many schools are embracing as part of their Advisory programmes. Soon I am going to be running a workshop in my local community on wellbeing and creativity, so I have been reading up about creative mindfulness. The blog this month is going to share some mindfulness exercises that you can try out with your students, but I ...

World Theatre in the Shadows

The last few weeks I have been researching theatre traditions and theatre companies that use SHADOWS in their performances. For this blog I thought it would be good to share them with you so that you can see the amazing range of ways that light and darkness can be used with objects, bodies and film in performance. You can use these as starting points for devising, ways into world theatre traditions or as ideas for performance and production. I hope ...

“Oh No He Isn’t!”: The Magical World of the British Panto

'To see a pantomime is to see the ridiculous simplicity of the world through the eyes of a child.' Anon 'I am grim all day, but I make you laugh at night.' Joseph Grimaldi Snow White - Holiday Panto - Throckmorton TheatreSource: Fabrice Florin (CC BY-SA 2.0), via Flickr If you are lucky enough to be in the UK during the months of December and January, then you would be immersed in a theatrical world that comes across as slightly crazy. A ...

Theatre of Place

Last house on Holland Island, May 2010Source: baldeaglebluff, via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) The last couple of weeks I have been working with students in different parts of the world using a place as a starting point for work. This has been an interesting journey, as we have tried out many things to help us really get inside the place, the ghosts that passed through it one time and the essence of what remains. This blog will share some ideas for how ...

A Potpourri of Starting Points

The last few months I have been running a lot of online training courses for teachers and also running some face to face training for teachers new to the IB. There is one amazing resource that I am going to share with you this month and it is all the starting points that teachers have identified could be used in their courses for devising practice or suggested to the students to be used for their final Collaborative Project. In the guide ...

Tips for the Research Presentation

It is that time of year again when students are doing their REAL assessment tasks in year 2 of the course or having a practice run in year 1. My students in year 1 of the Diploma Theatre course have just had their practice runs of the RESEARCH PRESENTATION and, while we were working on putting the presentations together, there were many things that I found helped them enormously. Below are the things that I helped them with and how ...

Inspiration from Productions for the DN

Over the Winter break and recent Chinese New year breaks, I managed to go to a wonderful range of performances and productions. It really was amazing to see how spaces, sets and mood were communicated through a range of styles and cultures. This blog will share a few things that occurred to me as I watched, and may inspire you to encourage your students to watch not only theatre performances to inspire their Director's Notebook. The Nutcracker Ballet at Hong Kong Cultural ...

Capturing Audience Response

Recently I have been running Category 3 IB Theatre training that focused on the Collaborative Project. During the training, my teacher participants worked as small devising companies developing their own approaches to developing theatre and then performing their work to determine if they had achieved their intentions and intended impact. This blog will list all the ways that they gathered audience feedback to evaluate their impact on the audience. I hope that you will find this useful and have time ...

Ways into Psycho-physicality

Three weeks ago I started working at a new school with a new group of IB Theatre students in their first year of the course.  As they had not heard of Stanislavsky and were not familiar with theatre theory I thought it would be good to immerse them in some practical work to understand The System. We stared with Psycho-physicality leading to MPA (Method of Physical Actions) and then they made their own connections between inner feelings and outer communication ...

Theatre for change – ‘Disorder contained’

Many of you will know about Brecht and Boal, and will probably have come across some other theorists or theatre companies that create theatre designed to make a specific impact, and hopefully bring about some change in ways of thinking, behaviour or spur people on to take action to bring about some sort of change in their environment or society. Brecht work for us deals with history, so we can look at this issues from a distance, and relate safely ...