August 26th, 2015
A small but very engaged group of children today which meant a really lovely workshop with lots of great things. One participant came along for the third time and her mother said that her daughter had been playing bee games after coming to the workshops and that the science we mention in the workshops had really been staying with her. Result!
I think today’s session puts us in a good position heading into a days rehearsal with the actors tomorrow with a view towards putting together our work-in-progress showing next week.
In past workshops I’ve definitely been guilty of rushing things, of going to far too fast which sometimes seems to shock the kids into silence or shyness. But I was really happy with how it seemed to pan out with the participants, who seemed a bit shy to begin with, slowly coming out of their shells and by the end they were happily getting involved.
Using an easel, a walking stick, a sheet and some tape I’d put together a ‘flat’, which is basically a free-standing wall – something that the actors can be behind and then come out from in character. It means it makes it a bit more magical, the insect characters seem to appear from nowhere and when one actor exits, the audience’s imagination can reset before the next characters comes out.
We spent most of the hour meeting the different insect characters and revisiting some of the scenes and situations we’d created over the past few weeks. Our actors were amazing as usual – I give them a quick rundown of what we’re going to be doing each day but never in much detail so they have to just run with whatever I throw at them, not really knowing what scene they’re going to have to do next. And they jump in every time.
With just 5 workshops to go before the end of the summer, it feels like the show is starting to take a wee bit of shape which is reassuring and exciting.