August 6th, 2015
Photocredit – Dr Vivek Nityananda
It seems hard to believe for us, but our first week is all done and dusted. It’s only been 3 workshops and only 3 hours contact time with our little human-insects but it feels like we’ve generated a lot of material in that short amount of time.
Circumstances dictated that we were in a much smaller room today so the idea was to focus more on design – of costumes and sets and see what the kids imagined a human insect might look like and where they might live.
First though, we met with our ladybird and dragonfly characters from the day before. They were armed only with movements at this stage so we watched them move around, gave them more insect activities to do and gave them voices. Then we started to explore what it might look like if these insects morphed into humans with insect souls. What jobs might they have? Where do they live? Almost instantly we had possible ideas from our participants and our actors fleshed these out in the moment. For the record, ‘Buzz’ the Human-Dragonfly was the owner of a successful spectacle-making business and ‘Darubybelle’ the Human-Ladybird was a house painter.
As it turned out, we were generating so much juicy stuff by working with the actors that we had a bit less time to look at design than anticipated. But we still managed to see some insect costumes and insect houses drawn in chalk on our blackboard material.
The show itself feels like it is taking some kind of shape in our heads, although it is a very faint shape. I do want to resist the temptation to start curating the children’s ideas with my adult brain and try and let their creations be as they are and act as provocations for further thinking from other children to see where that takes us.
One thing that we’re also still refining is how the research can fit best – we want to be accurate with the behaviours and appearances of our insects and try and make sure that any fantastical ideas don’t conflict with this.
All in all a great week and looking forward to getting back in the room on Tuesday!