Friday, July 4, 2014

Day 1 at Rose Bruford College by Michelle Bellamy

We had the opportunity today to further familiarize ourselves with the work of Oily Cart, as well as tour, and even begin a series of workshops that take place at Rose Bruford College at Sidcup.

We began our day by taking the Overground to Sidcup for our visit to Rose Bruford College. As the Tube was overflowing with those in the midst of their workday commute, we didn't get the opportunity to finally sit down and enjoy our view until we boarded the Overground train to London. After about a 30 minute scenic trip outside of London proper, we arrived at the Rose Bruford Theatre. 

Our tour guide, Lawrence, gave us a brief history of some of the theatre spaces and resource center, and our tour eventually led us to Jeremy Harrison, the Subject Specialist for the MA in TYA, and Program Director of the Actor Musicianship actor training program. Jeremy, also the chair of Rose Bruford College's Theatre For Young Audience's Centre, exposed us to existing TYA companies in the UK through video clips and first- hand accounts. He then introduced us to our own project, one in which imagined spaces will be realized over the course of the next few classes. We will be working with groups of young children and devise dramatic and artistic activities that help them create these imagined spaces.

To help generate ideas, as well as allow us some time to develop our own imagined spaces we were given the task of drawing based on a set of criteria. First, we had to lay down on a sheet of paper, while a partner traced our body in whatever pose we chose to take. Then we had to answer a list of questions based on preferences for things like colors, places, architecture, weather, vegetables, and animals. We shared our finished artistic pieces and were able to have others interpret our work. The hope was that their ideas may help inspire you when developing the imagined spaces with the kids.

(My imagined space. Since I'm a costume designer my preferences are imagined as clothing pieces)

Our "homework" was to write a piece that corresponded with our visual work. Music could also be incorporated as a sort of soundtrack to the drawing.

After lunch we met with TIm Webb, the Artistic Director of Oily Cart. We played a brief warm-up in which we had to create a perfect circle, first by holding hands in a circle and then making that circle as large, small, and tall as possible. We then sat in that circle and took turns passing a bag around the circle whispering and shouting our names, as well as making animal sounds. The idea was that, should any of us feel insecure or apprehensive in the new space, each one of us didn't have to worry about sharing our information aloud-- we could share it in the bag.

We then watched a really cool slideshow filled with videos from Oily Cart performances. It gave us a more visual understanding to accompany the book we had previously read about Oily Cart, and really showed us the progression of the company and it's multiple avenues for engaging those with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), and those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

He used a short dramatic activity to get us into random groups, then asked us to come up with different populations of people that might benefit from an Oily Cart performance. We had to decide for how long the performance might last, the age of the group, the what the performance might include, and what senses it might engage.

Our "homework" is to bring in objects that we liked to smell, taste, and touch, and bring those with us for the next workshop.

The day was packed with learning opportunities and inspiration to help us not only complete our curriculum plans assignments for DaY, but for our future endeavors in education. It was really great to speak with such learned professionals who were great examples of the success that we may which to obtain.

xx Michelle

(Images taken from the Oily Cart website )

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