As part of our Theatre In Education commission, as well as performing a devised performance for our English piece ‘Olivia and the Disappearing Stories’, we are also required to devise a workshop. This is something we have not started creating yet, however, the purpose of this session was to get some tips from Lynn on how to create one.
The workshop along with our piece can be done either before or after the performance, however, it would be recommended to do it afterwards. We had already decided that our workshop will be before our piece, but I learned that if we do, there shouldn’t be information which they would have already learned, instead it should be new things which for our topic, can broaden their imaginations. The workshop should also match the learning objective that we have created for the piece.
There should be a few activities within a workshop which range in groups and this can ensure that the children can engage in different ways. However, when dividing them into groups, we need to get the teachers to sort this aspect out, this is because we don’t know which children do and don’t get on together, but they do. For the same reason, if we do pair up children before the workshop, then we should check with the teacher that they are reasonable.
Confidence is very important when running a workshop, not only when you are speaking, but also at knowing who does what in the workshop. Therefore, we need to decide beforehand which member of the group is going to run which workshop and lead each group. This is because if we don’t know who is speaking and leading, then we will lose control of our audience and they will start to lose focus on us.
In terms of the workshop and the different activities we do, the smaller ones should be carried out first with the more complicated ones set for afterwards. Before starting these activities, there is a chance that everything may not be able to be shown, therefore, we need to make it clear that we may only have the chance to see one or two of the performances that have been devised.
Before this session, I always had the impression that the workshop would consist of one large activity, however, I have learned about having a range of smaller activities in a workshop that should only last 30 minutes. Now that we have received these tips, our group can now go away and think of some workshop ideas.