ETC and Davao Training Centre, Philippines
October and November 2005
Led by Cecile and Jeremy
Notes by Rainjita ( Davao STC)
In theatre we can use many forms of art like dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, visual arts, play of colours and many others. Theatre can be used as a means to get to know children and adults, to educate them, and to release tension. Theatre can be used as an exercise to control anger for example. We have the capacity to control our emotions. We are all different individuals but there is always something that is common that can connect us. As we are all unique we can explore each other by using theatre. In theatre we use physical, social, emotional and aesthetic elements.1. The opening
To break the ice we started by singing this song:
Lakad means move forward. Atras is stepping back. Rosa is a name of a woman. This song is a song for woman’s solidarity. We urge women to move forward but some times because of circumstances they have to move backward in order to advance. While singing this song, we make a circle. We move forward and step backward together according to the song. With two hands each will hold the shoulders of the person in front of her. When singing “lakad” we step forward and when singing “atras” we jump backward.2. Introduction of Ourselves
Each person looked for a small object in the surroundings to represent her personality. She brought it in the circle and one by one each person shared about that object and why she chose that object to represent herself. Sometimes it was very emotional and this was a fine opportunity to get to know each other. After all were finished, all objects were placed in the middle of the circle on a paper.3. Discussion and Individual Performance
The leader asked each participant the meaning of art and the connection of art and theatre. Then she requested
that everyone should perform something individually. It was to be a dance, a drama, a song or anything. It could also be pairs. Anything that they believed they could do and then the leader gave everyone time and space for a short rehearsal.
The performances by participants were as follows:
-One sister asked the others one by one to draw a picture on the same paper then she told a story according to the pictures on the paper.
-Another recited the conversation and the music in a Balinese dance Calon Arang.
-Two participants did pantomimes.
-One told the background history of a sacred Balinese dance and gave a short performance of Legong Kraton dance.
-One sang a song complete with the gestures.
-Two give a short drama4. Discussion: Elements of art
We had a discussion of the elements of art that we should consider before giving a performance. They were:
-Space (small, wide, etc)
-Shape (square, circle etc) for body movement
-Line (straight, zig zag etc)
-Rhythm (beat, timing)
-Colour5. Sharing Feelings
The leader asked the participants one by one what their feeling was about their first performance. The leader wanted to emphasize that we all have the capacity for theatre or self-expression, so we should cultivate it.6. Facial Expressions
We made a circle. One person made a face facing to the centre of the circle, then she turned to her neighbour, and the neighbour was to imitate the facial expression, then slowly she in turn changes the facial expression according to her fancy and she will turn to the next neighbour. The face becomes a mask and we practiced to make a smooth face and hard face.
7. Steps and body movements
Still in the circle, the participants were asked one by one to make a line with feet only: it could be straight, zig-zag, curved etc. It was a practice of making various
steps. After that we used only the hands. This is an exercise for making a dance or drama
Each was to find a partner. One person become a mirror and imitated every movement and facial expression of her partner.
9. Group Mirroring
Groups of four formed a diamond shape. Every one took a turn to become leader. The leader did any movement and the others followed. Then the leader turned to her right side and her neighbour become leader and again all followed her movements. The movements were to be of flowers or animals etc.
10. Maximizing Surrounding Objects as Props
In theatre we do not need many materials. We can find substitutes for various items and maximize things around us. Two objects were placed in the middle of the circle. Everyone was asked to do a pantomime by using these two objects, but not as their usual functions. Another object was added to the middle. Each had to perform and use these three objects, but not as their usual functions.
11. Tell a Story in a Circle
The leader picked one object and started a story and then turned to one participant, gave her the object and then this participant continued the story. And again the participant handed out the object to another participant and again continued the story.
12. Drawing and Messages
Each person found a partner and they drew each other’s face. The face drawing was given to the person whose face it was and she was to write a message she wanted to give to the world under it. The leader collected the pictures with the messages on them and pasted them on a big paper.
13. Short Story and Chalk Talk
Groups of four were formed. Each person told a story according to the moral of her message from the previous exercise. We used a blackboard to make sketches and to illustrate the stories. Examples of messages:
-Share love, be brave and sacrifice
-Be in unity, forget our small differences and move forward.
-Let all children enjoy the sweetness of the world
-Let’s share as brothers and sisters. Love heals.
14. Another Opening Song
Apa kabar, apa kabar
Good day every one!
Araw ay masaya
Tayo ay mangla
Umikot ka, umikot ka
Humanap ng iba.
Together with all the gestures, shaking hands etc we used this song as way of introduction. If it is done with children, the partner will ask about her favourite food. If it is with adults, we can ask her motto, goal in life, favourite food to cook etc.
15. Paint me a Picture
We painted a picture in action by pairs. One example was to paint a buffalo with a farmer. One person became the buffalo and the other the farmer. Then two persons became one body and performed an action as one body according to the instructions of the leader. An example was to become a snake and to crawl, or jump, etc.
16. Spontaneous Response
The participants stood and made two lines facing each other. The leader was at the end of the lines. She started a conversation by suddenly addressing one participant. We had to think fast to give a response to the leader. The leader continued by addressing other participants. Example: the leader started to talk like a boss and was scolding one participant for not performing well. The participant had to respond like an employee to the boss.
At the end we discussed giving a performance, using the two days activities, to flood victims in an evacuation camp. It would be a drama or a mixture of dance, pantomime, songs etc.