One of our Forum 4Us participants, Keren Cardoza, is writing a weekly blog of her experiences in the workshops. Keren is a 16-year-old drama student at Croydon College:
Blog – week 1:
Hello this is Keren Cardoza from the forum 4 us project with Extant.
We had our first workshop on Saturday and since we could not find enough people to take part we were able to lower the age range to let 15 to 18 year olds also take part which means I am now able to participate.
The first thing we did was to play some games which enabled us to get to know each other, then we talked about forum theatre and discussed various ideas on how we could structure the performance. Then we had a lunch break where we were able to get to know each other a bit more and talk about our experiences as visually impaired young people.
After we had finished our lunch we talked more about the project and did some freeze frames of buildings and different situations.
I think this project is a great way of meeting new people who are going through the same things you are, however we did not do as much acting as I had hoped but hopefully next week we will be able to delve deeper into the project.
Blog – week 2:
Hello everyone. The second week of the workshop went really well. The first thing we did was to recap on the last week, then we played some warm up games which included one in which we had to stand in two lines and we were given scenarios which were in contrast to the line opposite, for example teachers and students.
Then we had to come up with phrases that they would say, for example a teacher would say “Sit down students.” Then we had to shout them to each other, once plainly and then again with emotion. This gave us an idea of the difference between saying something with purpose as opposed to saying something without purpose. Then we did some improvisations. In the improvisations we were put into pairs and we chose who would be doctor and who would be the patient. The doctor then had to give a revelation to which the patient would have to react, then in response the patient would give a revelation and the doctor would react and send the patient out of the room.
This gave us an idea of improvisation. We then did some freeze frames interpreting oppression. Oppression is what we will be looking at for our performance. We discussed what oppression is and what that means to us…for example “being discriminated against because you are different”. We then discussed our own experiences of feeling or being oppressed and wrote down potential aspects we could focus on for example “fear of the future”. Exploring this may make the audience as well as the performers really think about times when they have been oppressed or maybe even have oppressed someone else. I am really looking forward to next week.
Blog – week 3:
The first thing we did this week was discuss what we would be doing over the weekend, because of rehearsals there were workshops on Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately I was unable to attend Sundays’ workshop as it was too far from where I live and I would be unable to attend the performance so Saturday was my last day.
We also decided that we would as a group all work on the theme of acceptance. Our scenes are about a girl named CJ who has recently become visually impaired and it shows her struggles with bullies and family life.
To develop this character we took turns to hot seat her character. We also redid the still images based on oppression from a couple of weeks ago and came up with lines and one of the group played a piece of music in the background. I am sure the performance will go really well!!!