How can we create a piece of theatre around trauma? Does theatre have a place in examining trauma? How do we talk about trauma?
How can we create a piece of theatre that does not traumatise the audience and ourselves?
How do we face adversity? How do we heal ourselves? How do we survive?
How do we live together? How does trauma affect our communities?
How can I create something so different to anything I have ever done before which has more in common with European post dramatic theatre than a traditional play with plot and characters?
So the collaborative team are in place…
Tonya Smith actor, director & facilitator. Grace Goulding, movement director and choreographer and Axelina Heagney third year BA Acting Student University Wales Trinity St David
We are joined by Charlie Blowers from Moving Pieces for 2 days
Charlie is sharing Psycho Education with us as well as the Moving Pieces methodology – it is ‘an integrated approach drawing on the relationship between the body, movement, expressive arts and life experiences and is informed by a variety of performance, artistic and psychotherapeutic practices including new and emergent ideas relating to neuroscience.’
I have decided to close the first three days of rehearsal in order to create a safe space for us to work in and to establish ourselves as a team.
The morning is spent learning about PTSD and its impact on the Central Nervous System and Autonomic Nervous System and what happens in a trauma situation. We look at how trauma is embodied. How trauma affects behaviour. What we mean by triggers.
The afternoon we are on our feet ‘in it together’ brushing against each other, staying close together, moving over, around and under each other. It helps us to regulate our emotional states and our autonomic nervous system.
One minute we are walking round the rehearsal space working with different qualities, checking emotional states, seeing the world through different view-points, doing a body scan and next writing a 10 minute fairy tale and this is where the magic seems to happen.
Our stories are written in Metaphor. We look at what for us is the charged part of the story and from that we create an image using each other. We are starting to step into our stories but at a safe level of enactment.
We share what we have discovered, what we are learning.
We play, we breathe, we move together, we centre ourselves.
Today we are looking at polarities in our stories. We create an installation based on our polarities. We physicalise, embody. We share but this time a little deeper we are starting to connect implicit and explicit memory and it feels scary and I feel vulnerable, I guess we all do, and I am glad to be in this room with this group of women.
We are teller and witness
We are exploring themes that are surfacing (what is charged for us), the textures of our stories, the resonances to our lives. We then move to create a theatrical presentation. We are the tellers of our stories. Something shifts, feels like it shifts, feels like a change has occurred, recognition of ourselves in our worlds.
Thank you Charlie for your expertise and wisdom
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Really looking forward to seeing you Michaela!
And Charlie cannot quite believe the journey we have been on.
This is so interesting Jain - I really can't wait to see what you've been up to x
It was a real pleasure to share my work from Moving Pieces with such a receptive and creative group of women.
I feel you are potentially really getting under the skin of the impact of trauma and adding more depth to established discourses that relate particularly to living with PTSD.
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