Owning The Work: The Joy Of Devising

Published: 1st May 2019

For the Easter half-term I had been given the opportunity to work with  Amy with ICON Theatre’s Play in a Week.  Having previously worked with ICON Youth Theatre I was excited to work on a new project with some familiar faces as well as some that were new. Play in a week consisted of two, three hour workshops working with two groups of young performers aged 7-11 and  12-16.

Having been a part of Play in a Week I can understand why it has been so successful. One major factor I believe is because both groups were given the freedom to choose their characters in the performance and really were able to get a feel for devising.

On day one, the younger group  had conversations about what their favourite book was and got to choose a character from those books to explore more. Through a guided meditation the younger members had the freedom to explore the studio as their favourite characters and also took part in a hot seating exercise so they were also thinking like their character. From this throughout the week we worked out how these characters from different stories could combine to tell a new story, a magical library where the characters in the books came out of their books when a tornado hit!  After 3 days the members had created a whole show involving characters that everyone was excited to play because it was characters they cared about.

In the older group their first workshop involved  them being quite vulnerable, as they decided to focus their work around their own ‘insecurities’. We were asking them to contribute ideas, thoughts and feelings that were reflective of how they felt about themselves. They then worked on developing short scenes which were later refined and put into the performance at the end of the week.  A particular favourite scene for me was a dance piece that was choreographed by one of the members, including scenes like this really made the performance their own which made it that little bit more special.

Play in a week was a great experience to be able to be a part of and witness and the two shows created at the end were something that the performers should be really proud of. I’m sure I can speak on behalf of  the whole team when I say that Play in a Week was a fantastic opportunity to be part of. I am very proud of the shows they created. I hope to have the opportunity to do the same again in the future”.

Cherie

Youth Theatre & Pulse Project Assistant

Our Play in a Week programme runs during the in Easter and Summer Holidays. To get involved keep an eye on our website and social media in June for more information and to sign up.