Performance and Workshops
An exciting phase of the project involves students from Leamington Spa's Trinity Catholic School creating a multi-media performance based around the project and the archives.
The production will take the stories of the heritage to the wider public in a variety of venues, from schools and current therapeutic communities, to training courses, conferences and events. Taking a structured 'improvisational' approach, each performance will be designed for the age range and other characteristics of the audience before it.
Performers will also offer workshops in the therapeutic schools, encouraging children and young people to tell their own stories. Performances will be videoed, edited, and made available on DVD and via the Internet.
The Story so far....
In the November 2010 issue of the Trinity Catholic School newsletter, Stephen Steinhaus, Assisstant Principal placed the following advert:
Dear Year 10, 11 and 12 Students,
Other People’s Children http://www.otherpeopleschildren.org.uk/
I am writing to invite you to join in an intense, innovative and exciting project based here at Trinity but touring next September. I am looking for a huge range of students to work on devising and creating an interactive, multi-media and multi-disciplinary performance piece based on the stories of children and staff from a number of care homes in the UK from 1930-1980. We will be working with stories that have, until now, remained largely untold. We will need everything from actors to technicians, designers, writers, historians, students of psychology, dancers, artists...even engineers!
We have been commissioned to produce the piece by the Planned Environment Therapy Trust and the project will require a serious commitment from you. We will initially meet every Thursday after-school from 330-430 but will also have a number of weekend and residential sessions as well as at least 3 days in the summer of 2011 preparing the piece.
If the project interests you please sign up with me by returning the slip ... come and see me about it...ask questions, check out the website above...Go, go, go! I look forward to hearing from and working with you...this is the start of something big!
Best Regards, Stephen Steinhaus, Assistant Principal
Students from Trinity visited the Archive and Study centre to learn more and engage with the archives, watch archival footage and meet with the project team to discuss different ways of exploring the project themes. An oral history training day took place at the school where students learnt interviewing techniques and how to handle the equipment as well as discussing the kinds of questions or issues they might explore.
The Performance Weekend (5th - 6th March 2011)
In order to fully grasp the nature of the archives and derive knowledge and awareness of the personal stories of former children, staff and families of therapeutic communities, it was decided that an event should be held to bring students and former children together. So, a specialised Archive 'Weekend'devoted to performance was created. A space where Trinity students and staff could be brought together with former members of therapeutic environments, to discuss, explore, share and record.
"...a remarkable weekend - positively inspiring. It was not just a matter of the fact of what was going on, but the spirit of it, that was so impressive..."
As well as engaging with community members, students took part in transcript to script training and drew on their oral history workshops to record a number of interviews . This had the added benefit of bringing former members of different communities together in a 'Weekend' residential setting for the first time, allowing their discovery of one another's schools and communities to add their own discoveries to the rich mix of the students' learning.
"whenever I heard the words 'maladjusted child' or 'disturbed child' or something, my mind just thought the worst of it, and thought 'oh it's some loony' orsomething. But when you meet all these people, they're just like us...I can see that connection between their generation and our generation, and they're so similar, and yet they're branded as something else. That's the biggest lesson I've learned today" (Trinity student)
Read more about the event in our news section...Performance Archive Weekend - Wow!