This summer I am co-hosting a tour of theatres across the UK, working alongside Ramps On The Moon and Diverse City, to teach drama teachers about the importance of inclusivity and how to teach young people in an inclusive way. So on the 5th of July I travelled to Ipswich, where the first of our ‘Inclusive Rehearsal Rooms’ took place, at The New Wolsey Theatre for local drama teachers and youth theatre practitioners.
You’ll be satisfied to know that teachers begin these workshops much the same way as the students they teach – quietly, shyly, and with a little nervous energy. You might expect them to throw themselves in like they expect their students to, but just like everyone else, it took a few icebreaker games to get the energy building. As our Ramps On The Moon team took the lead, not embarrassed to make a fool of themselves, we quickly became an inclusive and confident group, happy to share our thoughts and practices, taking the time to listen and learn from each other.
It was great to hear such positive conversation about diversity and setting realistic teaching targets that considered the needs of everyone. We not only covered physical and learning difficulties, but also explored the importance of communication aids and sign language for the deaf too. Everyone left with a head full of ideas and their own personal sign name, some of which had us in hysterics.
I’ll be travelling to Birmingham then Leeds for the next ‘Inclusive Rehearsal Rooms’ so I’m looking forward to comparing how effective these workshops are across the UK.
In other news, I have been commissioned to produce an art installation piece for Inside Out Dorset Festival this September. The piece will be titled ‘Prose In The Park’ and will be inspired by words and stories from the local community surrounding Shelley Park. I would love to see you at the drop in sessions on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th August. You would get the chance to inspire my work while grabbing a coffee and cake in the cafe 🙂 If you want to get involved but can’t make it, you can send any stories or words about Shelley Park to the Shouting Mute before September.