Celebration at The Pavilion

On the 18th July 2019, I produced and directed ‘Celebration’, an immersive performance based on the play by H. Pinter at The Pavilion in Bedford Park.

In this unique theatre experience, guests found themselves dining alongside other diners who celebrated a wedding anniversary. As the evening went on, the pretence that all is well was slowly uncovered as the awkwardness of their relationships got exposed in surreal table conversations.

Identification, Catharsis and Aesthetic Distance in the Performance of Lived Experience

I am honoured to present a paper on identification, catharsis and aesthetic distance in the performance of lived experience, at the forthcoming ECArTE (European Consortium for Arts Therapies Education) international conference in Alcalá de Henares between the 11th and 14th September 2019.

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This is a summary of my paper:

The paper investigates the healing and transformative potential of the performance of lived experience in dramatherapy by particularly focusing on the relational dynamic between the performer and the spectator / witness. The paper aims at discussing how the encounter with an other as performer within the shared space of the performance of lived experience provides renewed ways of understanding oneself as witness. It argues that a recognition of and engagement with otherness and difference is an inescapable condition for self-actualisation. In the light of the theme of the conference, the paper aims at exploring how the relationality inherent to the performance of lived experience enables the access to unknown truths and the unveiling of unsuspected imaginaries.

The paper is based on the discussion of the findings of a performance-based research investigating the production of meaning in autobiographical performance in dramatherapy. One of the research findings reveals how the process of witnessing in autobiographical performance enables the connection with oneself through the connection and identification with the performed lived experience of others. This identification results in a singular process of transformation and catharsis described as the unlocking of emotional and embodied states. The paper will particularly attempt to understand this phenomenon by suggesting how the process of identification is regulated through the aesthetic distance of the performance to create possibilities for renewed awareness, knowledge and change. The paper will make use of visual extracts of the research to illustrate the discussion.

 

Dialogical reflection on a dramatherapy intervention

I have published in the 2019 April/May edition of Mental Health Nursing a piece of collaborative writing with an ex-client about his experience of dramatherapy.

This constitutes a unique piece of qualitative evaluation whereby the voices of the therapist and the client interact to complete the nature of their individual experience.

The article can be accessed by clicking on the following link.

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Play/Time Labs at The Place Theatre

I am delighted to offer a number of Play/Time Lab group sessions at The Place Theatre in Bedford on the 24th April; 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd May 2019. These sessions will give participants opportunities to engage in spontaneous and improvised playfulness as a way of learning about themselves in relation to others.

Bookings can be made by sending an e-mail to jfjacques14@gmail.com. Maximum places: 12.

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Playing with power

I am delighted to facilitate a workshop entitled ‘Playing with Power’ at the Community Psychology Festival in Hertford on Monday 24th September.

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This workshop aims at exploring and addressing issues of power in community adult mental health care through improvisational play.

Play is an essential part of human development that enables us to engage with our inner sense of creativity and imagination, whilst engaging with others in a shared moment of fun.

Play also enables us to explore and reflect on issues affecting us personally and collectively. It opens renewed possibilities for awareness and transformation.

In this workshop, participants will be invited to reflect on issues of power in current community mental health delivery and provision through embodied action. It will give participants an opportunity to engage in spontaneous and improvised play as it emerges from their immediate interactions in a spirit of conviviality and acceptance.

The workshop provides a safe and contained structure to share moments of collective creativity, whilst helping us to reflect on how power dynamics and power relations affect our daily life.

Tickets and programme through the British Psychological Society website.

Long Table on Community Theatre

I will be hosting a Long Table on the role of community theatre at The Place Theatre in Bedford on Tuesday the 29th May.

The Long Table is a dinner party structured by etiquette, where conversation is the only course. It is an open forum designed to facilitate dialogue between people with a common interest. This Long Table will debate the role of community theatre in our local community. It is an opportunity to reflect on what community theatre is about or what we believe it should be about, to discuss the challenges encountered by the different local community theatres, and to explore actions and strategies that could support them for the benefits of the local community.

Details and registration by clicking on the link at the bottom of the picture.

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Click here for details and registration