I am delighted to lead and facilitate two international workshops in the forthcoming months.
The first one entitled ‘Who is I? Who is You? A theatrical exploration of We’ at the 5th Conference of the European Federation of Dramatherapy in Prague in May 2021.
This workshop explores how individual subjectivity and identity, and its correlates of knowledge, awareness and meaning, is intertwined with alterity and relationality. It investigates the capacity of dramatherapy and other arts therapies to create a We experience that embraces the singularity and plurality of the I in relation to the You. The workshop uses as a starting point some of the poems in Knots by R. D. Laing to experientially investigate our embodied intersubjectivity, the mutual reflection of the I in the You, and its potential for a transformation into a We.
The second one entitled ‘Hands-On: Working Creatively with Implicit Memory in Trauma-Focused Dramatherapy‘ at the 16th International Arts Therapies Conference (ECArTE) in Vilnius in September 2021.
This workshop explores the centrality of the body in the expression and working through of unresolved traumatic memories. It investigates ways of working somatically with psychological trauma by focusing on one specific part of the body: the hands. In this workshop, the focus on hands and hand movements is priviledged to explore how trauma is imprinted in body memory, and how the body can effectively assist its healing. As the psychoanalyst Darian Leader (2017) suggests, ‘hands are sites of exchange’ between different psychological states that can facilitate the integration of traumatic memory.
The workshop considers how the embodied and aesthetic foundations of the arts therapies provide a particular fertile ground to think about and work though implicit memory. It is an invitation to reflect on how embodied integration in the arts therapies can effectively assist psychic and memory integration.
I am currently developing an intersectional performance project based on the experience of being 50.
For that purpose, I am looking at interviewing for no more than 100 seconds 50 people in their 50s about being 50 (+). Interviews are carried out over Zoom. All interviews will be anonymised and participants will be invited to sign a consent form.
If you are in your 50s and willing to be interviewed, or if you know people who might be interested, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am delighted to facilitate a workshop entitled ‘Playing with Power’ at the Community Psychology Festival in Hertford on Monday 24th September.
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.