• Paola Sanchez

Week 7 - Show week 2

Monday 15th February

I have been preparing the workshop today. I finished translating all the material I need for tomorrow and went to print a couple of circle templates. I have also made a talking puppet just in case we have enough time for that activity.

The Mexican school on Wednesday asked for the possibility of having two more shows. We are currently just doing two of four groups that they have. I wanted the opinion of the rest of the team, but I knew that the decision depended mostly on me since I'm the one who would facilitate them. After speaking to the others, we agreed that we could offer one show on Thursday or two shows on Friday. Unfortunately, they don't have classes on Friday so we will do a workshop with one of the groups on Thursday afternoon and for the other one, we will share with the school the link of the video and the worksheets.

In the afternoon, I didn't attend Paris workshop because I was meant to have a meeting with the head teacher of tomorrow's school, however, due to technical issues they were having it got canceled. For this same reason, the kids couldn't print the circle template I sent them, so I will need to re-plan the session tomorrow.


Tuesday 16th February

I did my first two shows today!! And it was a lot more fun than what I expected. The Mexican school from today was very welcoming and supporting, and the kids were very excited about the workshop because they didn't know about it until today. We joined both groups 5 minutes before the start because the link of the session was provided by them. We thought it would be easier for us to join the link they use for the day instead of sending them a new one. We were kindly introduced by the head teacher before the start of each show. Both workshops went really well, the kids participated a lot but sometimes they didn't raised their hand and jumped in directly to give the answer which made it a little bit chaotic. I would say that they really enjoyed the session, specially the Q&A! And I loved responding to all their questions. Most of them were related to the puppet and set making, they also asked how much time it took us and who did all the work. But my favorite one, was a girl that asked me what was my motivation and why did I like theatre so much.

It was interesting experiencing in today's workshops a cultural difference from the ones we did last week with schools in the UK and of course I could completely relate with what the kids were saying. For example, when I asked for an action with positive impact that they would like to start doing one of them said he wanted to help increase safety in his community.

The show is about the impact that our actions can have in the world and in today's workshops I got to experience it. I will never know the impact that this project will have in those kids that watched our show today, it might be a fun fact that they learnt or a reason to dream big and believe that they can do anything that they want. In Mexico, where the arts are often not taken seriously, they were very curious to know how did I arrive to theatre and they seemed motivated to experiment and create with anything that they could find at home. I'm now feeling so happy and excited for the three shows that I have left!


Wednesday 17th February

I leaded two more workshops today with another school in Mexico! They went well and the kids were very excited and willing to participate. The circle template was sent in advance to the school for the audience to print, this saved some time that was used at the end for a Q&A in the first workshop and the puppet making activity in the second.

In the first session, the children were not following the instruction of raising their hand in order to participate which made it a bit chaotic. However, having the teacher was very helpful since she intervened a couple of times to ask some students to turn off their microphone.

The second workshop was harder for me due to technical issues. The presentation froze on one of the slides so I had to improvise and continue the session without the support of visual material. I also couldn't see the kids, specially in the second half of the workshop when we were doing the main activity and the puppet making. In my screen their cameras appeared to be turned off when they were not. However, I managed to deliver the workshop. Fifteen minutes before the end of the session, I made the decision of doing the craft activity instead of a Q&A due to the audience interest in making a puppet.

I feel like the sessions yesterday went better. Possibly because the kids were older and having a conversation with them about the impact of our actions was easier, but maybe also because I was more present. Today, the interaction with the audience was harder due to the chaos caused by everyone speaking at the same time and the inability of seeing their reaction.


Thursday 18th February

Last workshop that I facilitated! It was the same school form yesterday and I think it went better. From the last shows I learnt the importance of insisting in raising hands to participate and to ask the teacher for support. The workshop being in spanish did't allowed my peers to helped me that much, so prior to the session today I asked the teacher for help by calling the audience names in order to participate when sharing my screen.

I added images to the main activity in the presentation because it was a younger audience (6-7 years old). Not all the audience had the circle template printed, therefore, the main activity was a combination between sharing my screen while some were completing their own diagrams.

Every workshop that I facilitated was different and I learnt so much from each of them.


Friday 19th February

Today we had our last workshop! We finished our international online tour in Italy with Manuela as the workshop leader. It lasted an hour and a half so she expanded on the craft activity by doing a more complex puppet. It was a great way of finishing the project! The audience seemed to like the show and they were willing to participate throughout the session.

Reflecting on the process and outcome of this project, I believe we have done a great job but I also think that working from home has had a bigger impact than what I thought. As a group, I felt like it was hard to stayed motivated. And personally, was difficult and uncomfortable to work in my bedroom with and ironing board as a table. Now that I look back, I'm able to recognise some things that I would do differently such as having the right space to work, a better communication among the team members while working in the distance and once the theme of the project has been decided, I would allocate the task of developing the story to a few people in the group that want to take part on that role. From my personal experience, creating the storyline wasn't my main objective and I felt like I was delaying the process instead of contributing at times.

Overall, taking into consideration all the challenges of lockdown and working from home, I think we did a great piece that reached a big audience and crossed borders. Hopefully we will have a positive impact in the audience that participated in our workshops!

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