Exploring creativity through intense theatre work

Theatre was the headline for our coming together after the Christmas holidays.
Following the wave of motivation of our 5th and 7th grade students we dedicated the first 3 weeks of the 2nd trimester to the creation of a “serious” (their words) theatre play.

We immersed ourselves into a fantastic journey of discovery into theatre and its potential for revealing individual and collective expressions of what is most intimate to us and which does not always find the right space to be seen – our creativity. As the students began to explore this concept coming to the conclusion that there is no standard recipe for creativity but that it is something that exists and shines within each one of us and that, like our fingerprint, it is unique and not dependent on external approval.

We spent every morning together – 9 students and 3 teachers. Starting with a small ritual in which the students would prepare a tea or a hot chocolate and where the goal was to spend a moment in an informal space where unexpected conversations, games, among other things could emerge, opening an collaborative atmosphere, preparing us to work together in what was (most of the time) a space of attractive concentration and motivation. The afternoons were spent studying the curriculum subjects with other teachers.

The play we chose to work on was “The Black Shadow and the Riddle of the Princess” which had been created a few years ago by the Tamera’s 10 and 12-year olds in response to a peace pilgrimage they had made in 2007 in the territory of Israel/Palestine. They were very moved by the reality they had been confronted by there, particularly the lives of the children they met; it was very different from all they had known before. One of their responses to this experience was to put their compassion on stage and take their performance to different parts of the world like Colombia, Germany, Switzerland and Portugal, in 3 different languages.

Our students were very inspired by this story and immediately wanted to work on this play, adapting it to the themes they recognise as current in themselves and in the world.
They worked for 3 weeks on improvisation games, body awareness (individual and collective), group dynamics, exploring the characters – all fuelled by the commitment to leave their comfort zone and what they had known of themselves until then. It was a beautiful community experience in which the sense of being a group, belonging to something bigger and working for a common goal, was greatly strengthened.

A theme of this time was diving and swimming in the unknown; working in the acceptance of the discomfort that naturally arises from it.

At the end of these 3 weeks students and teachers returned to the “normal” schedule with the addition of a 4-hour theatre workshop every Friday morning.

We look forward to the near future, when this play will reach the stages, with a special glow of hope and growth of our political hearts.