Open Access awards round 2: West Park drama sessions
About the project
A series of confidence-building sessions for Mums using drama has been set up at West Park Primary School.
“With 37 languages spoken in our school, we are a vibrant, multicultural community. Within the safety and familiarity of West Park Primary school, we are offering our mums weekly drama sessions, leading to some kind of performative sharing in school.”
Having recruited mothers via phone calls from school and conversations on the playground, the assembled group is made up of people who have come to live in Whitmore Reans from different countries in the world. Kurdish, Arabic, Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba, Gujarati, Bosnian, Latvian, German, Urdu, Mirpuri and English are amongst the languages spoken in the group. Just one of the group was born and bred in Wolverhampton. None have participated in drama sessions before.
What they have planned for their award
Experienced drama practitioner, Lisa Harrison, who knows the school community well, is leading the project.
She will shape the sessions to suit this unique group, driven by the participants’ interests, desires and needs, creating the safe space in which they can play. Drama games and exercises will form a large part of the sessions during which participants will explore their own creativity through the use of their bodies, voices and imaginations. By generating the right conditions to explore new things together, we hope that this will lead to participants believing in themselves and their abilities more deeply, to ‘finding their voice’ within our school community, and to creating something unique to share at the end of the project.
“The aim is not only to increase individuals’ confidence levels but also to introduce the group to the world of theatre. Most participants are not theatre-goers, so we would like to introduce them to what is on their doorstep with regards to theatre/arts provision.
We would like it if the group went and saw a show (or maybe several shows) as a group, perhaps meeting with performers and venue representatives who can show them the theatre space and talk about experiences of working in that context. We are currently liaising with NAC and the Arena Theatre about this to see what opportunities there are for us to engage with what they have on offer which could be meaningful for our group. “
Quotes from participants:
“I feel relaxed and really enjoy the humour of the sessions. Laughter is very important.”
“It’s a wonderful break from my routine. I look forward very much to coming each Wednesday morning.”
“I love all the games. It’s nice to get to know other mums this way and start to feel more comfortable.”
- Website: https://www.westparkprimaryschool.co.uk
- Twitter: @WestParkPri