European Project: Drama for Change 2014-2017

drama for change news

Drama for Change was a three-year partnership project run with five European partners from Ireland, Germany, Bulgaria, Spain and the Netherlands. The project used creative methods to develop a new training curriculum for adult educators using the arts to promote anti-racism, gender equality and diversity and was funded by Erasmus+. The Drama for Change five European partner organisations were Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company, Ireland (Coordinating Partner); Instituto de Formacion y Estudios Sociales (IFES), Valencia, Spain; Pressure Line Visual and Creative Communications, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; The dialogue, Lindau, Germany and KU TU Ltd, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Drama for Change brought together a cross-sector of European organisations that work with marginalised groups in adult education. The aim was to develop a training Curriculum and Toolbox of Resources available on-line and in digital format, to provide adult educators, teachers and artists with the skills necessary to work with adults through a creative medium, using drama and theatre to promote anti-racism, gender equality and diversity. Drama for Change addressed a gap in training for adult educators using creative processes to address issues of rising inequality and racism and the lack of inclusion for marginalised groups. 

The project resulted in the development of a new Drama for Change Theatre Curriculum designed and authored by Mary Moynihan, Theatre and Film Maker and Artistic Director, Smashing Times and Freda Manweiler, Company Manager, Smashing Times. A special thanks goes to the Drama for Change partners and Dr Eric Weitz, Associate Professor of Drama, Trinity College Dublin and to Jenny MacDonald, Sinead O’Loughlin, Mary Duffin and Kate Harris for their support in developing the curriculum. The Drama for Change Theatre Curriculum is available on-line and in digital format and is accompanied by the Drama for Change Toolbox of Resources with research and video demonstrations collaboratively designed by the partner organisations with each partner contributing research material and making the video demonstrations. The project also resulted in the implementation of a five day ‘Train-the-Trainer’s’ training programme attended by participants from the five partner organisations; seven Transnational Meetings and an International Symposium held in Dublin, Ireland and the implementation of a range of dissemination activities and multiplier events.

The five day ‘Train-the-trainer’s’ Drama for Change Theatre curriculum was developed in response to two questionnaires, the first with adult educators and the second with potential participants, developed to identify the needs of educators wishing to learn how to use drama and theatre games and exercises to promote issue based work. The new curriculum is made available on-line in digital format, to provide adult educators with the skills necessary to work with adult learners through a creative medium in order to promote anti-racism, gender equality and diversity.

Part One of the curriculum contains an introduction to the Drama for Change project and information on the curriculum and reflection and evaluation processes. Part Two contains an overview of the full curriculum covering five days. Part Three contains step-by-step instructions for each game, exercise and creative process used in the training. Part Four contains a series of hand-outs with key information. Part Five contains a series of forms to accompany the training.

A Toolbox of Resources accompanies the training consisting of five on-line Drama for Change Research documents, one from each partner country, and Drama for Change Video Demonstrations for training adult educators on how to use drama and theatre to promote equality, inclusion and anti-racism work in each partner country. Each of the Research document prepared by the five countries – Ireland, The Netherlands, German, Spain, Bulgaria – can be found on the partner websites. There are 5 video demonstrations created, each shows a step-by-step approach on how to run the drama game or exercise, demonstrated by a facilitator working with a group of participants and translated into the partner languages. The video demonstrations are displayed on You Tube and Video and on the partner websites.

Outputs

  • Seven transnational project partner meetings
  • Drama for Change Curriculum created consisting of a five-day ‘train-the-trainer’s’ training curriculum that provides adult educators including teachers and artists with the skills necessary to work with adults through the creative medium of theatre in order to promote anti-racism, gender equality and diversity. The curriculum is contained in a 70-page interactive PDF available on each partner website and on EPALE and titled ‘Drama for Change Training Programme: Using theatre to promote Anti-Racism, Gender Equality and Inclusion’
  • Five day Training programme conducted in Ireland, April 2016
  • 12 multiplier events conducted across Europe
  • 471,696 people directly reached through 146 dissemination activities and events
  • 15 examples of best practice (3 per partner country) identified
  • 127 questionnaires completed by adult learners and adult educators
  • Still I Rise – Theatre for Change European Symposium and Performance at Smock Alley Theatre, Main Space, Dublin on 28 April 2017 with Irish and international artists and guest speakers to explore the role of the creative arts to promote anti-racism, gender equality and diversity in adult education and featured guest speakers, workshops, performances, a launch of the Drama for Change Curriculum and Toolbox of Resources, and reflection, discussion and debate.
  • Key guest speakers and artists were Dijana Milosevic, writer, lecturer and Artistic Director of DAH Theatre, John Scott, Artistic Director, Irish Modern Dance Theatre; Mary Moynihan, Theatre and Film Maker and Artistic Director of Smashing Times and Lecturer at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama; Mary Duffin, theatre-maker, TOTO practitioner and screenwriter; and Shane O’Curry, Director, ENAR Ireland.
  • Two interviews with ethnic minority communities in each partner country

The project culminated in a Still I Rise Theatre for Change European Symposium and performance at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin on 28 April 2017, conducted by Smashing Times in partnership with the Samuel Beckett Centre for Drama and Theatre Studies at TCD. This event brought together Irish and international artists and guest speakers to explore the role of the creative arts to promote anti-racism, gender equality and diversity in adult education and was open to artists, educators and the general public. The international guest speaker is Dijana Milošević, an award winning theatre director, writer and lecturer and Artistic Director of DAH Theatre, Serbia and the Irish guest speakers are John Scott, Artistic Director, Irish Modern Dance Theatre; Mary Moynihan, theatre and film maker and Artistic Director, Smashing Times; Mary Duffin, theatre-maker, TOTO practitioner and screenwriter; and Shane O’ Curry, Director, ENAR Ireland. 

The symposium featured a performance of Still I Rise made up of Mary Elmes (from The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII by Mary Moynihan, Fiona Thompson and Paul Kennedy, based on the life of Cork woman Mary Elmes who worked with Spanish and Jewish refugees and was the first Irish person honoured as ‘Righteous Among Nations’ for her work saving lives from the Nazi gas chambers during WWII), performed by Róisín McAtamney; a dance performance of Sebastiao’s Dream from Fall and Recover by Irish Modern Dance Theatre, directed by John Scott and performed by Sebastiao Kamalandua and a recital of the powerful and defiant Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, the American poet and Civil Rights activist, directed by Róisin McAtamney and performed by Mary Duffin.

‘Fantastic play! Motivating! Great speakers, wonderful people. I had an opportunity to mention the refugee camps, which was great and so was the response. Thank you!’

The symposium culminated in the launch of the collaboratively designed Drama for Change Curriculum and Toolbox of Resources with research and video demonstrations on how to conduct theatre games and exercises. The new curriculum is available on-line -see link below – in digital format, to provide adult educators with the skills necessary to work with adult learners through a creative medium in order to promote anti-racism, gender equality and diversity.

Workshop with Dijana was great food for thought. I can imagine using her model with refugees and migrants to support their integration process. Day was great to learn from those with drama skills in fostering empowerment and change.’

Well organised; good time management, nice speakers and performances. It was smoothly organised. Interesting and interactive, I enjoyed it!’

The event was amazing. The performances were great – and they opened my mind for new ideas and perspectives. The song in the end said it all.’

Big applause to Smashing Times Theatre and especially Freda!!! Great Show, very interesting and important issues and there were so many parts in the symposium. I really enjoyed the workshop with Chrissie Poulter and I feel enriched.’

Very good symposium, learned a lot of practical things, especially enjoyed Dijana Milošević, very practical. Overall structure was very good, great things and kept interest. There are so many parts of society that have not moved on. Well done all!’

Such a thoughtful discussion about such important work. I am excited at the prospect of healing through theatre, particularly for such disadvantaged and oppressed communities. I would like to see outreach to these people who desperately need this help.’

To access the new Drama for Change Theatre Curriculum, click here.

Drama for Change Final Documents:

Drama for Change Forms English Version

Drama for Change Research Document The Netherlands English Version

Drama for Change Research Document The Netherlands Dutch Version

Drama for Change Training Curriculum The Netherlands

Drama for Change Research Document Germany English Version

Drama for Change Research Document Germany German Version

Drama for Change Training Curriculum Germany

Drama for Change Research Document Bulgaria English Version

Drama for Change Research Document Bulgaria Bulgarian Version

Drama for Change Training Curriculum Bulgaria

Drama for Change Research Document Spain English Version

Drama for Change Research Document Spain Spanish Version

Drama for Change Training Curriculum Spain

Drama for Change Research Document Ireland

PARTNERSHIP

Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company (Ireland) – Co ordinator www.smashingtimes.ie

Dialoge language institute (Germany) www.dialoge.com

Instituto de Formacion y Estudios Sociales (Spain) www.ifes.es

Pressure Line (The Netherlands) www.pressureline.nl

Ku Tu Ltd (Bulgaria) www.kutu-bg.eu

 

Drama for Change – ‘Still I Rise’ European Symposium and Performance

Smashing Times Workshop

Smashing Times were delighted to present Still I Rise – a Smashing Times Theatre for Change European Symposium and Performance at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin on 28 April 2017. The symposium was presented a part of Drama for Change and funded by Erasmus+ and The Arts Council Travel and Training Award. The symposium brought together Irish and international artists and guest speakers to explore the role of the creative arts to promote anti-racism, gender equality and diversity in adult education and featured guest speakers, workshops, performances, a launch of the Drama for Change Curriculum and Toolbox of Resources, and reflection, discussion and debate, and was open to artists, educators and the general public.

Smashing Times invited Serbian artist Dijana Milosevic, writer, lecturer and Artistic Director of DAH Theatre, to deliver a high-level training and mentoring workshop and seminar on the arts in social contexts in conjunction with the Theatre for Change European Symposium at Smock Alley Theatre. Dijana’s visit to Ireland was supported by The Arts Council Travel and Training Award. Dijana Milošević is an award-winning theatre director, writer and lecturer and Artistic Director of DAH Theatre, Serbia. Dijana was the international guest speaker and she delivered the key note speech. The Irish guest speakers were John Scott, Artistic Director, Irish Modern Dance Theatre; Mary Moynihan, Theatre and Film Maker and Artistic Director of Smashing Times and Lecturer at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama; Mary Duffin, theatre-maker, TOTO practitioner and screenwriter; and Shane O’Curry, Director, ENAR Ireland.

The symposium was preceded earlier on in the day by the final partner meeting for Drama for Change. The remaining multiplier events for the project were discussed, as well as dissemination, and the events of the symposium later on in the day. Also discussed was the final evaluation of the project and the final financial requirements.

The symposium featured a plenary session moderated by Chrissie Poulter, Head of Drama, Trinity College, Dublin, where the guest speakers spoke. Following this, Dijana Milošević, and Chrissie Poulter both gave separate theatre workshops on addressing the issues of racism, diversity and equality. Participants attending the symposium were invited to take part in two theatre workshops running simultaneously that aim to deliver high-level training for educators and artists and all those interested in using the arts in social contexts to promote gender equality, anti-racism and diversity.

The first workshop was titled: Staging a Revolution: Exploring the role of the arts to promote and affirm Gender Equality and Diversity. Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company invited specialist artist Dijana Milošević, an award winning theatre director, writer and lecturer and Artistic Director of DAH Theatre, Serbia, to come to Ireland to deliver a talk and theatre workshop with reference to gender equality, diversity and peace and the development of skills in the production of socially and politically engaged arts-based work. As international guest speaker, Dijana firstly discussed her work as Artistic Director of DAH Theatre, Serbia, the challenges of creating and directing politically engaged theatre in a post-war environment, and the role of theatre arts when promoting inclusion in post conflict communities following the break up of the former Yugoslavia. In the workshop Dijana explored using the arts to affirm Gender Equality, Anti-Racism and Diversity at local, national and international levels.

The second workshop was Addressing Diversity through Drama, approaching issues of Anti-Racism and Discrimination. Chrissie Poulter, Head of Drama in the Samuel Beckett Centre at Trinity College Dublin facilitated this workshop addressing diversity through drama, exploring the use of artistic processes to promote anti-racism. Chrissie Poulter is a theatre-maker and teacher committed to socially engaged arts practice.

Next up was a performance of Mary Elmes (from The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII by Mary Moynihan, Fiona Thompson and Paul Kennedy) performed by Róisín McAtamney. The performance is a creative re-imagining of the life of Mary Elmes (1908-2002) a Cork woman who worked with Spanish and Jewish refugees during WWII and was the first Irish person honoured as ‘Righteous Among Nations’ for her work saving lives from the Nazi gas chambers.

This was followed by a dance piece Sebastiao’s Dream from Fall and Recover, directed by John Scott, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, and performed by Sebastiao Kamalandua; and a recital of the powerful and defiant Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, the American poet and Civil Rights activist, directed by Róisin McAtamney and performed by Mary Duffin.

The symposium culminated in the launch of a collaboratively designed Drama for Change Curriculum and Toolbox of Resources with research and video demonstrations on how to conduct theatre games and exercises. The curriculum and toolbox of resources was launched by Chrissie Poulter, and Freda Manweiler and Ave Neumann, Ave Neumann, Dialogue SBL GmbH, spoke about various elements of the curriculum and toolbox. The new curriculum was made available on-line in digital format, to provide adult educators with the skills necessary to work with adult learners through a creative medium in order to promote anti-racism, gender equality and diversity. Finally, Fernando Benavente Tendillo, IFES, Spain and Ave Neumann performed a song about the project.

Smashing Times extends a very special thanks to all our artists, partners, guest speakers, production team and funders and to everybody involved in and attending the work to date and into the future.

The symposium was a massive success as the number of attendees was very high and all of the feedback was positive. A range of high calibre, award-winning artists attended on the day with high quality performances and workshops engaging all those present. 

Audience Feedback

‘It was a really good show. The performances were amazing, the people are very talented. The people who spoke first had much to say and brought up some good points.’

‘Fantastic play! Motivating! Great speakers, wonderful people. I had an opportunity to mention the refugee camps, which was great and so was the response. Thank you!’

‘Interesting mix of action, performance and theory.’

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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