Start of blog and first Half Moon project session | The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Start of blog and first Half Moon project session

Challenging Concepts of 'Liquid' Place.

See www.challengingplace.org for details of overall AHRC-funded project: Challenging Concepts of 'Liquid' Place through Performance Practices in Community Contexts. See also twitter @sallymackey1 - the twitter account is just for dissemination of the project.

This blog has been launched at the start of the second year of the Challenging Place project. The first year has seen Margaret Ames and Mike Pearson progress well with Cyrff Ystwyth - a community disabled and non-disabled dance/performance company based in Aberystwyth. This 'third' of the project has led the way. I've been over twice to see rehearsals and to talk to Mike and Mags about the work. See a photo of Aber seafront - a picture taken from where I stayed that includes 'Carpenter Hall' in the promenade buildings, one of Aber University's Halls of Residence. I'd stayed in Carpenter Hall when I was 15 and 16 on Welsh Drama Association adult week-long summer schools - way back. It was there that I first heard of Grotowski ... Curious to be back at that spot as part of a performance research project, looking out at such a 'forming' place of my youth.

There have been extensive discussions during the first year with Half Moon YPT http://www.halfmoon.org.uk/ twitter - @HalfMoonTheatre and with Oldham Theatre Workshop http://www.oldhamtheatreworkshop.co.uk/ twitter- @otwoldham. With Oldham and Half Moon, we've been establishing the timing and nature of the intended projects. There was an original 'intensive' training event in July 2011 for two days to kickstart the whole research project. At some point - I'll get some material onto the blog or website that at the moment is sitting in a closed mahara (VLE) portfolio.

Tuesday 24 April saw the start of the practice for one part of the research project. The Half Moon YPT 'Senior' youth group started their summer term with Vishni Velada Bilson and Sam Adams leading the session - with immense skill. Vish and Sam run the middle youth group as well - who gather just before the seniors. The artist practitioners - Vish, Sam, movement/dance Stephanie and sound/installation Patrick - joined myself and MA placement student Anna Bosworth for another 2-day intensive on 16 and 17 April where I brought them into the theoretical framing behind the project and what I meant by 'performing place' and 'challenging place'. For the Tuesday session at Half Moon, Vishni had taken to heart our thematic focus on extra-ordinary place, everyday place and fear of places, with all the exercises geared towards these themes. Some really very thoughtful work from the participants. - See attached pdf on 'what is place', for example. These are responses to a question Vishni and Sam asked. Helping with the research process is Jo Yeoman, another MA Applied Theatre placement student. Jo is particularly focussing on evaluating the project. Anna is a whizz on social media and is interested in how this can be used in applied theatre contexts. This is becoming useful for the place project at Half Moon.

Next week - session 2 @ Half Moon. This is the first blog on the project. I know - more images would help! I'm working on it...