Friday, 7 May 2010

Why this project?

I was recently asked to write why I have decided to do the project of reminiscent theatre. I felt that the Ham House project was not for me, it sounded amazing but just not what I wanted to do. So I spoke to Mark and found the reminiscent theatre project and that I could run that. I would be in complete control, which was slightly daunting but extremely exciting at the same time!

Since starting this project I have realised that running a community based project using Drama is what I would love to do as a full time career. Using theatre to help people and to help them express themselves is something I have always been interested in doing. I aspire to work within the prison service helping young offenders to better their life through the use of theatre.

I recently wrote my dissertation on how drama helps children develop into the people they are today and help them define who they are. Drama is a powerful medium, which used in the right way can benefit all. So doing this project, for me meant that I could be part of this momentous change and development.

For this particular project, after speaking with the residents I realised that World War Two was something most of them had experiences and have the most vivid memories of, as most of them were in their twenties at the time. This is the same age group of my cast and I. I could see the resemblance between us all and how they were in the prime of their youth as we are now. Yet to me their twenties had been so much more exciting and drenched in British culture.

However doing this project meant there was a setback for me and that was my knowledge of World War Two as it was limited to the history lessons I had at school which were 7 years ago! So I decided to go to the Imperial War Museum to find out what I needed to in detail. I bought some propaganda posters which will be used in the piece as well as ration booklets, sweet tins and magazines from those days. Armed with memorabilia we met for out first rehearsal and decided how to use them and they provided a starting point for the piece.

The piece focuses on World War Two and the lives of 6 people, 3 girls, 3 boys. Two are married and we see what their married life is like, the others fall in love along the way, and we follow their love stories and how despite the bombs, the Nazis and the rations love truly can endure. 

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