A mosaic workshop was again led by Margrete Erling, and the young participants have made great progress, with many laying halved pebbles around the edges of two artworks, and helping fill in the central images with coloured tiles. The Manga style mosaic is designed by local teenager, Lillian Webb, and when finished the images of the boy and girl will be installed outside the PCYC bathrooms.
As the temperature climbed, the sound of basketballs bouncing resonated through the expansive facility, with beaming faces everywhere. Some chose to play their own games with the PCYC sports equipment, playing in teams or one-on-one. Outside Issabella Berrigan, in her flowing clothes and bubbly personality, could be heard leading the participants in an African Drumming workshop. The sound of drums resonated through the space, merging with the rhythmic noise of basketballs bouncing and young people shooting hoops.
Inside well known actor Andrew McDonell conducted drama workshops for primary and secondary aged students. Andrew is a graduate of NIDA and has appeared on popular television programs such as A Country Practice, Rescue Special Ops and All Saints. Alongside Lauren Wheatley, art2264’s resident hip hop dance instructor, Andrew led theatre games with a group of about thirty five children. Periodically giggles burst from the group as they practiced all sorts of theatre games and activities, which pushed them to use their imagination and to make new friends.
When the call came that pizza had been delivered, there was a mass stampede as children abandoned drama for fast food, flying towards the pizza like ravenous bees to honey. “Pizza, pizza, we all want pizza!” chanted one girl skipping towards the food. But it was not long before many returned to the activities with equal haste. Either scoffing down pizza, or making the hard decision between food and fun; some could be seen with pizza in one hand, mosaic tile in the other.
When Andrew called out that drama would be starting again, cheers could be heard as the children filtered back to the activities. In the second drama workshop, Andrew instructed the children in his booming voice to “look down, look down”. When he asked them to “look up”, whoever is looking at someone who is also looking at them is out of the game. With the instructors trying to trick the children into looking up too early, the exercise really tests the participants’ concentration. With Andrew’s rhythmic chants, and the laughter of the group when someone looks up too soon, the atmosphere is playful.
Lauren and Andrew work together with the children, changing activities from serious to playful, but always encouraging participants to express themselves. In another theatre game, Lauren yells “Shazam!” and the children must grab the nearest person and freeze as a pair. Then Lauren or Andrew called out an item, and between them the pair must find a way to make this shape. There is more laughter as pairs contort into a variety of shapes, trying to represent a toilet roll, giraffe, motorbike and once even a toothbrush. Like many drama activities, the game encourages children to make friends and work as a team.
In an update on the traditional game of charades, Andrew and Lauren asked participants to form a circle, and then one at a time walk into the centre. Once in the middle of the ring, they pretend they are in a doctor’s office, sporting venue or animal’s habitat. The children then act an injury, sporting activity or animal characteristic and the rest of the group must guess what they are. While some of the ailments portrayed were common, such as colds or broken bones, one theatrical child crawled military style into the centre pretending to nurse a gunshot wound! Andrew asked the children to create a backstory to the thing they chose to act, and so the participants’ imaginations ran wild.
Lauren led children in singing by asking them to repeat after her “I said a-boom-chika-boom”; the children were asked to repeat it back in different voices, such as a robot. Again the participants stood in a circle, using movements to match the voice they were using, chortles and laughter escaped from all.
art2264 will be back at Morisset PCYC from 4pm on Friday 16th December, all welcome! At 4pm Circus Avalon will present a circus skills workshop, for ages seven and up. There will be more drama workshops: Introduction to Acting through theatre games, for primary students at 5pm and Introduction to Acting through mask, for secondary students at 6pm. With the popularity of the drama workshops it is recommended that you email or phone to reserve a place: email@example.com or ring Margrete Erling on 0412 324 228. For more information check out the art2264 blog: www.art2264morisset.blogspot.com.