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Illness and scheduling hiccups from the artist team meant that today I ended up running 3 consecutive workshops by myself (mixed ages from 4yr olds through to 11 yr olds) – which would ordinarily be fine, but today re-enforced for me that for future reference we’re probably best off not flying solo when doing this kind of work. That is, even with dedicated and committed school staff on hand, the need to be responsive to each individual child’s mode of communication and not rush things means having another artist to bounce off and keep an organic “flow” happening when leading group activities like craft and drama-based experiences is pretty important.

This realization is firming up my resolve when responding to queries as to whether we need as many artists in the team or indeed for the actual sensory theatre performance (currently 4 of us). Because of costs, mainstream theatre for young people understandably tries to work with casts of 3 maximum and certainly, I’ve lead most of my mainstream school workshops in the past as the sole visiting artist – but the fact is, if we want these PMLD kids to be active participants in the learning/creative experience rather than merely passive recipients then it’s always going to be more effective with at least 2 artist facilitators in addition to the usual teachers & education assistants…

That said – some great moments today – the littlies in Banskia were super switched on this morning and veeerrry happy with their rooster-making. The older Bellmay kids are so conversant with the story now that they were worried that Goat & Donkey (who weren’t present for their Rooster making and puppet animating session) might be lonely back home in their forest!! Finished off the day with some lower-key floor-based time with Room 2 who enjoyed animating their rooster puppets for a re-visit of the 2D book of the story – pecking away at their class’s real Jub Jub potted plant (which continues to grow!).  Tomorrow? Well, another day, another Donkey…


 


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