Creating Freedom has proposed a set of workshops to the REAP community. The theater workshops are designed for 10-20 participants as well as volunteers, family members and/or care givers. Each workshop will be 5-10 days (7 days is recommended), 3 hours per day. At the end of the workshop, the participants will present a theater production to the community. Theater productions are 15-30 minutes, depending on the abilities of the participants and the length of the workshop.
"This was the best thing that has happened in the 9 years I've been working at the centre; these 4 or 5 weeks changed everything."
Iman Hamdi, Social Centre Manager, NHS Horton Mental Health Rehab, UK
The methodology in the workshop, the Science of Acting, teaches participants how to use their imagination to create characters. They understand the thinking processes of the characters they are creating and, in doing so, understand their own thinking processes. Through this work, participants develop skills that are relevant for becoming more confident, socially engaged and independent and becoming employable.
Through this work, people with physical and mental disabilities are able to develop awareness, sensitivity, empathy, self-discipline, confidence, improved levels of attention & focus and the ability to resolve difficult personal issues and relationships. The final production is enjoyed by the community, giving he participants the experience of contributing to others.
"I thought it was going to be just putting on a good play to entertain people blah, blah, blah;
but now, I feel it’s doing something for us, I think it’s educating us. It’s a journey."
Rachel Day, Partipant
REAP: Proposed Project
"Wonderful work, I don't know how you managed to produce this. A real service."
Dr. Joseph Pillai, Consultant Psychiatrist
"Very important work"
Professor Peter Fonagy OBE
"Alex is not just directing a play but healing their souls with his attitude, his stunning intelligence and his ability to get out of difficult situations with humour and tact. The lads did not figure him out right away but when they did they accepted Alex's authority and listened to him absolutely."
Drugoi, Russia’s top blogger
Anyone can make art: This is our work.
Watch how participants create the video
Watch the film they made
The following videos are from a series of acting workshops and rehearsals over 6 weeks at NHS Horton Haven Rehabilitation Unit for people with long-term chronic mental health issues. A group of residents were taught acting using techniques from the Science of Acting. The characters, story and scenes were then developed through improvisations.
After the project, staff commented that general relations and morale in the whole center improved. Some participants moved on much faster than expected in their care pathway as a result of the project. On the second project many more staff got involved, having seen the results of the first year. Staff reported huge impact on the participants: people who had been monosyllabic for months were suddenly engaged and very communicative; there was a reduction in symptoms of psychosis and schizoaffective disorders; isolated individuals were engaged, smiling and laughing; staff-resident relations relaxed and improved.
What does the community need to provide for the workshop?
Creating Freedom provides a director experienced with speical needs populations. We work together with your community, starting with an existing story or theme, to create the script. REAP should provide:
10-15 participants in each workshop
Parents, volunteers and specialists interested in the project
Logistics management (making sure the participants arrive, snacks and lunch, sound systems, inviting audience, press, etc.)
Space for working with the group
Location for final production. Ideal is a stage.
Fees for the director are with Karen Hannon
Sound and lighting as needed
Photographer and/or videographer, to preserve your memories
What outcomes can we expect for our participants?
First and foremost, our projects are fun for all participants and volunteers. Participants learn valuable skills through joyful play.
Self-awareness, sensitivity, empathy - developed through exploring emotions of the characters and working with others
Self-discipline - through the need to create a final production by a deadline, and play a part with correct timing
Confidence - through seeing a work from start to finish and receiving positive feedback
Ability to work with others - as the project occurs in a group
Improved levels of attention and focus
Ability to resolve difficult personal issues and relationships - through seeing how their actions affect others in real-time
Contribution - the knoweldge that others are enjoying the work they created
Do you work with other populations?
Yes. In addition to our work with people with mental and physical disabilities, learning difficulties and special needs, we have done extensive work in prisons and work in refugee camps, as well as work with victims of crime and at film festivals and with groups of children who just want to have fun. We particularly love to work with people with disabilities, because of the immediate contribution to the community.
Can you provide training for social workers and other care professionals?
Yes! Often we will run a morning session with care professionals, actors, directors, and family members to teach them our methodologies. We can adjust our training curricuulm to your needs.
An Explosion of Joy: How Our Projects Look
The following video shows our work with deaf-blind people on a 10-week project (1 session per week). The result was an interactive performance where the audience physically followed the artists as they moved in the theatre space singing sea shanties, banging their drums and dancing against the backdrop of a desert island. Props like UV paint, drums, coconuts and sand were used to create a multi-sensory experience for both the performers and the audience demonstrating the power of non-verbal communication.
"I joined Sense of Space to overcome personal barriers.
The workshops gave me the confidence to deal with my sight and hearing difficulties
and not try to conceal them in order to fit in.
It was a great boost being involved in a project where the focus was always on our talents rather than our disabilities.
--Marcus Inniss, paticipant
Company founder. Award-winning theater and film director and acting teacher based in London, UK. Trained at the Kogan Academy in London. Extensive work worldwide with prisoners, disabled people, refugees, orphans and people with severe mental health issues.
Swedish actress and director based in London, UK. Trained at Kulturama in Stockholm and the Kogan Academy in London. Directed and produced numerous plays, musicals and films with young adults as well as adults with learning difficulties in both Scandinavia and the UK.
Icelandic actor, director and filmmaker based in London, UK. Recent graduate of the Kogan Academy of Dramatic Arts. Director of theater and film productions.
Entrepreneur and business professional with over two decades of experience in managemetn, sales, client services for a wide vareity of enterprises. Project manager and client relations. Currently co-writing a book on the methodologies of Creating Freedom with Alex Dower.