Friday, 12 March 2010

Welcome to the House of Fun!

This term has been a real eye opener at St Mary's. After Arabian Nights and being totally absorbed in that project I finally look up and look around me, only to find everyone is beavering away at something. These projects vary hugely in size and style, but it really is a different place to be as we move into our second term.

For the third year, deadlines are looming, as well as the prospect of going out into the 'real world' and starting to forge a career for themselves. I remember this time well from my own university experience and how nerve wracking the thought of going out into the wilderness was. But I also remember the feeling of anticipated freedom, wanting to move on and feeling I had out grown my university bubble (which is as it should be).

Working on the Ham House 400th Birthday project (have I mentioned this in my blogs yet??) with the 3rd year students has been interesting so far. Contacting and visiting choirs around the area for the best part of 3 months. I feel priveleged to be able to share in their work with them and be included in the time they share. The students who have accompanied me to these sessions also seem to have enjoyed the experience as well as gaining an insight into the world of Community Projects. We are working hard, moving forward and making new friends which can only be a good thing.

The procession also seems to be moving ever onward (no joke intended) and community groups are being contacted left, right and predictably centre. Some are what you would expect at a National Trust event, and some are further afield.

As the event looms ever closer I've thought a lot about the recipe for a good community project, and what I see as being important aspects of the work. I've done a lot of this work before and they have all been strikingly different, however there are always common themes. The biggest of all things being a sense of 'fun'. Can we truly be creative if we're not enjoying ourselves? Embracing our silly sides? Experimenting with the line between childlike and childish?

Albert Einstein once said 'Play is the highest form of research' and I can't think of a more fitting model for how all of our work should be undertaken - particularly in Drama. Fun brings an energy with it, a naughtiness, a cheekiness, even a cockiness that can only be beneficial to your projects and this will be the driving force for our work between now and May.

So Happy Birthday Ham House! May your party be cheeky, crazy and even a little bit bizarre. But most of all FUN, for everyone involved!

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