After participating in the Elevating Hearts through Theatre training session at Bosch from July 13-17, I facilitated an Image Theatre session in Urbana, IL at Heartland Baha’i School.
The session was on Friday, July 20 and lasted for one hour. I had roughly 26 participants for the session and the location was at a very empty public mall space.
To start the session, I used a google slides presentation to give the participants some background information on applied theatre, theatre through the faith, and image theatre. Then I had them split into three groups and led them through a couple warm-up activities. This really helped bring energy to the participants. After this I had each group pick a social justice issue they were passionate about and sculptor to create the image. Unfortunately I didn't do a very good job explaining the quiet environment they should try to create, and it didn't help that other groups were in close proximity at different stages of the activity. Once a group had finished their image, I took a picture of it and then told them to consult and make one change to their image that would help alleviate the social injustice. When they finished this, I took another picture and told them to find a quote in the Writings about their issue. Once I had pictures of all three groups and both of their images, I uploaded them to my Google drive and put them in the Google slides presentation.
For the debrief, I went through the groups one by one and their images. I told everyone what the issue was first and then asked them what things they saw in the image. Then I had the group whose picture it was explain their image and its different elements. After this I went to the image with the one change and facilitated a short discussion and analysis of it. The groups also read the quotations they had chosen. Due to the time limitation, we weren't able to have a very long discussion.
I did have a co-facilitator but she wasn't able to help much because I didn't have much time to bring her up to speed. For the future, I'll try to format the session in such a way that the groups are in the same stage of the activity to allow for a quieter, more concentrated environment when the image is being sculpted.
Overall, I had a very good experience and thought that the participants definitely took something away from it!
Issue: Harming the Environment
-The woman on the left changed from shooting down birds to shoveling in order to plant trees
-This group had three smaller scenes and made a change to each scene. Plus two additional people joined the image.
Issue: Mistreatment of the Deaf in School
This group's change was very subtle and was from the two individuals in the back (Alejo (red shorts) and Katya (black polka dot shirt)). They created a sign language symbol between the two of them that is trying to help the deaf person on the ground.
And what an interesting space to use!
This is great Will! Thank you so much for sharing and being so thorough with what worked and what you learned from the process! Andi and Sarvin had a similar experience doing some image theatre that same weekend - forgetting to make sure the participants stay silent in the process of sculpting. Sounds like it was awesome! Now we just need to hear some stuff from the rest of the group!