Well it’s over a month since we last spoke during which time the country finds itself in turmoil. Much as I would like to debate the issues that Brexit has thrown up this is not the time or place, so instead let me tell you what FINDING THE WILL has been up to during June. Four new schools (state and private) in a nutshell! We’ve been to Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Manchester running workshops on ‘The Tempest’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Romeo & Juliet’ – plus we’ve ‘broken in’ one of our new FTWAPs (FINDING THE WILL Associate Practitioners), confusingly also called Richard. What a baptism of fire he had – not only did he have to co-deliver workshops on three different plays but he also had to assist in directing 270 children in five different scenes from ”A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Macbeth’ and ‘Romeo & Juliet’. Here is a picture of last week’s hero and a poster which, although obviously is a quote from ‘The Dream’, rather sums up the week!
The process of becoming a FINDING THE WILL Associate Practitioner is more difficult than you might think. We now have seven Associates in total, some of whom we have worked with before and some of whom are completely new to us. All are immensely experienced as actors and practitioners. We all met up in mid May and had a day of playing games, trying out some of the FTW workshop material, pretending to be eight again and generally getting to know one another. Once Richard agreed to the mammoth task in Manchester he and I spent another day going through each workshop and rehearsing his input. He then came and observed a workshop we were running with Year 2 on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at Eagle House School, Sandhurst (the day after THE referendum) – an experience he described as ‘invaluable’.
Once we were in situ in Manchester the work continued, both in and out of school hours as we rehearsed more every evening after work. Of course rehearsing is one thing, but doing it for real is another thing completely! For instance it is impossible to imagine the frequent ‘off the wall’ answers some six year olds will come up with (Q: “What are you here at the market to buy?” A: “A dinosaur”), and, as you well know, with FINDING THE WILL there is never a wrong answer just an interesting idea! So every answer or comment – however strange – has to be accepted as legitimate and therefore sometimes turned around on the spot – improvisation skills are certainly key! Congratulations then to Richard for going with the flow and being a pioneer in the FTWAP process! I look forward to introducing you to the six other Associate Practitioners during the course of the next year.
Now we are at the end of this academic year and FTW has worked with nearly 3000 children nationwide since September 2015 and already we have another 500 lined up to work with during 2016/17. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the children, teachers, TAs, admin staff and tea makers who have welcomed us and sustained us throughout this last year. We’ve loved working with you all and, for many of you, we look forward to seeing you again in your regular slots! And if you’ve not yet had the FTW experience drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call 01380 739579 and find out what you have been missing!
Happy Summer everyone!