Second Meeting: 31st March:
In our second meeting, myself and Monsay met with Karen, Tunde and Zephryn, who are facilitators for Back On Track, to discuss the groups and what we will be doing with them. We also created a timetable that we will be working to.
City Academy in Bermsondy:
This group consists of about 7 boys, mixed race. The group have started to form well together and are keen to get involved. They are approaching the 'performing' stage in the group dynamics.
They are looking at conflicts- how they are constructed, where the conflicts happen (home, streets, school), and what the triggers were.
They look at their own experiences, highlighting their actions and feelings, and try to pin point what the trigger was.
From there, they create still images of the experiences and discuss the feelings and motives behind them.
Park Centre at Oval:
This group consists of 5 boys, black. They are in the 'forming' stage and are starting to engage with drama. In this group, the boys have been expelled from school so are referred to this programme.
Again, the main areas that are being looked at are conflict and communication. Communication is a big factor in this group. They struggle to communicate with each other and don't show each other any respect. You have to look at how they are communicating and try and show them another way of doing it, if it is not received well. Look at what they are trying to say and ask them if they could say it in another way. Most people do not know how to communicate properly and things can be misinterpreted, which leads to them becoming more frustrated and not being able to communicate properly, and so the circle continues.
Youth Arts Group at Oval:
This groups consists of 15-17 girls and boys, mixed race. This is a credited drama group.
This group of students are here because they want to learn more about drama and widen their own skills by getting a qualification. The group is focused and work on two grade levels, Bronze and Silver grade. To achieve these grades the students have to fulfill several acquirement's, as well as participating in the group activities each week and devising drama. For Bronze, they have to see a piece of theatre and review it. For Silver, they have to research an arts organisation or theatre company, see some of their work and produce a presentation on it.
With this group we can be more challenging with the work we provide them.
For the Back On Track groups, the main goals they address in each session are:
Respect for yourselves and others.
Safety for physical and emotional self.
Commitment and responsibilities.
At the end of this meeting we had a clear idea of what we needed to do and were very excited about starting these workshops. The groups seem challenging and hard work which is quite scary in one respect, but well worth it in another.
After the meeting Myself and Monsay mind-mapped several themes and issues that were apparent in each group and looked at different seniors and situations which we could devise from. One theme we looked at which gave us lots of ideas was 'ambitions'. We want to know what the students want to do with their lives, what interests them and what their goals are. Also we want to look at what is stopping them from reaching these goals and see how they can change that for themselves. An idea for a forum theatre piece could be: a young boy who keeps getting fired from his jobs for several reasons - hes late, lazy, disrespectful, argumentative and rude to the customers. We would show each scene involving one of these reasons and see how the boy could have prevented himself from being fired.
We will take these ideas to our next meeting with Tunde, Karen and Zephryn and see where we can go next using these themes.