...Leading on from my experience from the christmas project at ham house, my trip to Spain really re-inforced my idea of what drama in the community should be about. I not only learnt about drama in the community, but it also made me realise that dramatherapy really is what i want to do for my career. The project affected the villagers in a very personal way, it addressed the problems they were facing within the tiny village of Belvia in which they live. Spain having suffered from a 'silent' era, in which its history and political issues could not be discussed openly and freely by its people, made people very afraid to have the freedom of speech and to document both the history of their country and their opinions. This drama project opened the possibility for people to do this. I identified the project as a form of therapy. Having created the performance themselves in terms of characters, storyline etc, some of the villagers found it extremely difficult to come to terms with the fact that what was written down (the script) was their work. But through encouragement and support they were able to overcome this difficulty and instead feel proud of what they had created. The direct involvement of the community within the performance is how i imagine the final product at Ham House to be like. Having seen a project like that for myself, see it succeed and be able to witness the joy it brought to so many people has gave me hope and encouragement to do something as rewarding as the project in Spain for our performance at Ham House.
I learnt so much about the Spanish culture whilst I was there. It was interesting to see how drama and theatre is run differently there then it is here. Many of the villagers, particulary the older members, had never participated in a performance before. It was also lovely to witness how the project actually brought the village closer together. the youngest perticipant was 8 and the oldest was in her 80's and she was death, which demonstrated how everyone can be involved in a project and how everyone can work together. There was a couple of women who had previously had a disagreement and yet they were still working together to create the project. I think this was project was also therapeutic for their relationship.
I would love to go back and work with Spiral again. This kind of work is what I want to spend my life doing. Despite enjoying myself to the full, it was more about the enjoyment of the villagers and the sense of achievement they felt. I felt extrememly proud.