Uta Plate on her working processes in relation to A Way with Secret Hotel, Denmark:
Why theatre with young people?
The group will devise the site specific performance through improvisation, movement and writing workshops. They gain many skills and ways of expression such as role-play, dance, singing, creative writing, devising of scenes, improvisation, develop into co-directors. They also gain the ability of dealing with the media.
Instead of producing existing plays the group will devise a new play within which all participants stage their ideas and what is important to them. This way they discover stories that could not be told elsewhere. The dialogue with the landscape and their own texts provide impulses for the work.
The common base is the interaction between the situation of the young people and the artistic process. The stories of their lives and their personalities determine the themes and the result of the project.
How to lead the process of collective creativity?
It is the director’s – my – responsibility to compose a good mixture of the young and old people’s statements, wishes, longings with artistic structures, forms and experiments. The challenge is to create performative scenes and images, which are truly close to the participants instead of just reconstructing MTV-stereotypes or manifest socio-pedagogic ideas. To achieve this, the group develops artistic forms and ways of acting that at the same time protect them and include the possibility to risk something.
The task of the director is also that the actors develop a consciousness of what they do on stage, how they do it, and why. The aim is for the young actors to know what kind of association and effects they evoke: As there are lots of concepts of youth, esp. refugees and drug addicts, it is important to give a frame for self-conception. They devise and dispose of performative imagery by working on it under professional direction and by developing an articulate knowledge of how to recount which image.
I offer the boat and the paddle – where participants paddle to is their individual choice. Whatever participants develop on the basis of my impulses with the freedom of being able to paddle, is a profit for me as director as I learn from my ensemble.
Collective creativity leads to social and aesthetic theatre art
Even though each participant gets the opportunity to adapt his/her personal life for the theatre it is the group, which stands in the spotlight. Consequently, there’s made no difference between main and side characters. Every member of the group can commit to the creative process by communicating and trying out his/her ideas to a certain concern of his/her own life which is then transformed into an aesthetic form Creative writing workshops will be held in order to help the young people to express their own concerns in a poetic manner. In some rehearsals we will free the young people from restrictions of language and verbal expression, and instead work with movement or dance elements. Sometimes certain themes are found through improvisation and after this the team looks for other literary or dramatic texts, which could fit or illustrate the found topics and at the same time make sure that a secure distance is kept between the individual problems of the participants and the performance on stage.
When I devise new plays with young people in this way the group dynamic, commitment and responsibility for each other are essential parts of the work. Here the goal is to provide access to theatre as a multifaceted means of expression for the players so that they can stage their own stories and enter into a public discourse.
(se nedenfor ang. Christines del af det planlagte arbejde)
We will also try out some modern dance techniques that will intuitively lead to great results.
One element is the “focus dance exercise” in which one focuses on a certain body part and explores its possible movements. In this way, people will be dancing out of their own body impulses.
Another “dancing” or rather movement exercise will be the so-called “term choreography”. I will give the participant’s terms like “freedom, exclusion, craziness” and “break out” and they will transform their personal understandings and feelings of these terms into a short dance choreographies.