Non-hierarchical theater workshop, which was attended by 10 participants from different countries, was one of the final parts of this seminar. In the end of the workshop participants created a theatre play, which was also filmed as a video.
Parts of the workshop were:
- Small exercises in the beginning
- Brainstorming on an idea of a play
- Writing a script by sentences
- Reading the script draft out-loud
- Performance of the script draft
- Making a complete script with a text and multimedia support
- Final performance
The first day began with warming up exercise – passing the imaginary ball, vocal exercise with different sounds (add if you remember others). Then participants were asked to do exercises for further work on the theatre performance (what exactly). why: to relax and make them feel comfortable with themselves and with the other participants. Also on this day, the work on an idea of a play started: first, the participants individually came up with the issuses they are bothered by. After we started to brainstorm on the problem and the solutions for it. This way we had the plot of the story. Reflecting on the issues that the participants wanted to work on, it was concluded that the plot will tackle following topics:
water and air pollution;
feeling of loneliness;
feelings of frustration about discrimination.
We came to a conclusion to make a play about a mermaid.
The second day began with drafting of the script. The story began to form in a following way: in a circle each participant should have written one sentence. The first participant started on a blank paper, the next one saw only the first sentence and added their own one and folded the first sentence, this way the third participant saw only the last sentence. The process continued till the paper was full. After that, the text was read aloud, but it wasn’t completely logical. Participants worked more on the text and it’s form so that we could tell a story about the things we discussed the previous day. Each participant took a sentence and rewrote it in a elaborative way. The script was digitised and the participants started to act out the certain parts through improvisation in order to better understand play and general course of the scene.
After we assigned the roles and started practicing scenes. The rehearsal took several hours and was done under monitoring of the guest trainer. The speaker was commenting the scene movement, diction, tempo etc. The team came up with ideas for the video and sound effects. We used projector to screen different visuals and played music to portrait scenery and atmosphere of the play. Two people from the team were responsible for this, others were acting the play out.
The final version of the play was shown to all the participants of the international seminar and filmed.
Text of the play:
Narrator and Merperson are at the stage
Narrator: There once was a merperson, living in the sea with a really dirty water. They were extremely upset and complaining all the time:
Merperson: This is disgusting!!!
Narrator: Then merperson arranged a sea party to cheer themself up. They invited all their merfriends, but found that most of them were dead due to pollution.
Merperson: Here I am at the sea party, that no one came to. Let me, check Seander… Oh, Sebastian, he was online a month ago? I knew him very well. But wait, is he… is he dead?! No!!! But look at those fishmen… at the pier. They are having so much fun on the boat… I wish I could join them…”
Narrator: A wild fish appears. It’s name is Bubba.
Bubba: I love you, Merperson! And I love the Sea! But nothing grows here: no algae, only trash around. And I can`t breath, I can’t breathe at all. And the smell! The smell is like my socks after one week wearing them. What did we make to this water?! Why is it so fucking disgusting?!
Bubba leaves the stage
Narrator: Suddenly fishermen approach, pulling merperson’s tail and saying
"A creature like you
Should be to be on the Earth
Belong to the land,
Belong to a man"
"Nice fishtail you have,
Would be better,
If you had legs,
Two beautiful legs"
"Come on, hurry up,
You're coming with us.
Narrator: It was like waking up to a brave new world, filled with concrete and smog. She said to herself:
Merperson: I guess some things never change”.
Narrator: Merperson was in an ocean alone for all the time and now she was in a concrete jungle. Totally alone. Except the fisherman, but then, they wouldn’t care less about her loneliness. Merperson was thinking:
Merperson: so… this is land, it’s much louder, than in the deep waters, but still solitary.
Narrator: She said in a desperate and numb voice. The cold and heartless ocean, in where she was once lived, now felt warmer for her.
Merperson: At least sun is visible on land Maybe something could change in this polluted, discriminatory and oppressive world?! I must come up with a plan!
Merperson’s thoughts enter
Loneliness like river in autumn
and that river is me,
But thanks to this solitude,
so that I can concentrate on those
artistic and philosophic ideals,
and having illuminating conversations
with those greatest thinkers in the history.
Above and beyond our daily life,
there is always a better world
on the other side of this river,
which we are all aspiring to
although seldom achieve
like the eternal love, I believe."
Merperson’s thoughts leave
Narrator: Merperson finds a phone booth at a nearby pier and calls Masha, project coordinator of CDN.
Merperson: Hello! Is this Masha, project coordinator of CDN?
Masha: Yes! How can I help you?
Merperson: My merfriends and I are systematically oppressed by the oil companies. We’re tired of living in this toxic society, toxic sea society, and we want to change this. What can we do?”
Masha: Oh, That is unacceptable! No one should be discriminated against based on the number of their limbs. You are welcome to join CDN: to the network of people who will join you in your struggle for a sustainable sea society. You are not alone!
Merperson: I will open the Sea Department of CDN right at this moment. My merfriends and I will change this toxic sea society into a sustainable one.
Masha: Hell yes!!! The oil companies are going down!!! And we are going to live in society with eternal love.