NEU Mantle of the Expert Programme Weekend 3

9th March 2019

March 2019


Sequence in the expressive mode – technique: Physical Theatre

1. Imagine yourself as an object on the island that could be affected by the hurricane. [Commitment/Demand 4]

2. Just for a minute represent yourself as an object just before the storm. [Teacher Compass – 1st Quartile]

3. How might a hurricane affect a rive? [2nd quartile]

4. I’m going to ask the river to join me… Here we are as the two main forces water and wind. (Luke stands opposite Ben on either side of the room with the rest of the group between them).

5. If you could represent yourself as the objects affected…

6. We’re going to come among you [Convention 4]

7. Which would come first? [Commitment/Demand 6]

8. All you need to do is change your shape [Commitment/Demand 4]

9. Here we come. (Luke walks using his arm to activate each object) [Convention 4; 3rd Quartile]

10. Please send some time reflecting on this what this experience was like from the POV of the object. [4th Quartile]

11. Possibly could lead to a writing task – convention 21 – writing from the perspective of the object, then recreate the event this time with the words read in a formal manner.

12. Could I ask the people on this half of the room to represent a building in the aftermath. [Convention 3] [Commitment 2]

13. Could I ask this side to choose one of the buildings – please touch.

14. Ask those representing people if you could just find out the damage that has been done.

15. People talk to buildings to find out damage. [Convention 4]

16. Ask the humans if you wouldn’t mind gathering here. The building wouldn’t mind representing something you want the humans to do.

17. If you could now change your position that demonstrates what it is you want the humans to do. [Convention 3 – they re-sculpture themselves]

FYI – Myth or reality – Do toilets flush the opposite way in the Southern Hemisphere? – A discussion. 


Ancient Egypt

1. Sheet of paper folded, a circle of people.

2. “My contention is what is written on this piece of paper is of great significance to the whole of the development of civilisation. 

3. I’ll just invite someone to open it up and we’ll have a look.

4. Please just have a quick conversation…

5. What sort of thoughts…

6. If you were in the priesthood how might you the people this news?

7. Let’s get into this… just have a conversation with your fellow priests, what might be the best way to in what might be the best way to inform the people of Egypt. [Convention 1]

8. Could I ask those priests in conversation to convert this into a dramatic sculpture, carved from sandstone, of the decision being made by the priests. [Preparation for convention 3]

9. Could you now take a piece of paper explaining what the priests have decided… please give some explanation [Preparation for Convention 16]

10. You now how this works. Remove all your pens and anything superfluous. We’ll just step into this when you’re ready… [Pause]… Now. [Convention 3]

(Note, this is the boundary between the 1st and 2nd quartile of the teacher compass and is worth breaking down: “You know how this works.” The teacher is preparing the class for what is to come. “Remove all your pens and anything superfluous.” The teacher is working with the students to prepare the space. Because everything inside a theatre space is significant. “We’ll just step into this when you’re ready… [Pause]Preparing to enter the fiction. “Now.” And we begin.)

11. Students represent the statues [Convention 3]. 

12. I’ll ask this half of the room to relax and see what you notice… anything from the Egyptian culture… any notion of power…

13. Switch around. This time can I ask those representing the statues to overhear those observing and in a moment we might be able to hear what they want to put right. Remember statues don’t move. [Convention 6; also an interesting use of language – speaking semi-‘mythically’ – this is the language of induction.]

14. Can you speak as though it is the statue talking.

15. Please spend some time researching one of the Gods. [This was done over lunchtime]

16. Could I ask you to see yourself representing one of the Gods… Teacher goes round the class one at the time and the students choose a god to represent – some choose to work in pairs.

17. Please get yourself a piece of paper and as best you can make a pictorial representation of your God… its not an art lesson. 

Following this was a long improvised session in convention 1 – using full role and multiple points of view. The event focused on a king commanding the change in religion from polytheism to monotheism and the subsequent disruption and tension.


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