Meeting and attending a workshop led by Patrick Sandford, on 30th November, was a very interesting experience for the 7 street-arts optional course students from Marcel Sembat Sixth Form College in Sotteville-lès-Rouen, who started studying drama this term.
The Sixth Form students were captivated and seduced by Southampton-based Nuffield Theatre’s Artistic Director and his own educational approach during the 3 hours of the workshop.
Patrick Sandford shared his point of view on theatre and artistic practice through this lively session, explaining his philosophy on the theatrical art.
In a shared participatory atmosphere, students, teachers, Léa Dant (Artistic Director and artist from company ’Théâtre du Voyage Intérieur’, also a speaker in the project) and Atelier 231 staff were invited to actively get involved in the journey. A way for the director to make the students feel comfortable and remind them that there is no good or bad positions, just different ways to be and act according to individual personalities.
They all worked on various educational exercises : mime the different attitudes of a conference participant (boredom, discontent, enthusiasm, coldness, warmth) ; describe a picture to the rest of the group who can’t see it, observe individual levels of involvement in a conversation through a ball of thread (showing the differences between a 1st and 2nd part in a play) ; or make an external person guess a nursery rhyme, eyes closed, guided by a stranger.
At the end of the session, they all left, won over by the director’s extreme generosity and his catching passion for theatre. Both teachers and students raised their interest to cross the Channel, for a class trip, to see the Nuffield’s latest production. But another important ZEPA event is lined up for these enthusiastic students : the 2nd edition of the Fish & Chips festival, taking place at Atelier 231 on 26th, 27th and 28th January 2011.