Park Life is go!
The group arrives. I am nervous. How do we carry them all through this process? We ran ice breaking games (er, melting?), set some playful tasks, and it became clear that support for each other was building from within. Sometimes you need to set the structure and then get out of the way to allow a new group to breathe and come alive.
Armed with sun hats and high viz jackets, we took a walk around the park to show the group our “theatre” and test out the ground. Quickly, the trams that pass through and cut into the space and sound, worked their way into the structure of the piece.
“Hot”, “dry”, “arid” and “desert” are not really the words that you would associate with a park in South Norwood, but the sun has baked the ground to a crisp, and it is a very different space than than the one we explored at the start of the month.
We had planned for heat, but I was not prepared for the effect of heat on the creative process: my thinking felt really slow. But the group took it in their (good natured) stride and worked hard and generously all day, and we did get through a lot. We mapped the first section and spent some times on duets. We decided to stay indoors in the afternoon, where we did some group map making /drawing. This allowed the group to enjoy talking together, and, as someone said, enjoy the “sociable” aspect of the work. We also started work on some fun “picnic rug” duets.
One idea that stays with me, is the idea that the piece is “unplugged”, we are only using the soundtrack that exists in the park already. One participants talked about how she loved this opportunity to unplug from everything and enjoy the space as it is.