The offer of spending a day in “sunny” Sidcup is hard to refuse at the best of times, even more so when the offer of spending it is at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance for a day of workshops and fun.
It was lovely to meet up with old friends and to meet so many of the new students, I trust you didn’t feel too intimidated by us old hands.
A packed day was laid on;
- Is it Really All about Text? with Professor Michael Walling
- Telling the Tale: Voice and Essay Writing with Dr Stephe Harrop
- Using the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and Learning Resources Centre (LRC) with David Matthews and Librarian Frank Trew
- Pick a number between 1 – 100 with Jayne Richards and David Matthews
Michael Walling’s first session on “Is it really all about text?”, was great as Michael used a clip of an act from his latest play that opened on Thursday (http://www.bordercrossings.org.uk/Productions/Default.aspx?ProdID=12 ). An in-depth discussion followed as we analysed the performance. It was interesting to see what others had seen in the piece and the interpretations we had. It also gave me a taste of this production and if I have time I’m keen to catch it whilst it’s on in London.
I was looking forward to Stephe Harrop’s session following the workshop she did on the Greek Chorus at the March study weekend (http://theatrethoughts.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/kate-and-edith-a-pineapple-bra-and-greek-chorus/). This was an engaging and helpful session empowering us to use our voice in our assignments. Taking an extract of Duncan Williamson’s stories, we dissected it, and made it “academic”, whilst this was an extreme exercise, it really hit the point home and was worthwhile. Then followed a game where we had to tell a story in groups but for each verb/adjective/noun, give three other alternatives, alas no thesaurus or dictionaries were allowed.
The VLE is a new venture for the college’s distance learning program and has been a giant leap forward for us all and already is making distance learning better. David showed us some future things to come, which will make it an even funkier place. Learning more about the LRC was really helpful especially their online resources as I’m going to need them for my next assignments.
For the last session we got into groups and examined part of an anonymous students assignment against the marking criteria. What followed was interesting, I’m just glad none of my colleagues mark my assignments, especially Debbie!!! The tutors then pointed out the positives and negatives in the assignment. I’m guilty of many of the negatives, so it was good to be reminded what needs to be done as my assignments begin to loom.
The room was then divided between the continuing students and brand new ones, what followed was really good, the new students could ask us any question they liked of the continuing students and we answered from our group experience. I found this helpful as the advice given by other students was really good, and I trust it helped the new students.
As usual the food was fab (Mary has promised Jaffa Cakes for the March weekend as Kevin has requested them), there was a distinct lack of pineapple this year which while disappointing, was amply made up for by the melon and apples! (sorry to students not at March 2010 study weekend, it’s a “had to be there” joke)
For me though, the key thing I appreciate the most is to meet with other students, realise I’m not doing this on my own and to have a good chat about all things theatrical with people who share the same passion (if not the same views) as I. That’s why these study days are to me the highlights of the academic year. Bring on March 2011!!!!!!!!!!