Our charity vehicle broke down last week, leaving us with no means of transport. The Operations Manager had to wait for a number of hours for public transport and our ARTiculate Project has been affected negatively as he needs to go to the learners to record testimonies. We certainly need reliable transport and would appreciate any assistance or advice on this.

The desire to tell our story is in all of us. The Dramatic Need ARTiculate Project kicked off with the students beginning the process of telling their own stories by first putting them in writing before they could say them by word of mouth. Collective narratives mean nothing if they are not made out of personal stories.

4/9/2013 (6:54pm)

Exciting weeks of creativity

Our extramural sessions start on the 22nd of April with exciting activities lined up for the students. 

One exciting project is a long term creative path that students will enter this term touching on three different forms of art which are visual art, craft and drama. The journey of creativity and story telling begins with students drawing up a picture that speaks to them and animating the picture in the form of a doll or a puppet. Students will then give these animations life by creating stories around them and the stories will be used to organically create a collective story and a performance.

Talk about participating in negotiating meaning, sharing space and marvelling at what we have created as a collective but starting with my personal journey alone.

Nothing happens without being imagined first

∞ 1 note


4/5/2013 (10:00am) 2 notes

In Defence of Play

As I prepare for my long awaited games and exercises with the children of this community, I have had to look back at my own childhood and my own history of playing. I realise now that my childhood and playful days prepared me for the more demanding tasks of life. The late applied drama guru and proponent of Theatre of the Oppressed Augusto Boal said of theatre that; ‘The Theatre itself is not revolutionary, instead a rehearsal of a revolution.’

 I realise that if my life had been devoid of play, I would have been like an actor who goes on stage to perform without going through a rehearsal. This is a clear case of preparing to fail. I played as a child and learnt to imitate even my parents when we played ‘mothers and fathers.’ It was exciting. 

We also played with clay, using it to make virtually anything. We made animals we saw around us. We made human beings and named them and in the process created stories with clear plots around these objects we created. We learnt to be busy creating at a tender age and when we got to life and its demands, we used what we had gained from these games. We did not disappoint when life demanded that we be creative. When life demanded that we be democratic and give others a chance, we remembered unconsciously that we had learnt to give others a chance when we played. We sometimes formed circles and took turns to play.

Believe it or not this was just as important as the Math we later learnt at school when our unscripted learning was interrupted by formal learning. Somehow life happened and things got busy that I forgot to play until I got involved in an ‘object theatre’ exercise where a lot of objects we put on the floor and we were asked to pick anything that appealed to us. I picked a tennis ball because I used to play a lot with it as a child. The facilitator made us give our objects names and to create dialogue with them. I name my tennis ball, Spox. I spoke to Spox and asked him why he had disappeared and why he never played with me anymore. He accused me of getting too busy and ignoring him. It was an emotional reunion with my long lost crony. Poor Spox. This reminded me to play and it started a playing revolution in my adult life. 

Children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds where chores take the place of play entirely are ill prepared and lacking in the aesthetic value of life and the pertinent sentimental value of life and work. Dramatic Need provides that intervention to enable the busy child to play and to create and draw objects and they do so in democratic and group spaces.

By Bhekilizwe Bernard Ndlovu(Regional Operations Manager)

4/4/2013 (12:02pm) 3 notes

Once again, proof that with a little bit of creative elbow grease, so much can be done with such basic materials… This inspired video “Autumn Story” co-directed by Yanni Kronenberg and Lucinda Schreiber, reminds us of THIS incredible video one of our volunteers Adam Smith made with the children of Rwamagana Rwanda a year ago…. chalk sure is a wonderful thing….

(Source: dramaticneed.org)

#Video#animation#chalk#Adam Smith#Yanni Kronenberg#Lucinda Schreiber

It was welcome time again for the Operations Manager, Bheki. The PPCAC community took their precious time to come to the Arts Centre to welcome Mr Ndlovu. It became an evening of beautiful speeches and smiles.

Bheki took the opportunity to promise parents to play with their children and help them grow into responsible adults. When an adult plays, play becomes more attractive to a child

Happy Easter to all our volunteers, students and supporters! 

Go easy on the chocolate now…. but not too easy! 

See you after the break, 

Love from the DN Team

On Sunday the Dramatic Need community welcomed the new Regional Operations Manager, Bhekilizwe Ndlovu. They took the opportunity to say goodbye to Teboho, the outgoing Manager whose main focus has been movement and dance. Judging by what she was able to do with the children in a space of two months, she will be greatly missed…

Bhekilizwe looks forward to working with the children and creating processes that should build the children into confident individuals and to create cohesive communities. Bheki is an applied drama enthusiast who believes that while mainstream drama practitioners make theatre using people, applied drama practitioners make people using theatre. He also teaches part time at Wits University.

Only the story can continue beyond the war and the warrior. It is the storyteller that saves our progeny from blundering like blind beggars into the spikes of the cactus fence. The story is our escort; without it, we are blind

∞ 1 note #Story telling#Achebe RIP

Chinua Achebe

16 November 1930 - 22 March 2013

3/22/2013 (11:01pm) 7 notes

Chinua Achebe, African Literary Titan, Dies at 82

Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian author and towering man of letters whose internationally acclaimed fiction sought to revive African literature and rewrite the story of the continent that had long been told by Western voices, died on Thursday in Boston. He was 82.

(Source: The New York Times)

#Chinua Achebe

Yesterday was South African Human Rights Day. The day commemorates the devastating Sharpeville Massacre that took place 21 March 1960. On this day 69 people, all protesting against the Apartheid government’s “pass laws” were killed by South African police and security forces. Many of the victims were shot in the back. 

The carnage made world headlines. Four days later the government banned black political organisations, many leaders of these organisations were arrested or went into exile.

During the Apartheid era there were human rights abuses committed by all sides; Human Rights Day was created by the new, post-Apartheid South African government to remind the people of South Africa of their human rights and to ensure that such abuses never again occur.

Art therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behaviour, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight. Art therapy integrates the fields of human development, visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms), and the creative process with models of counseling and psychotherapy.

∞ 23 notes

American Art Therapy Association (via ipekinlondon)

(Source: arttherapy.org, via shannonbrinkley)