Winter School reflections—Tony Gee

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Here is the text of an email sent by Tony Gee, a participant in Winter School.

Tony Gee, Director, School of Workshop

Tony Gee, Director, School of Workshop

The three days with Mo, Lucy and Peta [Lily] were three days very well spent. I suppose my need was more for input rather than to create a show. On the othe other hand, I did the three days for the simple reason that I could do it and I needed to participate rather than facilitate.I didn’t really pay much attention to the fact that it was autobiographical solo theatre until a few days before and then part of me asked, “Am  I doing the right thing?” I had a show to write, the tail end of a cold and was generally wrapped in a cloud of exhaustion.

At every turn then I doubted whether I’d get back the next day so it is a big testimony to the running of these three days that I kept coming back for more. In other words, I got a lot out of it. What did I get out of it?

Well , we ate well,the company was convivial but most of all, the quality of the content of this three day workshop was very strong. It had a very modulated narrative arc so that the first day warmed us up, and the second day resourced us and gave us stuff to work on and the third day allowed us to make the material our own. The structure was well prepared but not too rigid to adapt to the needs of the group or the individuals in the group. At every stage I felt included and heard and pulled forward into new territory both theatrically and in terms of my own participatory/socially engaged arts practice.

The three days were packed with memorable moments both light and dark: God was put on trial, knives were puppeteered, dogs spoke, all sorts of objects had life breathed into them and we all improved our stage craft, presence and ability to work with an audience. We also found techniques to uncover material, ways to work  with that material and in short it fulfilled this criteria for a good workshop:

Workshop is making something that has existed before, whether it is bringing together existing elements in new ways or whether it is something completely original. It is absolutely not being in the same place as you were when you walked in the room.

Bronwen GwillimThe Workshop Interviews

I left the hall in Ashprington renewed and having revisited parts of my story in new ways that surprised me and provide me with an opportunity to look at the world slightly differently. This was achieved through the care of the three workshop providers in putting this event together, Peta Lily’s expertise and the warm company of fellow travellers. Thank You

Tony Gee
School of Workshop
Seale Hayne
Newton Abbot
Devon TQ12 6NQ

m: 07950 998911

t:  01626 325830

e: info@schoolofworkshop.co.uk

www.schoolofworkshop.co.uk

School of Workshop helps artists, creators and facilitators to refresh and renew their workshop practice.

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