The two day festival held over the weekend of 3rd and 4th December celebrated young playwrights on Dartmoor, through the performance of a collection of fast-paced, edgy plays written, acted and directed by young people. The young people not only wrote, directed and performed the plays, they also had input into elements such as costume and makeup, and they designed and painted the floor canvas which acted as the minimalistic but dramatic ‘horizontal backdop’ for each of the eight plays performed. One audience member commented “I’ve never seen so much condensed talent in all my life.”
MED Theatre’s education officer delivered a bespoke drama workshop to Kingsbridge Community College pupils which informed them about the performance industry and gave them a taster in physical theatre, specifically stage combat.
Moretonhampstead Primary School received a 10 week course from MED Theatre. The year 6 class created their own play from start to finish: as a group they came up with the idea for the story on the theme linking Dartmoor and North America. They then wrote the scenes in small writing teams, and eventually directed eachother and performed in the play that was shared with the rest of the school and family members in December. The play was about a group of children from Dartmoor and a group of children from North America whose planes crash on an island in the atlantic. In their efforts to survive they meet a tribe and a stranger who all need the island for different things.
Thirteen family learning learning participants took part in the Living Trees workshop. They explored how important trees are to our every day lives and connections to climate change by using drama and storytelling to unravel folklore and poetry about trees with professionals from MED Theatre on Saturday 18th September in Moretonhampstead Parish Hall.
MED Theatre led a workshop in the Exeter Phoenix Arts Centre’s summer holiday programme. The 8-12 year olds had a fun-packed session of games, improvisation and performance!
“How to use location as inspiration through drama” – Primary school teachers gathered in the lovely setting of Saltram House to explore ways to use location as a starting point for creating drama through a very physical session!
Coombeshead College hosted a summer school for 10-13 year olds over a four day period at the start of the holiday. MED Theatre facilitated the young people to write and produce their very own radio play, taking inspiration on a trip to Vennford Reservoir on Dartmoor, where they heard about myths linked to water, the turbulent social history of reservoir building on Dartmoor, and they even saw an adder!
MED Theatre has run two film courses for primary schools during end of the summer term. Bovey Tracey Primary produced a film about the history of their village which involved contemporising local mythology and they premiered their film at the Bovey Tracey Charter Celeberation. Whilst Kenn Primary year six produced a film as their leavers project, which enabled them to reflect on their memories and time at the school.
In July we continued work with Widecombe Primary School to create and perform a play called The Dividing River, which involved a field trip to their local river to get inspiration for creative writing.
The Dartmoor National Park Authority funded MED Theatre’s education branch to create a movement-drama workshop based on the magical animal, the brown hare, a species that is becoming increasingly rare in our local National Park. The workshop was piloted to both a primary and a secondary school in Princetown and Crediton, as well as to a family learning group. The mix of ecology, folklore, drama and movement makes for a stimulating workshop for any age group.
In partnership with the National Trust, MED Theatre has developed a new workshop ‘Local History Investigation’ where the students are greeted at Finch Foundry by a Victorian character who, through storytelling and demonstration, encourage the children to investigate a true incident that occurred at the location. Exbourne Primary were the first to sample this brand new workshop.
Gifted and Talented students from four local primary schools, wrote and recorded their own play The Hidden Truth which was inspired by local mythology.
Through DAISI (Devon Arts in Schools Initiative) MED Theatre was asked to lead a series of after school workshops to a group of very enthusiastic students from Boasley Cross Primary School.
MED Theatre was pleased to lead a workshop to primary school teachers from the local area on how to use drama techniques as a teaching tool, in partnership with the Phoenix Arts Centre in Exeter.