Theatre Futures Menu

Dream: the joy of creating with Oily Cart

1.Overview

Soundcloud Audio link – A participants evaluation

2013 saw the second in the series of week-long residencies aimed at disseminating the practice of a leading innovator in the UK Theatre for Young Audiences field. The event was supported by a range of stakeholders:

  • Kent County Council
  • Ashford Borough Council
  • Rose Bruford College
  • The Jasmin Vardimon Company
  • TYAUK the UK Centre of ASSITEJ
  • Wyvern Special School

Timetable

Mon 30 Sept – J Vardimon all day

12.30-1.00 All meet at Jasmin Vardimon. Tea & welcome. Why were all here & what we hope to get out of it. Background of Oily Cart
5.30 Pecha kucha
6.00 Finish

Tues 1 Oct – Wyvern Sch all day

9.30 – 11.00 Tour of Wyvern School. Preparatory warm-up improvisations. Aft: devising in groups and begin observations in classroom
4.30 Pecha kucha
5.00 Finish

Wed 2 Oct – Wyvern Sch all day

Between 1.30-3.00 – 4 perfs
3.00-4.00 Debriefing
4.00 Pecha kucha
5.00 Finish
Evening meal together

Thur 3 Oct – Wyvern Sch all day

9.30 -Devising in groups for Thurs pm perfs
Between 1.30-3.00 4 perfs
3.00-4.00 Debriefing
4.00 Pecha kucha
5.00 Finish

Fri 4 Oct – School till 4.00, then J Vardimon

9.30 – Devising in groups for Fri pm perfs
Between 1.30-3.00. 4 perfs
3.00-4.00 Debriefing/get-out
4.30-6.00 Jasmin Vardimon to prepare for Sat.

Sat 5 Oct – J Vardimon all day

10.30 – 12.30 Sharing Event
12.30 -1.30 Lunch for participants and sharing guests
1.30-3.00 Final session – what we will take away from the Dream Week.

The event took place from Monday 30th September to Saturday 5th October at The Jasmin Vardimon Space and in residence in Wyvern Special School. The schedule for the week was as follows

The week’s work was led by Tim Webb, Claire De Loon and Max Reinhardt, the three founding members of Oily Cart. The main working sessions were held at The Wyvern Special School, Ashford, with the week ending in a sharing event at The Jasmin Vardimon Production Space.

The participants were split into 4 groups of 3 or 4. The school chose the pupils / classes they worked with in order to represent a range of young people including very young PMLD (Profound Multiple Learning Disability) pupils and pupils across the age range with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

The participants were encouraged to think of appropriate ways of addressing their audiences. The size of the audience varied from class to class. They could make an installation and invite the class to visit them. They could choose one representative to be in character in a class. The possibilities were many and needed to be negotiated at short notice.

Oily Cart proposed a theme to frame the work: THE JOURNEY.

Slots were also included in the timetable for participants to share their own pratice. They were each asked to bring a ‘pecha kucha’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PechaKucha) presentation on a memory stick. They consist of a slideshow with 20 slides of 20 seconds each.

2. The facilitators

Since 1981 Oily Cart has been taking its unique blend of theatre to children and young people in schools and venues across the UK. Challenging accepted definitions of theatre and audience, they create innovative, multi-sensory and highly interactive productions for the very young and for young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.
By transforming everyday environments into colourful, tactile ‘wonderlands’ they invite audiences to join them in a world of the imagination. Using hydro-therapy pools and trampolines, aromatherapy, video projection, and puppetry together with a vast array of multi-sensory techniques, they create original and highly specialised theatre for our young audiences.
All sorts of shows for all sorts of kids!

Oily Cart Team:

Tim Webb –Artistic Director Tim is a co-founder of the Oily Cart and over the past 32 years has written and directed over seventy shows for the company.  The company creates work for two audiences; very young children (6 months to 6 years old) and young people with Profound and Multiple Learning Disability and/or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder aged 3-19.

Tim has worked as actor, writer and director at theatres large and small throughout the UK.  His scripts have been produced at the Leicester Haymarket, the Albany Empire, Contact Theatre, Manchester, and by Greenwich, Glasgow and Leeds Theatre-in-Education companies. Tim has directed productions for, amongst others, the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, the London Bubble and Glasgow’s Giant Productions, Canada’s Carousel Players and the Chicago Children’s Theatre.

He received his MBE in 2011 for services to drama for children with special needs.

Max Reinhardt – Composer and Musical Director Co–founder of Oily Cart. Max has written and arranged the music and songs in all the productions and performed in many of the shows. He enjoys a varied freelance career as radio presenter (BBC Radio 3 Late Junction), music event curator, Club DJ and, formerly, musical director for a childrens TV seres. As a muso & DJ, he’s played all over the place, from Moscow to Caracas via Shanghai and LA, in various mutant collaborations  such as Andy Sheppard’s Short Cuts and the Shrine Synchro System. Recently he’s performed a series of live soundtracks for silent films and composed work for Oxford Contemporary Music and Spitalfields Music Festival.

Claire De Loon – Designer Claire spent the first seven years of her working life as a freelance theatre designer, working mainly in rep, at the Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, Cheltenham, Chester, Crewe and the London Bubble. Her work for young people includes productions for the Unicorn Theatre, Greenwich Young People’s Theatre and Glasgow Citizen’s TIE.

Claire has combined her design work with a career spanning thirteen years in arts education. She was Kids Klub Ko-ordinator at Battersea Arts Centre, director of the Tower Hamlets Youth Arts Project, ILEA Advisory Lecturer in Fashion & Design and Art & Design Team Leader for Hammersmith & Fulham Community Education.

3. The Participants

Like the 2012 application process, participants were invited to apply for a place on the residency. This opportunity was advertised through a range of networks including:

  • Rose Bruford College’s TYA Centre
  • Ashford Borough Council
  • PaNEK
  • Oily Cart
  • TYAUK

There were 8 places costing £100 each for UK practitioners (minimum 3 years professional experience) and 4 funded places for EU practitioners. The selection process was managed by Jeremy Harrison and the Rose Bruford College TYA Centre, with the final short list drawn up in consultation with Oily Cart and TYA UK.

List of Participants:

Rachel Betts – UK As Co-Artistic Director of Patchwork Theatre for 6 years Rachel worked full time in schools, hospitals and community settings with the aim of challenging young people’s perceptions of what theatre can do. This work has taken her across the UK and to South Africa, India and Japan where she worked with young people and adults with ASD and PMLD. She is a visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London. She teaches on the course created by Helen Nicholson, Portable Theatre, where students work in partnership with children from local schools creating a piece of theatre.

Orlando Gonzalez – Puerto Rico Orlando Gonzalez holds two M.A.’s in Translation and Anthropology and is the Executive and Artistic Director of Eclectico Internacional Inc.  It is a non-profit organization that specializes in integrating the Arts in Education for mainstream and special education students and provides workshops for schools and teachers.  It also offers accessibility consultation services for artistic venues as well as circus dance and theater productions fully accessible for all audiences.

Andy O’Connor – UK I am a PMLD class teacher. My school is Blackfriars Special School in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Blackfriars is an OFSTED outstanding school.

Jill Goodwin – UK Jill is an artist and special needs teacher currently working with a small school for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties in Southampton. More information on Jill’s work can be found on her website: www.tinglyproductions.org

Joanna Pavao – Portugal I am the Artistic Director of Teatro do Biombo, a theatre company that produces shows for babies and toddlers and intends to start creating performance work for children with disabilities. Being here is a huge opportunity for me.
 
Claire Neaves – UK I am a Speech and Language Therapist working in a special school in the Leicester area. The challenges of my work include injecting creativity and spontaneity into therapy activities, whilst working within the parameters of the NHS.

Janice Kernoghan – Northern Ireland Janice Kernoghan is Special Educational Needs Coordinator for Replay Theatre Company- a Belfast based company creating work for young audiences. Janice started working for Replay in 2008 as a freelance performer and facilitator, and in 2010 became the company’s full-time Creative Engagement Associate.  This year Janice was appointed to lead the company’s work for children and young people with PMLD, and the adults that work and care for them.

Marianne Harding – UK I am a teacher at Dame Hannah Rogers special school in Devon. I teach drama, music, dance and PE. My PGCE is in performing arts and I have a degree in Theatre from Dartington College of Arts. I have a Post Graduate Diploma in Film and Television Production and am currently working on an M Ed at Exeter University.

Chloe Rich – UK I am a qualified music therapist.  I have worked primarily with preschool and primary aged children with autism. I have also worked with adults with learning difficulties and with children and adolescents with mental health issues. I have a passion for music and for the arts in general and have witnessed the incredibly powerful role they can play in facilitating interaction and communication with others irrespective of ability.

Jessy Caillat – FRANCE Jessy is a puppeteer and an actress based in Paris. She had her own company called peplum cactus, who create puppets with everyday objects. One show uses only potatoes, for example. She studied with Jacques Le Coq and puppetry at L’ecole superior international puppet.

Vicki Hargreaves – UK Vicki Hargreaves is the Artistic Director of Commotion Dance Company. Commotion Dance make professional and accessible dance for children and young people. The company is based in Hampshire and work across the south east and west region offering workshops and performances in school and community settings. for more information please visit www.commotiondance.co.uk

Louise Coleman – UK Louise’s work as a Performance Maker encompasses theatre and dance, drawing on autobiographical stories & invites audiences to challenge their ideas of disability.  In her freelance capacity as a Facilitator, Louise has taught inclusive arts practices & disability awareness in universities. In 2011 Louise co-founded YSYT, an out-of-school respite charity for young people with PMLD & ASD, with emphasis on providing Creative Inclusive Fun. As Creative Arts Coordinator Louise developed & ran tailored inclusive arts based sessions.  Louise is currently training to be a Feldenkrais Practitioner & the method influences all aspects or her work.

4. Outcomes and Impact

The week had a range of outcomes which are best summarized as sitting within four main areas of impact:

i. Impact on pupils and staff at Wyvern:

Feedback from classes that participated was very positive and the impact of the work on the children had clearly continued beyond the residency, as this response from Frances (a member of the Wyvern staff team with responsibility for the PMLD children) reflects:

‘Frances asked me to tell you that in Star 2 (the older PMLD group) they have expanded the adventures of Jean into a whole literacy topic, he is now featuring in his own story book and the children are continuing to respond to him in the same way as they did last week. So undoubtedly a massive success there. She also said to say how amazed she was too by the other star class (the younger PMLD group) and how they responded to the sleeping Bobo, she says their reactions continue to be unprecedented.’

ii. Impact on the participants:

The participants had a very positive experience, with many of them citing the week as a watershed moment in their own practice, as these extracts from their feedback demonstrates:

‘I am going to approach my work differently, in my new special school, on my return.I think that the current SLT approach is too driven by annual reviews and rigid communication targets for each child.  Instead, I want to turn this on its head, and look at a way of working that can most benefit the child, and that can inspire the Teaching Assistants and teachers who know the child best.  To this end, I plan to spend a lot more time in free play with an individual child and their keyworker, and just see what communication aims emerge.  It may sound like a little change, but I think it could make a huge difference.  It involves me having a lovely, multi-sensory ‘bag of tricks’ and I’m already collecting suitable goodies.

The potential for PMLD communication groups based on the work we did during the week is also a real possibility and something that I could instigate and eventually pass on to the school’s Communication TA and other TAs to run.

I also need to think about how this approach could translate to children with different needs in the school, such as ASD or severe learning disabilities.

I am planning to go and visit Andy in his special school at some point, to find out how the week has impacted on his teaching, and to take down my multi-sensory bag to try out some ideas on children in his class.

I have always been concerned that a newly qualified SLT emerging from training is not ‘skilled up’ or confident at interacting and working with PMLD children.  Especially with the current ‘model’ of working, where SLTs pretty much work as ‘consultants’ – advising teaching staff on communication when they have very little experience with this client group.  I want to talk to my local university, where I trained, about similar activities they could run linking their students with local special schools.’ Claire Neaves

‘It will certainly inform my company’s future practice and we will be immersing in this performance aspect for children with special needs.  I will be conveying all this information to my team. Next year there will be an international conference on education for children with special needs and I’m going to advocate to have guests on theater for children with special needs. ‘ Orlando Gonzales (Puerto Rico)

‘The Northern Ireland artist felt is was one of the best experiences of their career!’ Eimer Henry (TYA Northern Ireland and member of TYAUK Exec)

‘It was just so valuable to be away from work, to have the dedicated space to make, create and explore with other practitioners without looming deadlines/ e-mails/ phone calls.  In basic terms this week long, residential model works really well.  In addition, being based at a school, with access to the children every day was obviously invaluable, and practising on your audience (whoever they are) every day is also a great model to continue in future years.  I also thought 12 people was a perfect number, and small groups working together for the whole week really enabled us to get comfortable with each others’ working style and to speed up the devising process as the week went on.’ Janice Kernoghan

Joanna Pavao was using the experience to help her company find ways of creating work for children with disability. When she achieves this it will be some of the only work for this audience in Portugal.

iii. Impact on Oily Cart and training in this area of practice:

The residency offered Oily Cart a chance to work in a new way. They have explored various models of disseminating their practice both within the UK and internationally, but this was the first time that they had been able work within a school environment. They very much enjoyed working in Ashford and found both Chris Dixon and Jeremy Harrison useful and enthusiastic collaborators. They are keen to develop a long term Oily Cart strategy for training artists within and are keen to find ways of developing this model both with Rose Bruford College and Ashford.

iv. Sharing event and local legacy:

The sharing event attracted an audience of around 36, including a number of local arts practitioners, teachers and some parents and pupils from Wyvern (for full list see appendix).  There was a general recognition that more work is needed in order to raise awareness and attract more local attendance, but this will need investment. There is a limited arts base in the region and this will need to be encouraged through more direct marketing and outreach work.

Nonetheless the event generated a great deal of interest in this area of work as well as offering a platform for networking and discussion in an area where there is often a lack of opportunity.

A number of concrete outcomes are being discussed including further work with Wyvern school and an initiative led by Sonia Sivyer, who line manages all Speech and Language Therapists working in the secondary education sector in Ashford.

Here are a selection of quotes from feedback received about the sharing event:

‘I just wanted to say thank you for a great day on Saturday.  I feel very lucky to have shared the room with professionals that are so passionate about their field. It was inspiring to see the excellent work that the residency created and how much the participants achieved.  I gained invaluable knowledge and left feeling motivated and positive about the future of effective theatre for children with complex disabilities.’Hollie Smith, student

‘Many thanks for the sharing today – it was really inspirational and also personally very gratifying to be in a room full of people many of whom shared the same values and vision as me.  I often find myself as a lone voice in an educational system that doesn’t understand or value what I do, or my hopes for the children I work with, so events like today will sustain me in my practice for some time to come.’ Jo Clayton, community dance practitioner


Appendix A: Feedback from participants
What follows is the full text of written feedback received by participants. In addition there is recording of the hour long debrief session held on 5th October available on request.

Claire Neaves

‘Firstly, I wanted to thank you again for such a fantastic week.  It was a really great concept for a course, and I felt really humbled by the opportunity to work with Oily Cart, and also the chance to meet such a great mix of professionals who actually really cared about the children and about making a difference.  It was also really uplifting to have the feedback from Wyvern School, and it really showed how this type of work is just a stepping stone for staff to be inspired to create further opportunities for interaction.

Being on maternity leave, it is giving me time to reflect on how I am going to approach my work differently, in my new special school, on my return.

I think that the current SLT approach is too driven by annual reviews and rigid communication targets for each child.  Instead, I want to turn this on its head, and look at a way of working that can most benefit the child, and that can inspire the Teaching Assistants and teachers who know the child best.  To this end, I plan to spend a lot more time in free play with an individual child and their keyworker, and just see what communication aims emerge.  It may sound like a little change, but I think it could make a huge difference.  It involves me having a lovely, multi-sensory ‘bag of tricks’ and I’m already collecting suitable goodies.

The potential for PMLD communication groups based on the work we did during the week is also a real possibility and something that I could instigate and eventually pass on to the school’s Communication TA and other TAs to run.

I also need to think about how this approach could translate to children with different needs in the school, such as ASD or severe learning disabilities.
I am planning to go and visit Andy in his special school at some point, to find out how the week has impacted on his teaching, and to take down my multi-sensory bag to try out some ideas on children in his class.

I have always been concerned that a newly qualified SLT emerging from training is not ‘skilled up’ or confident at interacting and working with PMLD children.  Especially with the current ‘model’ of working, where SLTs pretty much work as ‘consultants’ – advising teaching staff on communication when they have very little experience with this client group.  I want to talk to my local university, where I trained, about similar activities they could run linking their students with local special schools.

I am also planning to write an article for the RCSLT (Royal College of SLTs) monthly magazine ‘Bulletin’ to talk about the project with Oily Cart, and how this could benefit children with PMLD.  There are few articles that talk about this area of SLT work.  I want to challenge the perception that the current dearth of evidence for SLTs working with PMLD children should be seen as something negative.  With research in so many other areas of SLT work e.g. stammering, speech sound difficulties making it easy to follow evidence-based practice, I want to argue that communication for PMLD children should not be so prescriptive: and that the current lack of evidence means that SLTs should feel more free to see what works and to focus on building relationships with those who know the child best, in order to move a child’s communication towards being as interactive as possible.

I have mentioned the possibility of writing this article to Amanda, who thought it was a good idea.  Once I have drafted something, I will send it across to get your feedback if that’s okay, as well as sending it over to Oily Cart.  It would also be great to be able to use any photographs from the week, even if they don’t include the children themselves.

Also, here is a link to the self-catering lodges we stayed in at Shadoxhurst which might be handy for the future!
www.eversleighwoodlandlodges.co.uk

Thanks once again Jeremy, and also to Kelly, for working so hard to make it such a great week.

Best wishes

Claire Neaves

Chloe Rich

‘Hi Jeremy! I hope you’ve recovered from what was a superb week. Thank you for making it so very enjoyable and productive and just generally fantastic. And I could go on…

I like being a ‘Dreamer’, this post-Oily period has seemed somewhat like a dream, or maybe I’m a little lovesick for the whole creative, buzzy process.

I really felt very privileged to be part of the residency. The Oily Cart trio really are masters of their art and to be around such knowledge, talent and passion felt very special.

I have already taken so much away from the week and I’m sure that I will continue to draw on my experiences in the future.

Something I’ve taken away already is that anything is possible – I love that. Play is so powerful and wonderful and I guess for those who are physically unable to do so or for those who have a lack of social imagination it is for us create these magical worlds for them to be part of.  Therein lies the challenge – how to create ‘the bubble effect’…

Something I wanted to find out about before the residency was whether there was a distinct line between the performers and the audience. In music therapy it’s all about being responsive to the child’s need and actions and this is key to engagement and interaction. I wasn’t sure how this would or could translate in the world of theatre. When Tim mentioned intensive interaction on the first day my question was answered – Oily Cart are so incredible because it seems it is the audience who lead the way in terms of performance content and to some extent direction. It was beautiful to see this in action through the video clips. One of the many gems that Tim said that I really like is the idea of creating ripples. I think music therapy can be hugely beneficial for so many reasons but that is one thing that for reasons primarily due to confidentiality that doesn’t often occur.

It was exciting to once again be surrounded by such creative people from a variety of backgrounds. I feel particularly fortunate with the group I found myself in and thought that we had a connection that was very exciting. We haven’t ruled out exploring ways of continuing the journey of the snakes… 🙂 For me some special moments with the children came out of the free play after the performances. One in particular was with a girl who seemed the hardest to reach. She came over and started tapping the drum very lightly with her fingers, I matched her playing and she looked up and smiled. This moment of connection has stayed with me.

I think on a personal level I realise now that I do actually have a wealth of skills and experience. The thought of the presentation left me questioning what I could do and in hindsight I realise that was a shame. So I have had an awakening in terms of how I think of myself, and how I regard my professional identity.

Well, I seem to have waffled fairly spectacularly but essentially I am so pleased to have had this experience and I’m excited to see where it leads.

Massive thanks again to you, Kelly and the Oily Cart trio.

Best wishes

Chloe

Janice Kernoghan

‘Hi Jeremy

I think I went on QUITE long enough at the feedback session, with my three separate sections of Moments, Over-Arching Themes and What I Take Forward… (What a bore!)

However I did want to drop you a line to reiterate how fantastic the whole week was.  It was just so valuable to be away from work, to have the dedicated space to make, create and explore with other practitioners without looming deadlines/ e-mails/ phone calls.  In basic terms this week long, residential model works really well.  In addition, being based at a school, with access to the children every day was obviously invaluable, and practising on your audience (whoever they are) every day is also a great model to continue in future years.  I also thought 12 people was a perfect number, and small groups working together for the whole week really enabled us to get comfortable with each others’ working style and to speed up the devising process as the week went on.

I also found watching the videos after each session really useful, as (particularly when you are in the middle of it) you miss at least half the reactions that the kids are having, and as we know with this work, their reactions determine the thing.  The critique sessions were interesting and useful in terms of hearing others’ viewpoints on your own and others work.  These sessions encouraged me to think more about, and examine my own approach to the work, the purpose of my work and the nature of the audience.

In terms of offering ways in which the event could be improved, I think next year (if it’s a similar structure) it would be really valuable to have time to reflect on the final performances, whether this is before or after the sharing.  I absolutely understand that this was just not logistically possible this year in terms of time but I think if it could be made to work it would be a really useful exercise, and I think we all missed not being able to do that.

I also mentioned to you at the dinner on Wednesday night that I thought it might be a nice idea to have a little tour of the town at the start of the week.  Ashford seemed like a very historical place (my B&B was from the 1600s!), so it would be really nice for the participants to get to know it a little bit, particularly because of the links with Chris and the local council.  This would help the participants get their bearings in the town but also, I think, connect us to the town a bit more and support and reinforce the value of having the event in Ashford.

Once again, thanks so much to you and Kelly for all your hard work in making the week run smoothly, right down to providing 4 types of mint to get our piece to work the way we wanted (fresh, tic-tacs, imperials and extra-strong!)  I’ll also be dropping the Oily Cart team an e-mail which I’ll copy you in on, and you can feel free to use that as official feedback too.  Also, if it’s appropriate, I’d love to read the evaluation documentation once it’s done?  Obviously no problem if this won’t be possible.

Oh, and the whole thing was just so much FUN, with a great group of particpants (if I do say so myself), a completely wonderful bunch of Oily Cart-ers, and ok people from Rose Bruford too… 😉

All the very best

Janice Kernoghan
Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
Replay Theatre Company’

Lou Coleman

‘Hi Jeremy,
Just wanted to drop you an email to say thank you for a organising a brilliant week of thinking, creating and making. It was great to be working with a diverse group of people with different expertise but who all shared a similar passion for creatively working with young people using theatre.

I would like to offer some feedback on the week.

Meeting the children and class staff at the beginning of the week was a good idea. Getting the staff involved and on board in the logistics of moving the children around, the physical layout and the staging of our piece made the process easier and smoother.

More time to try out ideas, explore them and re-work ideas before the presentations would of been beneficial. With the space,time, door fob constraints from the school, we had about an hour and a half after the warm up and before lunch to creatively work. It felt some days that what the group first came up with was what was presented and I missed exploring the theatrical elements that could of been developed and pulled out if we had more time.

Due to the nature of the residency being group work, it was helpful and social to do group warm ups at the beginning of each day to keep the residency feeling going, and to continue to get to know the other participants.  It would of been lovely if everyone joined in for the whole week, by the end of the week groups were filtering off to do jobs and missing the warm ups.

The mentoring from Oily Cart and conversations with you and the rest of the team were thought provoking and offered different theatrical, musical, design and creative perspectives to approach our work in new ways. This aspect of the residency was valuable and done in a professional manner where questions could be asked and time was given to process feedback. This structure also allowed participants to bring their skills to the making process.

I applied for this residency to further integrate my PMLD, ASD knowledges (from a freelance and education setting) with my theatre and dance skills, by weaving together a tighter practical understanding of creating work for a specific audience. I feel I gained a lot of new knowledge and practical ways of working, that by Friday I was just starting to carve out a path for exploration and wished for another couple of days to discover these. Could the next residency be longer or a could a ‘part 2’ residency be offered?

Thank you again for the opportunity, the week has definitely sparked lots of interesting ways of working and some exciting potential projects. Hopefully I’ll be in touch soon.
Best wishes,
Lou’

Orlando Gonzales

‘My only suggestions go to very practical things.  Some of them probably were not even considered and others just to help with respect to information.

  1. I suggest that a fixed rate be negotiated with a B&B or hotel so people can stay in the same place and near the event.  It wasn’t difficult to find a place and with google maps one knows if it’s far or not.  However it allows for a sense of security for people who don’t know anything about the place they are going.  Additional info about buses and trains.  Finding a bus was a challenge.
  2. You should consider offering university credits for the workshop and a certificate of participation.  It is useful professionally when we go back to our countries to qualify you as somebody who has actually taken that course and what it entailed.
  3. Knowing the comings and goings of schools and their ‘betrayals’ – it would help to have written information beforehand about the teachers – assistants and students we will be working with.  This avoids having a blank look in one’s face when a teacher or an administrator asks a question about where are you supposed to be.  If they change it afterwards – that’s their problem.

Those are the only three practical points I wanted to convey.

The rest as I said in my evaluation was excellent.  Oily Carts and your kind disposition – openness and warmth at all times made it easy to fit in and start working.  Needless to say – Oily Carts and your great British humor was lovely.  It felt like a constant stand up comedy show.  Learn lots of practical things: group dynamics among artists and teachers – creative processes – applied work with students.  It will certainly inform my company’s future practice and we will be immersing in this performance aspect for children with special needs.  I will be conveying all this information to my team.
Next year there will be an international conference on education for children with special needs and I’m going to advocate to have guests on theater for children with special needs.  I’ll let you know what happens.
I’ll be contacting you next week to meet with you to have a serious (as serious as we can be) about the post graduate degree.  I’m really interested and would be very useful professionally.  I’m planning on making a PhD. in curriculum to create an institute of arts and applied sciences in Puerto Rico.  Let me know about your availability.
I reiterate my offer to give you editing support once you clear out the material.  My colleague Tony Torres is great a editing and knows the feeling this kind of editing needs.  It is all at no cost whatsoever.

Thanks a million for the opportunity to grow.

Orlando’


Appendix B: Attendance at sharing event 5th October 2013

AppendixB_attendance

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