There’s Only One Of You

THERE’S ONLY ONE OF YOU

Making Theatre From The Thoughts of Children

The world of the child is one that is inquisitive, excited, and hungry for answers to an infinite number of questions; questions that are sometimes simple, demanding simple answers, but are frequently complex. The story of this piece of theatre has its roots in questions – and sometimes answers – from young children in workshops led by the writer Kevin Dyer, and young people’s theatre director Nina Hajiyianni. The first workshops held at The Brindley  provided children with the opportunity, for many the first, of experiencing theatre as performers – exploring lighting, sound, space, and making stories to share with an audience.

Subsequent workshops were led by Kevin Dyer in Action Transport Theatre’s studio theatre. Sometimes the themes were inspired by artefacts and the children’s own ideas about how they might be used in a story. These were later developed to bring together groups to combine parts of stories where the dramatic convention of ‘still image’ led to a deepening feeling and intensity.

Further workshops took place in a number of primary schools over a year and involved hundreds of children. Question and answer sessions led to interviews of the children by each other, lively discussions and acting-out of possible scenarios.

Much of the children’s work was recorded and found to have a number of pearls of wisdom. ‘From the Mouths of Babes’ was adopted as a likely title for a piece of theatre devised by the joint efforts of the actors Michael Lattin-Rawstrone, Simone Lewis and Rebecca Rogers, dramaturg Kevin Dyer, director Nina Hajiyianni, designer Kate Unwin, and composer Patrick Dineen. Matt Bennett designed atmospheric light and sound.

‘There’s Only One of You’ – the title a contribution from one of the children – provided the key to a play about individuality. It was wordless except for Patrick Dineen’s imaginative soundtrack incorporating the voices of children and their wisdom.

By the second tour, FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES was re-named STATik

 

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