European Voluntary Service

This is Pekarna's blog for EVS volunteers. Pekarna is a sending and hosting/receiving organisation for EVS volunteers and their volunteers (send and hosted ones) will keep you up to date about their work.

Evropska prostovoljska služba

Pekarna Magdalenske mreže Maribor te vabi, da se tudi ti pridružiš množici prostovljcev/-k Evropske prostovoljne službe (EVS) in odpotuješ v organizacijo po svoji izbiri v drugo državo EU. Smo pošiljajoča in gostiteljska organizacija EVS, ki mladim od 17. in do 30. leta za obdobje največ enega leta uredi vse podrobnosti za brezskrbno in povsem brezplačno delovanje v tujini.
Evropska prostovoljna služba je del programa ERASMUS + Mladi v akciji.

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Monday, 29 February 2016

Forum Theatre workshop

So this weekend (20. in 21. 2. 2016) I attended an intensive Forum Theatre workshop. It lasted two days, 6 hours a day. We were pretty punctual, for a workshop with more than 10 attendants and 3 trainers – the breaks did not last for more than established, we started at the announced time and finished on schedule. I think this is quite important, as it gave the whole experience a certain structure and discipline. But without the irritating authority. Forum theatre is about politics and empowerment, and authority is never really empowering.

One of the things I wanted to tackle while on this EVS was my stage fright. Theater is one the things I love most, and no matter what role you play in this art form, be it director, actor, or producer you will, at one point or another, have to face some public speaking or public exposure. Some time on the stage. And so far in Maribor, I feel like I’m making progress with that.

The workshop took place at Vetrinjski Dvor, an interesting and cozy space for all sorts of artistic events. The days were sunny so we ended up using the patio to work on our final performance.

The 3 trainers complemented each other very well. Each of them brought their character into their work.

The exercises were gradually intense – first, getting to know each other, to become comfortable with each other, mostly using our bodies and emotions rather than our words. We’ve then done some exercises meant to show us, in practice, how first impressions can deceive (a particularly telling one was when we had to form two groups, without communicating in any way, just according to who we thought would prefer drinking beer over drinking wine, like warm climate rather than a cold one, is introverted rather than extroverted etc.).

Little by little, we got more accustomed with performing in front of an audience, with expressing emotion, with not judging ourselves as much when exposing ourselves, with getting into the skin of a character.

The final part was building a small forum theatre performance based on a specific oppressive situation that we chose. We split into two groups, each with a joker (a sort of a facilitator, with specific attributions such as presenting the situation, warming the public up, making it familiar with participatory theatre and facilitating the spect-actors’ contribution at the end). We had two performances, one per each group. One spoke about class differences and poverty, the other one about heteronormativity, the ‘normal family’ and other oppressive, conservative expectations and pressures one’s family inflicts upon its members.

We’ll continue to work on the performance, so…maybe more on it later!

by Ioana Sileanu

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