The activities are drawn from the work of Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature with Children, as well as animal communicator Anna Bretenbach and rewilding specialist Rachel Corby, both of whom I have attended courses with. I am also most deeply influenced by nature itself and my main inspiration comes from my own experiences and explorations.
The aim is to have fun, breathe fresh air, strip away mental busyness and to relax so that nature can do it's work. In the stillness we open a space for healing, inspiration and creativity. We awaken out senses and step out of our comfort zones to discover a state of greater aliveness.
Where appropriate the sessions may include practical activities such as creating animal homes, natural sculptures/mandalas, bushcraft, tree planting etc In some cases this may mean collaborating with other facilitators.
The sessions can be adapted. I have worked with both adults and children and am keen to gain experience working with people with physical and mental health issues and special needs. Sessions can even be run indoors.
These workshops work perfectly alongside a storytelling performance. I work on the premise that a relaxed mind is a creative mind and so create a space with the participants where it is safe to express spontaneous ideas. I use a number of sensory stimuli, visuals/sounds/objects/movements/suggestions to enhance access to creative energy and games and exercises to build trust in the group.
Forum Theatre techniques can be used to draw out personal stories and concerns and find themes that are pertinent to the participants.
Vocabulary and vocal skills are developed as well as the courage to share and expand ideas. We explore chararacters, metaphors and plot structures, using games and improvisation to hone ideas and shape them into a satisfying form.
Using traditional Folk/Fairy tales I guide participants through the process of preparing a story for telling including: choosing your story, inhabiting the story - what it means to you personally, finding the point of passion and connecting with the characters/themes, connecting with the audience, eye contact, being present and participation.
Through visualisation we see the story so that we can describe specific details that will conjur up scenes in the listeners minds. We explore use of language, poetry and songs to give variety and also the use of physicality and stillness to create effect.
I have trained in acting, devised theatre, inclusive theatre and forum theatre and can tailor programmes to suit the needs of the group.
I use drama based activities to build confidence, presence, spontaneity, generosity, voice, physicality and creativity.
I can teach acting technique.and lead participants through the process of creating a play either from a script or through devising.
I create bespoke workshops and residencies on varied topics which may include activities from any of the above. For example a series of workshops on Victorians may include looking at the local landscape/place names/histories, drama, creative writing and storytelling. It may result in a devised theatrical performance.
Previous themes for workshops include:
Victorians, Romans, World Wonders, Trees, Birds, Stories from around the World.
Workshops for adults
Rewilding the Self.
I cannot think of anything more vital in these times thank maintaining our connection to nature. Our modern lives are so easily devoid of meaningful nature experiences and even when we are in natural settings often our minds are so occupied with other matters or with capturing and posting images of our experience that we fail to genuinely connect.
The benefits of time in nature however, are huge. Studies show that it enhances our welbeing on all levels as well as increasing creativity, mental clarity and motivation. The benefits are further increased when we engage purposefully with nature and these workshops are designed to assist in this process.