The Final Performance
It was our last scheduled session with the SCRN group today. We arrived early to set the room up, ready for a performance and an audience. We were hopeful there would be enough people available to complete the project in a celebratory way.
Quite a bit of time passed and the only person to arrive was ‘L’. He said he would join in and had brought a black top for the performance. Quickly after this, ‘J’ arrived too. He was also keen to perform and had brought a black top in preparation. We enquired about the others and were told that ‘N’ had been sent home earlier as she was sick. We were disappointed to hear this as ‘N’ had been pivotal to the scene that we had created last week, and we knew she would have been sad not to be there. However, one of the workers, ‘LR’ rounded up a few people from a room next door and suddenly there were several people participating and observing.
Rehearsals happened hurriedly, with everyone working together quickly and efficiently. There was a sense of determination from the participants to accomplish a complete performance. The people who had come in to observe (some of them had participated previously and others were new to the group) were actively engaging and commenting on what was happening. They gave advice to the performers and they reacted positively when they liked what they saw. The presence of the audience seemed to push the performers in a positive way.
We filmed a ‘dress rehearsal’ which everyone was pleased with. After a short discussion between the puppeteers to make some last-minute decisions, the performance got underway. The performers were so focused on the task and managed to get all the way through the performance perfectly. They clapped and gave each other high-fives as soon as it was over. There was a feeling of relief and satisfaction that they had managed to do it successfully. The atmosphere in the room was very positive.
After a short break, a couple of the core group members (‘L’ and ‘J’) stayed to provide some feedback. We filmed this and will be editing and sharing this soon. Both of these participants had interesting insights about the project and it was clear they had enjoyed it and gained immensely from participating.