Exploring power through theatre

26 June 2020

Jenny Sealy from Graeae theatre takes us through a session she ran with Sixth Form students at Highshore School exploring the theme of 'power'

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I had a fantastic time pre-lockdown meeting and creating with the amazing Sixth Form students at Highshore School. We started by looking at The Monologue, which is a speech given by one person. It has been with theatre pretty much since it began, and we exploded it – taking what was useful and chucking the rest. Together with the students, we decided that The Monologue, in its simplest form, was the platform for the speaker or writer’s power, a demand for time, space, and the right to be heard.

We looked at who does and doesn’t have power, and what it meant to us as a group. For example, many of the students felt that their teachers had power, but that they themselves didn’t. We quickly realised that creating a monologue was an opportunity to turn the tables; to make the people with power listen, and those without power to share their stories.

Activity

Think about who has power in your own life, and what you might want to tell them. You can write it down, draw it, show it through dance or movement or in any way that makes you feel powerful.

Below you can read and see the responses from the students at Highshore School, who took part in two taster workshops with Graeae on the subject of power.

Power to us means:

  • Integrity
  • Thinking
  • Having confidence
  • Physical strength
  • Mind strength
  • Team work
  • Working hard
  • Honesty
  • Equality
  • Listening

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Who has power?

  • Parents
  • Foster parents
  • Teachers
  • The Queen
  • Trump
  • Media
  • Government
  • NHS
  • Climate
  • Science
  • Knowledge
  • Words
  • Technology
  • Police
  • Law
  • Communication
  • We (young people) can have power

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Who doesn’t have power?

  • Deaf and disabled people
  • Old people
  • Babies
  • Climate
  • NHS
  • Science
  • We (young Deaf and disabled) people

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A huge thank you to the Highshore Students: Emmanuel, Maria, Ferdi, Luke, Fisayo, Marcel, Elizabeth, Alan, Demi, Suhail, Jada, Sam, Taha, Sheri, Patricia, Temi, Zara, Marcus, Esther, Elin. We look forward to seeing you soon again!

More from Graeae

Check out Graeae's How to Stay Creative in Lockdown video, featuring advice from some of their young artists.


This blog is part of I Am At Home Festival – a unique online celebration of creativity with SEND settings and disabled-led organisations. Find more blogs, resources, videos and events on the festival web page.

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