Appreciative Dialogue

Explorations of intention, ability and necessity.

As part of the Cradle of Creativity, Henrik Køhler and Peter Manscher from the Danish Teatercentrum (trans. Theatre Centre) ran a workshop to guide participants through a structured exploration of their reactions to Karoo Moose (produced by Baxter Theatre Centre and directed by Lara Foot). The participants in attendance included Artists from the production and the 2017 cohort of ASSITEJ’s Next Generation programme, who had just watched the production, with a few Educators joining in as well.

Peter Manscher

In the workshop leaders’ own words, the session focused on “the meeting between the audience and the artist. We share the artistic experiences and create space for open and curious questions based on a positive and open approach.”

The workshop provided the space and time to really interrogate the Play, exploring its impact and thinking about ways it may be further developed – an opportunity for all involved to thoughtfully and critically reflect on the experiences of both the Artists and the Audience. It enabled the former to expand on the artistic vision and direction of the Performance, and gave them a chance to understand the reasoning behind Audience reactions.

Peter Manscher and Henrik Koehler explaining their model to the participants

Køhler and Manscher guided the workshop participants through this critical examination by focusing on three principles which they suggest are fundamental to exploring the theatrical experience: intention, ability and necessity.

Through structured conversations, participants recalled what they saw, heard and felt during the performance of Karoo Moose and discussed their thoughts in pairs. By the end, participants were able to successfully engage in thoughtful, deep reflection that was often contextualised in relation to other Performances they had seen.

Below are some of the participants’ thoughts on the workshop:

Participants in discussion

“It [the workshop process] is very helpful for me because, though, in theory I know about it and what I need to check but in reality, I forget about it. Sometimes, I will say it [the performance] didn’t touch me, and that’s it but there are more points to take in.”

“I talk about Theatre a lot too and I think [it is helpful] to be more precise and constructive.”

“I think about all the reviews I have read, and all the critics that come to certain shows and I feel like this is something [that is] needed to be known.”

Myrto has experience of working both as a Primary School Teacher and as a Theatre Artist. Bringing these two interests together, she now works as an Applied Theatre Practitioner within Drama Education contexts. As a founding member of theatre group, PAZL, she designs and facilitates process drama projects for children and young people. A member of the Hellenic Theatre/Drama and Education Network, she has worked on several Applied Theatre projects, including performance making projects with community groups and projects with Roma children in Educational settings.