Apr 152013

wordle5One of Word/Play’s aspirations is to give people the confidence to say what they want to say – in public.

For some of the participants, walking through the door to the first workshop was tough enough. Who’d have imagined that, two months later, they’d be standing in front of a microphone performing work they’d written themselves, about themselves, to an audience of over seventy friends, family members and supporters?

The celebration event for the first phase of the initiative, called “the thing is…“, took place at The Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre in Taunton on 26 March 2013.

Over a riveting two hours, emotions were exposed, tears were shed, laughter shook the auditorium and fears were conquered. People took a risky step in sharing their vulnerabilities and saying what they thought about their world: the pains, the frustrations, the joys.

Stuart told us what makes him Angry.

Bernie shared his thoughts on Love.

Jayne offered us her Cynical Guide to Life.

Debbie told us why Music makes her whole.

And Bradley, Brian, Patrick, Tracey and Anita got a bit political with Boredom.

Just a few examples of the amazing work that was performed. You can find more on the Word/Play website.

And then it was great to see several Word/Players in the audience at last Friday evening’s Hip Yak Poetry Shak at the Archangel in Frome. Brilliant.

In the second half, two of them, Anna and Brian, stood up and performed. That was scary. That was public. That was doubly brilliant!

We’re currently gathering all the material created by the project,including  poems, images, audio recordings and digital stories produced by Somerset Film. These will be shared over the next few months.

Later this week, we have the final training and reflection day with the spoken word artists who’ve been working with us on the project. We’re going to think about what’s worked well, what’s worked less well and what the future could bring.

Several people have asked ‘why can’t “the thing is…” be longer?’  Let’s see. I hope that what we’ve been privileged to part of over the last 3 months is just the beginning.

And if you didn’t know…

Word/Play is Take Art’s two-year initiative that brings together theatre, spoken word and digital media to create change. It’s for individuals, groups and communities living in Somerset. Anyone, in fact, who wants to their voice to be heard, to feel better about themselves or to make a difference in their lives.

There is also a Word/Play Facebook page and you can follow the project on twitter: @TakeArtWordPlay

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