The overall aim of the project is that, through transnational collaboration, the participants explore and develop the concept of Theatre for MDVI adults.
We have started to develop the potential and talent of our clients to enable them to be actively involved in public performance. During the meeting in Munich the member countries chose ‘The Tempest’ as the classic text. We have involved our clients in workshops and short performances, and this material has been shared through DVD’s, the website and observation at all meetings. Group members have also participated in interactive theatre workshops alongside clients from member countries. This has highlighted the fact that although there are different methods used by member countries, the outcome is the same. Sharing experience enables us to develop our practice in our own services. This experience has verified that MDVI individuals do become expressive, happy, vocal and that they enjoy performing in front of an audience. Clients were also very receptive to group members joining workshops, and our observations were that this helped to build confidence, self-esteem and social skills. Clients benefited from engaging with members from different European cultures, and this was seen to build confidence. This gave them a sense of the wider European community, and an awareness that there are many other people with MDVI throughout Europe. For members of the group it also reinforced the difficulties you are faced with, and how isolating it can be, if communication is limited. This in itself can be taken back to assist with improvement of practice.
We have started to produce a set of guidelines through open discussion, debate and sharing of experience of theatre in each country. The result of this is that five headings have been identified.
1. A statement of the different perceptions of abilities of clients with MDVI.
2. A section outlining the principles and methods of drama and theatre.
3. A look at practical ideas using photographs and films of clients from the different
4. Resource implications.
The guidelines will conclude with a review of the possible and probable outcomes for client groups along with a mission statement.
Group members have written articles for inclusion in MDVI Euronet publications. We have also written other articles, and promoted the Project both at International events and in our own countries.
It was identified that a logo was required. During the meeting in Munich we agreed the logo should consist of two masks. Consequently a number of professionals from different member countries designed appropriate logos. Members were given the opportunity to vote on their choice of design in Clermont Ferrand. The template selected will now be used for all promotional materials and on the website.
We decided the dissemination for the project will take place in Osimo in May 2014 and initial discussions have taken place regarding the type of presentation, target audience, venue and resources.
We have developed evaluation forms for each meeting. These have been completed by all members of the Project group. Evaluations have been completed, collated and disseminated after each project meeting.
All objectives are being addressed and on schedule. Any changes were out with the control of the Project.
In my own organisation, I have promoted the project with many classes and staff. We have filmed drama ‘methodologies’ based on The Tempest and the students have been very involved in this process resulting in a performance for their European peers.
We have worked with staff of ‘forward Vision’ our centre for young adults, to introduce a programme involving the Expressive Arts. This did not exist before and is a direct outcome of involvement with the project. We have engaged an Art Specialist to come in a do a series of workshops related to the Tempest. We are in the process of engaging a Music Specialist/Therapist to present a series of workshops over the summer holidays. This will be recorded and filmed for evidence for the project. The young adults will also help produce a CD of music that will be used in Osimo next year as part of the dissemination.
Two music teachers are currently putting together a practical music workshop for all members of the group when they visit in September. These staff will also provide workshops for clients in France or Italy next year.
Problems in the implementation of the partnership
The first difficulty was that we were unaware at the time of planning that two countries would not be participating in the project. Italy was in a standby situation awaiting confirmation of funding so we did not know if they would be involved. This impacted on the dates for the mobilities which had to be changed, so the programme had to be completely amended. As member countries of the project were reduced by two, the Project commenced later than anticipated. Further to that, meetings have been held twice in two of the member countries. The positive aspect to this is that members will be able to participate in a Theatre Festival to be held in Clermont Ferrand in March 2014.
Another outcome of the later start of the project was that there was a smaller timescale in which to hold the meetings resulting in some meetings being held in close proximity which had an impact for members in their workplace settings.
The number of mobilities in Italy have been amended. Italy was granted funding for 24 mobilities including clients, however, as Germany was refused this, it had an impact on the involvement of clients. Clients are still actively involved in the Project in the home countries, but the aspect of client travel is more limited.