exploring creativity & movement with our friends from BPCA

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We are always looking for ways to expand our support for the community and we were very pleased to be able to facilitate and assist a work placement between the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and our friends at BPCA in February and March 2019.

BPCA are based here at St. Margaret’s House and work across Tower Hamlets to provide culturally appropriate day care service for people with Learning, Physical and Sensory disabilities.

Gabriel Vivas Martinez, who is currently doing his Applied Theatre MA and has a background in disability arts, led sessions with participants from BPCA over this one-month period. Each participant had unique individual needs, including those with Down’s syndrome, Congenital Cerebral Palsy, use of electronic wheelchair to mobile, and some participants were single word verbal communicators. These sessions included a mix of games and play, such as creating fictional stories together and performing them with music, as a way to explore creativity and movement.

One of the highlights was the progress of two participants who don’t usually community verbally but, after the fourth week of activities, were speaking and expressing more, as well as taking autonomy in the sessions by contributing to the warm-up section and volunteering for performing.

She doesn’t usually engage in drama, but she is very active in your sessions and, with these activities, she is expressing a lot.
— BPCA Staff member
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One participant, when asked how she felt after the session, said: “Happy! I love the fire and the bird… Can we dance more?” Another response was: “I love drama because I can move and dance and be a queen, or a warrior, or a dancer.”

We were pleased to have BPCA staff be a part of these sessions too, and both Gabriel and the staff noted the growth in participants’ confidence over the sessions.

There were participants who wouldn’t take part in the dance at the beginning of the month, but were joining in by the end of the sessions.

It was a brilliant opportunity to collaborate with our friends in this way, and thank you to Gabriel for running such creative sessions.

I think this is a great session. Drama can help them to focus on their bodies, facial expression, and non-verbal communication in a fun way. I want to keep coming.
— BPCA Staff Member

You can find out more about the role of BPCA on their website, and we look forward to seeing how we can continue this collaboration with them.