…which is the name of the new space Better Days has acquired and fitted out, originally intended as a non-classroom space for STEM teaching (that’s Science, Technology Engineering and Maths for the uninitiated among you) but more recently with Arts added as well (STEAM?) since it has already hosted a photo exhibition and is my main teaching space as well.
And it is, beyond doubt, one of the best Drama studios I have ever taught in. Light and airy – no black box this – but with the necessary privacy, and with a mezzanine gallery, accessed by a metal staircase. Not spiral, like the studios at Lord Bills and Stowe, but all the more dramatic for that. By some remarkable good fortune, it is just 15 metres up the hill from Gekko Kids, so almost part of the same mini-campus.
Today was my first actual lesson. Not the signed-up group I had expected, more a random collection of students from all three of the constituent groups, and more or less herded along because they were there, and so was I, so it seemed sensible for us to work together.
I used a lesson I often employ as an introduction for a new group, based on the idea of tableau (though without using that actual word.) Standing still, really, and including some work on the idea of “freeze!”, grandma’s footsteps (again), statues coming alive, creating stories from a series of pictures. If you understand any of that, I have probably taught you; if not, fear not.
And generally speaking, it was a success. A couple opted out, and returned to the main school, a couple more chose to sit and watch, but by and large they all participated, seemed to enjoy it, and visibly grew in confidence. At one stage of the lesson, very few could be persuaded to perform; by the end, they were doing so without any worries. And that’s acceptable progress in a single lesson, in my book.