Bowing out

posted in: Teaching in Lesvos | 3

Director’s notes from the programme for “The Chalk Circle”, written in English, Greek and Farsi:

When I first arrived at Gekko Kids, my project being to put on a stage production, I was introduced to a couple of the students as a teacher of theatre.  “Please,” one of them said, “what is theatre?”  I realised then that there was quite a journey ahead for all of us.

For the first few weeks, we played games, learned some physical theatre techniques, and had fun.  The students got to know me, and I got to know them.  More students came, and some left – not everyone had space on their timetable, not all could commit to regular rehearsals.  But gradually, we built a team.  And then we began to rehearse.

It was slow going at first, changing the script written in English into Farsi, so that everyone understood what they had to say.  But slowly the play was cast, the lines learnt, and we began to act, to put movement and meaning to the words.

In my years of teaching, I have directed hundreds of productions.  I have always – nearly always – been proud of my actors.  But this time it is different.  I am very proud of them as actors, but more than that I am proud of them as people.  Each one of them is braver than I could ever be, has lived through more than I could ever imagine.  They are strong; they will thrive.  It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with them, and I am proud to call them my friends.

3 Responses

  1. Krystyna Hewitt

    How wonderful that the gift of your time and skills you brought to your students has been reciprocated by your satisfaction with the project. I can’t imagine the lives and experiences they live through but it is amazing to know that their spirit, energy and creativity is not dimmed.

    I am so happy, and also moved, by this post. I have really enjoyed following your journey, thank you.

  2. Geoff Emerson

    Well done Chris! Reading your blog, somewhat intermittently I admit, has been its own journey. Your courage, optimism and humility have brought you and your cast and helpers to an amazing achievement. Their resilience will be increased and they will take away skills and confidence to support them in their struggles. It has also helped me greatly to have a real life picture of a world the richness of which is not well described in the press. Thank you. Well deserved success.
    Geoff and Gill

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