During the summer, the Community Connections teams hosts a variety of exciting and engaging programs. All facilitated by our talented volunteers, these programs help newcomers learn English and build relationships with others in the community. Here is a post from one of our volunteers about their experience volunteering with us! I recently had the pleasure of facilitating a theatre camp specifically geared towards newcomers to Canada, and I’m so glad I did!
I was incredibly impressed with the enthusiasm and talent of the participants. They showed up with willingness to learn, great suggestions and lots of talent! They went above and beyond, sometimes travelling from the across the city to attend the workshop. They printed their scripts, and worked on their lines, which I didn’t ask them to do. I intended to create an environment where people could explore and try new skills without criticism or judgment. We absolutely achieved this goal, and still managed to challenge ourselves and learn new things. I was so impressed!
We worked on many aspects of drama together, including acting exercises, improvisation, monologues and scene study in our short time together. We even created our very own script- a short family scene that we improvised, recorded and developed together!
I left the workshop absolutely rejuvenated and encouraged. It is so exciting to witness the creative potential inside people who may not always demonstrate that ability or desire. It was amazing to see people from all over the world work in English with such care and precision and enthusiasm. Most of all, I recognized how drama can serve people. The feedback I got from most of the participants was that they saw aspects of themselves that they had never seen before. The workshop gave them an opportunity to express their feelings in a safe environment- a chance rarely given in any language!
Facilitating this workshop opened huge doors for me. I typically work in a professional setting, not in a teaching environment, and I was very excited to bring my professional experience to WoodGreen. I learned so much about the value of dramatic performance, not just as a creative way to practice English, but as a much needed form of personal expression. no matter where you come from! Drama isn’t just about being on stage and getting attention, it’s also a valuable way to learn more about who you are, find your own authentic voice, and try on different attitudes and perspectives. It’s hopefully just the beginning of these workshops- I absolutely can’t wait to do this again!
Beryl Bain, Volunteer Facilitator