Indra Congress
Indra Update Sept 2020
November 6, 2020 By admin

Indra update September 2020

  1. A very warm welcome to new collaborators with Indra from New York and Cornwall, UK.

Chris Vine and Helen White at City University New York (CUNY).

Chris and Helen have both worked extensively in the field of applied theatre.  Chris was a founding member of the pioneering Peterborough Perspectives Theatre company in the UK.  He then became Artistic Director of the Greenwich Young People’s Theatre Company in London for several years and played a significant role in introducing and promoting the work of Augusto Boal into the UK.

Meanwhile Helen White had been working for a number of community theatre companies in the UK from the Half Moon in London to Doctor Fosters Travelling Theatre in the SW before being appointed as Director of Perspectives.   Chris and Helen moved to New York together in 1993, where Chris was appointed as Artistic and Education Director of CAT (Creative Arts Team) at CUNY.  They were both founding members of the CAT Youth Theatre, one of several programmes within CAT.

Chris launched the Professional studies MA in Applied Theatre in 2008 and Helen continued as Artistic Director of the CAT Youth Theatre, which is now an extensive youth theatre programme that works with middle school, high school and early college-aged young people from across New York.  CAT has an ambitious programme of workshops, training and performances which are usually devised from the direct and diverse experiences of the young participants.  Membership is free subject to the commitment to be an active participant.

Mark Laville at Falmouth University, Cornwall, UK.

After studying theatre at Exeter University Mark worked as a freelance practitioner before joining the Plymouth Barbican Theatre in 1992 as Centre Director.  His rich talent and dynamic energy helped to create the Barbican as a focus for innovative theatre practice.  During his 26 years with the Barbican Theatre Mark was involved with a number of high-profile projects and productions, specialising in work with emerging artists, young people and creating accessible and culturally diverse work. Those of note include large scale and site-specific performances such as The World at Your Feet as part of the Cultural Olympiad and the GeoOpera (part of the 7th International Conference on UNESCO Global). Mark has also been a visiting lecturer at Plymouth University and Plymouth Marjon University, and has directed undergraduate performances that have toured internationally.

In 2017 Mark left the Barbican to co-ordinate the new BA (Hons) Theatre & Performance course at Falmouth University as a Senior Lecturer. In his new role at the Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA) Mark’s will deliver core curriculum content in contextual theatre studies, practical actor training workshops and student productions.

  1. Emerging activities.

The lockdown period, despite the stress and unhappiness caused to so many people, has actually catalysed a number of projects and dialogues across the Indra network.   This is a brief summary of emerging collaborations to date.  Could I request please that you keep me in touch with any developments so I can inform the wider network and try and avoid any confusion as to who is actually active in any collaborations.  Please let me know if any of this information is incorrect.

  1. ARROWSA in Durban and South Roots in Cape Town with Touchstones Rochdale and Gorse Hill Studios in Greater Manchester UK are working together on a project about domestic abuse and violence. Mary L has been successful in attracting funding for this project.
  2. South Roots is also working with Study Hall in Lucknow, India in another collaboration.

iii.  Study Hall is also supporting Ndeamoh Mansarray in her pioneering ‘Daughters of Sierra Leone’ project in Sierra Leone targeting the exploitation and abuse of girls and young women.

  1. Mark Laville at Falmouth University, possibly with Plymouth Indra, are exploring potential collaborations with students and young people with the dynamic Fanni Raghman Ani project in Tunisia, exploring the power of street art/theatre to give voice to young people in challenging situations.
  2. Jerry Adesewo in Abuja, Nigeria and Matt Jennings of Ulster University have been running workshops for young people/students to share poetry, drama and shared ideas.
  3. Betty Giannouli in Greece and Marina Henriques in Rio, Brazil did some preliminary joint workshops with HE students. Marina is currently under intense pressure and Betty has been joined by Mark at Falmouth Univ to keep the momentum moving and explore collaborative possibilities which Marina can join when things calm somewhat in Rio.

vii.  Mary Duddy kindly offered to respond to Marina in Brazil’s request for help from someone familiar with using drama with autistic children