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   3. Training for Trainers / Community Arts / Development

These workshops are the ones we deliver most, and to the widest range of groups (eg to Centre of Applied Social Studies, NUI Maynooth; Centre for Adult and Community Education, NUI Maynooth; regional Community Development Associations; FÁS; Community Arts and Artsquad Groups; Literacy and Adult Education groups; youth organisations, etc).

The focus is usually on exploring the impact of colonising behaviour, that is, trainers' behaviours and attitudes which unintentionally engender dependence amongst those with whom the work is carried out. Other workshops are designed to show how community arts can raise awareness of issues central to the concerns of the community, of how arts work (and especially theatre) can be used to shape and develop programmes of aiding empowerment, highlighting social injustice and awakening responses. Much of the activity in the workshops can be used to explore a group's mission statement, and look at the reasons why participants are doing this kind of work in the first place.

Typical Format of a One-Day Workshop for Trainers

The general framework of such a one-day workshop would look something like this:

10.00-10.30am Introduction and integration exercises (establishing comfort zones, etc)

Working with the language of theatre and storytelling to familiarise participants with the medium. The exercises here will begin to introduce elements of the themes to be explored later (eg teamwork and competitiveness; power; resource sharing, etc).

11.30-1.00pm A series of exercises (games) integrated with comment, reflection and feedback designed to explore selected issues with the participants (eg. How does it feel to be heavily dependent for your learning on someone else? Or what is it like not to have any choices available to you?) The exercises here are designed to explore whatever issues the client body would like to see looked at. They are more extensive than the initial introductory set.

2.00-4.00pm Now that the group is aware of the problems confronting them in their work, what kind of solutions (if any) are possible to use? This space is generally participant-led using theatre techniques from Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed. Followed by discussion and concluding reflections.

Commissioned Work

Usually, the company is asked to work on certain issues with a group. When this happens we devise a structure and a framework for the client and present it to them as a proposal for a one day workshop (or two-day if necessary). The client then either hires the company or not to run the workshop. In most cases there is one facilitator, depending on the group. If the group is above twenty five there will be two facilitators, or if the group is a special needs one we will have more than one person. Fees and pricing structures are available upon request - email: vtos@eircom.net

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