Play, space and performance workshop

Theatre, Film & TV department, Aberystwyth University | 2014

Dr Andrew Filmer and I discussed how the Woodland Pavilion’s aim to create playful space was limited by the perceived risk of its accessible, unsupervised location. We wanted to explore the idea of a loose fit theory of architecture, proposed in his Phd, that to make space for creativity we need to be able to manipulate our environment: to co-create it.Through a Reverse SIP grant we were able to develop a workshop using cardboard boxes designed to be strong enough to stand on, that could stack and connect together to create an environment for exploration.

We invited performers, actors and choreographers to place their bodies on, around, within and in relation to the boxes, playing with notions of manufacture (of the boxes themselves from flat pack), structure building, taking apart and moving as well as the qualities of the boxes as instruments, echo chambers and projectiles.We liked the boxes. They smelt nice, were comfortable to sit on and created great opportunities for play. There is a great potential for developing the box(es) as a theatre set, in the words of Brith Gof Director Mike Pearson as ‘an interpenetration of people and environment.’

Photos by Giles W. Bennett

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