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Tramshed Theatre: Catching up with the members and volunteers

We catch up with the volunteers from Tramshed Theatre…
What’s in the Box?

Sophie England

What’s in the box is a game we played a lot at TramShed, we’d open an imaginary box and act out what was inside, and others would guess what it was.  The game is something I really enjoyed but I never thought the box would become a lot deeper than that. The box became a safe space, a springboard from which we could create friendships, build communities and connect with each-other in a time of uncertainty, to create performances we never thought possible in the current circumstances. 

Exploring the box was a challenge, as a theatre company we are used to such a huge stage and always encouraged to use the space, so that little box that we had to perform from was a big change. From both a member and volunteer perspective, I was challenged to reflect a lot, especially during volunteer training and connections with ChickenShed. That reflection time only encouraged me to think more ‘outside the box’ and made me more observant too. 

We got to see more of an insight into the world of the people we had gotten to know over the years and into the world of people we wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to meet. This also gave us the chance to re-invent ourselves and decide which parts of our world (or houses) we wanted people to see in an environment where it was safe to be completely and unapologetically ourselves.

I will always be grateful for our little boxes, because not only did they provide us with the opportunity to continue running, but a chance to learn to adapt and change in a positive way!

So, I’m challenging all readers to reflect on your own experiences of technology during the current situation. What’s in your box? And what are you grateful for after being confined to it?

Silver Arts Award: Challenges, Games and Outtakes!

With the Tramshed Silver Arts Award members

The TramShed Silver Arts Award group have been meeting on zoom since the start of November 2020. This week’s blog shares some of their experiences so far…

Warm-Ups by Tiagan, Tobias and Daniel

Warm-up games are part of our weekly Silver Arts Award sessions. They help us to bond as a group.  Leading warm-ups ourselves is very positive. It increases our confidence and encourages us to learn new skills. Daniel reflects on his leading of a warm-up by saying, “I made a list of various warm-ups I thought were fun and easy enough for everyone to take part in. This let me choose which one was for me. Warm-ups have helped me to be more comfortable around everyone and have increased my confidence.”

Here are everyone’s top 3 games:

  • Daniel: Letters in your Name; Frogs in the Pond; Hangman
  • Tobias: Name Tag; Quickfire; Hangman
  • Tiagan: Master, Master, Who Am I?; Pass the Movement; Quickfire
  • Anthony: Quickfire; Hangman; Become a Word
  • Kris: Become a Word; Frogs in the Pond; Hangman
  • Jasmine: 12345 Song; Hangman; Master, Master Who Am I?
  • Oscar: 1-20; Quickfire; Pass the Movement
  • James: Cabbages; Hangman; Become a Word

And here are some of our favourite moments from warm-ups so far:

  • “Tobias not turning his camera on when we were meant to be demonstrating the word “Oblivious!” (Daniel)
  • “Seeing what everyone comes up with in the Become a Word game.” (Kris)
  • “Shantell’s concentrating face in the 12345 Song!” (Jasmine)
  • “All the different voices from people in Master, Master, Who Am I?” (Tiagan)
  • “Seeing everyone’s reactions to answers in Quickfire.” (Anthony)

“The Personal Thoughts of Challenges” by Jasmine, Oscar, Kris and Berni

We are all special in our own way, have different skills, but that’s what makes us a family and we all bring something to the table. We are going to share with you our talents and interests and thoughts about the Silver Arts Challenge we had to undertake for our Silver Arts Award. We hope you enjoy this as much as we enjoyed making the memories.

Reflections on planning and preparing the challenge:

  • Kris (challenge – portrait art) “I wanted to improve on a skill I enjoyed. Planning the steps is the easy part, making sure it doesn’t take longer than it should is the hard part!”
  • Oscar (challenge – stop-motion animation) “This was a project I had never done before. I chose it because I didn’t want to perform and knew I would feel more comfortable showing something I had already created.”
  • Jaz (challenge – guitar playing) “The music I chose was familiar to me and I had already played at a previous event, but I wanted to challenge myself to improve my performance.”

How did we all feel just before the challenge itself?

  • “Quite nervous, but full of determination”; “Pretty nervous”; “I didn’t want to mess up”; “I felt like I wouldn’t do good enough”; “a seesaw of confidence and being a nervous wreck…”

How did we feel after?

  • “Overjoyed I did it!”; “thrilled and relieved it was over”; “calm because I felt it went well”; “I felt like I could still improve on it”; “proud of myself”; “I was glad it worked and that the technology worked OK”; “I felt inspired to wrote another script”.

Outtakes by James, Anthony and Shantell

From the start of Arts Award “way back when”, technology has been the highlight and downfall of meetings. Funny stories and occasions such as James not being able to join the breakout room until one minute before it ends and Emma not being able to leave the breakout rooms and find the button have kept us all entertained. The undo button has been the bane of our lives while doing whiteboards (including the one we wrote this on!), but we have pushed through and come out on top.

There are things we look forward to like Anthony’s ever-changing background, ranging from his scary pet snake to his amazing hama bead creations and who is going to freeze or lose connection to the meeting first because of terrible connection…

We wouldn’t have it any other way, though, as at Arts Award we are one big family who celebrate the ups and downs of lockdown together.

Find out more about TramShed Theatre

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