Within the overall objective of seeking to ‘Share the love of Jesus’ with all our beneficiaries, the Drama Project, within a Christian and pastoral environment, seeks to assist our beneficiaries through speech and drama to develop self-awareness, self-confidence and self-expression; to understand behavioural patterns and the effect they can have on their own well-being, their immediate friends, colleagues and on the wider community; for self-improvement in speech, voice, posture and presentation; to increase knowledge and appreciation of literature, poetry, drama, music and the arts; to stimulate the creative processes, to encourage initiative and love of learning, to develop confidence and motivation for high standard in performance and entertainment and to use the rich material from Christian literature to engender an interest in spiritual development.Joanna Cooper:- Drama Project Leader
Since its inception in 2005, the Drama Project at Caring For Life has developed over eight years to assist our beneficiaries in self-awareness and confidence. Working towards performances, either public or private, has helped the group to have a real sense of trust and co-operation for each member. They have developed an ability to accept direction and, in live performance they have learned to adapt to different audiences and venues.
The sessions have addressed and increased the participants’ understanding of behavioural patterns and the effect they can have on immediate friends, colleagues and on the wider community.
There has been a marked improvement in speech, voice, posture and presentation and increased appreciation and knowledge of the arts.
Working within a Christian organization the members of the project have had a growing awareness of the influence of Christian literature with rich resources in the scriptures, poems and classics such as Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.
The sessions are held in groups of up to 14, and a varied programme including physical movement, speech and breathing exercises, games, role play, improvisation and mime, form the basis of integrated dramatic and comedy performances and recitals. Throughout the year the beneficiaries work on individual and group pieces. All of the beneficiaries have developed ability to learn sections of prose, poetry and sketches by heart, producing a sense of achievement and enjoyment. Poems and plays, classical and modern, are used for study and recitation, with beneficiaries developing a sense of rhythm and expression. Speech improvement is also part of the course. Music, song and dance and the rehearsals, provide an outlet for energy, fun and laughter while assisting with general co-ordination.
Each member is encouraged to expand general knowledge and appreciation of drama, literature, art, music, dance and film with visits to professional theatre productions, films, concerts, galleries and museums. They are particularly encouraged to develop their individual and unique strengths, preferences and potential.
Below is a full list of performances and productions that we have undertaken:-
2005 – 2006: ‘The Good Samaritan’, ‘Useful and Acceptable Gifts’, ‘The Shepherds’, ‘Feeding of the Five Thousand’, ‘Is there a Plumber in the House?’, ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’, ‘Santa and Fanta’, ‘Maisie & Hilda’.
2007: Scenes from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
Nativity ‘From the Perspective of the Angels’.
Scenes from ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ co- production with Music Project.
Nativity ‘From the Perspective of the Animals’ with animal puppets and actors. s
2009: Maisie & Hilda, The Big Bang (comedy sketches).
2010:Song and Dance of Jonah and the Whale.
Nativity with people puppets. Recitation.
2011: Scenes from Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ Elizabethan dance, scene from Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’, Comedy sketch ‘Holiday in Paradise’
Outdoor performance of trailer for ‘A Christmas Carol’ introducing characters with choir and Music Project.
2012: Scene from Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’, sketch and song of ‘A Summer Holiday.
Adaptation of Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’.
Adaptation of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’.
2013: Maisie and Hilda Sequel (comedy sketch), Bull sketch and song (comedy)
Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo (co-production with music project)
The Prodigal Son.
2013: A Shepherds Nativity scene for Christmas 2013
2014: Scenes from Shakespeare’s Henry V. Comedy sketch “Caring For Life’s Home Guard Reserves”
2015: Scene from St Mark’s Gospel – “The Man through the Roof”. “Jonah Man Jazz” with Music Project.
Joanna Cooper is a professional actress who trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and has worked in theatre, television, film and radio and writes or adapts much of the material used for performance.