Even if COVID disappears, the resources produced by the Digital Drama Workshop as aforementioned, will still be useful for youth theatres to involve:
• rurally isolated young people;
• those who cannot afford to travel to our centres;
• people with social anxieties reluctant to be in groups;
• those who are incapacitated or who can’t leave home/hospital/etc;
• and people from communities who stigmatise participation in theatre-making.
CORE PROJECT PRINCIPLES
The Digital Drama Workshop project is underpinned by four key principles:
1) Collaboration and creativity:
All involved in this project believe that all people have the right to be creative and to practice their creativity together. The project highlights the role collaboration serves in human growth and development. The online activities therefore will enhance this feature and not become a space in which individuals merely do ‘individual’ things passively while being together. The workshop plans and resource material focuses on participants being engaged collaboratively, working actively to create meaning together using an online platform to do so.
2) Being social – moving towards community:
All involved in this project acknowledge that social isolation is a major problem across Europe, and that many young people cannot take part in group creative activity due to distance, travel restrictions, mobility issues, health, detention, and a host of other reasons. Therefore, the workshop plans encourage participants to work in groups or in pairs, and to focus their attention onto the social more so than onto the personal. In addition, the project appeals to young people from anywhere with wifi to take part in a group activity without having to travel.
3) Open access:
The Digital Drama Workshop’s resources are free. Available to all. Culture, and access to it, is a human right. The materials in this project make access to theatre-making easier. And therefore they are free and readily available.
4) Participation and not consumption:
The project spotlights ‘learning by doing’ or embodied learning in its materials. The risk with online drama is that it becomes passive (participants watch videos, listen to speeches, and read material). This project focuses on active participation, moving, writing, sharing, engaging, and collaborating in so far as it possible to do in a digital arena. The goal is to help young people create meaning rather than consume opinion.