All of ADAD’s education and training services are underpinned by the notion that learning must be interactive and participatory to maximise effectiveness.
By engaging and stimulating participants to question, voice opinions and share ideas, we believe that the potential for experiential learning is maximised.
As such, all of ADAD’s work involves elements of workshop, ranging from shared group discussion, to fully participatory exercises and role-play.
In addition to the workshops that form part of our existing programmes, ADAD also provides a range of bespoke workshop packages.
As these can be less formally structured, they offer the flexibility and adaptability to address a multitude of issues, to achieve various objectives and to work with a wide variety of participant groups.
Broadly speaking, these workshop programmes can be issue-based or skills-based or a combination of the two.
ADAD is a specialist in creating issue-based work and drawing on over 15 years experience, has developed a thorough and rigorous working methodology. The use of theatre/drama based workshops can provide an excellent vehicle for participants to explore and express often difficult and emotional issues.
ADAD can work with groups to explore and analyse issues that are of particular concern or pertinence to them. Participants are encouraged to address specific issues, to gain new information, to share ideas, to challenge each other’s viewpoint and ultimately to gain a wider understanding of matters at hand and to adapt their perspectives and possibly behaviour accordingly.
Issue-based working can be undertaken with different groups for a variety of purposes.
Issue-based work with young people:
Where existing education programmes are not appropriate, the flexibility of workshops can be utilised. This can be undertaken both within the formal education system (Mainstream, Special Needs and PRU’s), or beyond, working with more specialised groups.
Issue-based work can be undertaken to support areas of the academic curriculum, or to address issues of concern, either for the young people themselves, or for those with a duty of care for them. Here workshops can ‘stand alone’ as an educational intervention, or serve as part of the development process for other work.
For instance, a workshop programme could be used to explore issues through the eyes and lives of a group of young people, and then work towards the creation of a new performance piece that could ultimately be shared with others. This new work could either be performed by the young participants themselves; or be created and performed by ADAD, drawing on the workshop experience.
ADAD was commissioned by the Youth Service in Berkshire to work with a group of teenage heroin users. Here we explored their experiences and the journey they had travelled to arrive at their current situation. This process culminated in a play No Sweet Surrender, written and performed by ADAD but drawing heavily on the experiences and stories from the young people. This was subsequently taken to local schools and shared with the wider community.
The Manager of the Youth Resources Team who organised this work said:
“Inspirational is the only way to describe the experience of working with theatre ADAD. They can, in an incredibly short space of time, engage with young people at a level that would usually take weeks. They enable and empower young people by exposing them to difficult and emotional situations and then help them to identify the fact that we are all involved in making choices that affect the rest of our lives.”
Issue-based work with adults:
In much the same way that we work with young people, we can also work with adults to explore issues of concern to them. Again, this will depend on who we are working with, and for what reason.
For instance, we can run sessions for more specialist situations, where participants are potentially vulnerable, at risk or would in other ways benefit from targeted intervention. Here sessions would serve as a means of raising an awareness of specific issues, to improve participant’s knowledge and understanding and ultimately to help them to deal with situations more effectively.
As with young people, workshop sessions could culminate in the creation of other performance work.
ADAD has run summer intergenerational projects in Kensington & Chelsea, working with a local charity for the over 60’s and the police. Here we work with groups of both young people and over 60’s to explore issues of concern and relevance to them, and to create a piece of theatre which is then performed by participants to friends, family and members of the wider community.
The Director of Sixty Plus, the charity who organised this work said:
“It seems to me that a key element in this success is the careful preparations work that ADAD puts in; listening to our ideas, our aims and our vision. The feedback from the participants and from the funders was excellent and we look forward to working with them again”
Additionally, issue-based workshops can form part of a training provision. For instance, sessions can be run for professionals who have responsibility for others (such a those working within the health, education and social service sectors), to highlight issues of relevance and concern to their client groups. These could form part of a professional development programme.
Alternatively, sessions can be run on issues of direct relevance and concern to the participants themselves (such as drug and alcohol use; family relationships and domestic violence and diversity and work-based bullying). These could form part of an employer’s social welfare provision for its staff.
In addition to addressing issues, ADAD can also work with groups to develop or enhance specific skills. These can broadly be defined as theatre/arts skills and ‘life’ skills.
Again, the type of workshop packages provided will depend on the participant group and on the desired outcome of the intervention.
Skills-based work with Young People:
ADAD can work with young people to help develop a variety of skills, both within and beyond formal education.
We can offer sessions specifically to support curriculum work, on performance, writing, devising, character work, mask work, music, dance etc. and/or, assist groups in creating their own performance piece (see above in issue-based working).
We can also offer sessions to help develop, practice and improve communication and interpersonal skills. Here such sessions could be used as a therapeutic tool, to assist young people experiencing difficulties (emotional, or learning) or as an enhancement tool to assist young people to develop useful skills for later life (such as interview or presentation techniques).
Skills-based work with adults:
In much the same way that we work with young people, we can also work with a variety of adults to develop and enhance a range of skills.
For instance, sessions to teach or improve theatre/arts skills can equally be given for adults as they can be for young people. Sessions could form part of a training programme for professionals wishing to utilise these skills in their own work with others. Alternatively, such sessions could form part of wider issue-based work with more specialist groups, as a means to enable participants to express their ideas (see above).
Again, as with young people, sessions could seek to develop or enhance communication and interpersonal skills, either therapeutically with more Specialist Groups of adults, or as a Training tool within industry or within the public service sector.