On a recent Sunday visit to Hadden Park, you may have sighted performers transforming the open space of the park into a site of theatrical creation. Here, performers are finding inspiration in sounds, sights, and places around them; perhaps a shaded spot beneath a tree, a choir of barking dogs, or an abandoned sailboat resting on the beach.
The ‘Creating Theatre in Hadden Park’ workshop is lead by performer and Hadden Park artist-in-residence, Billy Marchenski. It is one of several tenfifteenmaple projects where artists collaborate with the park community and individuals to explore psychogeographical relationships.
Participants are encouraged to use outdoor space in theatrical ways and create ‘living pictures’ — or physical images — that communicate ideas related to the park and its community without the use of words.
The workshop is centered on contemporary theatrical practices of devised creation where instead of working with a script, artists begin with a theme, image or object and then work collaboratively to develop material. For the Hadden Park performers, finding inspiration may involve some contemplative wandering around the park, or the discovery of a striking place or sight that can serve as a starting point for creation.
In this type of workshop, Marchenski feels that participants need to have an open-mindedness and willingness to collaborate with a group, and he helps foster this by beginning each workshop with exercises to build trust among participants. What is most striking for Marchenski is the creativity of participants working within this form.
He feels that exceptional things emerge when you give people the opportunity to create in a safe and supportive space.
For Marchenski, the workshops are an opportunity to focus on the craft and the process of creation, rather than the product. “It’s a gift to make something for the pleasure of making it,” he says.
I invite you to spend some time in Hadden Park, or one of your favourite Vancouver parks, and discover your own source of inspiration. We’d love to hear about the sights and sounds that inspire you!
Creating Theatre in Hadden Park, Sundays at 12pm in Hadden Park. Until July 27, 2014.
By Anastasia Scherders, Roundhouse Blog Team. Anastasia likes to spend her time reading and writing and cycling throughout the city. Presently, she is a contributing writer at The Source Newspaper, focusing on Arts & Culture in Vancouver. She is happy to be a part of both the Roundhouse Documentation Team and Blog Team.