SHE Scotland: Creative Learning Training

This October Stellar Quines met with SHE Scotland to develop and deliver some theatre workshops to help support their endeavours of supporting women and girls in and around Muirhouse and Pilton through skill sharing and a series of workshops.

During the October half term Stellar Quines met with SHE Scotland and began by exploring ways in which the SHE Scotland’s ambassadors (young women who contribute to the direction of the organisation, are involved directly in training to deliver workshops in schools and community zones and encourage girls and young women to raise their self esteem) could utilise the knowledge and expertise of Stellar Quines to develop workshops focusing on raising self esteem in young women and girls.

The training for the ambassadors took place over an intensive day, in which we developed storytelling techniques, how to create group cohesion and ways in which to develop short stories for performances.

The following day was an exciting opportunity for the ambassadors to deliver the workshop to young women and girls. They kicked off with some warm up exercises which explored questions the group wrote based on questions they wish someone would ask them. Questions varied from “what was your earliest memory?” to “tell me about an adventure you’ve been on” and some key themes and responses were noted. This exercise became the foundation for the afternoon’s work devising and creating short scenes inspired by the true stories and responses to the morning questions.

The morning was filled with games exploring some of the pivotal roles within theatre such as directing, acting and writing. The afternoon was an opportunity for the group to devise and perform their own pieces, with some of the group feeling more comfortable writing and directing, whilst others wanted to take centre stage. Utilising the themes drawn from the mornings conversation, small groups created storyboards which mirrored their earlier conversations. This way of writing is very useful when working with young women and girls for the first time as it not only reflects their lived experiences, but it is an equitable and often safe foundation to build on.

Both the ambassadors who took part in the training and the young women and girls who got to take part in the workshops learned new skills and were creatively expansive. This opportunity was only the beginning of the partnership between SHE Scotland and Stellar Quines: we will continue to work with them to develop training for their ambassadors – meaning they can utilise new creative methods in their practices without Stellar Quines there, meaning that through skill sharing Stellar Quines will be positively impacting this brilliant organisation. Excitingly at Christmas we will be piloting a young critics scheme with SHE Scotland, The Royal Lyceum Theatre and The List, in an attempt to explore the gendered voices within theatre criticism and addressing this through a young women’s writing programme.