After receiving an initial email from Karen Polyviou, Head of the PTA for the Junior School in Cyprus enquiring about our workshops in January 2009 and many emails and conversations later, it was decided that Matrix would take five workshops over in October for a week.
We also travelled to and performed the workshops at The American Academy in Larnaca, which is a forty-five minute drive from The Junior School in Nicosia. This proved to be a challenging, exciting and a wonderful experience for all concerned. I decided to take two workshops leaders and two trainees with me, so we could perform different workshops at the same time, as the school day finishes around lunchtime, but starts at 8am.
The workshops consisted of The Ladies with the Lamps - Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, The Great Fire, Romans, Victorians and Tudors. Having written and devised all the shows myself, all of the children dress up and all have props. This meant adapting various props so they would flat pack into a suitcase such as the houses for the great fire, buckets, horses and coalmines, to name a few. We managed to transfer costumes and props in just eight suitcases. The school also helped by providing foam poles for spears for the Romans and cardboard for the shields.
Although the days were incredibly busy, we had a very enjoyable time and I would like to say a big thank you to Karen Polyviou who looked after us all the time and organised the flights, accommodation and car for our trip. In fact it was such a success we are returning again this year and Matrix is looking to take the workshops to other countries that study the English Curriculum.
The wonderful thing about combining drama with education is that it crosses language barriers and cultures and is an uplifting and valuable experience.
It was a wonderful opportunity and I am very glad that Matrix was asked. The fact that the children obviously enjoyed all the workshops and gained an insight into history, which I hope they will never forget, always gives me great pleasure.