UWC Dilijan Students presented series of performances which were the culmination of work devised by the 2nd year IB DP Theatre students who formed three groups and took on the roles of writers, directors, designers and actors. Each 15-minute performance started with a particular stimulus - a piece of Japanese folklore, a famous American writer and socialite, and an Armenian piece of music.
The Collaborative Performance is the greatest experience of working with partners that I have ever had. The most important thing is that all the work had to be agreed on by all of us and it is not that easy to agree with something when all of us have very different creative minds. I still remember the time when we had to meet to talk about CP at least once a week, it was usually an hour before check-in, and it was the worst part in this project as well. This is because sometimes when we met, we discussed for an hour although did not agree or come up with anything, but instead, it created negative emotions for all of us. We gave a lot to this project and really wanted to make it great. However, the good thing about our CP is that we never let those emotions stay with us for a long time. We, as an ensemble always try to make joke and light each other up when someone is not in the right emotion. I still remember that Rodger even made jokes when our work got very confusing and we did not know what was the next step: "Guys, we are making a performance about confusion and now we are confusing ourselves, isn't it what we suppose to feel?" Then Sona and I started to laugh, we laughed at ourselves. The best part of our project is the feelings we were getting there when we came up with something that we all agreed on and felt excited about. It is the clicking part when we would say "Yes! It makes sense now! Finally, good job guys, we made it! It is going to be amazing" and we started to dance like crazy. One of the most important things is to thank Jason who gave us suggestion to experiment with whatever we came up with, instead of sitting down and talking. Also, we want to thank Shirin (former Theatre teacher at UWC Dilijan), who built us to be ensemble we are now, since the last year. They both have a significant impact on us, keeping us working together and guiding us to experience theatre more and more. I am so lucky to have all of them as ensemble to create this project with, I love this ensemble, the small elephants + Shirin + Jason.
Said by the scary Ayee of the small elephants. Then Rodger picks up where Ayee left off and tells about the experience of performing in Yerevan for the audience that were not their peers or friends, but strangers who came to see the outcome of the joined efforts of our students.
The major difference between performing in Dilijan and in Small Theatre in Yerevan for me was the connection with the stage. Since during the process of creating the piece, we explored ideas and experimented using the Black Box theater in our college. This created a connection between the place and the muscle memory. By connecting with the space, I feel some sense of support from the space itself when an audience is available, and enables the performance feels more natural. In Small Theater Yerevan, I did not feel the connection and it was challenging to deal with the changes in the space, such as knowing my new lighting positions, and how different my props were now located. The adjustment was challenging. However, what was very good about that is that sparked our creativity and we had to quickly come up with ways that will adapt the changes and make our performance to be successful. It was interesting to see how we changed the last scene to and how the actors stand when delivering their monologues. That was creative!