Tuesday, November 21, 2017

OTW Reflection: Tim Webb Baby Workshop

Baby Theatre Workshop with Tim Webb Since my first glimpse of Oily Cart’s Baby Balloon on YouTube, my thought has been “I want to DO that!” So, when I heard that Tim Webb would be giving a workshop on baby theatre at One Theatre World, I made sure that I was one of the very first to sign up.

I remember my acting teacher, decades ago, giving a note on how to act Shaw. “Twinkle, dammit!” was all that she said. When I met Tim Webb, I finally knew exactly what she meant. Tim Webb twinkles. He seems to look at the world, even in its simplest, most ordinary moments as a source of mischievous delight.

The day-long workshop was a mix of watching video of Oily Cart productions, hearing stories from Tim about their creation, engaging in dialogue about the how-to’s and the why’s and finally getting on our feet to try a bit of it ourselves. Like the Oily Cart performances, the workshop experience was deceptively simple and straight-forward and, upon reflection, profound.

I’m sure the exercises Tim asked us to do together were familiar to us all. But, for me at least, the point of view shifted. Leading a blindfolded partner around the room builds trust, but leading him to discover the wonderful textures of a cork board or the nubbly surface of chipped plaster is a whole new experience. I was amazed to see a group of strangers work together and come up with a production concept in 20 minutes that could very well be developed into an exciting piece of theatre for a toddler. What a rare opportunity, too, to look across the room and see three artistic directors and a playwright laughing and playing together. We should do more of that.

Oily Cart serves “impossible audiences” by believing that all human beings share a common experience that can be illuminated by theatre. There is magic in the sharing of everyday moments. It is good to be reminded of that.

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