Performance provides therapy

editorial image

STUDENTS from the University of Hull’s Scarborough Campus have collaborated with mental health service users to put on an artistic performance.

A group of five theatre and performance students have been working alongside the charity Mind as part of a two month applied theatre project.

The performance is part of the student module Applied and Interactive Theatre 1, which is designed to show that theatre is an effective tool in raising social awareness and addressing current issues within various local, regional or international community contexts.

The service users at Mind in Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale, have been directed and advised by the students, exploring the concept of ‘honesty’ and the consequences their actions have to form the basis of their production.

The group covered varying issues from finding a wallet and the impact of not handing it in, to exploring relationships and the discussion of feelings between partners.

A typical performance consisted of ten, minute-long scenes which will be improvised using mime or images to convey the message.

Second year student Ben Robinson said: “Working with the people from Mind has been a real eye-opening experience.

“At first we had no idea what to expect but as the project has progressed we’ve seen a really creative atmosphere develop and I think both parties have benefited.”

Dr Aristita Albacan, lecturer in theatre and performance who is overseeing the project, said: “A lot of our students are surprised by just how creative the people they are working with can be.

“There is a stigma attached to people with mental health issues, but we’ve seen people grow in confidence and express themselves. Often they tackle issues they face every day and it can be therapeutic.”