We've been chatting with Jonathan (our Arts Practioner for Theatre) and he's been filling us in on all the great things he's been up to while supporting the Highland Council.
Jonathan chilling with his dog, Wilson.
A lovely thing is happening where I live. Every time I’m outside, which is currently once a day for exercise to walk our dog, Wilson, I seem to meet a new person. Now, on a normal day we would simply pass with a nod and go our separate ways. But what happens now, that never happened before, is a brief connection between two strangers, two or more metres apart. Never have I had so many conversations with people where we’re both checking to make sure that the other one is ok and if there is anything the other needs.
If there is one positive from all of this, it has brought my community closer together. I hope it is the same wherever you are. It’s one of the reasons I love living in the Highlands.
Speaking of which, I moved here in 2013 to work at this little theatre called Eden Court, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. I found a job which combined all the things I was good at and I’ve been lucky enough to have worked all over the Highlands teaching theatre because of it.
Now… These are strange and unsure times we’re living in, and the staff of Eden Court were all extremely happy to learn about our new work partnership with the Highland Council once the building closed. The fact we could assist them in their response to COVID-19 really gave us a new purpose and direction. Within two days many of us were redeployed to the newly set up Council Helpline to offer advice and signpost callers to experts who could help with any number of concerns.
It wasn’t long before members of the Engagement team, who would normally offer drama classes and learning opportunities, were redeployed to work with the newly created KWHs (Key Worker Hubs) which offer supervised childcare for Key Worker’s children whilst parents are busy at work
During the two week Easter break these young people have had to keep attending school and have been looked after by a wonderful group of professionals and volunteers. Being in school but not being “in school” must have seemed very strange but having visited some of these hubs, these resilient young people have taken it all in their stride.
My fellow theatre practitioners and I have been visiting these hubs offering fun drama sessions to the young people and staff alike. It’s been really good to see smiles on faces again and I really can’t wait to be doing this once everything gets back to normal.
These hubs are spread all over the Highlands so we’ve also been creating digital content and resources for them to use. Theatre is a contact sport and it’s been a real challenge creating and adapting content that ensures it can be done at a distance, and potentially be explained by someone who might never have run a drama activity before.
It’s been a new experience developing and filming unique content from home but I’m confident what we’ve come up with will be both fun and engaging (but don’t worry, I don’t expect Cbeebies to want my number anytime soon!)
This time at home has allowed me to catch up on a number of TV shows, play with a happy dog, build some dusty Lego and use whatever we have in the cupboards to make tasty edibles!
Open an image gallery
All that there is left to say is stay home, stay safe and don’t build lego near a hungry dog!
This blog was written by: