Classes and Workshops
Inclusive Drama Classes at the Hub in Phillip
This course is designed to build confidence, make new friends, and learn acting and performance skills in our person centered drama program. As well as teaching physical, vocal, writing and musical skills, we will do our best to identify the specific goals and strengths of each student so they can reach their fullest potential in our end of term performance.
Each School term we write and rehearse a play with the group that is performed at the end of term along with a song that we work on during the class.
Check out this blog post by one of our tutors to get a sense of the program and performances.
Bridges or Barricades
Rebus Theatre, supported by Multicultural Youth Services offer a free, 10-week theatre program. The program uses Forum Theatre and Peer Teaching techniques to engage students and the school community. The program is tailor made to address the main issues of conflict impacting the school we are working in.
The program can address Racism, Bullying, Family Violence, relationships with the Justice System, Combating Stereo types and supporting the LGBTQI community.
Bridges or Barricades is a personalised program providing an open and safe way to discuss some of the more difficult ethical and social issues occurring in your community. The program is Australian Curriculum aligned and includes a suggested assessment task.
In 2018 and 2019 the Rebus team had the pleasure of being asked to run two hour acting workshop at Encampment, a two day camp for LGBTQIA+ teens from the Canberra region. We ran the group through a few "getting to know you games" followed by some attention and concentration exercises before exploring ways of telling stories through tableau and fozen images. The groups have been so much fun to work with and full of imagination and creativity. We would love to work with this group again and are in discussions with the AIDS Action Council about setting up an ongoing drama program for LGBTQIA+ teens in the future.
Australian Defence Force
Each May and November, Rebus is contracted by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to run a four week Acting and Performance program for soldiers with physical or psychological injury as part of the Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills (ARRTS) program. Participants choose between Visual Art, Creative Writing, Music and Rhythm, and Acting and Performance, and work with tutors over four weeks to develop a collection of works, songs, or performance pieces that are presented at an end of program showcase to an invited audience of friends, family, and ADF personnel.
Imaginary Borders was a free theatre project for young people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds, including indigenous backgrounds, between the ages of 13 and 18. It was an opportunity to come together, play, and share stories through theatre.
We met once a week to play games, get to know each other, hear each other’s stories, and bring them to life with movement, music, speech and song. We welcomed all stories –real life stories, stories from different families or cultures, and stories we make up. We welcomed all languages and cultures.
Imaginary Borders culminated in a one-off performance for family, friends and invited guests. The project was led by Robin Davidson of Rebus Theatre and Felix Machiridza of Arts With A Mission. Felix is a musician, social worker and theatre artist from Zimbabwe
Imaginary Borders was a Tuggeranong Arts Centre Community Arts and Cultural Development project, in partnership with Rebus Theatre, supported by the ACT Government.
Theatre classes for People with a Disability and Mental Illness
Rebus Theatre was approached by Belconnen Arts Centre to lead the drama component of their IGNITE program in 2015 and 2016.
IGNITE: Alternative Arts Academy is a series of programs that encourage participation for people with mixed abilities. The Academy provides opportunities for all levels of experience, from entry level to those wishing to transcend into the mainstream arts sector. It’s a program for the hobbyist who likes to participate because it’s fun through to the arts professional practitioner.
In 2015 Rebus Theatre led an on-going drama program, with a dance component led by Janine Ayres. This led to short performances for the Mindscapes Festival and for the opening of the Hidden Faces exhibition at Belconnen Arts Centre.
In 2016 Rebus led a short drama course as part of the IGNITE Makers series of professionally led arts workshops. The course focused on improvisation skills, and creating original stories, using playful approaches to unlocking spontaneity. There were eleven participants with a wide range of experience and abilities.
L’Arche is an international federation of faith communities where people with and without an intellectual disability share life together. L’Arche, a French word for the Ark, seeks to create communities where people live a simple life of work, care, prayer and celebration.
In April 2016 Rebus Theatre’s creative management team ran a number of workshops for the Canberra L’Arche community in preparation for their performance of the Musicians of Bremen on their Community Celebration Day. Cara Matthews and Robin Davidson ran a number of drama exercises with the group and developed a physical theatre piece to be performed in tandem with the narration of the story while Ben Drysdale improvised a musical backdrop to the performance.
Cara is currently working with the L'Arche community to prepare for their performance in Rebus Theatre's variety show for International Day for People with a Disability "All In" December 2nd and 3rd 2016.
Inclusive Theatre Design Workshop for People with a Disability
In September 2015 Rebus Theatre partnered with Tuggeranong Community Arts Association to develop and deliver a short workshop series in Theatre Design open for people with and without disabilities. Christiane Nowak was engaged to deliver a program to 6-8 people in which she led the participants through the process of working to a brief while designing and creating prop and set items for Rebus Theatre’s two plays A Day in the Life, and Unintended. The workshop was promoted via a number of networks and organisations including Rebus Theatre, Tuggeranong Arts Centre, and Belconnen Community Service, and delivered over three sessions (Saturday September 5th 10am-3pm, Saturday September 12th 1-5pm, Sunday September 13th 1-5pm).
Of the eight participants who registered for the workshop, four identified as having a disability. In the first workshop the participants were presented with performances of the two plays before sitting down to discuss the brief workshop ideas in consultation with members of the Rebus cast. The following two workshops were spent designing costumes profiles for the character and designing, creating and building prop and set items. Over the following two workshops the group created a comprehensive costume, prop and set design package, which Rebus Theatre debuted at the Melbourne Fringe festival, and has been using in its performances ever since.
This project met all objectives by providing an opportunity for participants across a wide age bracket, with and without disabilities, to collaborate with and learn from one of Canberra’s top Theatre Designers, while providing Rebus Theatre with a new a theatre design package to assist them in their work championing disability rights, equity, and equality.
Forum theatre about Disability in Schools
In 2015 Rebus was given funding from Disability ACT to run forum theatre classes in two schools - Wanniassa School and Lake Tuggeranong College. The classes ran for a whole Semester and culminated in performances based on the student's lived experience of inclusion to family, friends and staff at the end of the year.
The group from Wanniassa School was made of year 7 and 8 students, and produced three Shows.
Life - A play about mental illness and depression
Deaf - A play about a student with a hearing impairment and their struggles in an emergency situation.
Broken Leg - A play about temporary disability, in this case, a broken leg.
The group from Lake Tuggeranong College comprised of Year 11 and 12 students and produced three shows.
Me, myself and my thoughts - A play about mental illness and the various coping mechanisms that can develop.
Battles - A play about the difference between physical disability and mental illness, and how they can interplay, manifest and be received in different ways.
Dyslexia - a play about the struggles one with Dyslexia can encounter when trying to learn in a text based educational system.
Overall, both groups said they gained a lot of confidence and insight from the experience.