• Ben Drysdale

Australian Defence Force ARRTS program

ARRTS 16.1 In May and June 2016, Robin Davidson and Ben Drysdale were contracted by Cleanstar to work as Acting and Performance tutors in a four week art program run by the Australian Defence Force and entitled the Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills (ARRTS) program. The program is held for defence personnel who have experienced physical or psychological injury during service in the Defence Forces. Robin and Ben worked with participants from the various streams on projects that had performance elements, and also ran a session per day with all participants at once working towards a cross stream performance that was included in the final performance. Many of the participants engaged with Robin and Ben in some way to use theatrical elements in their work within their own streams, or as part of the cross stream piece. Participants from the visual arts stream engaged with mask work, and utilised elements of clown, and other performance in their work. Creative writing participants not only sought guidance on how to perform their written work themselves, but developed a few group performance pieces/skits as well. Some participants from the music streamed asked Robin and Ben to help with film clips, and also incorporated elements of acting in their "Rhythm Intrusion" piece. In the cross-stream sessions the 16.1 participants really engaged with work with frozen images and minimal text. Feedback from the participants was that Robin and Ben were an integral part of developing their work, and assisting them in developing the confidence to get up and perform in the final performance. The two immensely enjoyed the program, felt honoured to work with and share stories with the participants, and look forward to continuing with the program in ARRTS16.2 over November.

#ARTTSprogram #ADF #AustralianDefenceForce #RebusTheatre #Disability #MentalHealth

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