Workshop Tour 2023
By Alexandria Nunweiler: Dance Teaching Artist
With this being my first City Spotlights summer, I am in awe of what these teens accomplish in six weeks! Not only are they working towards a final showcase, but they are sharpening advocacy, social impact and art-making skills. I saw these developments during the workshop tour, where groups of dancers, actors, and musicians from the program travel around the greater Boston area to senior centers, schools and other programs to perform and involve participants in their work. I had the pleasure of accompanying one of the groups for two of the four workshop tour days and here is a little of what we learned together:
Considering constructive feedback from others and giving thoughts on each performance will make for a stronger workshop. After every session, the group gathered to talk over thoughts on what went well and what they could work on for next time. I witnessed the teens work as a group to identify how they would project their voices more, better guide conversation, and make the participants more engaged with the work. They also celebrated wins when they were able to help each other out and when, for example, the lesson went really well.
Workshops are not presentations - they are ways to engage with others. From the beginning of my first day on tour, I saw this development among the teens: we went from feeling nervous and rushing through workshops to slowing down and deeply engaging with workshop participants. Instead of focusing on the task, they focused on the people. It was a real learning point for the group and something that I will take away with me into the other parts of my life.
Sometimes when you buy an umbrella, the rain will stop. Our last day of tour was a rainy one! Of course, it started out with a drizzle, climaxed with a downpour and almost immediately became humid and sunny when the group purchased umbrellas. It was what I call “character development” as the group overcame the nasty weather and moved forward (albeit after drying our orange Boch Center t shirts under hand dryers) with the rest of the tour.
Ultimately, it was a wonderful two days of development that absolutely boosted their confidence going into the final showcase and their renewed energy is also palpable as they made tweaks and changes to their art along the way. I hope to see some of our workshop participants in the audience at the show!
By Hannah Rolston: Acting Junior Assistant
When getting ready for the workshop this week, it was really interesting to finally see all the work from different specialties coming together to make the performance for their tour. Being the JA for acting, I only get to see what acting is working on most of the time. So, it was really cool to see how the teens came together to make a full story with acting, music, and dance, and by including other specialties in all their work.
Going into the workshop tour, there were a few bumps in the road, due to a few people being absent. However, I was really proud to see the teens step up and take the roles of their peers and roll with the punches. It was amazing to see them all start to break out of their shells and show off their beautiful artwork.