Hi all… our work with the disadvantaged students at MA had a wonderful conclusion yesterday with a performance of scenes from Midsummer Night’s Dream and How Does Your Garden Grow. The Sydney Morning Herald published a piece on the show in today’s (Tuesday’s Herald). Here is the link in case you haven’t seen it: http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/shakespeare-fits-the-bill-on-the-journey-to-hell-and-back/2006/06/07/1149359820571.html.
Overall it was a fabulous event that symbolically expressed so well how these students have found, through working with poetry, fiction and drama, a way forward in their personal search for meaning in life. This is of course true for all of us. Literature, the creative word, the creative gesture is a way of bringing our attention back to what is most important in our experience… away from the infinite distractions both external and internal, connecting us back to the deeper sources of our life. I am not quite sure why and how the arts (poetry, fiction, drama, music, painting….) have this power, but they do… maybe it is because creativity is in some way intimately connected with the sources of our creation….. that is a big topic!
Now here are a few more fantastic shots of yesterday’s events courtesy of Wai-Leng and Pedro B. who came to MA yesterday to support the event:
Here are Sam (Tom) Brenda/George (John) and Mick (Reza) in a scene from “How Does Your Garden Grow”… Brenda is sweet talking Mick… she/he knows that she is worth a great deal to these hardened male inmates of Pentridge…
thank you all for participating and those who gave your support. Thank you Anissa for your great words to the Herald journalist! You summed up much of the meaning of the experience for us all. Thank you for our master actor and director John Gibson who turned us all into star performers for the hour! And can I quote here for a wider audience that wonderful poem by John VG… his first poem (read now on air) and published in his LiveJournal during the process of studying poetry in this course. Here it is. You can read it in context at John’s (Johannes’ URL) below:
I’ve lived so long as another man
Never really knowing who I truly am.
Through clouded horizons I never could see,
from tumultuos storms I would ever be free.
A child of abuse and a victim of crime.
A life on the edge and a doer of time.
Locked into behaviour I could not repel
Believing you make your own bed where you dwell.
From parties to prisons and pill packs and more,
syringes and pot pipes were all I’d adore.
And never a Searchlight and never a kiss,
Could peirce the veneer of my protective bliss.
And now in my midlife something strange I detect,
A shifting perspective on which I reflect.
A new man is growing, a spirit emerging,
Guided invisibly by a hand so encouraging.
Oh my soul now awakened Oh how I rejoice,
I lean in, you whisper and I hear your voice.
The elements conspire and weave in me strength,
Building foundations that give my days length.
Now hope is a banner that covers my sky,
Over fear and resentment I’ve learnt how to fly.
Though I tremble and stumble I still find my way,
To the centre of peace I now find in each day.
Thank you so much for your effort in this poem… we hope to see much more from this source!
Here are the URLs for the whole cast of this fantastic dramatic climax to our C. Course: