TheaterSpontanös* is a learning method created by Stella Hiesmayr (life coach and trainer for selfmanagement and performance) in cooperation with Sandra Selimovic (actress, singer, dancer and directress) which combines self-development with theater, so human growth happens playfully. This article reflects last years project with primary school children.
Stella says: “My work with children has always touched, aswell as fascinates me. I saw how little humans learned their texts with sincere disciplin, how the felt importance of belonging to each other, integrated children with social deficits and how the curiosity for the unknown, strongly beating in a childisch heart made it possibly to grow beyond, once thought boundaries.”
On stage, fantasies become reality and the forever growing human being can draw from its potentials.
According to a survey by Silvia Rotter, foundress of the educational initiative “School for Life”, the child- and youthpsychiatrist Max Friedrich, the brain researcher Manfred Spitzer and the psychotherapist Brigitte Sindelar a significant improvement of up to 50% in different areas was determined – from increased awareness to an improved feeling of selt-esteem in the family. Acting helps children become humans, says Silvia Rotter.
The following clip can give you an impression of the theaterSpontanös* mood and the resulting answers the children find for themselves on the topics of dreaming, life and development.
During the schoolyear 2009/10 the Spontanös* children created their own theaterpiece, which was presented in June.
The children chose the character they would like to play – and now it becomes interesting – also the development their character was to undertake throughout the course of events. There were children, whose character or persona advanced from fearful to courageous, from cool to simply nice, from silly to serious. In different games they explored what it would feel like to be, for example; courageous, they practised to act courageous, learned how somebody that is courageous would talk and walk.
The message, that is gently embedded between the lines, is “You can become whatever you want as long as you can imagine it.”
In the following clip theaterSpontanös* proudly presents a play written by children for children “The Scaryschool.”
The second focus of theaterSpontanös* is being part and learning to play a part within a community.
Everybody belongs and is defined as the theater*group, the bigger children help the smaller children, the smarter the less smarter, the strong the weak;…… all humans are different, everybody plays a part and together we can write history.
Children are encouraged, to experiment with their values within the group, to test their ways of action, to bear up with conflicts, to find solutions, to take responsibility and grow in trust. For John Dewey (founder of experiental education) education is a permanent process of renewing, deepening and increasing experience of solutions based on action. According to Manfred Spitzer ethical action can only be learnt by doing it.
The following clip was made during the shooting of the viedeoclips, which were later part of the show.
The third focus of theaterSpontanös* is pleasure. Enjoying to learn, enjoying being a team, enjoying to create something, to work at it and enjoying to perform. This is easiest done when failure is accepted as part of natural development and its movement.
Growing happily is the best.
The following clip will show theaterSpontanös* “Behind the Scene”.