Hello Drama's founder Abbie Moore was thrilled to be interviewed by Belgium's OpenDoek Magazine - who's slogan by the way we love: "For people with a passion for theatre".
Read on to find a translated version of the published article. To view the original Dutch version, click this link.
Inspiratie: Abbie Moore
By Gilles Michiels, OpenDoek
Inspiration? That’s a question of interaction for Abbie Moore. Moore is a freelance facilitator for the largest Shakespeare festival in the world and founded Hello Drama, her own company that tailor-makes English drama workshops for European students. “During my workshops, the wrong answer doesn’t exist.”
Moore is a freelance staff member for the Shakespeare Schools Festival, where she teaches participants techniques to make the most out of their Shakespeare plays. She worked in China for a drama education company and founded Hello Drama in 2016 to create and deliver her own workshops, where she works with different ages and topics from Shakespeare to improvisation, depending on the needs of each school or company. In January, JongDOEK worked with her on ‘Macbeth’.
“I have a set list of workshops that I can adapt to different groups as well as tailor-making workshops. People have different personal challenges: for one it could be to make friends, for another to practise their English through performing a monologue. A group with an interest in history could adapt a Shakespeare play to a World War II setting, while other groups might prefer to explore Narnia or popular songs for example by Beyonce. It’s nice to see how certain exercises and games work wherever you go.”
Moore’s most popular introductory game is called ‘Building a shed’. “In the game, everyone stands in a circle. Person A stands in the middle and starts to build an imaginary shed. Another person (Person B) approaches them and says: ‘What are you doing?’ Person A says: ‘Building a shed’. Person B asks: ‘Can I join?’ ‘Person A: ‘Sure’. Another person from the circle asks Person A and B ‘What are you doing?’ and Person A and B reply together. The special thing is that everyone can say their line in their own way: you could whisper it, imagine you’re an astronaut on the moon or riding a horse. In this game, everyone supports each other no matter how crazy the ideas are. The people building the shed have to accept and copy what the new player offers no matter what style they use. At the end, everyone is building a shed together.
No wrong answer
In these workshops, Moore searches for similarities in stories that at first sight may be quite different.
“We are not living in the world of Shakespeare anymore, but we can still find ways to relate to his plays. Similarly, drama can be used as a tool to bring older and younger people together. I think you could start an intergenerational project where the focus lies on learning from each other. It would be great to create a verbatim play, where younger and older people could interview each other and perform each other’s monologues. The older people could interview the younger ones about their future, and vice versa the older members could talk about growing up and the dreams they had when they were young. In performing each other’s monologues, empathy would be important.”
“For me, drama is also a way to teach life skills, to help people become more confident. It’s important that everyone is involved and nobody is excluded from the group. No-one will tell you “this is the wrong answer.” We don’t need to look something up on the internet. Shakespeare is not around anymore, so we can discover our own interpretations of his plays.
I often say "What does it mean to you? Experiment. Explore’. That’s what rehearsals and workshops are for."