Thursday, 20 November 2008

Reminiscene in Practice

Today we just did some very interesting work. Mary, A seventy-four year old and Fiona, a 59 year old came in to talk to us about their lives.

The opening question asked by Hannah was what they were doing when they were our age. This was a good ice breaker and a somewhat unintrusive question which allowed the two women to become comfortable talking to a big group. After then they were very happy to talk about the second world war and its repocussions, childhood sweethearts, fashion, music and holidays.

After this we then set about chosing the stories that we wanted to dramatise. My group was particulary interested in telling the story about Mary's first love when she was fourteen years old. She told it incredibly well, building up this romantic story and then bringing right back down when she said that she couldn't stand him. At first I was worried about having to tell this story as I really wanted to make sure that the information that she had given us wasn't mis-represented or taken too far out of context. Luckily though we produced a two minuete sketch that contained everything that she said and therefore she was happy with how we had interpreted her story.

Mary and Fiona seemed very happy with all that classes work and said interestingly that it wasn't the stories we were telling, it was their lives, it was fact and real for them and evoked their memories of that particular event very well. I therefore feel that this session was incredibly successful and the participants were kept comfortable and felt that they could talk with ease thus not hiding information of feeling they couldn't talk about certain things. I also think that If you stick with the exact details of the stories and keep its themes then it will be successful and won't offend the teller themselves as they still need to have some kind of ownership over the story, we can't take it completely out of context because they might feel that we have taken their story away from them.

1 comment:

Mark Griffin said...

It's so important to listen well and clarify anything that you haven't understood, when putting together reminiscene work... but having given Mary and Fiona that basic respect I thought you all went on to create joyful and fun filled stories for them. They were delighted with the care, attention and sense of celebration with which you dramatised their lives.