ARTPAD visit in St. Pölten; Written by Paul Schober
St. Pölten was the starting point for the research activities of the ARTPAD project. The aim was to get to know good practice in the field of drama and play. For this purpose three projects were presented in St. Pölten:
”Füreinander Miteinander” is a educational drama group led by Emina Eppensteiner. Children and adolescents from different cultures, with different languages and religions often live side by side and not together: The project named “For each other – together” overcomes the everyday distances in the common theatre play. All children and young people are welcome. In groups of max. 14 children or young people, games are developed together and rehearsed. Everyone finds space for his creativity and imagination.
The drama-educational project of “dream catchers”, led by Christoph Rabl, addresses the question of how bullying and other forms of violence affect children and what can be done about it.
In the narrative form of the fairy tale, “dream catcher” takes up motifs of the Grimm fairy tale figures and joins them in a dramaturgical arc. It tells how children and adolescents are gradually gaining social competency and finding themselves out of the wake of their despair and developing new life perspectives.
Finally Margot Cammerlander and Paul Schober presented their Symbolwork. With the help of symbols they are able to provide children and adolescents with an additional language, when they cannot find the right words. In this context, symbols work similarly to an interpreter; furthermore, they transmit information one cannot or does not want to share.
As a symbol may have infinite meanings and is interconnected with multiple feelings, the key is an individual approach to support children and adolescents in adverse situations.
After a short presentation from each project the ARTPAD Research group had intense discussions about the characteristics and the impacts of the presented practice.