University College London is a multidisciplinary, public research university in London, founded to open up education to all on equal terms. Upon approaching City Academy, they were after an activity that would help relieve the pressure off and rejuvenate a small but integral department from their institution.
UCL wanted to offer four of their seasoned financiers respite from their high pressured professional environments with a bit of fun out-of-office bonding - the phrase ‘work hard, play hard’ came to mind, and indeed, a thespian pursuit saved the day.
It was decided they would swap their HQ in the educational institution for the world renowned rehearsal and performance arts space of Sadler’s Wells, to experience a fantastically interactive team building activity: creating a piece of theatre - from script to performance - from scratch and entirely in a day.
Team BuildingPlay in a Day
Under the guidance of a professional actor, the UCL team banded together into their very own creative troupe, developing, shaping, rehearsing and acting out an original play.
The morning concentrated on practical theatre exercises and drama games to help the group imagine, listen, work together, and accept offered ideas, as well as storytelling activities centred around themes, genres, narrative, physicality and bringing characters to life. The group spent time analysing and linking the power of playmaking to real world situations, anchoring the skills being learned to their everyday lives.
Implementing the techniques picked up in the morning, the team devised a cohesive story and began rehearsing in the afternoon. It was an organic process that they were completely in charge of, so it required conflict resolution, thinking creatively and working towards a common goal within a guide framework given by the tutor.
Opting to perform in front of an audience of friends, family and colleagues, they then took their material to the stage and successfully created a Play in a Day. There was a little apprehension from one participant about getting up in front of her peers, and one cast member threw in a new piece of information mid-performance which changed the piece, but everyone responded well and pulled together.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Play in a Day and discovered individual skills that had been hidden but, more importantly, we learned to listen to each other and to work in a collaborative way. It’s not often that a team away day is fun as well as being educational but the Play in a Day managed to be just that. Excellent!
– Susan Farrell, Head of Digital, UCL
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