America Day 03 – Education Education Education

One of my duties out here is to work out who is going to lead which workshop. We do quite a number of workshops in the daytime starting next week. It’s part of the deal… We go in as actors – I’ll start each workshop by making it very clear that I’m a visiting practitioner, not a teacher or a lecturer. Then I get them on their feet and get them to do work practically with text. But as Captain Education it is part of my schtick to make certain that the company lead workshops they’d be interested in leading. That makes for better workshops! There’s one on The Iliad, for instance. Jono has told me many times that it’s the best book in the world. I’ve reminded him to be practical with his workshop and get them on their feet, but even if it’s just an afternoon with Jono reading Homer it’ll still be the best afternoon for a thousand miles.


You know me well enough to know I always say “yes” to stuff before thinking, oh constant reader, so it will come as no surprise to you that I just said I’d be willing to lead a workshop for 25 prisoners in Indiana in less than a week. I’ve been to the prison before, five years ago, to do a show. It’s a dark place, and we brought light in with us. I’d like to bring more light in, even knowing that the darkness falls again quickly while we go back to our easy freedom. But it’ll be another of those growth moments for us to go in with the responsibility of running a workshop for people that desperately need light and thought and an outlet – and making it lovely. I’ll have Katherine and Kaffe running it with me so I’ll have their different brains and the thread of trust and connection we have spun already. We will fly and it will be ace. But forever and always the unknown will be unknown. We just have to look at it when we find it. And we will.

I’m in my orange sarong from Camino, sprawled on this huge hotel room bed, listening to the ambient noise and writing. Cars pass by down and to my left – all these huge vehicles, muted by the glazing but still … huge. Things are bigger in America. 

I feel strangely peaceful. I didn’t think I’d be doing the education, but things changed and suddenly logic took me that way. Katherine is perfect as tech. Jono is perfect as travel. I was not going to do blog no matter what, as then I’d be writing two blogs, and besides that, Kaffe is brilliant. Education had been pre-allocated to Anna and when she was unable to come to rehearsal we never really rethought it. Until yesterday.

My previous duty had been social – piece of cake, by mistake. I swapped with Claire as she has enough on her plate and I have space in my head to organise the workshops and make sure everybody is happy within it. It just means … more emails and if there are any horrible sounding workshops I’ll probably end up leading them. Hey ho.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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