THE WHITE RABBIT APPROACH
We believe that children learn most effectively through play and our aim is to use the positive and playful lessons of Devising & Improvisation to help each individual improve their confidence and to develop important skills that can be used in all areas of life.
The greatest actors are often; relaxed, comfortable in themselves and able to find a sense of grounding in any situation. We strive to harness these skills using techniques learnt in our own professional training and to tailor this knowledge to the children we teach, in a fun and imaginative way.
In over 20 years of training, performing and teaching, Improvisation has always stood out to us as the most incredible tool for developing the widest range of skills that can benefit us all in life, not just on the stage. It also speaks to the playful and curious nature of children and is rapidly becoming our favourite form of working with White Rabbit clubs.
In its simplest form, improvisation is ‘making things up as you go along’. In real life this could be the breakfast we choose to eat, the route we take to work or the conversations we have with others. Whether we're aware of it or not, our lives are a series of little improvisations and we’re the main character in our own story.
Improvisation games encourage children to create scenes, characters and stories in the moment. By improvising scenes together, children practice negotiation techniques, active listening and teamworking skills. They gain emotional awareness, experience of public speaking and build resilience within different scenarios. These confidence-building skills will be with them for the rest of their lives.
Improvisation is introduced in the early stages through active-storytelling & simple games, extended in our ‘Showcase Clubs’ (with activities that encourage the sharing & accepting of ideas), and used greatly in our 'Level Up' clubs. Once children reach this older stage, we love to see their skills of listening and teamwork really shine and more freedom is handed to the 'players' as they navigate the rules of play together.
4 ‘White Rabbit’ rules to playing Improv games:
1) It’s ok to fail: In fact, it’s encouraged! Children need to feel the joy of experimenting with characters & scenes, without the pressure to be ‘perfect’. Improv is all about living in the moment and if something didn’t work out this time we learn from the experience and move on to the next great game. What a wonderful lesson for life!
2) Listen to respond: Listening is such an important skill in drama and is hugely important in Improv. As so much of the work in Improv is created without planning, players need to actively listen to each other to carry a scene forward and to know what to say next!
3) Treat everyone on stage as a genius: All people deserve respect and all voices need to be heard in life and on stage. This requires empathy and openness from players, a willingness to accept each other’s ideas and the ability to support those around you. The best bit about this rule is while you’re helping everyone else look good, they’re helping & supporting you-it’s a win-win!
4) Teamwork: Players must work as a team to keep a scene moving forward and characters believable. Numbers 1-3 combine to create this one, all important rule.
Through allowing children the freedom to express themselves in a playful, respectful & supportive space, we hope that White Rabbit Clubs will encourage pupils to; walk a little taller, smile a little wider and approach life with curiosity, openness and confidence.