We were invited by the Ukrainian educational project SMILE to facilitate mime and Bible story telling workshops at their youth summer camps at the Blue Lake near Dnipro, Ukraine. There were two camps held, each one lasting for 6 days. The first group had 15 children ages 9-12, and the second group had 15 teens ages 13-18 participating. The children attending came from lower income families and foster homes from rural areas. For many of them, this camp is the highlight of their year. Our goal was to teach them basic acting movements and methods so they could enhance their drama group performances and improve their personal communication skills while learning English at the same time. Our emphasis was acting out Bible stories, particularly the parables of Jesus which will be performed for their community. We did a similar workshop with SMILE at their camp in 2013. Some of the participants of that camp acted as youth leaders and helpers this year in these camps working along side us, making a great team! The key concepts that we continually emphasized were: energy, concentration, imagination, and heavenly inspiration!
We started the first training on storytelling, mime and drama in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Twenty church members attended, learning various theater techniques and dramatizing characters from gospel parables. Those involved in missionary projects attended the training which will greatly strengthen their ability to tell and dramatize stories from the gospel in various mission fields. Our second stop was at the San Bonifacio High School in Maputsoe, Lesotho. Fifty children participated in the training. The school already had a theatrical group and we worked closely with their talented teacher. The young people were able to express themselves and prepare a skit on the negative effects of electronic technology in Cyberspace.
We have had a very active week in Bangkok working with Central Thailand Mission’s project partners -- the Thanksgiving Home (23 developmentally-challenged kids, needy youth), the House of Blessing (kids born in prisons or stigmatized/abandoned), and the Emergency Home (a protective shelter for those who have suffered from abuse, domestic violence, or rape). Our theme for our activities was “I Am”. The goal was to instill a sense of self worth in the women and children. We used simple object lesson stories to illustrate various themes such as a bouncy ball to show resiliency (bouncing back), umbrella— protection, diamond—valuable, mirror—that they are beautiful.
We were invited by my friend Josiah Lorenzo and one of the German organizers in the camp. We did 8 hours of workshop with Syrian, Iranian, and some other refugees. About 15 young people attended. We drew on photos, traditional stories, film clips, personal experiences, and Bible stories to act out the theme. We decided to use the bag as our uniting recurring motif to illustrate the various principles. We found that we had to focus on the verbs of how to overcome. How do we overcome our fears?
The Christian coffee house where we do weekly interactive Bible storytelling and pantomime performances, hosted several events that we helped to organize. These included an evening devoted to Christian-Moslem dialogue entitled ’Faith Meets Faith’, photo exhibition called “Stories in Faces’, live Iranian and international music, and storytelling which was followed by discussion of the spiritual observations and applications. About 300 attended these 3 events. We also participated in the city’s street festival with an interactive pantomime performance and face painting for the children. This was a first for us—to partner with the city’s festivities. They invited us to participate in future activities.
We did a 1 day introduction workshop at a conflict resolution center with their volunteers in Bethlehem. Our purpose was to discover ways to use stories in pantomime to communicate ideas and emotions. In these photos we are doing some activities to learn how to use our bodies as a medium of expression.
April 2015: This month we did 10 hours of pantomime and story telling workshops in Budapest, Hungary in cooperation with 3 NGO’s who operate in the region. These organizations help needy children and the physically and mentally challenged.
Elixir Mime did a mime and storytelling activity for ta special day out for 30 children of the NGO Stoff Wechsel, in Dresden, Germany. This NGO focuses on helping children from broken homes to have opportunity to learn and play in a safe environment.
Elixir Mime carried out 3 days of mime and storytelling workshops at a friendly café for 12 people in Tirana. The organization that kindly hosted us was Biblioteka Perla, which is a library that offers various educational and social services for young people. You can see them on Facebook at: Biblioteka Perla. Our workshops in Eastern Europe have been enlightening. We have seen so much potential for dramatized story telling in these lands that are still in transition.
9-day Summer English/ Mime/ Storytelling Camp for teenagers from foster homes and low-income families in Dniprodzerzhynsk, Ukraine working together with the Dnipropetrovsk Regional NGO “Simya”, we were able to give 12 underprivileged teens a unique opportunity to learn English and gain basic acting skills in a friendly environment. It taught them to work together, to be creative and to express themselves through storytelling. They gained self-confidence and communication skills. They learned positive values through first studying and then acting out in mime the parables taught by Jesus
We had the privilege to hold the Elixir Mime workshop at the Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission. This was the first time we had done a workshop for so many children at once. Many valuable lessons were gained which we will be able to apply for future sessions. As you may know, the Mukti Mission has a rich heritage and legacy given to it by its founder Pandita Ramabai (1858-1922). Pandita played a key role in obtaining rights for women in India. See their website: http://www.mukti-mission.org/mukti/About_Mukti.htm On the last day, each house performed a Bible story to show the acting skills that they had learned. We hope to follow up this workshop with those most interested by forming an acting club.
Elixir Mime Scripts conceptualized and scripted the annual school performance for classes 5-12 in Baroda, India. We received this comment from the director: ”We enjoyed our interaction with you right from the concept to the final script. You were beautifully able to interweave our requirements and ideas for the concept.”
After doing a special story telling, sing-a-long and function for disadvantaged children in Kolkata, Eliixir Mime headed on to Nagaland. From February 26th to March 2nd, Elixir Mime team Peter and Pauline van Gorder conducted 3 mime workshops in Dimapur: One at the Deaf Biblical School, another at the Eklavya Model Residential School, and the third at the Great Commission School. They worked together with a team living in Dimapur, consisting of volunteer social workers and Sign Language experts Carin and Aaron Khieya who arranged the workshops and gave accommodations and facilitated the workshops in many ways.
We held an acting/mime workshop at a CHIP school, which is an organization that is dedicated to improving the educational standard of needy schools. We are presently working on a long-term project with them to include drama as a part of their curriculum. We have found that storytelling through drama/mime is a very effective way to boost children’s communication skills, especially those with low self-esteem due in part to their economic and social challenges. We encourage the children to create and perform their own stories as well as learning from classic tales. There is a great potential for expanding this dramatic arts course throughout India. If you are interested in helping us to develop this program, please contact us.
8th Elixir Mime Workshop held at St. Louis School for the Deaf and Blind in Chennai, India Aug. 2012
Working in conjunction with the Deaf EnAbled Foundation, Elixir Mime held its 8th mime workshop this August in Chennai. Mr. Sandeep Kumar, CEO and founder of Deaf EnAbled had this to say about the Elixir Mime workshops: “Deaf people are naturally good in mime as their language is with their hands. The goal to express themselves through mime, become better communicators, and use their skills was certainly accomplished in these workshops. We would like to encourage your support in helping us to implement more workshops.”
This mime workshop with less privileged children, was held at the Sanya Ashram BMS school in Mumbai. This workshop was run in conjunction with the CHIP program, which is a service to upgrade the education standard of public schools Presently, they are helping to improve 5 schools