Spotlight on Volunteer Mev

Face Front has given me the opportunity to fall back in love with the performing arts. I witnessed the outpouring enthusiasm, motivation and creativity that lies amongst our theatre community after volunteering at the Bridge Group over the past few months. My current university studies are not centred around theatre, however, I grew up with an everlasting passion for performing so I decided to integrate Face Front into my second-year research at the London School of Economics. The Bridge Group is an exemplar model of inclusive theatre, allowing any age group, no matter how their abilities are defined, to attend. I have found a true sense of community and inspiration at Face Front, guided by the influential direction of Ray and Sarah-Jane. I look forward to every Tuesday I get to spend with the Bridge Group as everyone helps me step out of my comfort zone and I always leave with my spirits lifted. The people at the Bridge Group leave no room for judgement or pressure, they instead stimulate a very welcoming and positive atmosphere.

Although I am a volunteer, I feel as though my understanding of acting has been enriched through the group activities and the artistic input from all the wonderful participants. One activity that particularly stood out to me was one that challenged us to form a story out of two pieces of rubbish. Turning items that are deemed insignificant into fascinating tales allowed the participants to test the limits of their imagination. The stories ranged from sci-fi battles to fantasy adventures, proving to be an effective method in instilling creative thinking for anyone. Another aspect that I enjoy at the Bridge Group is how Ray allows the participants to lead activities as a way to boost their confidence and give them a platform. Even I felt as though I was given a voice at Face Front, as the theatre groups I used to attend would only allow the creative directors to take charge of the sessions.

I am ever so grateful to have been given the opportunity to volunteer alongside carrying out my ethnographic research- the Bridge Group team have been so helpful and accommodating. The Bridge Group provided such an interesting insight into the potential that theatre has for those with additional needs, and that there are, indeed, ways for anyone to express themselves within the performing arts.