493 Acting Workshop with Tahan Tahanan
Written by Secretary, Glenn Costales
It’s been almost a year since we walked the halls of Tahan-Tahanan inside East Avenue Medical Center. This halfway home provides temporary shelter to children with non-communicable illnesses. They travel with their families from the provinces to seek treatment in Metro Manila hospitals.
14 kids came together with their parents/ guardians for the morning that was set to be a really ‘moving’ one. About the same number of volunteers also arrived consisting of some parents, students and a few friends.
After a brief orientation, the volunteers and kids finally got together into 4 teams. They formed a circle to have a more comfortable conversation as they got to know one another. They asked about their favorite songs and their favorite actors (which had something to do with the event ahead). A representative from each group was randomly selected so he/ she could introduce their group members as well as the actors/ songs they mentioned. One of them even serenaded the entire audience with a song from her favorite singer and it sure got everyone applauding.
With the introductions over, it was onto the day’s very stimulating activity – the Acting Workshop! Ate Mica took over the reins for this one. Ate Mica performs professionally in musicals and other theatrical productions. Being a teacher from UP Diliman, she also brought along her students to help her facilitate the dramatic exercise.
The groups were first taught hand gestures to a children’s song about Jesus which had a simple yet loving message. Everyone had a cheerful time acting out the song which was a great way to break them into things.
The next activity needed the groups to channel a bit more of their emotions. A variety of circumstances were given out to which the participants had to act out how they would feel. The scenarios included feeling cold and hungry, smelling something awful, and even being in dire need of a comfort room. This part was really fun as some of the kids (and yes, their parents and volunteers as well) had a blast drawing from their imagination to produce convincing facial expressions.
The third part of the workshop involved a lot more creative thought. As the groups were in their own circles, they passed around an invisible ball that Ate Mica described as a number of things. In one round, it was a cold ball. In another, it was stinky. In yet another one it was really tiny. The activity was designed to really tap into the kids’ creative characterization and have a lot of fun while doing it.
The last activity was a traditional favorite – the Samson and Delilah game. In the game, the groups were organized into only 2 teams. They then turned their backs on each other and (on the count of 3) posed as a Samson, a Delilah or a Lion. Samson trumps the Lion. Delilah though beats Samson, and the Lion devoured Delilah. After several Samsons, Delilahs and Lions, a team finally emerged the winner.
Before proceeding to lunch, the entire group first put on their new found expressions as they posed for a final picture. Everyone then proceeded to the dining hall to share a meal while also having some more time to chat.
As the event came to a close, the volunteers and kids shared a very intimate time together as they offered a prayer for comfort and healing to everyone in Tahan-Tahanan.
As one volunteer pointed out, the activities that day no doubt provided a lot of enjoyment. But after all the laughter, the time of prayer to our Almighty God was the best part. Our thanks to Tahan-Tahanan, to Ate Mica and her students, and to all the volunteers for sharing an inspiring Saturday with us.