Menno Voois, Theatre in Education Zwolle
While working from home we are writing history. This is the moment to create a time capsule and document what we are currently experiencing. Follow Menno´s project for the International Theatre of Amsterdam. This is his graduation performance in times of corona. Youths film themselves according to assignments and inspiration that Menno offers during online workshops. There are by now already seven episodes to be seen of the #CoronavirusTimeCapsule. Watch the episodes here.
Interview with Menno
How did you get to this place? “I bumped into this project during my intern-ship at The National Theatre (HNT) in The Hague. The education department of the HNT alongside the education department of the International Theatre of Amsterdam (ITA) was speculating on making a time capsule in this period of quarantine. When I indicated that the same quarantine had lead to my re-designing of my own graduation project, HNT and ITA offered me to take the lead in this project and to build the time capsule as graduation performance.
How did the idea for this project come into being?
´´The concept of ´The Corona virus Time Capsule´ came into being with Ned Glasier´s Company Three in London- His theatre company was in the middle of the building stage of their next performance. During this performance they would make a live time capsule with the audience. The corona virus was the reason that the performance never premièred. In order to not let the project go to waste, he adapted the concept for the ´online theatre world´, in which we are currently residing. We are participating with this project because ´making´ is central to the vision of the HNT, especially in this time.´´
How does it work?
“Every week the Company three places a new theme on their website which constitutes the core of a video of that week. On the basis of that theme I start devising assignments and questions with which the youths can investigate that theme. Consequently, they film the results of their research and send this to me. I edit this material weekly, which is how a short video comes into being.”
What do you learn from this project?
“This project demands a lot from its participants. To invent assignments for creation is not new, but converting everything into the film medium can be quite a challenge. Hosting Zoom-meetings is new, and then we have not even begun the editing process of the videos. Luckily I am not the only one. Often the youths have never expressed their creativity via film either. Those who have done can help as mentors. The diversity and creativity that emanates from the material that I receive is truly special, as are the conversations we have during the meetings. We are talking about what it is like to be at home, what it means to be bored, as we increasingly begin to resemble cacti, putting on our shoes just so as to give ourselves the feeling that ‘the normal life’ goes on, what it is like to move houses and what it means to design a time capsule together.”