Creativity, Collaboration and Cultural-Heritage: Prem embarks on an ambitious partnership project

Grade ten students are embarking on an ambitious theatre-focused, service learning project with students from the community theatre course at Chiang Mai University. The project began earlier this month when our Director of Theatre, Ian Johnston, and I conducted introductory workshops at the university. This served as a starting point for wider work that will explore devising, physical theatre, community storytelling and cross-cultural collaboration.

The ultimate aim of the project is to use theatre and storytelling to explore the cultural heritage of a Karen hill tribe in the village of OmGoi. Our students will work with other theatre students over a three-day period to understand the process, history and significance of the production and collection of a unique tree-resin that is used to make ceremonial lacquerware within and for the tribe. Through collaboration, exploration, interview and carefully considered creative processes, they will turn their findings into theatrical expressions of the tribe’s history and connection to this material, as well as the symbolism and value that they place on it.

Projects like this are a great example of how Prem is dedicated to cultivating creative thinking, leadership, ensemble and team-work skills, skills that are ranked among the most important by top universities and international employers for a myriad of courses and jobs inside and outside of the arts and cultural sectors.

We look forward to reporting back on the next stages of this project and the experience of working within the village later next week.

Ajarn Alex Soulsby

Creative Director

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