March 7, 2018 | Simon Jenkins
“It’s a really playful space,” says Stephanie Steels, recalling her first experience of the Creative Labs. Social work lecturer Stephanie was paired with local theatre group Tutti Frutti and they began by looking at each other’s work – how the company develops story ideas for its productions and how Stephanie delivers lectures on the issues faced by social workers. After three days of creative interaction, two remarkable outcomes were catalysed:
• A theatre production about depression. “We looked at how children might relate to sadness, and how we might tease this out in the context of a drama,” says Stephanie. The arts company is now developing these ideas into a play to perform in schools.
• A creative approach to social work. Just as Tutti Frutti sparks its storytelling process with craft materials, so Stephanie’s students are now using them to engage with adults in social care – particularly those with conditions related to dementia – to piece together their own life stories.