In February 2016 I was lucky enough to go to Northern Ecuador with my partner Simon Edwards, with whom 18 years ago, we co-founded The Actors Space, an international centre of research, training and creation for the Dramatic Arts, near Barcelona.
In the Andean city of Ibarra, province of Imbabura, we worked with ‘Calle Paz y Respeto’ a collective of gang members who after experiencing real tragedy decided to turn things around – see the trailer of the documentary ‘Peace is Inevitable’ about their change, produced last year in Ecuador and co-directed by Simon Edwards.
Radio Publica Ecuador’s director Giovanna Tassi, was so impressed with their change that she gave them a Nationwide Radio Program to tell their stories and to promote Peace.
Simon and I, in association with The Prem Rawat Foundation, were working with these young people for two months, directing and helping produce their weekly Radio Show ‘Reacciona’, dramatising stories and coaching the performers as we created together radio Theatre Plays aimed at vulnerable young people. These plays are universal stories with a message of Peace filled with drama and comedy.
The experience has been challenging and wonderful at the same time… and so fulfilling that we are still writing scripts and giving feedback on their show from our centre near Barcelona.
The adventures don’t stop! We have an action packed month, filming at the British Film Institute in London and at the end of the month we are going to the Canary Islands to shoot yet another short film.
And of course we are looking forward to this summer’s International Theatre and Film Workshops here at The Actors Space. This is going to be the 18th year of these special workshops, with people coming from all over the world to train and push the boundaries of dramatic and comic creation. There are still some places available.