Right to Remain Workshop, “Applied Theatre with Herb Varley,” Gallery Gachet, September 18th, 2014

Performance Art with Herb Varley

Date: September 18th, 2014

Time: 2:00 PM

Location: Gallery Gachet, 88 E. Cordova St.


Herb Varley led an exciting theatre workshop at Gallery Gachet, engaging participants in creating tableaux vivants (“living pictures”) and vignettes. The method was based on a storytelling process where participants describe a human rights experience that has occurred in their lives, here in the Downtown Eastside.


As the experience was being told a note taker (see below) captured elements of the event to be used later in the process to create Human Rights ‘vignettes’. The experience was then recreated by “sculpting” workshop participants into a scenario that told the story. These sculptures were also photographed.


Using these elements – flipchart notes, photos and human sculptures – the next phase was to collectively sketching out a short story or vignette that reflected multiple experiences of Human Rights in the DTES. The whole group used the notes captured from the story to create the vignette, and the human sculptures/“human clay” was a great physical jumping off point, or inspiration.


This workshop stood out in that the medium was performance rather than visual, and while participants (and the RRCF team) were enthusiastic, we are still working through ideas to support extensions of this process in the future.

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