More About Semblance Theatre
The history, context and aims of our courses.
Sharing your life with a child that has experienced trauma can be incredibly challenging. You somehow have to almost forget every rule you know about communication and come to realize sometimes very abruptly, that words just aren’t enough.
For our children, there is often something much more primitive and instinctive that they have come to rely on and which often evolves into behaviours and patterns of relating which can feel so strange to the uninitiated.
It can take time and a lot of hard work to challenge our own conceptions and to begin to learn the language of trauma which is so very alien to most of us. Along this journey we can find ourselves in unknown territory, confused and bewildered by our own interactions and how evocative these experience can be for all of us.
Reading about these experiences, or hearing others speak of these experiences is not enough. If we are to ever be in any way prepared for the reality of living with the everyday of children who have had to learn to communicate through action, then we need something more.
We aim to introduce the real, visceral experience of this trauma and its manifestation into the learning that we offer, but in a way that enables us to be removed enough from the experience to allow room for us to think about what is occurring and to also think about our own reactions, our own defenses and how through no fault of our own, we can often struggle to understand what is occurring for us.
We offer the opportunity to understand that these experiences can be worked with and it is in working with these most difficult experiences and being present to the painful nature of these experiences that we are able to offer our children the first glimpses of real containment and transformation that are so important in facilitating any sense of belonging for all involved.
Our approach utilizes theatre and experiential learning as a tool to demonstrate to our trainees the existence of a position from which our interactions can be viewed more therapeutically and therefore considered, thought about and contained. This is the position from which we believe we can effectively meet the needs of our children in these more challenging situations.
As an organization, we combine extensive experience in childhood trauma, psychodynamic thinking and therapeutic approaches, with professional levels of applied theatre and considerable experience in the performance arts. Alongside this we benefit from professional clinical supervision and guidance and accreditation from a recognized professional body.
Who we are
Jason Mitchell is a Senior Associate Member of APPCIOS and is registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council as a training Psychodynamic Organisational Therapist. Jason has qualifications in counselling and child psychology. He is an adoptive parent with a keen interest in exploring the experiences for vulnerable children and their families. Jason has worked in support of adoptive families for many years and has written and published articles around the experiences of adoptive families. Jason also works with vulnerable children and young people to provide music and drama workshops.
Jason has a history in performance art and more specifically in music production. His role within Semblance Theatre is as the developmental lead, he is responsible for the overall delivery of courses and is the main point of contact for bookings and queries.
Lou Cox is a Drama teaching specialist, director and a UK LAMDA Drama Examiner. With extensive qualifications and experience in teaching and performing arts, Lou is responsible for all of the theatrical and dramatic elements of Semblance Theatre to include; casting, character development and overall scene and situational development and delivery.
Lou is passionate about the use of drama as a developmental tool for personal learning and as a communicative medium. Her extensive directorial and teaching experience is an integral part of our course delivery.