CircleTales's unique alchemy inspires stories that are as unique as the participants and the setting in which it is played. In this instance, a group of women from diverse cultural backgrounds used the game to generate a beautiful collective story which was then dramatised into a video. The story was built spontaneously with participants who had just met for the first time. Only minor edits were made, exemplifying how creative play can access our collective unconscious to generate powerful narratives.
UNESCO CREATIVE CITIES
A collaboration between CircleTales and Yalla Arts with Giorgia Ferrari, Maisaa Sweid, Valentina Todino, Marie Trinchant.
Running time 21 minutes
Part 1 dramatisation 13 minutes
Part 2 behind the scenes 8 minutes
Exeter joins 65 cities across the world who have become part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. The compact commissions selected CircleTales and Yalla Arts, a community theatre company, as one of the10 finalists that represented a Devon-based project connecting literature and the creative industries while reflecting the city's cultural diversity.
For our first-ever collaboration together, we invited four women who live in Exeter, who are originally from other countries (Italy, France, and Syria), to play CircleTales with the idea of turning the final story into a dramatic performance.
There were a lot of unknowns when we started: What would the story be like? What ideas would be generated through the drama exercises? How would we convey the richness of language and cultural background of each of the participants? What form would our final performance take?
The story created by the four participants playing CircleTales together was truly epic: a real heroine's journey, which spurred lots of conversation about the imagery, archetypes, and the unfolding of a shared imaginative landscape. In the drama session, we explored proverbs in our own languages, devised an improvised skit carrying forward the themes of fire, being in circle, nature, connection between women, and even created an original song thanks to the expertise of Valentina Todino, one of the participants, which became the theme music for the final piece.
What surprised us all was how naturally the story emerged, fully formed, and how the proverbs, song, and spirit of collaboration, inspired genuine feelings of creative energy and connection between us.