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4 April 2012

Arts Lecturer stars in probing play

Performing Arts lecturer at Cardiff and Vale College Andrea Snell has recently been starring in a critically acclaimed play which explores the issue of conflict in relationships. The production is the work of Jennifer Hartley, the founding director of Theatre Versus Oppression (TVO) which seeks to help people overcome oppression by examining the issues involved through the use of creative work, drama and therapy based approaches.

In ‘Til Death Do Us Part Andrea plays the role of Kerry, a young woman with an aggressive husband who speaks directly to the audience of her wretched life. The words she uses are taken from the many women whom Hartley has encountered in her workshops as part of the TVO Domestic Violence Project. The part of her husband Paul is played by Simon Morgan Thomas.

The play has been touring South Wales as both a stand-alone production and as part of an interactive workshop with discussion. It has also been performed in the USA and is currently being prepared for a tour in South America in Spanish. The production company TVO uses a number of theatre methods, particularly those of acclaimed Brazilian Dramatist Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed and his theories of drama therapy as inspiration for their socially progressive productions.

Andrea has been involved with TVO for three years now and in 2012 was invited to sit on the board but this is the first play she has performed in with the company.

Andrea said: “Having worked with Jennifer on the play, as well as participating in numerous training courses over the last few years, I have not only learnt many new methods to explore text and character, but also learnt a lot about myself.

“I wanted to be involved in this project as I find the working methods fascinating and more effective than any other method. It’s also exciting to be working again as an actor and to be able to share these experiences and learning with my own students.

“The rehearsals have been challenging and invigorating and I am looking forward to continuing the work. It has been a rewarding experience and also benefits the performing arts students at the College as we use many of the methods in workshops and rehearsals.

 “People have been touched by the performances to the point of making important decisions and changes in their own lives.”

For more information about TVO visit www.theatreversusoppression.com or email: theatreversusoppression@gmail.com

Photo: Andrea and Simon perform as Kerry and Paul in Theatre Versus Oppression production ‘Til Death Do Us Part. Photo by James Jones.