Using characters as a theatrical device can serve a variety of functions. As well as simply being the inspiration for a workshop theme i.e. Marco Polo, inspiring a workshop situated in Venice, characters can inform the way workshops are structured and bring focus to certain activities, without being prescriptive or using a lot of language, rather modelling and encouraging engagement.    A character can lead clients through a narrative, bringing focus to a specific activity and supporting engagement and interaction   

A character can appear from nowhere - as a surprise, be drawn from a box/chest, be summoned with magic, music or vocal sounds   

    They can be costumed and/or masked, hiding the identity of the 'actor'. Without speech, there are great  opportunities for facial expression and body language to be used to communicate with clients and reflect their own responses     
Our characters often have tactile and/or sound properties that participants can explore  in order to understand something of the character they're getting to know and interacting with  

A character can encourage movement and dance within a safe context   

A character can enable people to overcome fears and phobias, to succeed, to be brave   

The use of characters can provide opportunities for fun and games, for mischievousness and laughter    
They can enable clients to participate in role-play, either responding to a character, or taking on that role themselves   

    The character can take the form of a puppet,which many clients find easier to deal with than a human.    

Clients will suspend their disbelief along with their anxieties, motivating interactions that are otherwise too difficult for them in the real world. You can then build on this success until it generalises to life outside the workshop   

Characters pdf