How can acting help overcome homelessness

Who We Are

A poem by Milk Crate Theatre Participant, Pauline Trenerry

We are hoarders, hiders, helpers,

keepers of knowledge.

Experts in cheap meals, low fares/no fares,

St Vinnies, Missionbeat, the Salvos.

Multitudes who parties ignore

Chained to Centrelink, psychiatrists, social services

held in boxes labelled

Bludgers, Disabled, The Unemployed

Moved on, pissed on, pushed out, derided.

Don’t judge, criticise, moralise,

think you can’t lose your job, house, family

all your belongings in the car

knocking on charity’s door. 

We are writers, performers, artists.

Special, unique and ordinary. 

Next term, Bonnie’s will be partnering with Milk Crate Theatre to offer an eight-week program for our clients. But what is Milk Crate theatre? And how can acting help overcome homelessness?

Milk Crate Theatre is a performing arts organisation that works with people, who have lived experience of homelessness, to create theatre that tells their stories. It facilitates a process through which people’s stories are transformed, seen, heard – becoming real through the eyes of others.

People who participate not only get the chance to tell their stories to a wide audience, but they also become teachers – creating experiences whereby others can learn about the reality of homelessness, and all its compounding effects, outcomes, and challenges.

With Bonnie’s, Milk Crate will create a space where women can tell their stories, act them out, react to them, and experience the reaction of others; to find playfulness in trauma, without denying its seriousness.

Dramatherapy is, according to the UK Health Professions Council, “a unique form of psychotherapy in which creativity, play, movement, voice, storytelling, dramatisation, and the performance arts have a central position within the therapeutic relationship”.  It is a growing profession which allows people the space to do therapeutic work through dramatic play and performance, and it has been used increasingly in the treatment of trauma, although its history dates back to ancient Greece.

I have experienced the benefits of dramatherapy firsthand. I was fortunate to work with an incredible dramatherapist who introduced me to the power of this technique to release the stories locked inside people, allowing them to see their experience from a different perspective. In our group sessions with children, we would make masks and puppets; laugh and cry; become machines, robots, animals, and each other.

I am so excited that our clients at Bonnie’s will have the opportunity to experience this transformative work. If you are a Bonnie’s client who is interested in participating in this workshop, commencing mid-October, please talk to your family worker for more information.

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” (original author unknown, though often attributed to Plato)

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Written by Asha

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