Category Workshops

Regents Place, London UK

Last Thursday we met at Regents Place at the D&D event ‘Let’s Find Ways To Elevate Lbtq+ Voices, So They Carry The Same Weight In Theatre As The Gay Cis-Male Voice’. It was an invitation from Amie Taylor, Editor-in-Chief at The LGBTQ Arts Review.

I called my session, Cesia, Grace, Sarah, Marie, Anabel and Ellie came to make a doll, we made 6 in total. It is incredible how much I love to run these workshops, seriously, I feel can do it forever.

Amongst our conversation we shared a delicate moment talking about family members that we love so much, how difficult it is to step back and let them go away, how much we miss them and the moments we shared in the past and how much we hope they will come back one day. It was wonderful to open up our hearts and share how painful this process can be no matter how much we understand about it. We also shared feeling male and female at the same time, how much it gives the person a special broader understanding about gender but how much the person still feels ashamed about it.

Some comments:

Everyone’s heart is different.

I’ve taken a soul and filled it with dreams on a lovely evening with very wise and astute company. 

I feel like I’m part of something very beautiful, rare and very human, and I am honoured. 

Thank you for seeing beauty where other people see trash. Thank you for seeing potential where other people see nothing. Thank you for taking my hopes, nightmares, feverdreams, flights of imagination, naps and nights awake and giving them a new life, spinning our dreams into the kind of art that will live on in the hearts and minds of everyone who comes into contact with it. And thank you most of all for letting me be included! It makes me so happy.

I feel peaceful – thank you for this evening.

Lovely meeting you Regina. Occasionally you meet someone who gives you the opportunity to look at life in a different way. Those moments are very rare, but this moment for me was one of them.

Thank you so much Sarah and Anabel for holding the space for us – first time Anabel lead the big circle introduction and it was brilliant, thank you!





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Triton Square, London UK

We went yesterday to the D&D event ‘What can we all do about underrepresentation of working class actors in the arts?’ at Triton Square, London.

There were a only one group where all the conversations happened practically the whole evening.

We talked a lot about how working class actors feel discriminated against in castings – is it ‘casting’ a good word? How their education limit their exposure to the arts, how they struggle financially to support themselves in drama training and so on. Many ideas came out to help resolving all the issues.

Ben observed the power of the collective represented by the one only group.

I made 4 dolls which are now filled by the collective enthusiasm and courage to change what needs changing.

Thanks Ben and Anabel for holding the space for all of us.



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New Diorama Theatre, London UK

Yesterday we went to the D&D event ‘How do we engage artists & Autism Spectrum Disorder in the room?’  in a gorgeous space of New Diorama Theatre, London.

When Lee introduced the event he talked about the giraffe. For some reason nobody talks about it for ages, there isn’t even a picture of it! Lee likes the giraffe, so do I. I am happy he reminds us about this beautiful animal and behaviour.

Jenny and Hannah came to my session, we made 4 dolls. We shared an unexpected emotional moment about Shakespeare, luckily we were prepared to be surprised!

This is the very first D&D event my daughter Gabi attended. She is doing an internship at the National Autism Society. She said the event was very insightful for her. So happy to have her at the event I love so much.

We ended up everybody in one only conversation group. Lee said that in 13 years it was the first time it happened.

I felt everybody were genuinely grateful with lots of hope in our closing circle.

Thank you Hannah and Jenny for our special moment together and thank you D&D for making essential conversations happen again.




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National Theatre Studios, London UK

We met last Friday in another great D&D event ‘Old Actors – How Can We Play Our Part?’ at the National Theatre Studios in London.

I called a session ‘Dreams and Hearts – is there age for them?’

Pernille, Paddy, Nikikay, Aladin, Simon and someone I don’t know the name came to the session. Most of us put dreams and hearts into the dolls and we meditated with them. We made 8 dolls in total. Thank you!

Some comments

‘Dreams and hearts have to do with life experience, not age in numbers. They can change or be fulfilled as time goes by (or stay the same)’

‘Heart is the root of everything. It’s what life is about – love’

We can play our part doing what our body, which is full of dreams and has a heart, asks us to do. I am going to keep making my dolls and I’ll dance again.

Lots of courage to all of us.



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2016 Cufos Community Centre, Muswell Hill London, UK

Last year Vici, Naiara, Fiona and Nicola came to Cufos to make dolls. Nicola came to almost all the workshops, she is a loyal supporter of the project, thank you all! We made and meditated 42 dolls in total.

We met every last Friday of the month as we did in 2015. We had inspiring conversations sharing our feelings and stories. It is amazing how healing it is to be together.

The jazz band rehearsed every night in the room next door, like it always do.

I like going to Cufos, I like our routine, I am happy we are going to restart today.

See you there.







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Some more comments and pics at The Passenger Shed, Bristol UK

‘Is it a male or female?’ ‘Maybe a bit of both’. The part of the face we can see is eye-closed, peaceful. Unwilling at first. Mind elsewhere, somewhere else to – someone to – thing to – and yet don’t talk to me. Leave me alone. Stuffing dreams into cloth. Sitting in a small circle of women. A circle of no focus. There is no point. Push the stuffing right down, tight pack the cloud. It has to stand upright, firm. In me, there’s a melting. That wasn’t the intention. We didn’t know what was needed and it happened anyway. Words bubble and telescope around as the little body becomes firmer, plumper, more ready to stand. She asks me how, about my writing. My passion! She has heard pull of that thread at my heart and wants to investigate it. Tenderly she pulls that thread. ‘Passion is not always a joy’, she tells me. The guardian of the dolls! ‘It’s in the word’. I have placed my heart, it is big and in the right place. The point of the needle finds its place, pulls this stitch, and the next, and another. It was a big area needing completion- but not a problem! No! Our journey. Special scar. Thank you Regina x.’ 

‘I sat meditating. Part of me knows that I’m still at D&D in Bristol. I know I have my hand on my right wrist, feeling my heartbeat. My right thumb is placed on the heart of the doll I have helped to make. It’s in my palm. I hold it. And right now I’m held inside D&D. Within my meditation I hear talk about community, about a larger connection to the world, about a reason. I also hold a reason, a connection and a community now in my hand – you have made me part of a community with this doll, but also you’ve let me make a community. Thank you.’












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The Passenger Shed, Brunel’s Old station, Bristol UK

We spent an amazing weekend at D&D12, this year at The Passenger Shed, Brunel’s Old Station, in Bristol.

I called a session for people to help me to put dreams and hearts into my dolls. I’ve just started to make the dolls transparent, the dreams are now visible.

Yanai, Caroline, Joy, Lizzie, Nicky, Finn, Elspeth, Emma, Kerrie, Vic, Sarah, Kate, Jack, Richard, Kaiya, Ben, Amerie, Tanuja, Catherine, Kate, Emma, Roxana, Naomi came to the session.

We’ve been working on the third community of dolls. We made 20 dolls this weekend.

We’ve reached 1468 dolls in total already!!!

Jennifer joined the dolls and brought her project, I absolutely love this project, she writes down people’s personal fairy tales. We stayed together with our projects for some hours, it was a bliss. She also made the most beautiful signature book for us, I loved it!

One of the comments reminded me the old times when there wasn’t the split between work and holidays. That’s what we feel when we make dolls, there’s no separation anymore, work and pleasure are together again.

In the last big circle Ridley asked ‘how do the dolls stand up?’ I tell you Ridley, because they stand up together, they support each other. If any of them give up many will collapse, sometimes all of them, so the magic is to stand up together and do not give up to help one another.

Some comments:

‘This was just what I needed to do. To sit and make and talk and share thoughts. Thank you.’

‘I had a really fantastic experience. The way people talk and connect when they are making together is invaluable. Thank you! I wish there was more making at D&D!’

‘Interesting conversation and thoughts. The figure is the same  kind of size as Gilda was.’ 

‘Thank you for the choice to sit and talk about dolls, dreams, hearts and puppets. It has also a time to reflect on the hearts in my family – near and far, biological and artistic.’ 

‘Thanks Regina  for this chance to try something new and inspirational. I loved the fact that I’ve put dreams and a heart into a doll.’ 

‘Check Shrouds of the Somme, 19240 individually wrapped dolls to commemorate the people who died on the first day of the battle. Rob Heard based in Somerset.’ 

‘We are the giants bringing tiny nation to life. Breathing dreams into them and kick starting their existence with our pulse energy. Be happy together tiny people. Peace and love are your watchwords. They are everything.’



Thank you so much to everybody who made dolls and to everybody who made this brilliant event happen once more, at this time in this beautiful space in Bristol. Thanks to Sarah, Ben, Anabel, Nick, Lee and Phelim, and lots of other Sarahs, Robert, Jen and many others, much love to you all.

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Some more pics of Dolls and Meditation, Sao Paulo, Brazil

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Dolls and Meditation, São Paulo, Brazil

Kitty, Leky, Livia, Luana, Gabriela, Claudia, Simone, Mariana, Maria Tereza, Glaucia, Ana Maria, Lili, Marinalva, Dedé, Gil, Rica, Neca, Vera, Claudia and Pina joined the workshop ‘Dolls and Meditation’ last December in São Paulo, Brazil. We filled the dolls with dreams and hearts and meditated all together at the end of the event.

We made 32 dolls. We were adults, teenagers, children and a dog. Pina, who always barks a lot when she doesn’t know people, unexpectedly remained quietly all the afternoon despite the fact that she didn’t know most of the people who came to the workshop, well done Pina! 

Glaucia became the official seamstress of the dolls’ legs – many of us gave her our dolls to finish off sewing. I guess it was a lot of work, she ended up sleeping.

Some days before this event, Claudia, Marinalva and I cut 30 dolls, turned inside out 32 and sewed 7. The sewing machine wasn’t working properly so Marinalva took 55 dolls to sew at her house, in total she sewed 62 dolls, a beautiful coincidence – she is 62 years old!

Some comments

‘It was amazing! It’s great to join so many people with constructive energy. People don’t feel isolated and recognise that there are many of us out there and this is good for the world. Just being together is already a blessing.Thank you Re.’

‘There are so many images and sensations brought to me by this experience – courage, overcoming, compassion, unity, hope, dreams … I feel well and happy. Gratitude to all – the house, the hosts, the participants and to you and your beautiful shared dream. Thank you very much Regina, very special to meet you.’

‘Filling dolls with dreams of cotton without knowing where they are going. Children smiling, adults laughing and I …sleeping! Thank you for the opportunity to share the afternoon with nice and wonderful people like you Regina. See you in London!’

‘It was a beautiful afternoon group, people with harmonious ideas working with love. It was a privilege to be with my granddaughter learning about wisdom, love and joy, thank you!’

‘Thank you very much for today, we are going to sleep full of positive energy and faith in the human being… Pina also loved the house full of people. The good energy will remain here… thank you!’

‘It was wonderful to participate in the making of the dolls and meditation. It is an act of love. Doing this alongside loved ones and especially with my daughters, who also loved to participate, brought moments of unity and empowerment. I met the other and myself. Divine experience! Gratitude.’

Thank you everybody for your generous presence, a special thank you to Claudia and Vera who organized the event and shared their cozy space, I love you.



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Dolls and Meditation Invitation, São Paulo, Brazil.

On 11 December 2016 I run a workshop called ‘Dolls and Meditation’ in São Paulo, this is the invitation written by Claudia Vasconcellos.

‘Trump president of the United States, Britain outside the European Union, far right in ascendence in the whole world. Brazil, from any perspective that is observed, in crisis.

There are concrete ways of combating the regressive wave, with vote, with undersigned, in resistance, in commitment to plural ideas and attitudes, in short, what we have done so far. 

But there is a complementary, subtle, and absolutely necessary way, which is via meditation. In this case, meditation can be understood as a collective collaboration to harmonise disconcerting tendencies, to neutralise impulses of anger and intolerance; and thus propagate a deep human tune which evolves into states of fraternity and compassion.

In the present case, meditation is carried out together with the manufacture of dolls that will be donated in groups of 700, for asylums, nurseries, schools, hospitals etc., on the five continents.

This poetic exchange strengthens relations amongst the inhabitants of the planet. It is a gesture of solidarity, peace and hope spreader called DREAMS AND A HEART.

Regina Mendes, creator of DREAMS AND A HEART, has been conducting her workshops between England and Brazil for the last 4 years. The first community of dolls is ready and it will find their destiny in the hands of other people. 

Check out DREAMS AND A HEART details at:


We invite you to extend the power of this gesture, donating some time of your Sunday in the company of people who also dream a more fraternal world.’




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