Sunday Fix, Baron’s Court Theatre, London UK 

Last Sunday we met at Baron’s Court Theatre for the last scratch night of the year. 

Sam and Sharon made dolls, we made 6 dolls all together. 

I really appreciated the opportunity to watch the artists and make dolls at the same time.

Thank you so much Sharon for generously welcoming the project.

Barons Court Theatre, London UK 

Yesterday we made dolls at the Sunday Fix at Barons Court Theatre. 

Colette, Leo, Lola Rose, Rory and Anna were the makers. We made 11 dolls in total.

‘I really enjoyed this doll making experience, I found it very cathartic and relaxing to focus on one simple creative task. It was wonderful to meet Regina and be involved in this beautiful project and connecting with others.’

‘A beautiful way to think about our hearts and dreams and the 8 billion other hearts and dreams all around us. ( I particularly love the heartbeat meditation at the end).’

‘I found it very soothing – there’s something comforting about the repetitive nature of creating the doll, and the result is lovely. I especially enjoyed zeroing in on my pulse. I can’t wait to see the final result.’

For the first time we made dolls while watching the scenes performed on stage, it was perfect. 

Thank you so much Leo and Sharon for inviting the project for the Sunday Fix and a big thank you for all makers who made and meditated their dolls. Thank you! 

Lyric Hammersmith, London UK

Yesterday we met at Lyric Hammersmith in another D&D event to work on ‘Aspiring and current executive directors in the arts, what do we need?’  

Varnish and Paul came to make dolls. Varnish started to add dreams into her doll and will finish up when we meet next. Paul made one doll from the beginning to the end completing the process with the meditation. Dawn popped over and suggested to offer the project as an engagement project for staff development, can be done in lunch break in canteen, open space workshop, dolls can be exhibited at workplace, staff/organization can agree a theme of peace. We made 5 dolls in total.

‘I put my heart into the doll and kept it safe there.’ 

Thank you so much for Natalie who organized the event and inspired so many people to turn up. There were many people but not much time to work on all the sessions we wanted. Hopefully another event will happen soon. 

Thank you for Varshini who facilitated the event delivering a brilliant introduction – her warmth put us at easy and her brilliancy helped us shine in our own way. 

Thank you for Dawn who brought good ideias for the project and a special thank you for Paul who has been generously making quite a few dolls over the years.

Thank you everybody!

Quarterhouse Mill Bay, Folkestone Kent UK

Yesterday we spent the day working on ‘Who needs theatre’, another special D&D event in Quarterhouse Mill Bay in Folkestone Kent.

There was a relaxed atmosphere, we were happy to gather together. 

Zoe, Tamsin, Araxi, Gwen, Brian, Billie, Danae, Abbie, Victoria, Jessie and Cheryl came to make dolls. We made 11 in total. We worked throughout the day, some makers continued making their dolls while attending other sessions. 

‘Making my doll gave me an opportunity to think about my dreams and where they live in my body. And to appreciate my heart during the meditation – to give thanks. I am very grateful for this experience Regina. Thank you.’

‘It gave me a place to rest and reflect. Allowed me time to examine my hopes and dreams and it was wonderful to make time and space for that. Thank you.’ 

‘It was such a nice and safe space to just sit and stuff a doll. I started during one of the first sessions and ended in the last. It was a great way to process some of the things discussed as well as contribute to a bigger project built on dreams.’ 

‘I found making the doll so unexpected and  soothing and I carried on making it through the day in different sessions, which was calming. Lovely to create something this day.’ 

‘A little white doll. I made a doll in grey room. Its heart stuffed in a bag of wool. I made a doll of string and bone. A doll that called me home home. I made a doll and so did you. 8 billion dolls – so much to do!’

‘The doll made me think about my heart, le coeur, my emotional state. It’s under pressure but it is strong.’ 

‘My wound is healed.’ 

‘I came to talk about theatre and ended up making a doll with Regina. My doll transitioned from male to female. He was he and then he got quite an ample bosom so before I gave him a heart he became a she. He has a red stitch where his penis was magically removed. She is called she not they. She has a heart that is full of gratitude. She loves to know her man inside. He is still there inside. She is two. They smile together the he and she. Her name is Nina. She will make lots of friends now that she has become. She will have good health. She already has a history. Nina needed surgery because her brains were popping out of her neck. She didn’t mind, it didn’t hurt, but it’s better for her ideas to come out of her mouth, not from her neck. I gave her a good sewing up. And sewed up her inside leg. She is a very happy doll. Regina says she is the first doll (out of many thousands) to transition. She does not reject her ‘he’ he is in her sense of humour he adores her. All parts of her, all her dreams (she is full of dreams) are welcome in the world. Like Regina who is the master doll maker has warmth that seeps into all her dolls. She is their blood. She gives them life.’ 

I am really grateful for everyone who contributed making dolls and for our lovely companionship, for Lee’s wise and cheerful introduction and for everybody involved in the organisation of this essential amazing event. Thank you! 

Gmeistube Community Centre, Marzell, Schwarzwald, Germany 

We met this September at Gmeistube, a community centre located in the middle of magical Black Forest in the village of Marzell. 

We had two sessions. Erika, Edith, Helga, Rosmarie, Evaristo, Ulrike, Thomas, David, Katrin, Charlotte, Jan and Marit joined us to make dolls. 

Rosmarie and Erika donated pieces of fabric and Erika also brought dreams with which we worked in our second session. 

They spoke in German during the sessions, I didn’t understand a thing, but I can assure we were having a good time making dolls and meditating together. A couple brought their children who helped to make dolls, one of them slept while making them, it was such a relaxing atmosphere. 

25 dolls were born in the Black Forest, 19 of them we made together in our sessions at Gmeistube. 

‘It’s a very original ideia. I hope the dolls will be a source of sweet dreams.’ 

‘The process of sewing, then filling the doll with pure life and love, there’s   a magic in it. I can’t explain.’ 

‘You don’t only feel the heart in your wrist but also in the finger that touches the doll’s heart as if the doll is receiving a heartbeat through you. It really comes to life.’ 

‘It is every time a pleasure to make a doll. Not the first doll I made and it won’t be the last. I like the project very much and I hope it will become a success.’ 

‘Inner peace.’ 

‘It’s amazing how calm and concentrated one gets to create your own doll. It’s a wonderful project.’ 

‘Creating such a pure being without reading glasses, I even threaded the needle… Wishing the figure a good future.’ 

‘ A wonderful thought that connects. There’s something reassuring about stuffing the doll.’ 

‘Totally new experience. It’s nice that despite the English language we could understand pretty much everything. Beautiful we could be part of this dream and contributed to the community and perhaps for peace.’ 

‘The sewing of the doll followed by meditation, filling the doll with dreams.  A magic moment when our dolls stand and support each other.’ 

I am extremely grateful to Marit and Evaristo who invited the project to come to Gmeistube. I am also very grateful to all the team at Gmeistube who received me with open arms, Rosmarie and Erika who contributed with donations, Evaristo who translated my speech and all generous people who joined our sessions. Thank you all so much for this beautiful experience. Thank You! 

Bhavan Centre, London UK

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at Bhavan Centre to work on ‘what can we be doing to support and amplify non-binary theatre artists?’ 

Sharon, Leo and Sojourner made dolls, we made 9 dolls together. I finished off Heather, Wendy, Adae and Elizabeth’s dolls from previous workshops.

We had lovely conversations about our lives. 

We also talked about the Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen. Leo always remembers this fairy tale when he sews something. 

‘Creating a doll is very fulfilling. As a theatre maker, we are used to the work having no material trace. But this doll… you can touch it!’

‘Here is the corner of making.’  

‘It was a very peaceful meditative experience that formed my background conversation on non- binary experience, as someone who enjoys creating it was fun to help create a doll as part of the project.’ 

‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ Laozi Tao Te Ching. Regina is making eight billion dolls, she has made almost three thousand, three thousand steps.’ 

I was missing so much to attend a D&D event, this was my first after pandemic. It was brilliant! Making dolls together with people is the best experience ever.

Thank you Sharon for making the invitation, Ess for holding the space and for all the makers who contributed for ‘nine more steps’. Thank You!