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!

Mäster Olofsgården, Stockholm, Sweden 

It was a fantastic experience to make dolls  at Mäster Olofsgården community centre in Stockholm old city. It is a pleasant calm space with lots of activities that welcomes everyone with an opened heart. 

The makers were Elizabeth and Carola. We shared our lives experiences and lots of laughs. Elizabeth was born in the old city and invited me to a tour throughout the areas and stories of her childhood. Could I find a better guide?

Another day we made dolls with Adin who received me in her flat, we made two dolls. We also shared our experiences and were amazed by the similarities of them. 

We made 14 dolls in total.

‘Now I have made a doll that will be one in 8 billion. Hope it goes to someone who will be happy. ’ 

‘These are dolls for the world’s children to look after each other.’

‘This project is super cool.’ 

‘Cozy, peaceful session with good talks about love, life and dreams.’ 

I felt so blessed to know MO and their people and to meet Adin. I can’t wait to return.

Thank you very much for these lovely days together. Hope to see you all soon. 

Happy new website!

We lost our website in the middle of pandemic. 

The previous website had an unique layout created by Oliver, we couldn’t recover it. 

Luckily we haven’t lost most of the content, over ten years of posts, some photos are missing though. 

A huge thank you for Miranda and Ali who helped created this new website which was published on Easter 2023. 

Monte Estoril, Portugal

Here we are in beautiful Monte Estoril.

Grazi, Pedro, Nina e Mabel came to the session.

Grazi donated her dreams. They were sunbathing for two days before we worked with them. 

We made five dolls, we chat and meditate.

‘It’s not me who thinks my doll is pretty, he told me.’

You put dreams in the sun, I put everything in the moon.’

Perfect in my own way.’

Our hearts are always together.’

It was a real joy to make dolls with you all, thank you so much!

This is our first workshop after pandemic.

I am over the moon!

Improvisation

‘Improvisation happens when we do whatever we want to do to take care of ourselves, to take care of others, and to take care of the planet. And improvisation is free, it is for everyone and it is anywhere, it is love basically.’

I attended GII Global Improvisation Initiative event online in June 2021.

I was very inspired by everybody. I slept. I woke up with these lines in my head.