The village of Branesti is host to a number of secondary educational schools for the Illfov County, among them a school for foresters. Thats why you will also find the teacher training centre called Casa Corpului Didactic (CCD) here. The institution is a resource centre that provides additional courses and support for staff from the whole county.

As a partner in the project of documenting and developing the Ziua Cucilor ( Cucu’s day ), I wanted to focus on the roots of these traditions and how the public procession could relate to people now. In 2015 I held a number of workshops with teachers and students at the CCD. Drama is a powerful way to engage students in topics that otherwise seem dead and of little relevans to them such as history. But most of all drama teaches us to be more expressive and emphatic in our interactions with other people.

Members of the faculty at CCD who attended the workshops.

The activities in Branesti consisted of a five day workshop with teachers and another five days with the students. For the teachers it involved academic articles explaining the epistemological viewpoint of modern drama practices. Here I provided works by Norwegian drama researchers Aure, Bjerkestrand and Songe Møller. I also provided articles by the influential physician Adam Blatner M.D., whose writings on the mental health benefits of drama work has been of great inspiration to me. Through the workshop we explored ways to build empathy and inclusion using games and exercises from drama training. I want to thank the faculty of the CCD for their interest and hospitality during my visits.

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