“Jeux Dramatiques”?

BCN cover image

This originally appeared in BCN issue 120

I’ve been to a lot of BiCons and a lot of BiCon workshop sessions so at the start of this year’s I chose a session I hadn’t seen before and didn’t know much about: Jeux Dramatiques.
A big circle of us sat while the facilitator explained: we were read Maurice Sendak’s illustrated children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are.”
We were offered the chance to choose characters – one or several. Characters from the book or whatever we were inspired to take up, if any. Some chose people or creatures from the book. Some chose physical things: I was the ocean, another was walls transmuting to trees. Some chose more abstract or metaphorical characters: Mystery, Reality as currently manifest for the main character: Max. Some chose to watch and step out. We each spoke about our character choice and how we did or didn’t want to interact with others.
There were many wonderful clothes and props and we dressed up and decorated a bedroom, an ocean, a boat, an island and our characters.
A gong was sounded. We were read the book again, slowly, and played out our characters as we wished. Noises were fine but we did not speak in words.
At the end gong we sat again and shared in just a few words if we wanted how the story had been for us and put away our dress-up clothes ready for the rest of the event.
I expect good conversations at BiCon. Right at the beginning though, I find a lot of hellos and small talk and deciding on what to do first. This session took me straight into physicality and feeling when I didn’t have big words. I was the ocean, present throughout the scene, affecting the characters and but for a few splashes unaffected by them apart from the moon. This gave me space which I found I was using to feel around the subject of community: how I can feel both connected and distant from others. I was also a place to just float around and move with others and notice my body.
I’m glad I went: it set up the rest of BiCon well for me in ways that words perhaps would not have done. Sometimes my feelings about bisexuality are also perhaps best explored without words for a bit.
Grant Denkinson