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Psychodrama, Sociodrama and Art Courses by Ken Sprague

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it all about?

I just celebrated my 75th birthday. It was a good day, a relief from a darkening world. It's a darkness that I am not going into quietly. Here are the courses that I want to run in the coming years, and why!

It came together for me in a car from Stansted to the M4 - a distance of 55 miles. It took two and a half hours of petrol choking misery, thousands of cars nose to tail. The cost in time and money must have been huge, the environmental damage monstrous, and the human stress devastating. Many drivers do such journeys twice a day, five days a week, Meanwhile, our railways are the worst in Europe. It feels crazy, and changing it feels right.

We are told that on Sept 11th 2001, the world changed. The world didn't, change, but the USA did. Americans felt on their own soil the tragedy and horror their military has been exporting world-wide all of my life.

Our Ministry of Defence has asked for an extra five hundred million pounds annually for the next four years, to cover the cost of the Afghan war. Yet we're told that more veterans of the Falklands War have committed suicide than were killed during the battles. Surely that suggests it's time to put the guns down.

However, the good news is that the people of Ireland are still moving towards peace, against all the odds. In South Africa, after apartheid, a commission of reconciliation took that country towards peace. And we should not forget that the people of America forced their president to "bring the boys home", helping to stop the Viet-nam war.

Increasingly, in my community work at home and abroad, I find women looking at their male partners of many years, and asking, "Is this all there is?" Now, more than ever, women need to achieve their creative potential. They need change, their men don't. In fact men have a real problem. They are conditioned by hundreds of years of learned behaviour, one bit of which is positively dangerous - i.e. the aggressive macho man so beloved of Hollywood film-makers and arms manufacturers. Society isn't helping, for society itself is rooted in a global profits system that opposes change. Positions of power in finance, industry politics arms manufacture and military might are in the hands of older men, also trapped by out-dated behaviour.

Brenda Ueland says that we must all use our creative abilities "because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money."

Those are characteristics and attitudes needed if social justice is to be achieved. We need to move the letter "C" in "reaction" to make the greater word "creation". My courses are about changing our reactions to current problems, (whether motorways, war or human relationships), in a creative way.

Ken Sprague, Lynton


action methods?

Dr J. R. Moreno, founder of psychodrama, said it was "psychotherapy of the people, by the people and for the people.... in which the sciences and the arts mingle." In psychodrama the group and the stage replace the doctor and the couch. Action is added to words, and people are asked to relate non-judgementally to one another, stepping into the other's shoes to experience their difficulties first-hand. In this way, communication between people is dramatically enhanced. Psychodramatists call it "encounter", and learn that no one can teach us more about our neighbours than we can experience for ourselves. Many English people believe therapy to only be for sick people. Psychodrama is a wonderful clinical tool, but to see it only as clinical misses the point. It is also a philosophy and a teaching method, and an alternative to confrontationalism. It is an agency for universal peace.

Art is certainly one of the first action methods. Art isn't about talking, it's about doing. We are all spontaneous and artistic. They are the gifts of birth. Watch any group of four-year-olds. They don't say "I can't draw." "I can't paint or dance or act", they just do it. But society intervenes, demanding work, conformity and profit, and suggests we leave art to artists. But art is too important to be left to artists. At Creative Action Workshops, the artistry of everyone is seen as vital to the process of change, both personally and socially.

At Creative Action Workshops, the artistry of everyone is seen as vital to the process of change, both personally and socially.


leads the workshops?

Ken Sprague, the course leader, is a pensioner who has been there, done that, couldn't afford the T-shirt, but knows that creative change is possible and never more needed.

A founder member of the British Psychodrama Association, he studied with Marcia Karp, Zerka Moreno, Merlyn Pitzeli, and many others of Dr Moreno's original band of students. He gained the Holwell diploma, was the designer, builder and later co-director of the Holwell International Psychodrama Centre. Ken studied sociodrama with Warren Parry in Australia. He was Europe's first qualified sociodramatist and is an assessor for psychodrama and sociodrama students. He is also an external trainer.

Ken has drawn since he was four, and had his first engraving published when he was eleven. He studied for the National Diploma of design on an ex-service grant, and later won many awards, including the British Council of Industrial Design Prize for his Martin Luther King work. He was designer of Britain's first Trade Union tabloid newspaper and its first editor, doing much to modernise labour movement journalism. Ken has been cartooning for progressive journals for 64 years. He travels the world, and finds that people are more alike than different. He thinks of himself as an Internationalist, proud of his English heritage. He wants to see Britain's subservience to the United States government replaced by true friendship with the American people.

He is available for talks and workshops for your own organisations and community projects.


are courses held?

Courses are held in the beautiful North Devon cliff-top village of Lynton, where the Exmoor National Park meets the sea. The English painter Gainsborough said that Lynton "is the finest school for a landscape painter that Britain can boast of".

Action method workshops are held at the Ken Sprague's studio - 8, Cavendish Place Lynton N. Devon EX35 6AD. Small groups are held at Ken's home, one of the oldest cottages in the village. Large groups meet in the commodious village hall. All are within a few minutes walk of each other, and of local accommodation.

Each course is tailored to the needs of those attending. There is an introductory get-together at 8:00 on Saturday evening (Friday for weekend course). Main course work begins on Monday at 10:00 am sharp. The first day concentrates on building a safe environment in which participants go at their own pace, respecting the group's need for confidentiality.

Drawing, painting and printing courses take place at the same venues mentioned above, but also use the remarkable North Devon landscape for drawing and painting trips. Visits to local artists, potters and sculptors studios are arranged. These take place on a Tuesday as a mid-week break. Workshops are based on Ken's belief that "It is not a question of every kind of artist being a special kind of man, but of every man, woman and child being a special kind of artist."


are the workshops?

These are not "How to do it" workshops, but rather how YOU do it. They explore each person's unique way of working.

These are introductions to action methods, using psychodrama, sociodrama and other artistry.

May 10th - 12th £200.00

A weekend of drawing and painting to develop visual skills and imagination, and to find the pictures within each person. Price includes art materials.
Friday 8:00pm - Sunday 5:30pm

June 4th - 6th £190.00

A weekend workshop to look at the past, present and future of personal and social relationships.
Friday 8:00pm - Sunday 5:30 pm

August 11th - 15th £300.00

A new world of opportunity has opened for women, but men are still trapped by outdated behaviour. A week of action methods.
Sunday 10:00am - Thursday 5:30pm

August 18th - 22nd £300.00

A week of artistry to release the talent, memories, experience and imagination of each participant.
Sunday 10:00am -Thursday 5:30pm

August 23rd - 25th £200.00

A weekend of drawing and painting to develop visual skills and imagination, and to find the pictures within each person. Price includes art materials.
Friday 8:00pm - Sunday 5:30pm

September 15th -19th £300.00

Being the author of your own life script and making your voice heard in the world.
Sunday 10:00am - Thursday 5:30pm

June 11th - 18th
There is an additional course in the magnificent Western isles of Norway.
Full details on application.

"A truly Therapeutic procedure cannot have less an objective than the whole of mankind."
Dr. J.L. Moreno

"Individual and smaller groups must affect larger groups - and ultimately, the largest group of all, which is ALL humankind - for there to be permanent and significant change."
Neale Donald Walsch


Good Accommodation?


Participants arrange their own accommodation and meals. There are restaurants, tea rooms, supermarkets and full or half board at hotels and guest houses; also there are B&B, self-catering and a youth hostel in the immediate area. Prices range from £8.95 (hostel) to £60 per night, with £20 as an average.

Lynton is a popular holiday spot. Make reservations for accommodation as early as possible.

Please arrive at your accommodation before 5pm. All Accommodation is within a few minutes walk of the studio. Allow 5-10 minutes in the morning to arrive at Creative Action for 10am.


Meadhaven Tel. 01598 753288
Chough’s Nest Hotel Tel. 01598 753315
Hewitt’s at the Hoe (self-catering) Tel. 01598 752293
Seawood Hotel Tel. 01598 752272
The Turret Tel. 01598 753284
Youth Hostel Tel. 01598 753237
Waterloo House Hotel Tel. 01598 753391
Southview Tel. 01598 752289
Rodwell Tel. 01598 752324
St Vincents Guest House Tel. 01598 752244
Lynton Cottage Hotel Tel. 01598 752342
Crown House Hotel Tel. 01598 753253
Gunns Gallery (self-catering) Tel. 01598 753352
Southcliffe Tel. 01598 753328
Pat & Trevor Ley Tel. 01598 753418
Croft House Hotel Tel. 01598 752391
Highcliffe House Tel. 01598 752235
Northcliffe Tel. 01598 752357
Lynton Old Railway Station (self-catering) Tel. 01598 752381


There are buses and taxis from Barnstaple to Lynton. Buses are fewer to Lynton after 5pm. Car parking is within the village of Lynton, with public parking next to Ken's Studio.

There is a National Express bus from Heathrow Airport to Barnstaple. It leaves from Central Bus Station (near Terminal 2) at 1:10pm.

Trains to Barnstaple leave from London Paddington. From Heathrow take the Rail/Air link coach to Reading railway station, a train to Barnstaple and a bus to Lynton.

Ken will do station pickups by arrangement from Barnstaple for £15.

For full accommodation list write to:
The Tourist Information Centre,
Town Hall, Lynton, Devon, EX35 6BT, England.
Tel: 01598 752 225 Fax: 01598 752 755
Tel: from outside Britain: +44 1598 752 225

Contact details

Creative Action,
8, Cavendish Place,
EX35 6AD

Free of charge

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This page last updated 7th March 2002

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