Saturday, October 25, 2014

Global Shadow Theatre with Tholpava Koothu

Tonight I joined Ramachandra Pulavar for a lecture and demonstration about Shadow Puppetry in Calicit, Kerala organized by the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

I gave a brief overview of shadow puppetry traditions around the world and the Pulavars performed an excerpt of the Ramayana in the traditional Thol Pava Koothu.

Half the fun is peaking behind the screen to see how it's done. Especially the flaring of the flame, by throwing frankincense powder on it -- old school special effects for the whole family.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Therapy, Projection, and Shadow Theatre

Playing with light against a giant cotton screen, I introduced students of the Expressive Arts Therapy Program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology to Shadow Theatre as a projective Drama Therapy Technique to process trauma. Drawing from the strengths based, community oriented approach that Shadow Liberation embodies, we focussed on how Shadow Theatre can be used in Therapy to support the development of emotional regulation and self soothing capacity.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Getting Started with Social Justice at Mallya Aditi International School

Sharing the Shadow Liberation story with high school students at Mallya Aditi International School who are working gender issues. This inquisitive group of youth is interested in working in community organizations. Get out there and do it.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bystander Intervention in Domestic Violence with Forum Theatre and Playback

It was great to catch up with my early mentor, Marc Weinblatt, and see him in action facilitating Forum and Playback Theatre for “Eye Witness: Allies to Domestic Violence” performed by Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble last night in Port Townsend, WA. This project was in partnership with Dove House Advocacy Shelter, and was focussed on activating men who are bystanders in Domestic Violence situations. After a critical 90 minutes of Forum Theatre, Marc invited sharing from the audience which brought out personal stories which were mirrored back to the tellers through Playback Theatre short forms. Ending with a Playback brought out deep feelings and served to shift the discussion from the head to the heart. A powerful evening!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Shadow Liberation Presentation at Antioch University Seattle

A small group of Drama Therapy students from Antioch University Seattle came together to hear the Shadow Liberation story. We had a rich dialogue about Drama Therapy in community and educational contexts with a focus on Social Justice.

I clicked the above photo at the Seattle Center after I came out of the Experience Music Project.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Shadow Liberation at The Evergreen State College

Theatre of the Oppressed + Drama Therapy + Shadow Theatre = Shadow Liberation. In this workshop/presentation, a group of students created shadow scenes with 4 overhead projectors in a performance studio at the The Evergreen State College.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Fundraiser for Shadow Liberation

To raise funds for producing a short film about Shadow Liberation, we threw a Fundraiser and Shadow Dance Party with DJ Slimrock at the Olympia Ballroom in Olympia, WA.

Plus special guest performances by Alison Marie Baker of Full Moon Radio with Rhea Melina Dorsey and an opening set by DJ Kalambre of KAOS Community Radio spinning Alternative Latin flavor.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Devising Forum Theatre with Shadows

To share the art of crafting participatory shadow theatre, I teamed up with Living Stages to offer a Shadow Liberation workshop titled, Devising Forum Theatre with Shadows, at Headwaters Theatre in Portland, OR.

What started out as a a couple stories about misogyny, grew more complex as the group physically improvised visual narratives without dialogue. The workshop was followed by an artist talk where I told the story of Shadow Liberation.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Visual Metaphors in Drama Therapy

I always love trainings for trainers and this 2 day workshop in Chittagong, Bangladesh was no exception. The participants came up with a rich visual language to create aesthetic distance. This was the final session of the National Therapeutic Theatre Workshop. I'll let the images speak for themselves.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Shedding Light with Youth in Bangladesh: Shadow Theatre Therapy

There was so much love in the room at the end of this 3-day workshop with Youth in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Through dancing and shadow making family violence emerged as a force that many of the participants face. A few youth shared their stories which were crafted into shadow plays. The storyteller would then watch their story, pause it, reflect, react, remix. The process was incredibly insightful and cathartic, yet I was left with ethical questions. What is the obligation of a therapist or teacher who knows of abuse in a context where there is no reporting mandate? How do the benefits of processing an ongoing problem weigh against the reality that we weren't concretely strategizing to transform the immediate situation? We ended the workshop on a high note with love letter style note passing as our closing appreciation structure.