Both my undergrad and grad programs offered me both exciting and challenging opportunities to engage in the work of theatrical devising, social activism, therapeutic theatre, and theatre as education. Below are four projects that represent my favorite experiences as an artist, healer, and teacher, and are the primary endeavors that have shaped both who I am personally and the path I am following professionally.
I want someone who...
In my capstone self-revelatory performance*, I took a journey to rediscover my authentic self by, at long last, resisting the attempts of others to define who I am. My 'current' self spoke to and learned from previous versions of myself at different ages through the framework of online dating. I utilized song - choosing selections from the pop Broadway musical Mean Girls and changing the lyrics to fit my storyline - and played all primary roles myself, with support and assistance from an additional auxiliary actor.
*Self-revelatory performance: a form of original theatre in which the performer is exploring, grappling with, or aspiring to heal a current life challenge - an aesthetically sound 'working through' of psychological wounds (click here for additional information)
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Titania, Hippolyta, Lead workshop facilitator
The Ohio State University Department of Theatre, Film, & Media Arts puts on an annual Shakespeare school tour, featuring a pared-down version of a Shakespeare classic. I joined ten other cast mates to perform Midsummer twice a week for local Columbus-area schools. After the one-hour performance, I facilitated a fun and interactive workshop for the students with the rest of the cast, focusing on the flexibility of playing multiple roles both in performance and in real life.
Consent, Dissent, Reinvent
Writer/deviser, Ensemble member
The CIIS Drama Therapy program offers an extracurricular performance opportunity called Theatre for Change, where a troupe of drama therapy students collaboratively devise an original theatrical piece with a social activist lens. Consent, Dissent, Reinvent focused on the #MeToo movement and the impact of sexual assault and harassment, gender, and sexuality in our lives and culture. Our troupe of seven performed both at CIIS and out in the Bay Area community - we even took the show to Philadelphia for the 40th annual North American Drama Therapy Association conference.
WWJD (as a social activist)?
For the final project in my Drama Therapy & Social Change course, we were asked to either lead a workshop or devise a short performance on a particular topic related to a social issue. I chose to offer a solo performance that tackled my personal wrestling between what I perceived as a cultural separation between Christianity and social activism. The piece focused on my personal journey with both Jesus and social justice, and how I have reconciled the two; I offered a talkback session so audience members could bring their stories and experiences into the space, enhancing the sense of community.
While I have since made personal decisions that have changed my spirituality and led me away from Christianity as an organized religion, this piece nonetheless represents a meaningful and impactful experience in learning to share my own story through my art, in a way that facilitates community and conversation.