I just finished directing a really fun devised show with high school students at Beaver Country Day School in Boston. It's streaming on the school's website through the end of February 2021! bcdschool.org/2021/02/the-nest-us-winter-play/
The Nest is a show made up of stories about home. And “home” is a complicated, beautiful, challenging thing, especially right now. Home means different things to different people—we wanted to make space for all of this in putting the show together. For that reason, we were loosely inspired by the structure of the radio show This American Life, which has a weekly theme and brings together different (mostly true) stories exploring that theme. The Nest follows a similar structure, and the students act as hosts, guiding the audience through the stories.
The stories in the show were created through a process called devising in which we used writing, storytelling, movement, and visual art prompts to build the script. This is a collaborative process where all students have the opportunity to be playwrights, performers and designers, and we were able to celebrate each individual’s unique skills and perspectives.
Join a supportive, virtual community of diverse Jews through a series of theater-based workshops to focus on the meaning of Jewish community, how we build it, and how it has transformed during COVID-19. In each workshop we will explore methods of telling and theatricalizing stories, including writing personal narratives, creating theater through interviews, and collaborative creation - known as devised theater.
Participants are invited to come to individual workshops or the whole series, and all workshops will be free to attend. Artists of all levels and ages are welcome, including first time theater makers. Co-facilitated by myself and Boston based educator and facilitator Rebecca Powell.
Dates: Wednesdays 7-9pm starting 10/28
10/28 - 1st workshop: Personal Narratives
- Discover and craft a personal story and deliver it in its true form, workshopping the story towards becoming a monologue.
11/4 - 2nd workshop: Interview Theater Part 1*
- Learn interview techniques and practice them with participants in the room. Homework will be to interview someone in your life and transcribe or take notes on interview.
11/11 - 3rd Workshop: Interview Theater Part 2*
- Bring your interview notes (homework from previous workshop) to share with the group! Together we’ll transform them into scenes or monologues.
11/18 - 4th Workshop: Devising
- Working as a group, we’ll develop scenes through collaborative improvisation, games, and activities.
Sign up for one or more workshops: https://forms.gle/c3wrsbFi39Y7e7B69
For more information contact: ComingTogetherStories@gmail.com
After the craziness of this summer running a virtual youth program for the Trustees of Reservations (and getting married!), I'm entering the fall with a sense of focus and readiness to face the "new normal" of our COVID-19 world head on. What that means though as a teaching artist and theater-maker is a lot of unknowns, and a lot of making things up as I go along.
Back in the spring, the very wise Roxie Myhrum of Puppet Showplace Theatre gave me the advice that yes, this is a crappy moment for the arts and culture sector, and some institutions are going to really struggle and maybe even fail, but our communities need us now more than ever. She told me to make a menu of all of the things I could teach and get it out into the world, to not wait for other people to hire me, to create the opportunities I wanted for myself. So here I am world! Here are some of the things I can teach! I'm ready, I'm excited and I can do all of it over Zoom,
If you like any of these workshops and want to bring one (or a few) to your organization, school, community or children's birthday party let me know!
The Arts Equity Summit is this weekend, April 24th-26th! #AES2020 is a FREE virtual summit for arts and culture workers committed to building equity. I’m proud to have helped produce it and will be leading a drop in discussion session on Sunday for students trying to learn in this crazy time.
Registration ends Friday afternoon! https://www.artsequitysummit.org/
Join us for an Artist Gym exploring Love. How do we lead with love? How can we use love to heal? How do we show love to each other when we’re supposed to be distancing ourselves? Through writing and storytelling we will create, heal, and celebrate love for ourselves and those around us.
Artist Gym is about bringing people together (virtually this time!) to create and generate work without the pressure to show a final product outside of the workshop. Facilitators will lead participants through a series of exercises that allow us to play, collaborate, and deepen our skills as artists. Through this work we hope to ignite and enrich our creative practices as individuals and as a community! All are welcome, no prior devising experience necessary.
This workshop will be co-facilitated by Emerson graduate students Sarah Plotkin and Arlen Hancock, and undergraduate student Aurora Hannisian.
Date: Saturday, April 4th
Location: Virtual meeting via Zoom (will receive Zoom link once you RSVP)
Sign up here!
It's happening! Despite all the corona-inspired curve balls I'll be sharing my thesis project "Creating our Stories" via Zoom on Wednesday, April 1st at 7:30pm.
Join a group of inter-generational performers as they share their stories in response to the question “What does it mean to be Jewish today?”
Over a period of 10 weeks, these community performers used storytelling, writing, movement, and singing to explore their relationships with Judaism. The material they’ve created has been woven together for this sharing, highlighting experiences of belonging and otherness, traditions, spirituality, and hopes for the future.
RSVP here to receive the Zoom link! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/creating-our-stories-a-jewish-theater-project-tickets-99245537073
And check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/586308368764162/
I'm looking for Jewish collaborators in the Boston area for my masters thesis project! The goal is to create a space for Jews of any age, background and ethnicity to explore their Jewish identities using theatrical tools. We'll use interviews, writing prompts, story circles and improvisation techniques to generate material, and then share what we've created in a culminating performance in early April.
An info session is being held Monday 11/18 and another can be added if there's interest. All are welcome (no performance experience necessary) and I especially encourage those over 40 to attend!
Info sheet to learn more about the project:
Artist Gym is a creation and creativity workshop that allows participants to explore a theme through an artistic lens in a supportive environment. This workshop will be co-facilitated by graduate students Sarah Plotkin and Arlen Hancock, and undergraduate student Aurora Hannisian. It is co-sponsored by TEGA and Kidding Around.
For this Gym we’ll be exploring the theme of “Weight.” What weighs us down and how do those weights define us? When do we find empowerment and strength in the weight we feel? How can we break through what weighs us down to connect and grow with one another? In this workshop we’ll use theater, movement and writing exercises to explore these questions as a community.
Artist Gym is about bringing people together to create and generate work without the pressure to show a final product outside of the workshop. Facilitators will lead participants through a series of exercises that allow us to play, collaborate, and develop our skills as artists. Through this work we hope to ignite and enrich our creative practices as individuals and as a community!
All Emerson College community members are welcome, no prior devising experience necessary. RSVP here:
I'm bringing Artist Gym to Boston! All Emerson community members are welcome. Find us on Facebook or RSVP through the google form to reserve your spot on Saturday, April 6th!
Friday, May 25 at 7pm
Saturday, May 26 at 2pm
Tuesday, May 29 at 7pm
Molting is about shedding one’s skin and confronting one’s memories. The character illustrates the liminal space she embodies by using her own physical body and her molded body parts to explore the feeling of in-between-ness and the process of accepting herself. This piece is strongly influenced by the powerful women in the performer's family who have taught her to stand strong on her own two feet both in Japan and America.
Performer and Creator: Leah Ogawa
Director: Sarah Plotkin
Dramaturg: Sarah Machiko Haber
Sound Designer: Jess Hart
Musician: Joshua Marcks
Assistant builder: Neda Kazemifar
OBJECT MOVEMENT is a curated festival and developmental residency for puppeteers and object theater artists. The purpose of the program is to develop new work and advance existing works-in-progress that address social, political, ethical, and/or philosophical questions through puppetry and object theater, culminating in a festival of performances.