ArtsPraxis Volume 6 Issue 2

Cover image from a 2018 NYU Steinhardt, Program in Drama Therapy production of "Living with...", written in collaboration with four long term survivors of HIV and three newly diagnosed adults based on months of group therapy sessions.

Our contributions in this issue come from artists, educators, and arts therapists focusing on theatre and health.

The first collection of articles highlight reflective practice.  Lawrence Ashford explores interactions between professional performers and young people in Australian hospitals. Bianca C. Frazer looks at the deconstruction of stereotypes about diabetes on stage. James Webb reflects on the personal impact of writing, acting, and sharing his autobiographical play, The Contract, detailing his struggles as a gay man in the Black Church in the United States. Faith Busika and Zandile Mqwathi discuss drama processes employed to address mental health and promote wellbeing in South Africa. Finally, Yi-Chen Wu unpacks her experience collaborating with a woman with cerebral palsy and the woman’s performance of her autobiographical memory.

The second section features a pair of critically reflective articles with recommendations for practitioners and researchers. Alyssa Digges advocates for a mental health and wellness curriculum for students in actor training programs. Teresa A. Fisher analyzes failures in a theatre for health project, specifically looking at the facilitator’s role in such a project.

The final pair of articles look to examine existing practice and repertoire. William Pinchin connects Jung’s collective unconscious theory and Lecoq’s understanding of a universal poetic sense, reevaluating the neutral mask. Finally, Majeed Mohammed Midhin and Samer Abid Rasheed Farhan interrogate the healing power of theatre through a discussion of contemporary prison theatre praxis and the representations made in Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good.

This issue of ArtsPraxis is available for download.

Editorial: On Mindfulness – Jonathan P. Jones

The Flexible Performer in Applied Theatre: In-hospital Interaction with Captain Starlight – Lawrence Ashford

“Where’s Your Imagination?”: Using the Social Model to Deconstruct Stereotypes about Diabetes on Stage – Bianca C. Frazer

A Critical Autobiography: Examining the Impact of a Theatre-Making Process on a Theatre Practitioner’s Identity Development – James Webb

Addressing Mental Health in South Africa Using the Djembe Drum and Storytelling to Open up the Dialogue of Finding, Owning, and Using Your Voice in the Home as a Christian Woman – Faith Busika and Zandile Mqwathi

Towards an Approach of Performise: I Am a Normal Person (2018) as a Case Study – Yi-Chen Wu

Preventing Actor Burnout through a Mental Health and Wellness Curriculum – Alyssa Digges

Bad Facilitation or the Wrong Approach?: Unpacking the Failure of a Theatre for Health Project – Teresa A. Fisher

The Shadow of the Neutral Mask: A Jungian Examination of Lecoq-based Neutral Mask Praxis – William Pinchin

The Healing Power of Theatre in Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good – Majeed Mohammed Midhin and Samer Abid Rasheed Farhan

World Drama 2019 Speakers Series – LatinX Theatre

This fall, the World Drama course at NYU Steinhardt / Program in Educational Theatre welcomes a variety of theatre professionals to discuss the diverse theatre companies here in New York City. Please join us to hear about the companies and their artistic staff, productions, and vision for theatre in our great city.

The first event is Wednesday, October 16
6:45 – 8:25PM
Pless Basement Acting Studio
82 Washington Square East

Panelists include:
Robert Federico – Repertorio Español 
Manuel Moran – TeatroSEA
Ramiro Sandoval – TabulaRaSa

If you wish to attend, RSVP

Future panelist topics and dates are as follows:
Wednesday, November 6 – Asian American Theatre
Wednesday, December 4 – African-American / Black Theatre

Please let Dr. Jonathan Jones know if you have any questions.

Auditions for Fall Mainstage Production: THE GOOD SOUL OF SZECHUAN

The Good Soul of Szechuan tranlated by David Harrower - Bloomsbury cover image
The Good Soul of Szechuan

THE GOOD SOUL OF SZECHUAN
by Bertolt Brecht
directed by Dr. Nan Smithner 

A play with music AND a timely tale of good versus greed! 

Seeking diverse actors of all ages, sizes, and genders: An excellent opportunity to work in an ensemble format creating and exploring Brecht’s alienation devices. 

Please prepare a 1 – 2 minute monologue of your choosing, as well as a short song.

AUDITION DETAILS:

  • Dates + Times: September 4, 5, 6 from 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: Black Box Theatre, Pless Hall – 82 Washington Square East | New York, NY 10003
  • Additional info: 
    • Reserve your audition here
    • Please prepare a 1 – 2 minute monologue of your choosing, as well as a short song
    • Please bring your resume and headshot
    • Callbacks on Sat, September 7 from 10am – 12pm 
    • 1st Rehearsal on Sat, September 7 from 1pm – 5pm

REHEARSAL + SHOW INFO:

  • Rehearsal dates: September 7 – October 17, 2019
  • Performance dates: October 18 – 27, 2019

If you have any questions please feel free to email Kristina Varshavskaya (Production Stage Manager)

Thank you and looking forward to seeing you at the auditions!

ArtsPraxis Volume 6 Issue 1 has been published.

ArtsPraxis Volume 6, Issue 1 cover

Our contributions in this issue come from artists, educators, and activists—all working towards bringing light to dark places. We begin with two theoretical frameworks from different parts of the world; one at the start of her scholarly work and the other following a solid career of contributions to the field. Xiaojin Niu explores the interaction between theatre and modern power with an examination of sexuality study. Roger Wooster revisits an old question at a new time: whether we should draw a distinction between theatre-making and drama as a learning medium.

As applied theatre practitioners continue to engage in theatre practices with diverse populations, we have three contributions interrogating powerful topics. Jennifer Wong looks at the importance of being an outsider, pondering the strengths that come from this positionality; Sarah Woodland looks to aesthetics, navigating an approach to support incarcerated participants in truth-telling; and Julie Rada gains a deeper understanding of a familiar drama strategy, asking participants to witness each other while in prison.

The final sequence of articles takes a close look at how theatre educates. Rivka Rocchio recounts her time using drama to teach English in Samoa, revealing ways in which drama can level the playing field between insider and outsider. Mark Branner and Mike Poblete document successful iterations of theatre for babies and outline a list of characteristics for this emerging field. Manjima Chatterjee defines material theatre as an aesthetic experience that promotes democracy in the performance space. Finally, Jennifer Essex wrestles with two categories of audience participation in children’s interactive dance theatre: ‘interactors’ and ‘non-interactors,’ defining and problematizing each.

This issue of ArtsPraxis is available for download.

Editorial: A New Colossus by Jonathan Jones

The Interaction between Theatre and Modern Power with an Examination of Sexuality Study in Schooling by Xiaojin Niu

Exercising the Mind by Roger Wooster

Importance of the Outsider: Reflections from the Facilitator of a Community-Based Playbuilding Project by Jennifer Wong

Aesthetics of Truth-Telling: Intercultural Applied Theatre Praxis in an Australian Women’s Prison by Sarah Woodland

Being There…in Prison by Julie A. Rada

Breaking the Cultural Hierarchy: Using Drama to Teach English in Samoa by Rivka Rocchio

Getting Serious about Playful Play: Identifying Characteristics of Successful Theatre for Very Young Audiences by Mark Branner and Mike Poblete

Drama for Democracy: Material Theatre by Manjima Chatterjee

Co-operative Make-Believe as Practice in Children’s Interactive Dance Theatre by Jennifer Essex

ArtsPraxis, Volume 5 Issue 2

The cover image for Arts Praxis Volume 5 Issue 2, 2019, is from a keynote presentation in which the words "all theatre is political" were crossed out - in an attempt to provoke conversation, which is the shared aim of this issue.

ArtsPraxis Volume 5 Issue 2 has been published.

Last April, at the 15th annual Forum: Performance as Activism, I was heartened to meet practitioners, artists, educators and scholars from around the globe who were enthusiastically engaged in using the art form of theatre to address pressing social and cultural issues. This edition of ArtsPraxis includes fourteen inspiring and pertinent articles that report on activist theories and practices that have been initiated, explored and successfully implemented in communities and classrooms.

At the Forum, we asked, “How is activism defined or redefined in 2018?” Through panel discussions, workshops, performances and paper presentations we explored how activism can disrupt, subvert and transform dominant social and political narratives. More than sixty presenters from twelve different countries relayed inspirational and revelatory methods towards the goal of promoting enduring social change through aesthetic expression. In this global space of open dialogue and exchange, we, as activists learned about organizational methods, pedagogical tools, aesthetic devices that, in responding to the complexities of our time, push past boundaries and binaries to redefine cultural innovation.

I hope that you will be inspired by the following theories and practices offered in this volume, ranging from the metamodern to dialogical activism to personal resilience, and surrounded by artistic innovation.

This issue of ArtsPraxis is available for download.

Editorial – NANCY SMITHNER

NYU Keynote – PING CHONG

Deaf Talent: Richness within Our Stories by James W. Guido – JAMES W. GUIDO

Ximonïk: The Unbound Performances of Maya Women’s Group Ajchowen – CHELSEA HACKETT

Hope with Dirty Hands: Community Theatre Participation as Activism in Everything is Possible – BRIDGET FOREMAN

Energize, Resist, Re-Purpose: An American Theatre Responds – PENELOPE COLE

From the School to the Educating Community: Practices of Social Theatre in Italy as a New Form of Activism – GIULIA INNOCENTI MALINI

Leaping into the Disassociated Space: Unknowing Activism, Agency and Youth Identity in “Notes From Nowhere” – GUSTAVE WELTSEK and CLARE HAMMOOR; ILLUSTRATIONS BY KYLIE WALLS

Students as Arts Activists: Insights and Analysis from a Politically Engaged Assessment – MATTHEW REASON

Inciting Solidarity through Plural Performativity and Pedagogical Aesthetics in Ethnodrama with Marginalized Youth in Toronto – RACHEL RHOADES

Beyond the Wall: Borderland Identity through Puppets – ANA DIAZ BARRIGA

The Aesthetics of Activism in Korea: The Utopian Performative and Communitas – JISUN KIM

A Silent Shout: Metamodern Forms of Activism in Contemporary Performance by Tom Drayton – TOM DRAYTON

“It Did Get Rid of the ‘These People Are Old People’ Thing in My Brain”: Challenging the Otherness of Old Age through One-to-One Performance – BRIDIE MOORE

Inday Dolls: Body Monologues and Lullabies for Freedom in Prison; Scripting Possible Futures in Justice Art in Iloilo’s Correctional System – MA ROSALIE ABETO ZERRUDO and DENNIS D. GUPA

Media Practice and Theatre in Conversation: Co-Creating Narratives for Positive Social Change – JACKIE KAULI and VERENA THOMAS

Auditions for Radium Girls!

The Program in Educational Theatre is proud to announce the Spring main stage: Radium Girls written by D.W. Gregory and directed by David Montgomery. Auditions will be Saturday, 1/26 and Monday, 1/28 with callbacks on Tuesday, 1/29.

“In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire. Written with warmth and humor, Radium Girls is a fast-moving, highly theatrical ensemble piece for 9 to 10 actors, who play more than 30 parts—friends, co-workers, lovers, relatives, attorneys, scientists, consumer advocates, and myriad interested bystanders. Called a “powerful” and “engrossing” drama by critics, Radium Girls offers a wry, unflinching look at the peculiarly American obsessions with health, wealth, and the commercialization of science.”

Our production seeks an ensemble of 9-12 people of diverse backgrounds, ages, genders, races, ethnicities, and abilities to perform various roles in the ensemble. Almost all performers will play multiple characters. For more information or to sign up to audition, please visit here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Cassie Holzum (Production Stage Manager).

Hope to see you there!

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Educational Theatre and Drama Therapy Forum 2019

NYU Educational Theatre & Drama Therapy Forum 2019: Theatre & Health

April 11-14, 2019

 

An aging population, increasing climate and politically-motivated displacement, unstable housing, the rise of depression and anxiety, and the challenges of providing comprehensive healthcare amongst other concerns make health a significant challenge for our times. With this in mind, we invite you to join us for an exploration of how theatre, including improvisation, performance, and other drama processes, contribute to psychological, neurological, physical, social, civic and public health. Teachers, drama therapists, applied improvisation practitioners, theatre-makers, performance artists, and scholars are invited to come together to share vocabularies, ideas, strategies, practices, measures, and outcomes.

 

During this event, participants will consider the following questions:

  • What understandings of health and wellbeing inform improvisation and theatre-making?

  • How can theatre, including performance, improvisation and other drama processes, be used to address specific health concerns and promote wellbeing?

  • How can we assess health outcomes related to theatre?

  • How are artists, educators, and therapists using improvisation and performance in health related research?

  • How do health-related contexts inform aesthetic choices and social considerations?

Call for Proposals

DEADLINE: JANUARY 15TH, 2019 AT 11:59 EST

We invite the global community to submit session proposals dealing with research, artistry, and practice. Proposals can be submitted for workshops, papers, narratives, and performances that address the guiding questions listed above. Submissions are due by Monday, January 15, 2019 (11:59pm, EST), and we strive to notify potential presenters by February 20. We encourage new researchers and practitioners to submit proposals as well, so we can include new voices in the discourse.

Papers and Narratives (30 minutes):

We invite authors to submit a proposal for the presentation of a paper or narrative. Papers and narratives must be grounded in research, artistry, or practice and should somehow address the guiding questions for the forum. Proposals should outline elements of the research, practice, and/or theory-focused work the author wishes to present. Accepted papers and narratives will be organized as much as possible into thematic sessions. 30 minutes will be designated to these presentations: 20 minutes to present and 10 minutes for Q&A.

Workshops (45 or 90 minutes):

We invite practitioners to apply to facilitate workshops relating to the use of improvisation, performance, and/or theatre related skills to facilitate health and wellbeing. Proposals should outline the details of the workshop: who are the participants, what strategies will the facilitator(s) demonstrate, and how will the participants later apply this approach to their own work? Workshops will be held in an open workshop space. Workshops may be provided with a 45 or 90-minute timeslot and accepted practitioners should allow time within that period for discussion.

Artistic Sharings (45 minutes):

We invite authors to apply to share examples of theatre and health. Proposals should outline elements of research, artistry, practice and/or theory-focused work embedded within the piece. Proposed sharings should have already been staged and/or presented for an audience in another venue prior to their inclusion in the forum and could be comprised of a scene, scenes or the entire piece. Please note: Sharings will be staged in a workshop space, and will not receive technical support. Sharings will be provided with a 45-minute time slot and accepted presenters should allow time within that period for discussion of the work (i.e. 30 minute sharing/ 15 minute discussion)

Submission Instructions

The submission and review of proposals for the 2019 NYU Forum on Theatre and Health will be managed through an online conference proposal management system called EasyChair. This system gives you, the author, complete control over your submission. You can upload your abstract and check on the review status of your submission.

Please use the template below and submit through the ABSTRACT box on EASYCHAIR Do not upload additional documents – they will not be reviewed.

Under topic, please choose your type of proposal

Title of Proposal:

Type (Paper or Narrative, Workshop, Artistic Sharing):

Abstract (250 words maximum describing your session):

Relevance (250 words maximum describing how your proposal addresses the themes of the conference):

Biographical Statement (150 word maximum per presenter):

Proposals will be peer reviewed. Submissions are due by January 15th, 2019 (11:59pm, EST). Authors/applicants will be notified of the outcome by February 20, 2019.

Click here to submit your proposal.

Additional instructions for creating an EasyChair account and submitting a proposal are available here. Feel free to submit any additional questions to nyuforum2019@gmail.com.

Please share this email with a colleague, friend, list, and like us on Facebook!

We look forward to seeing you at NYU in the spring!

Sincerely,

The 2019 NYU Forum Committee and

Dr. Nisha Sajnani & Dr. David Montgomery, Co-Chairs

Scholar-in-Residence Rubén Blades comes to Educational Theatre, Wednesday, October 24!

Rubin Blades

We have the privilege of hosting the inaugural NYU Steinhardt Dean’s Scholar-in-Residence for 2018-19, Rubén Blades, on Wednesday, October 24, 3:30-4:45pm in the Pless Hall Black Box Theatre. All Educational Theatre students, faculty, and staff are welcome and encouraged to attend this discussion with an outstanding exemplar of what it means to be an artist-citizen in the 21st century.

Rubén is an actor, musician, activist and politician. He is a 17 time Grammy winner, 3 time Emmy nominee, one time Presidential nominee for the Republic of Panama, and current star of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead. He is an extraordinary artist and activist, as evidenced by his bio and website here.

Please make it a point to join us for this conversation! We look forward to your attendance and participation!

Peter and the Starcatcher

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER opens this Friday! Come out and see the hard work of a dynamic cast and thoughtful production team who have focused on showcasing the abilities of everyone involved through the story-theatre quality of this show.

Go to this link to purchase general admission ($15) or senior tickets ($5): NYU Ticket Central

To purchase student tickets for $5, follow these instructions:
Login to NYU home
Click on NYU life (on the left)
Scroll to box office
Click on campus events
Scroll to Peter and the Starcatcher (whichever date you would like)
Click login to get tickets (on the right)
Click get tickets now (on the right).

If you have any questions, please reach out to Cassie Holzum.

Hope to see you there!


Faculty Review:

I was fortunate to see Peter and the Starcatcher in the Black Box Theatre, and experience this very exciting new interpretation of the play. Directed brilliantly by Dr. Amy Cordileone, the ensemble work in this hilarious and moving play was a delight to experience. Supporting each other in complex choreography, colorful and satirical visuals and rousing songs, all members of the cast were compelling and mesmerizing!
Make sure to get out and see this innovative, playful and wildly theatrical take on the back story of Peter Pan and the importance of love and friendship.
Dr. Nan Smithner
Clinical Associate Professor