This September, EFLI is kicking off a brand new Fall program: Awareness Based Collaborative Theatre (or ABC Theatre), with lead facilitator Edinson Rodriguez-Castaño and EFLI’s Executive Director, Antoinette Klatzky.
Over the last nine summers, EFLI’s closing ceremonies have been centered around plays that EFLI summer participants create together. This practice is an integral aspect to our leadership development training and has deeply impacted our community by sparking conversations among parents, teachers, friends, and local government officials.
In this post, Antoinette answers some questions about what this new program is about, and why we think you should register for it!
What is Awareness Based Collaborative Theatre?
ABC Theatre is a combination of theatrical and embodied forms of expression and leadership development that uses methodologies from Theatre of the Oppressed, Leadership Embodiment, and Social Presencing Theater. The aim of engaging with ABC Theatre is for participants to learn more about how plays can help us understand the ways society evaluates itself, and to better see where individuals can activate new alternatives to current problems.
How was this program developed?
The program has been developed by combining aspects of the works of Wendy Palmer's Leadership Embodiment, Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed, and Arawana Hayashi's Social Presencing Theatre. Having facilitated elements of these disciplines in the last nine years of summer programs, Edinson and I have been working on an engaging curriculum to share these practices with young people during the school year.
Why has EFLI added this program?
Each summer, EFLI watches young people’s confidence in their ability to articulate and engage with their individual needs blossom. We have added ABC Theatre to our yearlong offerings in the hope that this program will offer young people a real channel with which to share the challenges they face, and serve as an opportunity to open up intergenerational community dialogue. Young people, specifically young women, are a voice of wisdom for their generation. But all too often, when young people express their needs, their pleas fall on the deaf ears of the adults around them. We are hopeful that this program will change this paradigm, and lead to tangible changes for young people in their communities.
What do you hope participants will get out of the program?
Our hope is that all participants in ABC Theatre will expand their journeys of personal growth and development through storytelling, build solidarity with each other by collaborating in an open, judgement-free environment, and actively spark community engagement on the social and societal issues they face by confidently sharing their truth.
Who is this program for?
The program is for young people ages 14-18. Ultimately, as the plays are shared and audiences participate, the program will be for entire communities!
ABC Theatre will be held at The Eileen Fisher Learning Lab, 50 S. Buckhout St., Irvington NY every Thursday from 4-6pm from September 27-November 15, 2018. To register please click here.