Health and the Body

28Sep10

Our first community workshop was a resounding success. Thanks to all of the participants and ensemble members who came out last night. I really appreciate your contributions and your willingness to spend your evening with One Forbidden Thing.

We had an interesting mix of people interested in health and the body who attended and contributed their perspectives. Just *some* of the identities shared with us in the room included: medical student, patient with an illness that was never diagnosed, theater student, ensemble member, breast cancer survivor, doctor in his first year of residency, health equity advocate, future medical student, relative of a person with a serious illness, person with Tourette’s syndrome, and even a parent of one of our ensemble members! There were eight people in attendance—-so as you can see, we each brought more than one identity to the table. (As human beings *always* do.)

We asked a lot of great questions. Some of them include:

  • Does having a serious illness shape our identity? If not, then what are the other factors that come into play for a person not to identify with their disease?
  • What are the forces that perpetuate stigma?
  • What motivates someone to pursue a career in medicine? What is it like to be a doctor?
  • Who (or what) has the power in the health care system?
  • If we see that misunderstanding and lack of knowledge lead to so much pain and suffering, how can we change that?
  • What happens when our bodies betray us?
  • What is it like to need medical help and not be able to get it?

By the time the workshop was over I didn’t want to let the participants go home! There were still so many questions and it felt like we’d just gotten started getting to the juicy part of exploration and discovery. I was so honored by the deep sharing of highly personal stories that our participants offered to us last night, and by the way that they jumped into the playing wholeheartedly. Thanks everybody!

This material alone is enough for an entire theater process. Now the ensemble will do the hard work of digesting the stories, images, and artifacts left behind from the workshop and finding the ways that they connect with our larger process. I look forward to the day when the participants will join us for a performance and recognize some resonance between what they offered us and the performance that we will offer them in return. And I’m looking forward to every step along the path.

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One Response to “Health and the Body”

  1. 1 Jillian

    Oh! I’m so glad it went so well! I was thinking about you guys last night, and I’m so excited to come tonight and hear more about it.

    Jillian


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