We need YOU!

13Oct10

Dear friends and supporters,

We need your help. One Forbidden Thing is independent theater at its best—made with people from all walks of life coming together with incredible artists. We’re asking important questions and finding fascinating answers. We’re working tirelessly to bring you free theater workshops, excellent professional trainings, and to create theater that will be intriguing, powerful, and meaningful. Now we need your help.

Theater doesn’t just get made by sweat, tears, and well wishes. We need to raise money to cover our expenses and ensure that the work we’re doing will be able to come back to you as a fully realized production in 2011. We are operating according to the rules of nonprofit organizations and are now fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a fully fledged 501(c)3 organization that believes in us so much that they’re willing to accept donations on our behalf and re-grant the money back to us. This way, your donations can be tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

If you believe in independent artists, giving back to the community, and supporting theater that dares to try something new, this is your chance to vote with your wallet. Your donation of $10, $20, or $100 goes further than you think. It’s support from people like you that makes this kind of theater possible. In fact, if everyone who viewed our blog donated just $5, we would reach our goal!

Make your tax deductible donation right now by visiting our page on the Fractured Atlas website.

Or, send a check made payable to “Fractured Atlas” (do not write “One Forbidden Thing”) and mail it to  1541 13th Ave S Apt 2  Seattle WA 98144 .

Thank you for your support! We literally cannot do it without you.

With gratitude,

Melanie St. Ours and the cast of One Forbidden Thing


Join us for an Introduction to Theater of the Oppressed this Wednesday (October 13th) from 7-9pm. This will be part of our professional training series, though which One Forbidden Thing is sharing the knowledge about how theater can be a tool to catalyze change and bring about transformation in our communities.

The session will be available on a sliding scale from $10-$20. Larger donations will be gratefully accepted!

OFT company members doing Image Theater

Questions you might be asking:

What is Theater of the Oppressed, anyway?

TO (as it’s known to those who love it) is a form of participatory theater that is meant to create dialogue and provide a forum for people to solve their own problems through creativity and empathy. Theater of the Oppressed was created by Brazilian visionary Augusto Boal, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in creating and sustaining this form of theater, which is now used around the world. Boal witness firsthand what oppression from an authoritarian regime could do to citizens and created the original components of TO in response. He was ultimately persecuted and tortured for his activities on behalf of the people and then lived in exile in Paris for many years. While in Paris, he observed that despite the political freedom enjoyed by the French people, many people suffered from deep despair and alienation as evidenced by sky high suicide rates, drug abuse, and other social problems. He evolved the work of Theater of the Oppressed to include techniques for dealing with all kinds of “oppressions”, even the ones that can happen in a free society. The techniques are used around the world in schools, political organizing, support groups, anti-bullying campaigns, environmental work, human rights organizing, and more.

Who should come to this workshop?
Theater artists interested in doing something worthwhile with their theater skills.

Teachers.

Activists who are passionate about finding new and creative ways to organize effectively.

People who think art never changes anything. (We’ll change your mind.)

Anyone who is interested in creating a more humane, creative, and equitable world.

What should I bring?

You don’t have to bring anything, but if you like to be extra prepared you can bring a water bottle (hydration is always good) and notebook. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes since we’ll be moving around.

Where is the workshop happening? Is the space accessible?

We’ll meet at Secret Headquarters:  610 2nd Ave in Pioneer Square. The space is accessible for wheelchair users.

What does my class fee cover?

Your $10-$20 fee (pay what you can in that range) will be used to compensate the instructor (30%) and support the work of One Forbidden Thing (70%). Any additional donations that you make above $20 will be used exclusively to support One Forbidden Thing.

What should I expect?

We’ll introduce ourselves, play some of Boal’s famous games (and discuss the reasons *why* Boal used games), and learn a little bit about two of the most common forms of Theater of the Oppressed: Image Theater and Forum Theater. This course is an introduction to ideas that will be fully explored in the full day intensive on Sunday the 17th. (And this is a good way to “try it out” to see if you’re interested to join us for the intensive.)

If you’re planning to come, please RSVP to   oneforbiddenthing@gmail.com .   We reserve the right to cancel the class if we do not have adequate attendance, so please RSVP!


Hello, dear readers!
The OFT (that’s One Forbidden Thing, for those in-the-know) has been working hard again this week on lots of new material about juicy subjects like breaking the law, going crazy, and murder. It’s been a heavy week!

Come on….aren’t you curious about what goes on during one of our rehearsals? Haven’t you wanted to see what it’s like when a bunch of artists get together to try to create something new? If so, this is your lucky week because we’re holding an open rehearsal on Thursday evening from 6-9pm. You can come to the Secret Headquarters and peek at what we’re up to. We might even take requests for scenes and monologues to develop!

Here are some rehearsal photos to whet your appetite:

Jillian, Ruth, and Lisa writing monologues

Ruth and David: Bus Stop Scene

Alissa and Jillian: "I left the baby in the car...."

Adrian, Ruth, Jillian and David: Dead weight

Intrigued? Come join us on Thursday!


Have you ever done anything illegal? Ever wanted to? Come join One Forbidden Thing for thoughtful, playful conversations about one of the biggest sources of “forbiddenness” in our culture—the law. What does the law tell us is forbidden? Why? And what happens when we disobey?

The workshop will be held from 1-4pm on Saturday October 2. Just come to 610 2nd Ave in Pioneer Square, and wear some comfortable clothes. We’ll be playing some games, telling some stories, and you might even get to see our ensemble do some improvisation based on YOUR ideas. As always, the workshop is free and open to the public. Join us!


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.


Greetings, dear readers!

Today, I am writing to you with two requests. First, please check out the workshop tab and see if you can join us for one or more of the dates. We really want to hang out with you.

Second, would you check out our wish list for some supplies and support that will help us to keep doing what we’re doing? (We’re not even asking for money. Not yet, anyway.) If you can lend us (till December 1st) or donate to us any of the following objects or services, we would LOVE to hear from you. Just send us a quick email at   oneforbiddenthing@gmail.com  .

Wish List

Folding chairs

Rehearsal blocks (or someone who knows how to build them)

Two trash cans (one for trash, one for recycling)

Graphic Design services

Printing services

And lest this post consist only of requests for help, here are some rehearsal photos and index cards to spark your imagination. (The index cards are answers to the question “What place feels forbidden to you in some way, and what would happen if you went there?”)


Join us on Monday September 27th from 6-8:30pm for what promises to be an intriguing workshop. We’re going to be up to our usual antics—playing games, telling stories, and the like—-but we’ve got a fascinating topic to explore. How do forbidden things relate to our experiences of health and the body?

Here are some of the questions I’m wondering about….

What feels off-limits to me because of how my body looks? What’s off-limits because of my physical capabilities?

What is it like for health care to be forbidden?

What things are forbidden to us if we want to be healthy? Who says? How do we react to being told “don’t eat trans fats, don’t drink tequila, don’t stay up too late….”

Come join us on Monday for more questions….and maybe some answers, too.

And now, here are some juicy responses to our favorite question. “What place feels forbidden to you? What might happen if you went there anyway?