The Project

There are forbidden places in every community. Certain street corners after dusk, the mortuary underneath the funeral parlor, slaughterhouses, executive board rooms—these are all places of restricted access, places that are not open to everybody. One Forbidden Thing is a multi-phase community-based theater process utilizing the language of mythology to explore the relationship of such “forbidden places” to the social issues that we face as a community. The project asks what would happen if we uncovered the truth of those forbidden places. How would that change things? And how would it change us?

One Forbidden Thing is a devised theater process that uses community dialogues, story circles, and theater workshops to name places in Seattle that feel unsafe, restricted, or forbidden. Through the process of creating original theater we will explore the ways that those forbidden places are inextricably tied to our community’s health and survival. Through the use of story circles, interviews, Theater of the Oppressed and other community-based theater methods, we will generate original theatrical material with non-performers in the community. This material will become part of a play (or series of plays) that will be developed and then performed by the professional ensemble in 2011.

Our Goals:

1. To use the art-making process as a means to engage diverse community groups in Seattle in civic dialogue.
2. To create high quality theater works that have immediate relevance to local issues as identified by the community itself.
3. To provide financially accessible opportunities for community members to participate in excellent arts programming.
4. To provide professional development to local theater artists seeking to deepen the community engagement aspect of their work.

From September 1st through December 1st 2010, One Forbidden Thing will be in residence as 610 2nd Avenue in Pioneer Square. This residency has been made possible by the Seattle Storefronts program and we’re grateful to be participating. During this time we’ll be holding rehearsals and free community workshops to explore and develop the ideas of the play. The community workshops are free and open to all; come join us! We will also be offering professional training in community-based theater theory and practice, Theater of the Oppressed, and community engagement techniques for theater professionals who are interested in deepening their community engagement strategies.

Performances of the original theater works created during the residency will take place in 2011.

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