Come join us “behind the scenes” of creating a new play from scratch! One Forbidden Thing isn’t your average piece of theater; we’re building it from real stories—and that’s where you come in. You’ll meet new people, play games, hear fascinating stories (and maybe tell one or two of your own), and stretch your imagination. You’ll also get a chance to interact with theater artists and share your ideas. Then, your own ideas and stories become the inspiration for a new play. Director Melanie St. Ours has years of experience leading theater workshops with people from all backgrounds and she knows how to ensure that everybody has fun and never feels pushed too far out of their comfort zone. So don’t worry—you’ll get to try new things, but you’ll never be pushed to do anything embarrassing or difficult. If that doesn’t sound appealing enough, remember that each of these workshops is completely free and open to the public.

Right about now I know what you’re thinking. It’s something along the lines of, “that sounds nice…but what will we actually be doing? Is this going to be weird? Is it really worth getting up off my butt and turning off my computer to go all the way down to Pioneer Square to hang out with this theater geek?”

Check out the participants in The Rumi Project. They look like they’re having fun, right?

So, yes, it will be worth it. We’ll be playing some games at the beginning of every workshop (games are fun, and they also break us out of our habitual ways of thinking so that we’re ready to have original ideas), and then we’ll do some activities that involve simple storytelling. We might write sometimes (like, sentences or juicy words…no need to be a writer.) We’ll certainly laugh. We might do some activities based on the Theater of the Oppressed like making statues with our bodies that tell a story and then mining them for hidden meaning. We might tell secrets and ghost stories. We might even try acting out some stories, too. Everybody will be free to join in at his or her own level of comfort. After all, it’s hard to be creative if you feel nervous.

All of our workshops will explore the idea of forbidden places, places where we’re afraid to go, where we’re not allowed to go, or that feel off-limits in some way. For some of us, it can be hard to even imagine a place like that. For others, we instantly can list five or six places that feel off-limits somehow. To help us come up with the most widely-reaching understanding of this question (and to make it easier for you to know which workshops to try to come to) we’re holding some workshops with themes. We’ll explore how the idea of forbidden places connects to the workshop theme—what are the forbidden places in the healthcare system? What places are forbidden by the law and what might be going on behind those closed doors? If you’re interested in a particular topic, by all means try to come to that workshop!

Here’s the Schedule:

Workshop Schedule for September and October 2010

9/27     6-8:30pm     Health and the Body

10/2    1-4pm             The Law

10/7     6-8:30pm     Open Rehearsal: One Forbidden Thing

10/11   6-8:30pm      Things that we forbid ourselves

10/16   1-4pm             Vices

10/21   6-8:30pm       Forbidden Things

10/23   1-4pm             Prison

10/30  1-4pm             Death

Still not sure you’re coming? Here are some great reasons to come to an OFT workshop (or six):

~You like listening to and telling stories.

~You’re sick of staring at a computer and want to feel alive for a change

~You used to do lots of arts stuff but then life got sidetracked by grown-up stuff—and you miss being creative.

~You really don’t like theater that much and never go to it because it seems too fake, too fantastical, or it puts you to sleep. This ain’t your average theater workshop. We might just change your mind a little.

~You’re intrigued by the idea of forbidden places.

~You’ve never tried doing anything artistic before and are kind of intimidated by it. Come see how easy and natural it is. (I promise—it will not be scary!)

~You’re secretly a rebel….and you want to ask the questions you’re not supposed to ask….

~You’re sick of the same old going-out activities and want to do something new and cool with your friends that’ll let you meet new people and have fun.

~You’re an artist from another discipline and want to see how you can collaborate with us.

~You’re a burned-out do-gooder who wants to learn some ways to bring cool arts techniques into your work.

~You’re a jaded actor who is sick of the grind and wants to imagine new ways of creating the theater that you love.

~You’ve got an important story to tell—but you’re not sure who will listen. We will.

~You like fun.

(Frankly, people, if you don’t like fun I just can’t help you.)

If you’ve still got questions, just email me at


One Response to “Workshops”

  1. Also, we should make it clear that you will NOT have to do anything crazy and theatrical. In fact, you won’t *have* to do anything you don’t want to do. (Usually by the time we get going everybody feels game to participate, but nobody will ever be forced.)

    The bottom line is that if you’re curious about coming but feeling unsure, you can always write to me directly to talk over your concerns. Just drop me a line at . I’ll usually be able to respond within 24hrs.

    See you soon!


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