Beautiful Minds at NAMI
This is a drop in workshop for people living with mental illness, as well as caregivers, family, and friends of people living with mental illness. The current theme is: “My Eye”. We’re working on metaphors, style, voice, and character to reveal the truths of mental illness, as well as, you know, being alive. The performances will be in March 2012.
Location: Washington County Center, 18680 Southwest Shaw Street
Aloha, OR 97007-1250.
Time: 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 11am-12:30pm
Returning Heroes is a reunion writing workshop open to anyone who’s ever written in Well Arts’ healing workshops. Participants from different backgrounds create beautiful theatre together. Workshops are currently taking place on Saturdays at the Well Arts office, and the auditions will be in April!
Workshops We’re Developing
Just Like You
(in partnership with the NW Downs Syndrome Association)
In late 2013-early 2014 we’re doing a two month workshop with parents who are members of the NW Downs Syndrome Association. These are all parents who have children with Downs. We’ll help the parents write plays about their experiences, and their children, with at least two sessions with the children themselves (paired with volunteer scribes). The parents at NW Downs Syndrome Association want to tell stories that counteract the popular belief that being a good parent to a children with Downs Syndrome requires superhuman effort. Their families are like so many others. We want to take away some of the mystery and stigmatization around living with Downs Syndrome, and help empower audiences to feel confident to approach people with Downs in their own community.
Jump At The Sun: an African American Women’s Project:
We’ll do a 8-10 week intergenerational playwriting workshop specifically for African American Women to tell stories around issues they face in Portland as African American women. Promotion of the final performance will be aided by Race Talks.We’re currently contacting potential partners organizations. If you’d like to help make this happen, call us at 503-459-4500 or email us by clicking here!
The Surprise Guest Project:
This is a workshop for women and men with a breast cancer diagnosis. This is an area of passionate importance to our board, because there really seems to be no one in our community who is untouched by cancer. We chose to focus the storytelling on “surprises”. For something that is all too common, there is still a lot of confusion and mystery that attends the person facing the initial diagnosis, and prospect of the journey through their treatment. We want to help participants capture what was most surprising about their experience, pinning down and unraveling the enigma, and sharing that with an audience as a map for those who may someday encounter their own breast cancer diagnosis. We’re currently looking for organizations to partner with. If you can help, call 503-459-4500 or email us by clicking here.
Soldier’s Heart is a creativity and story workshop at Portland Vet Center, open to veterans served by Portland Vet Center and referred by a staff counselor. We use meditation, theatre exercises, visual art and writing to help veterans feel comfortable beginning to explain their experiences to those who are closest to them. This is an annual, 2 month workshop with an invited read at the end of the workshop on location at Portland Vet Center. Each veteran invites one family member or friend to hear their story. The next workshop begins in September.
Stories for Portland
Our new annual Stories Event for Portland’s Fertile Ground Festival comes out of Well Arts’ merger with Lunatic Fringe, and will help community members create and perform plays out of their own experiences. Local theatre artists will assist in the writing and rehearsal process, script organization, editing, and directing. Past projects have included homeless, recent immigrants/foreign population, and human trafficking victims, providing a stage and an audience for their stories to be heard—to foster an understanding of all-too-often misunderstood and stereotyped populations. Each year during the Fertile Ground Festival we will give our stage to an underserved population as an open forum so their voices can be heard and audiences made aware of controversial issues hidden from the public. Stay tuned for next year when we will celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of “Stories” presented by Well Arts. Can you guess which diverse group we will focus on next? Let us know who you think it could be…
(And for a little context, this project began four years ago with Lunatic Fringe’s, The 5th of July, the pilot for the Stories Series, in which young people from Rwanda, El Salvador, Nepal, among other countries, read their writings on the culture shock of living in the US and their longing for the cultural traditions of their own countries. The following year a partnership with Street Roots was formed and writers of the homeless community invited to create Stories: from the streets. Last year’s Stories: from survivors of the sex trade attracted the largest audience and broadest demographic to date. This year for the 4th year of our annual “Stories Series” we took a closer look at yet another eclectic population: SE Portland youth in the improvisational comedy revue, “Stories: From the Trenches of Middle School.” A group of savvy students revealed their inner lives to the world, on their own terms: through a thinly disguised veil of parody and satire.)
Voices of Our Elders
This is a workshop open to anyone over the age of 60 that we bring to retirement communities and elder living facilities. Call us at 503-459-4500 or email us by clicking here, to set up a meeting to talk about bringing Voices of Our Elders to your location.