Delighted to be joining the betty bus again and chatting with young people all about periods and their bodies. We’ll be hanging out with the girl guides this weekend for the Wellies and Wristbands Festival before zipping off around the country for our second tour. So many amazing young people have left the bus gaining more confidence with their bodies and comfort when talking about periods. I couldn’t be more proud of the strong work being done by our talented team and the social movement we’re trying to create.
Check out the betty website for more information about where we’ll be and how we demystify all things period. It’s perfectly natural!
Fellow physical performer, Ruxy Cantir, and I have been grappling with what our role is during the current political climate. With our backgrounds in clowning, we wanted to explore how humor becomes a form of protest… sooooooooooo we created The Dirty Laundry Campaign! Two inept politicians holding a live street debate with the hopes of earning your vote.
George and Edward causing trouble.
We were thrilled to be awarded the Surge Street Theatre Award and Creative Scotland Funding to develop our show. The piece has been performed at PITCH in the Grassmarket, Physical Fest in Liverpool, Surge Fest in Glasgow, and Edinburgh Fringe on the Royal Mile. We are available for bookings so feel free to reach out with inquiries!
How do we actually bring about change through the arts? That’s what I got to speak to Ricky Ross about on BBC Radio Scotland during a live recording at the Solas Festival. I performed an excerpt from REPRISE and spoke about how theatre accesses our ability to feel empathy. Give it a listen to see some of the fantastic discourse surrounding the power of theatre for social change. You can hear me around the 1:43 time mark.
Sunday Morning with Ricky Ross is live from the Solas Festival in Perth. The last 12 months have been hugely eventful politically and socially. Are our old models of response feeling redundant. Do we need to get more creative in our responses? With Padraig O’Tuama , Simon Barrow and performance artist, Sarah Rose Graber.
Over the past couple years, JoAnna Mendl Shaw and I have teamed up on the creation of a new horse performance piece in the south side Pullman neighborhood in Chicago. Known for it’s history of building Pullman train cars in this industry town, we wanted to examine how the horse turned into the iron horse.
We’ve worked alongside Poe Classical Elementary and Pullman Elementary, the National Park Services for the Pullman Monument, Pullman Historical Society, and Transitions Equestrian Center to create a celebration of the industrial revolution in their community.
Working with green screens and multiple projections.
Sometimes you meet other artists and instantly know you need to collaborate. That’s what happened with me and Morna Young. She is a fellow multidisciplinary theatre maker with a passion for the feminist perspective, so it didn’t take long before our ideas started bubbling and our newest piece in development, PROJECTIONS, began to take shape.
We’ve completed a residency with the good people at ARC Stockton and now at National Theatre of Scotland, interrogating how the true inner self lines up with our projected outer self. Who are we? Who do we want to be? How do we show ourselves in an online driven world?
When Monique Quesada first told me about the Connect Institute, I was blown away. It’s an organization that provides free education and support for young people to develop their critical thinking skills through creativity. This is exactly the kind of place the world could use more of…and Taha Balafrej has made this dream a reality. He created the Connect Institute and his infectious enthusiasm and passion have inspired the ambitious community of young people that fill the building each day to achieve their potential.
I spent one week in Morocco working with people from age 6-56 in a series of
workshops that used theatre skills to explore a range of topics each community (Tiznit, Taroudant, Agadir) found to be important. These issues included the generation gap, drug addiction, homosexuality, gender parity, the environment, racism, beauty standards, homelessness, bullying, extremism, and more. Being a better communicator and using storytelling to provide perspective, creating empathy, and opening a door to conversation about controversial topics remained at the center of our work.
Each workshop started with community building exercises to get us working together. We then explored the roles of leading and following with a focus on how we are listening openly to each other. Physical expression and vocal work allowed us to develop more tools as we prepared to create a work of theatre. We broke down story structure and how sharing compelling stories can be more impactful than just telling people how you feel about something. We then used all of the content generated to devise short group performance pieces that were shared with each other.
Below are videos from the workshops in– Tiznit:
For the past several years I’ve been lucky enough to work with Philips at the Radiological Society of North America. The new technology and advancements in digital imaging is truly amazing. I meet doctors, researchers, and engineers who are changing the way we can look inside people’s bodies and as a spokesperson for the company, I get to be part of that growth in medical practice.
The Chicago cast and creative team for REPRISE in Scotland.
It has been nothing short of a privilege to make this show. The Northwestern Settlement House has helped so many immigrants and people battling poverty over it’s 125 years of existence. When I was asked by National Theatre of Scotland to be the lead artist for the US portion of the festival, it was clear the story of Harriet Vittum’s violin was the one we needed to tell- a story about keeping promises, the power of a gift and paying it forward.
We were lucky to have wonderful partner’s in Adventure Stage Chicago, Old Town School of Folk, Chicago West Community Music Center, and of course, the Northwestern Settlement. To top it off we received the MacArthur International Connections Fund to develop and share this work in Chicago and then in Glasgow with our new friends from India, Australia, Brazil, Jamaica, and Scotland.
This past month, I received an Artist Exchange Residency at Aberdeen Performing Arts for the development of my new show, Serendipity. The time spent working on the show was thrilling! I worked with Graeme Nixon from the Mindfulness Department at Aberdeen University and Mel Woods from University of Dundee to better understand how serendipity can be something we create.
The show explores the question- is good fortune just luck, or is it a state of mind? Through direct address, stories, and live social experiments, I wanted the show to take audiences on a reflective journey into their own experiences with happy accidents.
The development resulted in a performance at the Lemon Tree which was a complete blast!