7 Stages Theatre http://www.7stages.org Where Else? Thu, 22 Sep 2016 20:16:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Threepenny Opera cast spotlight! http://www.7stages.org/threepenny-opera-cast-spotlight/ Thu, 15 Sep 2016 05:00:58 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7231 The post The Threepenny Opera cast spotlight! appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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Jessica De Maria as Lucy

Q. What song from the production gets stuck in your head for days?

A. Selfish, but definitely THE BARBARA SONG. Yes, it’s the one I learned first…but mostly because I find myself quoting it pretty regularly. Oops. Men amiright?

Q. What is your favorite line from the production?

A. I have several marked in my script…from the profound to the hilarious. But I think my favorite has to be:

“WHAT KEEPS A MAN ALIVE? HE LIVES ON OTHERS.

HE LIKES TO TASTE THEM FIRST, THEN EAT THEM WHOLE, IF HE CAN.”

Q. Threepenny has been around for MANY years, what makes this production timeless in your opinion and what do you hope audiences will walk away feeling?

A. Threepenny is timeless because the state of these characters is timeless. The situations they find themselves in, that created them still exist. We just are able to hide them in an easier way. We put a nice pretty, clean duvet cover on it. I want the audience to have their eyes opened, I want them to find themselves in the show and I want them to feel empathy where they didn’t think they could or would.

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Shannon Murphy as Dotty

Q. What song from the production gets stuck in your head for days?

A. Instead Of Song

Q. What is your favorite line from the production?

A. “You who dote on our despair and your desire, may learn the simple truth from this our song. Whatever you may do, wherever you aspire. First feed the face, and then talk right and wrong.”

Q. Threepenny has been around for MANY years, what makes this production timeless in your opinion and what do you hope audiences will walk away feeling?

A. Threepenny is timeless because the Brecht wrote it inclusively. He calls upon everyone from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich to reflect upon their relationship with morality. I want the audience to laugh and gasp and feel uncomfortable and ask the beggar in all of us how filling morality actually is.

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Jed Drummond as Readymoney Matt/Band

Q. What song from the production gets stuck in your head for days?

A. As the pianist for this production, all of the songs are zooming around madly in my head at all times. I must admit a particular love for our leading ladies’ big solo numbers : “Pirate Jenny”, “Barbara Song”, and “Solomon Song”.

Q. What is your favorite line from the production?

A. Macheath : Confidentially, I’m thinking of going into banking exclusively. It’s safer and the takes are bigger.

Q. Threepenny has been around for MANY years, what makes this production timeless in your opinion and what do you hope audiences will walk away feeling?

A. I don’t think that the show is exactly timeless; rather, it continues to be TIMELY because the negative repercussions of capitalism remain, and are only becoming more egregious.

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Finding love at The Threepenny Opera http://www.7stages.org/threepenny-love-story/ Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:29:31 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7224 The post Finding love at The Threepenny Opera appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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During our 1983 run of Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera, two of the actors found more than just another stage credit. Nick Crabb and Sue Gilman found each other. Below is Sue’s tale of finding her Mackie.

“I was one of the whores, Betty. The cast was so large and the show so complicated we rehearsed in small groups for several weeks – the whores together, the singers, of course, like that. So the first time the whole cast came together was with the choreographer, Joanne. She was introducing us to the big scenes where pretty much the whole cast is on stage. As she was putting us through some warm up exercises I was looking around the room to see who was there, who were all these people I would be working with. I knew a few of them, George Nikas and Tom Turbeville and Del and Faye, of course. My eye fell on a man I’d never seen before. Tall, very slim, dark hair. I thought, “Who is that!?” And that was it. My life was changed forever.

Turned out that was Mack the Knife aka Nick Crabb. I didn’t fully know it at the time but I fell madly in love right there on the spot. And I hadn’t even heard him sing yet! Oh Lord, that man could sing. I spent the run of the show falling more and more in love with him. He clearly liked me but was insanely hard to get. He had just ended an engagement and was at loose ends and a bit broken hearted. So that was part of it. I worked harder to get that man’s attention than just about anything I’ve ever done in my life. I would show up anyplace I thought he might be. I would always make sure he was invited when I knew a group of us were going to the Pub after rehearsal (then it was the Little Five Points Pub; today it’s the Corner Tavern). I was truly shameless. All the scenes we had together were completely thrilling, of course. Especially those little bits here and there where we actually touched or even danced together. I was a complete helpless fool for this man. By the end of the show we had become ‘friends’ but I was really worried about losing touch with him.

Thank God he and George cooked at the Pub so I could always find him there. It’s so strange that we had never met. I had been working at Southern Theatre Conspiracy for a couple of years and he had been at 7 Stages for ages. We were right around the corner from each other, both doing theatre, I ate in the Pub all the time, I had known George, who was his best friend, for years, but, somehow, we never met. Later I did realize that I had seen him before. I think it was when 7 Stages was doing one of the Mama Dada plays and he had dyed his hair blue. I suddenly remembered I had seen this guy standing on the sidewalk on Moreland with blue hair one day.

I managed to continue to find ways to see him after the show closed and I remember the first time we kissed. He was living at Del and Faye’s on Elmira. He and I had been out somewhere and I was dropping him off in front of their house. When he got out of the car he came around to the driver’s window and kissed me on the lips. Honestly, I thought I was going to die. It’s really embarrassing what I did. I whooped. Like a cowboy. I whooped and drove away. Anyway, I believe I remember correctly that it took me 8 months from that first sighting at the choreography rehearsal to, well, you know, commitment. After that it didn’t take long before we were living together. We did lots of shows together for the next couple of years. Being with him was completely extraordinary. He was brilliant, magical, sensitive, sooo talented, and loved me without reservation (once I finally got him to realize I was the love of his life). I learned so very much about what it is to love another human being from him. He was a master at it. I only got to have him in my life for 3 short years. He died on July 3, 1987. Next summer will be 30 years. I’ve never really recovered, I guess. I miss him pretty much every day.

As for Threepenny. It’s just weird isn’t it? It’s embarrassing to use the word timeless but I’m afraid it’s true. Such a delicious romp through the vagaries of morality on all levels. Who’s good and who’s bad here? Who’s got the power? Who’s got the brains? Such wonderful cynicism. And the music is brilliant. After all these years, completely without provocation, a tune will just arrive unbidden in my mind. Always a pleasure and a delight. Not just because it is a path to Nick but because, to me, it’s extraordinary work. Weill and Brecht – thank you!”

Thank you, Sue Gilman, for sharing this story with us!

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Don Finney featured in GA Voice http://www.7stages.org/don-finney-featured-ga-voice/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 05:00:36 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7221 The post Don Finney featured in GA Voice appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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 Out actor talks return of ‘The Threepenny Opera’ to Atlanta

Next week, the play with music “The Threepenny Opera” – known for its score including numbers such as “Mack the Knife” – opens at 7 Stages to launch the company’s 38th season. Written in the 1920s by Bertolt Brecht, this version – directed by Michael Haverty – brings out actor Don Finney back to the stage. We caught up recently with Finney – a veteran of the company – to talk about the show, his amoral character and his return to acting after a long layoff.Hello, Don. How did you get involved in this production?
I got a call from Heidi (Howard, the company’s artistic director) asking if I would be interested. I have always wanted to do it. I went in assuming I would be looked at for Mr. Peachum but when I got to the audition they had me learn Mrs. Peachum’s number and the rest is history.

For those not familiar with the piece, tell us a little about it.
It’s basically just a crime story about the catching of the most notorious gang leader in London. It is filled with characters who are not the nicest people in the world. It’s also filled with lust, sex, guns, and violence.

Tell us about your character.
My character, Mrs. Peachum, is probably the darkest in the play. She will do anything to get what she wants, but she is trapped in a horrible marriage, a marriage of convenience. She’s in a very dark place.

Why does this hold up?
There are so many human aspects. One of the most important things about the play is how its power and corruption really resonate now. There seems to be something in the world today where people feel trapped. Just look at our election now, and what’s happening in the U.K. with Brexit.

The interesting thing is that there is a lot of comedy in the play but when done well, it turns your mind inside out. It’s almost like a nightmarish cartoon; there is something profoundly human that comes out of it. On top of that, there is this fabulous score.

Is there any significance to the fact that a gay man is playing this role?
I don’t know that there is one. I don’t look at it that way personally. I look at it as an actor taking on another role. If anything, it might make her more monstrous.

Why did you take a break from acting?
I walked away for a while. I didn’t think I was getting what I wanted out of it. There were other things in life I wanted to pursue,

How has theater changed since?
You walk in and the cast is very young. Yet the wonderful thing is, for me, coming back, I do feel like I am home. I have worked at 7 Stages for years. I have known Heidi forever. Bryan Mercer is doing the music and he and I have known each other 30, 35 years. The surprising thing is to work with all these young people and they look up to me.

What can gay audiences get from the show?
Besides the human element I mentioned earlier and the score, we have a really hot leading man. And a fat man in a dress. I think it’s going to be fun.

“The Threepenny Opera”
7 Stages
1105 Euclid Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30307
Through September 25
www.7stages.org

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7 Stages presents Cereal: Episode 1 http://www.7stages.org/7-stages-presents-cereal-episode-1/ Thu, 08 Sep 2016 13:44:35 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7218 The post 7 Stages presents Cereal: Episode 1 appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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Two crunchy interns talk about 7 Stages 2016-17 Season and share insight into each production, the actors, design teams, and hot topics. Also, they eat a lot of cereal. Please excuse the crunching, slurping and references to Lucky Charms.

In Episode 1, our hosts, Sarah and Ryan, talk to a couple members of the apprentice ensemble in The Threepenny Opera.

This podcast series was created by the summer 2016 marketing interns at 7 Stages. Thanks to Sarah Summerbell and Ryan Williams for their hard work and love for the arts!

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The Threepenny Opera featured in American Theatre Magazine! http://www.7stages.org/threepenny-opera-featured-american-theatre-magazine/ Sun, 04 Sep 2016 05:00:42 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7208 The post The Threepenny Opera featured in American Theatre Magazine! appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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Trailer released for The Threepenny Opera http://www.7stages.org/trailer-released-threepenny-opera/ Fri, 02 Sep 2016 16:20:29 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7206 The post Trailer released for The Threepenny Opera appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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THREEPENNY OPERA TRAILER RELEASED! Be the first to see Mack in action with all of his lovely ladies, menacing goons, and those that love to hate him! #MackIsBack #See3PO On stage 9/9-9/25!

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We are Orlando http://www.7stages.org/we-are-orlando/ Wed, 15 Jun 2016 18:31:07 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7107 The post We are Orlando appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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7 Stages’ staff and interns visited the candlelight vigil at 10th and Piedmont for the victims of the Orlando mass shooting. We spoke to members of the Atlanta community to share their words of hope and reactions to this horrific tragedy.

We encourage everyone to fight with love, make their voice heard, and never be afraid to be who you are.

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Georgia Tech professor tackles autism advocacy in her new book http://www.7stages.org/georgia-tech-professor-tackles-autism-advocacy-new-book/ Fri, 29 Apr 2016 00:13:01 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=6735 We spoke to Jennifer Singh, assistant professor at Georgia Tech, about her new book on autism, Multiple Autisms: Spectrums of Advocacy and Genomic Science. Read our interview with the author below: Q. Your book uses data from over 70 interviews with scientists, parents, and people living with autism. What was it like mapping out all this […]

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Jennifer S. Singh, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor School of History, Technology and Society Ivan Allen College Georgia Institute of Technology

Jennifer S. Singh, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor
School of History, Technology and Society
Ivan Allen College
Georgia Institute of Technology

We spoke to Jennifer Singh, assistant professor at Georgia Tech, about her new book on autism, Multiple Autisms:
Spectrums of Advocacy and Genomic Science. Read our interview with the author below:

Q. Your book uses data from over 70 interviews with scientists, parents, and people living with autism. What was it like mapping out all this research?

A. Mapping out this much data is always a challenge. The approach I take is to start the data analysis immediately. As soon as I conduct an interview, I write theoretical memos on key themes that are identified and new questions that arise, which shapes the direction of my research. I take a grounded theory approach, which is a systematic approach for gathering, synthesizing, analyzing, and conceptualizing qualitative data to construct theory. In other words, I constructed the meanings of autism from the ground up, starting with interviews from people living with autism. Once I have established central themes, I incorporate focused coding of the data to help sythesize and explain larger segments of the data. I also developed situational maps that helped me to identify  and connect human and non human elements/actors/actants, collective human elements/actors, as well as implicated/silent actors/actants. This is an approach developed by my PhD Advisor, Dr. Adele Clarke.

Q. What interview resonated the most with you?

A. The interviews that resonated with me the most were the ones I conducted with people who have autism. These were my first set of interviews, which I started before I knew very much about autism. This is traditionally how grounded theory should be conducted. Among these interviews, I had the opportunity to meet a young women who was newly diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. She was 33 years old and was able to reflect on her entire life not quite understanding her battles with anxiety, social communication, and anorexia. I keep coming back to this interview because it demonstrates how girls and women are overlooked in the screening and diagnosis process (boys are diagnosed 4 times more than girls) and how gendered stereotypes shape how certain symptoms are interpreted over others. I think I listened to her interview the most because shared with me such intimate details of how she interprets the world. She told me it was like trying to communicate in a foreign language without an interpreter and the constant work she does to try and keep all the elements of a social conversation in her head. These interviews also resonate in my new research on working with adults on the autism spectrum with life transition issues, especially in areas of independent living, employment, and long-term health.

Q. During your time as a sociologist of science, technology, and medicine at Georgia Tech, have you found a community of autism advocates and people living with autism here in Atlanta?

A. Yes! As I indicated earlier, I am working with the Atlanta Autism Consortium (AAC) to develop community-based intervention workshops that target the needs of adults living on the spectrum in metro Atlanta. The AAC is a non-profit organization that consists of a broad range of stakeholders, including: autism researchers, public health professionals, educators, service providers, policy makers, and people with autism and their families. Over the years the AAC has developed a closer relationship with a group of autistic self-advocates who are helping us identify and develop an agenda on how the AAC can utilize it’s network to focus on adult quality of life issues. I advertised the play to the AAC and we would love to organize a group to come to the play.

Q. Since the publishing of your book, how has autism awareness progressed or digressed in Atlanta?

A. This book was just published (Jan 2016), so I am uncertain how to answer this question other than to say that in Atlanta, organizations like the AAC, have really help over the years to organize different stakeholders to target specific agendas. For example, they helped to write the Insurance reform bill (Ava’s Law) that was passed in Georgia. This requires employment-based insurance to cover autism therapies such as applied behavioral analysis or occupational therapy. There are so many grass roots efforts throughout Georgia, many that are initiated by parents. One is the Parent to Parent Network, which provides a much needed service to parents who are newly diagnoses help navigate the complex systems of care in Georgia. They are especially useful for low-income and under served families. This state is certainly not the best for autism services and has limits compared to other parts of the U.S. I am however, seeing a movement in the Latino Community through efforts by the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State. Again, this is being charged by a parent with a child with autism who understands the complexities of navigating the system in a different language. So much more work to do here, which is also another new area of research for me.

 

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Connections School of Atlanta fills education gap http://www.7stages.org/connections-school-of-atlanta-fills-education-gap/ Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:24:55 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=6666 The post Connections School of Atlanta fills education gap appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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Connections logo vertical-01Alison Auerbach from Connections School of Atlanta will be in attendance at both of our sensory friendly performances of INSIDE I, April 28 at 8 PM, and May 7 at 2 PM. Below she talks about Connections School, why it is necessary, and how we can all work on being more inclusive:

Q. How did Connections School of Atlanta, a secondary school choice for children with autism and similar neuro-developmental challenges, get started?

A. CSA was started by a group of parents of current and former students at The Hirsch Academy, a DIR/Floortime-based K-8 school in Decatur. Our children thrive thanks to Hirsch’s unique combination of therapeutic support and academic challenge, and we want that experience to continue into their high school years.
When we first came together to discuss what we want for our children’s education, we articulated a set of core values and goals to which we were all committed. Since we had yet to find these values and goals reflected to our satisfaction in the existing options for our children, our choice was clear: Encourage our children to change themselves to fit the available programs, or create a place that embraces our children just as they are.

Core Goals:
We want our students to embrace their strengths and learn to overcome their challenges while maintaining a sense of pride in who they are.
We want our students to understand “different” doesn’t mean “less,” but does require knowing how to ask for what you need.
We want to see our students able to both adapt to the world around them and demand the world meet them halfway.

Core Values:
We believe different is not less: We are not here to fix or cure our students, because we do not believe they are broken.
We presume competence in all of our students: We assume our students have the desire and capability to learn and to engage with the world.
We promote self-respect and self-advocacy: We teach our students to identify their specific needs, and to believe they deserve to have those needs met.
We honor each student’s individual learning style(s) and sensory profile: We strive to tailor the educational experience to best fit the way each student absorbs, processes and expresses information.

Q. We scoped out the website and it’s very apparent how experienced and dedicated the staff is to Connections’ cause. What sort of impact do these professionals have on the students and their time at Connections?

A. Our founding board is beyond grateful we are able to begin Connections’ first year with such a highly qualified, experienced and dedicated staff. They are truly our “dream team,” and have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to bringing our vision to life.

Our students will spend every school day with teachers who believe they are extraordinary, intelligent and gifted individuals with the power to change the world. They will learn from teachers who measure success in terms of individual progress, rather than external, generic standards. They will be guided in their explorations by teachers who understand every student learns best at his or her own pace, and know education is not a race.
This type of teaching naturally reflects our core goals and values, and helps instill them in our students. It shows our students difference is beautiful and valuable, and acceptance should be the norm for which we all strive. Ultimately, teachers like ours help our students develop the confidence to walk with their heads held high through a world often harshly critical of difference.

Q. Inside I wants to create a space where audiences can understand the perspective of someone on the autism spectrum. Other than setting up plays and partnerships, what do you think the Atlanta community can do to enhance autism awareness?

A. While April is popularly known as Autism Awareness Month, Connections chooses to support the autistic self-advocates who refer to it as Autism Acceptance Month. This difference is more than semantic: “Awareness” suggests it is enough to be aware of autism’s existence and what it looks like. “Acceptance” demands we listen to autistic people’s voices and accept their perspectives as valid.

(Incidentally, many autistic advocates deliberately choose not to use “person first” language such as “people with autism.” I once heard an autistic advocate explain it more or less like this: In conversation, we refer to French people or English people or Vietnamese people. Autism is my country, my identity. It should come first. Your best bet is to ask autistic individuals which terminology they prefer.)

With this key distinction in mind, perhaps the most helpful thing neurotypical Atlantans can do to enhance autism acceptance and to create safe spaces for autistics is to include a wide range of autistic people in the conversation. Ask them what will make them feel more welcome in Atlanta communities, and listen to their answers.

Q. How can the Atlanta community help in creating safe spaces for people who have autism or similar developmental challenges?

A. Be aware some autistic people might communicate in unfamiliar ways, or even very differently from one another. As the saying goes, “If you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person.”

Be prepared to provide some autistic people with more processing time during conversations. A long pause after your questions does not necessarily mean that the autistic person doesn’t know the answer or has nothing to say. That person might know the answer before you even finish the question, and need extra time to get the words from brain to mouth.
Recognize nonverbal autistic people are not deaf or stupid: Presume competence regardless of verbal ability. Imagine how frustrating it would be to have your body refuse to cooperate when you want to speak, or to be taught the same material over and over again for years because you can’t express understanding in the ways others expect. Assume they hear and understand everything you say.

Recognize the brain-body disconnect. Some autistic people find it challenging to get their bodies to do what they want them to do and their mouths to say what they want them to say. Be aware that what you see (or hear) could be just a tiny sliver of that person’s story.

Put the “Rainman” stereotype to rest for good. Move beyond mainstream movie and television portrayals of autism, and learn from real-life autistic people. Yes, Temple Grandin is wonderful, but there’s a world of other lesser-known and just as wonderful autistic advocates out there, including Ido Kedar (idoinautismland.com) and Emma Zurcher-Long (emmashopebook.com).

At this time, few high school programs specifically for autistic adolescents exist within the Atlanta perimeter. Fewer still presume competence in and believe in the unlimited potential of their autistic students. And even fewer open their doors to nonverbal students. For some of our students, Connections is the only thing standing between them and four years of sitting in a corner watching cartoons, unable to communicate their desire to learn and grow.

Our students require individualized attention and a very low student-teacher ratio, which necessitates a very high tuition that still does not cover all of our expenses. Please consider supporting autism acceptance with a small (or large) donation to help our extraordinary students meet their needs.

All of us at Connections thank 7 Stages, Michael Haverty, Erwin Maas and Sam Gross for their commitment to making autistic voices heard.

For more information, visit ConnectionsSchoolofAtlanta.com!

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The Pacha Mamas join us for April’s Home Brew! http://www.7stages.org/the-pacha-mamas-join-us-for-aprils-home-brew/ Tue, 26 Apr 2016 21:06:17 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=6679 The post The Pacha Mamas join us for April’s Home Brew! appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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imageOn Saturday, April 30 at noon, The Pacha Mamas’ will present their newest work, A Touch of Goddesspell aka Guardians of Gaia. The presentation is free and is sponsored by Three Taverns Brewery. Join us next Saturday for free local beer and art, and then head down to the Inman Park Festival in time for the parade.

Below, we spoke to Angela Bennett, one of the members of The Pacha Mamas about their new work, and why we need to reconnect with Mother Earth and stop devaluing the feminine spirit:

Q. A Touch of Goddesspell aka Guardians of Gaia came out of the need to introduce some topics that you were working with in Goddesspell the Musical. What part of working on this prequel to Goddesspell the Musical has been most beneficial and why was it important to step away and work on A Touch of Goddesspell before finishing Goddesspell the Musical?

A. The idea of Goddesspell as a musical theatre piece came out of the desire to really look at the ways we devalue the feminine spirit or yin energy and the effects that this has not only on us personally but on humanity in general. The glorification of masculine energy at the expense of the feminine principle is reflected in our world in many ways that we have come to just accept as normal including seeing God as a man. Goddesspell, up until last year was a concept in my mind and on paper. When we (The Pacha Mamas) really started developing it as an actual living breathing show, we realized that in order to address all the goddess archetypes that we would be presenting with integrity, the process was going to take much more time and resources than we originally thought. At the same time, we all were feeling concern for the environment, our Mother Earth, and the critical place we are with those issues. It occurred to us that our misuse and abuse of our natural resources is a direct reflection of our devaluing of yin/feminine energy – that it is all connected. So putting these concerns together- the length of time and the amount of support/resources we would need to build to really do Goddesspell justice AND our sense of urgency for transformation around the ways in which we relate to Mother Earth, we came up with what we are calling “Guardians of Gaia” AKA “A Touch of Goddesspell” which has elements of what Goddesspell will be but can stand on it’s own as an hour long show that we can more easily take on mini-tours (along with an offering of a companion workshop as an opportunity to delve into the subject deeper as a community) to mostly our familiar stomping grounds to begin with as soon as this fall.

Q. A Touch of Goddesspell is all about Mother Earth and our connection with her, good and bad. Tell audiences a little more about why you wanted to focus on this topic now?

A. We are living unsustainably on the earth right now. We are trashing the earth to be quite frank and some people don’t really want to look at that especially if they don’t feel it’s affecting them directly and other people are just too busy trying to keep their own lives above water to try and deal with one more problem so to speak. This is obviously a completely disempowering way of looking or not looking at the issues. The fact is that what is happening is affecting us all NOW whether we choose to look at it or not. And here is where I will give you one quote from the end of our little show to make this point: “The earth is not a problem to be solved; it is a living being to which we belong. The earth is part of our own self and we are part of its suffering wholeness. Until we go to the root of our image of separateness, there can be no healing. And the deepest part of our separateness from creation lies in our forgetfulness of its sacred nature, which is also our own sacred nature.” The fact is, so many of us have become completely disconnected from our inherent and interconnected sacred nature and it’s being reflected in a very unbalanced and violent world.

Q. Your work as a group is a mixture of music, spoken word, movement and exudes energy. Why did you choose to create performances that encompassed so many art forms, and what do you want audiences to take away from this mixture of creation?

A. Well, I think the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that The Pacha Mamas came together previously having many different kinds of experiences in the performing arts and each one of us came in with a different specialization. For example, most of Marquetta’s formal artistic training has been in dance, Vivian’s in music and mine in theatre. So we are all bringing these different gifts to the table and finding that it’s fun and interesting and more fulfilling for us to mix it up or combine things- not only for us but for our audiences. All these forms compliment and add depth to each other and it’s sort of a reflection of life really and the beauty and depth that is found in the diversity of people’s gifts especially when expressed in collaboration. In general, we want audiences to feel energized, inspired, engaged and uplifted by what we do and how we do it.

Q. Home Brew is all about aiding local artists in developing their work, as well as exposing Atlanta audiences to local artists. What has been the best part of developing this piece as part of the Home Brew Series, and how does it aid in the next steps?

A. This opportunity has actually been much more significant for us than I think we originally anticipated. I am so grateful for it and we haven’t even had our presentation yet because honestly it really is about the process at this point. As individual artists, The Pacha Mamas are all piecing together our living in very creative ways through many different means. By most people’s standards, we live on the edge financially which is a price many artists pay but wouldn’t have it any other way out of integrity to our creative spirit/freedom. SO to coordinate the schedules of all three of us in order to find chunks of time to develop/create together is very difficult. BUT when you have a deadline, you go way out of your way to make it happen which is what we have been doing. So at this moment the fact that we have a definite place and time to share our work has been a huge catalyst in the actual creation of this piece so far. We are so thankful for the sense of purpose Home Brew has given us.   The idea that there are people out there that believe in what we are doing enough to help support us in making it happen is HUGE.   It’s not that easy to get support in developing new work and it usually requires a lot of voluntary time from the artists. I feel like the root of this comes from a real disconnect in our culture when it comes to the things we value in general and in particular valuing product over process. I’m looking forward to the kind of world where art and especially the kind that really engages the audience in inquiry is truly valued for the power that it has to help make the world a more spiritually and emotionally healthy place, translating into more true joy, love and peace all around!!! I believe as we begin to hold those aspects of ourselves that are considered yin/feminine energy in much higher esteem, creating more balance within ourselves, we will begin to see this change in the world.   Ultimately, I’m hoping that Guardians of Gaia is one of the things that helps facilitate that change and with the help of the Home Brew program that feels much more feasible to us.

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