Belleherst Productions
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Class of 2010
A class to remember

Polish class 2010-summer

In This Issue
Choose...The Summer Show
EdFringe Festival 2010
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Blog: Trail Mix for the Spiritual Journey

Three years is long enough to struggle with a decision to blog or not to blog. The blogs have it, and you can read it,  and begin to participate in it.  I am hoping an international  community discussion of ideas, truths, principles and challenges which Belleherst takes up in their productions will be an on-going meal for us all. I receive so many wonderful and 'meaty' emails from audience members after a performance, which always leaves me disappointed that only I am the only beneficiary of their insights.  I long to share these ideas and my own at a much larger community table where many can be fed and nourished by the high nutritional value of spiritual food eaten on life's trail.

Join the table

Blog: Trail Mix for the Spiritual Journey

Keeper Ministry

Keeper of the Gift

Recently several of you have asked how to obtain a copy of my book, Keeper of the Gift.  The book is available on my website for Keeper Ministry as an ebook only.  There are plans in 2011 to make it available as an audio book as well, but at the moment it is not publish in hard copy.

Keeper Ministry/Keeper of the Gift

The I AM

It gives me tremendous joy to contemplate the multiplication of Belleherst's young musical, The I AM Giver.  Three separate ensembles have inquired about adapting it to their companies and for their audiences.  We will keep you informed as the arrangements continue to make progress. It's a message the children should not miss.

Conversation Theatre

Breath on Breath

It has always felt so wrong and empty to walk out of the theatre after a performance without engaging the audience in conversation and comaraderie. As an attempt to mollify this need, Belleherst embarked on 'Chamber Art Action' almost fifteen years ago.  This consisted of bringing small, one-person productions into the living areas of people's houses and engaging them on a personal level before and after the performance. Still, not satisfied...looking for more community dialogue, Belleherst is taking one step further to establish  'Conversation Theatre'.  With the same intimate atmosphere of an individual's home, but with the added element of enjoying a common meal together and offering provoking ideas to discuss.  I could not erase the well preserved record of Martin Luther's 'table talks' with his students (no comparison implied) from my mind as I contemplated this move.

Breath on  Breath,
which explores the subject of the spiritual favor of intimacy with God will be presented Oct.8th and 9th in Oakland, California as Conversation Theatre.

 Dialogue will continue after that performance on my blog: Trail Mix for the Spiritual Journey.  Those internationally viewers, who have seen the production (Croatia, Germany, Poland) are heartily welcome to join in the conversation.  See you at the table.

Drop Shadow Accent Image
Belleherst Fall Missive
September, 2010
Greetings Friends,

If I sound like a proud parent with a photo book handy to document every move of  their developing off spring...I plead guilty. The pride is not for my own part in this growth, but is the pride I feel for them and their accomplishments. At the conclusion of any massive effort or committed project, we all long to hear those words of the Father, Well done faithful worker. What a joy and satisfaction to have said those words and to have heard them this summer season. The news in this missive is about those who reaped the pleasures and rewards of accountable and enduring efforts to be everything that God has designed them to be and to return a profit to Him for His investment.

I still remember vividly the very crisp, but sunny autumn mornings at the University of Michigan when we wandered the country roads outside of Ann Arbor on a Saturday and bought newly harvested apples, drank fresh hot apple cider and stuffed our mouths with fried donuts from farmers' roadside stands. Standing on the precipice of the long, dark and cold winter in which growth would go underground and we would develop by faith alone, it was wonderfully satisfying to spend a moment relishing the harvest of a completed growth cycle.

Kathleen Ann Thompson
Belleherst Productions/Artistic Director
Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image
Choose - the summer show in Latvia and Poland
Years ago, while teaching a group of adults mime and dance skills, one student commented after the first session; 'It was great...if only one could get past the fear and frustration of possible failure. Unfortunately, this student did not choose to lumber and labor through the fear and frustration.  I was sad at the time because I saw great ability in them and could read the unrealized dream in their heart.

As the 2009/10 class of the Polish Christian Studio for Movement Theatre assembled last November for the first time, I suppressed a cynical impulse to mentally check off those students whom I felt would probably not choose to endure to the end, and braced myself for a diminishing student body over the three sessions. The acceptance of delayed gratification and committed endurance that my parents had so completely modeled before me as I grew up seemed all-together out-of-fashion.  The work in the school is hard and requires courage, as well as consistent effort and strength, but this '09/'10 class picked up the challenge and crossed the finish line in July together. They demonstrated real self-discipline and intelligence in their learning, bravery in facing the challenges of crossing personal borders,and initiation in establishing a supportive spiritual network that enabled the strong and the weak to pull together as a team. They dared to hope that the acorn of vision that rested inside each heart to become what they dreamed of, would not be disappointed. Their year culminated with the summer show, Choose, presented in Gdansk. It was an appropriate show for this class to perform since its message was a call to know what you believe, stand up for it, and be courageous enough to live it openly. The opening rap and dance said it straight.

Latvian performance of Choose in Kuldigas, Latvia
LV perf. pix in Choose

What you need now is
Courage -strength
Responsible acts
Sure of your identity

Come out of the fog
Prepare to stand
Define your mark
And steel your spine
And above all things
Braving the cold training rooms

Make no excuse
The end will come
And then it's time

 character Study
Crossing emotional borders
It's this or that
It's better or worse
It's right or wrong
It's good or evil
It's Him or the Other

The joy of finishing well

Make no mistake
Your end's a choice

 It seemed that Latvia caught the spirit,and our smaller, but no less brilliant class at the Kuldigas Art Studio for Movement Theatre was just as inspiring. The student's committed work and exemplary training habits were astounding.

I think it's all right to take a moment before the winter darkness signals the beginning of a new growth cycle and enjoy in memory of the harvest of this school year.

To my fine managing directors in Poland and Latvia, Jessica Zoltko and Ilze Stiegele and all the students...'Thank you'.

Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image
EdFringe Festival - SEE ME!  HEAR ME!

                     Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more...
Henry V, Shakespeare

At a University in Lublin, Poland in 2003 I made a commitment to bring a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for three years. My goal was to fight for a voice in this worldly arena of two million visitors, for myself and others where a message of Light, Hope and Truth would have an audience. It would take a heavy shift in the spiritual atmosphere dominating over the festival...of this, I was certain.  I was reminded of the formidable challenge the first Christian recording stars worked through in the 70's to penetrate the music industry and be heard on the main stream airways. It was a long, hard fight requiring many sacrifices, but they prevailed. It was clear to me that one cannot fight a battle theoretically. You must actually  enter the battle field and take possession of capture territory with sacrifice, courage and endurance.

I presented my three shows: 2004, Of Fools and Lovers; 2005, Candles in the Window; 2006, 30 Year in a Basket. After this journey my jaw was more tightly clenched and my back battle-sore. but I breathed a grateful sigh and said, 'Now, that's finished!' and waited to hear those words, 'Well done faithful worker..'.  At that time, I had, rather smugly, said to a friend in Edinburgh in 2006 that I had done my job faithfully and would not be coming back to Edinburgh.  Therefore, when I sat in a Global Slavery conference in 2008 and felt the impelling call to take up the abolitionist cry against human trafficking through my art...yes, you guessed it.  Edinburgh and the Festival was the very next thought propelled into my spirit.

I said that this missive was about
...those who reaped the pleasures and rewards of accountable and enduring efforts to be everything that God has designed them to be and to return a profit to Him for His investment.  If you would like to read more about the run of SEE ME! HEAR ME! and read the reviews, etc. please click on the Belleherst links in the side column.  What is written hear is to encourage the battle-worn and tested fighters whose words, 'How long, God?' are always just a breath away from being plaintively intoned for all to hear.

My mind was filled with images, prayers and contemplation about the persecuted church while I was in Edinburgh...not because I felt persecuted.  But, because of the scandalous idea that both the persecuted church (who often never see the rewards of their enduring efforts) and the rejoicing church are allowed to fit side-by-side in God's plan and allowable will. I started to see those rewards and pleasures for each church in a different perspective.  The rejoicing church have their reward of  freedom and supply so they can express to the world their joy in being a follower of Jesus. The persecuted church is in vital need of the prayer and sustaining resources  which the rejoicing church can give them. The persecuted church has the reward of the 'fire of commitment' which strengthens and propels the will forward and is truly capable of lifting the soul above the treacherous suffering of their persecution. The rejoicing church is dependent on the inspiration of that fiery commitment in order not to drop into complacency or lethargy. Meditating deeply on this subject helped me consolidate my conclusions about this year in Edinburgh. 

Here they are:
Psa 23:5  You prepare a banquet for me, where all my enemies can see me; you welcome me as an honored guest and fill my cup to the brim
Every day presented real and powerful difficulties to overcome, but the oil in the cup kept filling up to the brim. The miraculous provision and grace
of God for me stood juxtaposition the intimidation of the darkness which sometimes threatened to take me down. It was such a revelation to me of how we are meant to live in the Kingdom of God which is 'at hand', as we journey dangerously in a world of other kingdoms.

Isa 55:11  So also will be the word that I speak--- it will not fail to do what I plan for it; it will do everything I send it to do.
There were seven shows whose content touched on the horrors of human trafficking...a record for Edinburgh.  Three were specifically featured in the Scotman's article on the subject, (SEE ME! HEAR ME! being one of the three). Two of those three were large shows backed by big names, money and venues. They were sold out the entire three weeks.  Literally, thousands saw and heard the message. My part in contributing to the thousands was very small in comparison, but one cannot be certain where the next David Batstone or William Wilburforce will first hear and be stirred into action.  I am grateful to have played, even a small role, in this effort and was most profoundly assured that God's word spoken by the Holy Spirit to our spirits will not return empty if we endure in our commitments.

Heb 11:34...They were weak, but became strong; they were mighty in battle and defeated the armies of foreigners.
It is in the battle that we become strong and are aware of God's power sustaining us. In the end, the enemy is defeated by the power of His Name.  We, as fellow soldiers in the battle, may or may not see the victory territory reclaimed.  However, we can be assured that our effort and the sacrifice of obedience has weakened the enemy and, like a tight lid on a jar which we labor in vain to open and is then passed to the next person who easily pops it open, the enemy will fall. I left Edinburgh stronger and more committed than when I arrived...and assured in my spirit that I will be back to battle again for those laboring now, and for all those who may come in the future and will easily pop the top right off.

To my readers, viewers and friends,

I am so grateful for this growing international community who are learning to connect to, share in and build up our corporate life in Christ. Thank you for sharing your gifts - spiritual, relational, creative and financial with Belleherst.

Eph 4:4-7  There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you.  There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
there is one God and Father of all people, who is Lord of all, works through all, and is in all.  Each one of us has received a special gift in proportion to what Christ has given.

Yours in truth,
Kathleen Ann Thompson
Artistic Director, Belleherst Productions