Stepping Across the Borders
In this Issue:
Notes from the EAST
| The Belle of Amherst: |
The actress, Kathleen Ann Thompson, is captivating and her attention to each and every minor detail is amazing; she donates her breath to Emily. The visible talent is bound with passion and is something both a loyal fan and even a newcomer to the works of Emily Dickinson can appreciate and enjoy.
Thompson appears on stage ... and Emily Dickinson comes alive in front of our very eyes.... She has a command of the whole stage,... Thompson is so exacting and studied in her physical portrayal of Dickinson ... no text is wasted and seems always to serve the physical presence on stage...it is as though this physicality is set free and leads the spoken text to ever greater heights of expression. Thompson dances her way around the spaces of the stage, but always at the service of the text. Thompson brings alive the complicated, childlike and intensely soulful nature of her subject, with great skill and charm. Darran Laine August 19/20, 2011
...Thompson monologues for over an hour. Far from being long-winded, she is riveting as she touches upon the most emotionally charged moments in Dickinson's life. Immersed fully in the character of Emily Dickinson, Thompson is believable as an awkward young teenager and later, a pained woman.
Dancing on stage, Thompson's Dickinson is coquettish, wild, fun. ..what we see is freedom of expression - both Thompson's and Dickinson's. The wonderful words of this poetry are brought to light before us.
Published 19 August 2011
Kathleen Thompson is a truly extraordinary performer. Her work in physical theatre, her gifted choreography, her mesmerizing acting, her ability to communicate to mind, soul and spirit: Kathleen is a rare visionary, an ardent communicator, an experienced professional, a woman who knows what's of value and embraces it.
In driving through the Scotish country side on my way to Edinburgh in August, I past a sign designating the area as the 'Borders'. I remembered the biography of Mary Queen of Scots describing the colorful figure , the Earl of Bothwell, who went from being her protector, to being her lover, to being her second husband. He was a fiery, courageous (somewhat unorthodox) man who was proud of his fearless border rangers.
Daring to cross borders of any kind is an action that, at the very least, must be taken circumspectly. What kind of resistance is present on the border, what kind of punitive measures will be levied for crossing and what are the benefits for taking the risk.
As these thoughts provoked my perceptions on Edinburgh, I put the spurs to my little Ford Pinto pony and pushed more aggressively for the city of the battle on August 15, 2011.
This is a report of the
| Fall Expectations|
Agnes and Kathleen take off Oct 1st for month-long tour of the U.S.
SEE ME! HEAR ME!Link
CANDLES IN THE WINDOW
LinkCandles in the Window Homepage
GOD LAUGHED...NO JOKE!
Sturgeon Bay, WI
Kansas City, MO
Silver City, NM
Santa Fe, NM
*check website for dates
Master Classes A wonderful opportunity to train directors, educators and young students in the innovative techniques of effective communicate.
Directing Physical Theatre
Breath in Action
The Working Body
...all scheduled this fall.
Major performance schedule this fall
Gott lachte...ohne Witz
Nov. 20, Markt Schwaben, DE
...and Sarah was 90 Years Old
Nov. 25 Czech Republic, Dec. 7, Krakov, Poland
The Belle of Amherst in Dance
Dec. 5, Krakov, Poland
New 2011/2012 classes will begin this fall.
Polish Studio for Movement Theatre
Kuldgias Art Studio for Movement Theatre
| Notes from the EAST|
Latvia- Moment of Fame
|The Purple Line Theatre, sponsored by our school, Arts Studio of Kuldigas for Movement Theatre, was invited to present our adapted production of Shakespeare's, Midsummer Night's Dream for Young People at an international theatre festival, 'The Joy of Playing' in Limbazi.
The production was an enormous success and judged by the professional jurors as a truly innovative style in Latvian theatre. It has opened many valuable connections through out Latvia for our theatre company.
The school resumes its training operations, after a year's hiatus, November 11. A robust new class is expected
Kuldigas Art Studio for Movement Theatre
Purple Line Theatre Kuldigas, LV
| Here I am, send me Isaiha 6:8|
Lublin, Poland 2003
|Sitting on a stone bench outside the Universitiy of Lublin's faculty housing, I let loose with my anger. "Lord, why is it that you allow theatre companies like the one I just saw go to world famous arenas such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and be applauded when they are such purveyors of darkness? Why can't we, who carry the message of truth, light and love have those opportunities.?" God let me grouse for awhile, and then in a terse answer (which I have never doubted was the Lord's answer) I heard, "Get up and go".|
I immediately had a list of reasons why I couldn't do that.....but, alas there was no optional alternative answer forth coming. I had heard and the ball was now in my court to serve or not.
| Full Disclosure|
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2004
|I may be stubborn and cowardly, but I am not stupid. When God shows His grace by answering your miserable, belly-aching|
prayer with a challenge, it would be very foolish to ignore it.
Thus, I assembled an ensemble of talented young actors, wrote a play, committed myself to several thousand dollars and dug in for the 18 month work schedule. We were off to Edinburgh. We presented a wonderful musical drama, Of Fools and Lovers. The show was admirably executed and received, albeit under-attended. My disappointment was quickly tempered however, with understanding that the show was not the focus of God's guidance for this first visit. The real focus came clearly into view when I attended another company's performance. This production, which was receiving rave reviews across the Festival, was of a dark, perverse and despairingly existential nature. During this performance, God pulled the spiritual veil from my eyes and fully disclosed the spirit world behind the powers of reigning darkness. Its concentration in a huge world-festival like Edinburgh was enormous. It was a terrifying experience and the gauntlet was thrown down. This is why I was in Edinburgh - to fight the battle - not to have a 5-star- reviewed show. It took me a long time to recover from this confrontation and to make a decision to become a front-line soldier in this war.
To commit my money, my energy, my time, my ego in the battle to reclaim the theatrical arts privilege of serving the Kingdom of God in the center of the world, did not come easy....but, it did come. YES! Here am I, send me.
|The Flak Vest|
If you are going to enter a fight, you must try to damage the enemy, escape the attacks of the opponents and learn the tactics of the other side. The next three years was one huge learning curve for me, in which I learned how to escape the fiery arrows of the enemies and how to recognize and anticipate the tactics of the other side. My learning was less effective in being able to inflict injury on my opponent, in spite of the fact that all three shows which I took to Edinburgh; Candles in the Window, Thirty Years in a Basket, See Me! Hear Me! brought messages of light, truth and hope. As See Me! Hear Me! closed Aug. 27th 2010, I was ready to sign off on my enlistment and say,'I've done my duty and I feel justified in not re-enlisting'. God had other suggestions and offers I couldn't refuse and 2011 was all ready in the slot before I drove out of Edinburgh.
| Once More, into the Breach Henry..|
This time, don't forget your army.
The production, the concept, the funding and the personal commitment to go once more into the center of a fire fight was quickly in place and confirmed from many separate sources by November of 2010. The somewhat miraculous character of the funding which became available was especially confirming to me. As always, God is using the weak and unnoticed to confound the wise and highly visible. However, there was also a strong message from God...Do not go without an army to stand with you.
I have always been an extremely independent person, operating on my ideas and goals alone, but this time it would be different. Having interacted somewhat with the powers of darkness at Edinburgh all ready, I knew that God's leading in this issue was mandatory. I could not do this alone. Therefore, the clarion call went out in February for a spiritual army (47 prayer warriors) to coalese around Project Edinburgh. For 27 weeks I prayed with focus and spiritual discernment to guide my army through weekly prayer missives that were targeted and aggressively aimed at tearing down the principalites and powers of darkness that rule over the artistic content and environment of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Among the many rich rewards of this venture was learning the power of focused prayer. Seeing the faithfulness of God to answer very specific prayers - some immediately, some after an enduring but determined campaign - was so strengthening to the faith of us all. Coming together as a virtual community in the Spirit was a fabulous experience. We saw God working the same themes in the individual team member's lives. We were then able to extend our corporate hands of faith to all in the group. Another enormous privilege was hearing from most everyone in the group on a regular or periodic basis, offering such valuable insights and profound spiritual perceptions. My life was changed by their participation with me in this project.
The Wait to Cross
In 1989 my son and I took a trip to Europe and communist (at that time) Eastern Europe, in response to a directive which I felt was, undeniably, a real call from God on my life. It was a first attempt to answer that call. Anything that could have gone wrong, went wrong on that trip; beginning with the shocking theft of all our luggage out of the Stockholm train station. In a quick five minutes we had to decide to hang our tails and return home defeated and depressed, or to run like mad across the Stockholm station and jump onto a, now moving train, leaving for Prague. We made the decision to run and jump for the venture without knowing how we would survive the next five weeks with no luggage (not even warm jackets) and very little money in communist-ruled countries where we had no contacts and didn't speak the languages.
The trip ended as dramatically as it began, as we tried to leave Poland on a night train through Czechoslovakia. We were thrown off the train and sent back into Poland in the middle of the night. As we struggled with surmounting obstacles, I remember the sinking feeling that we would never get across that border . On that cold, desolate train platform in Czechoslovakia my son assured me that Rom. 5:1-5 was the 'Word of the Lord' to us at that moment. I was clearly not enthused by his confidence.
We did eventually cross that border (this story would take a whole book in itself) and returned to the U.S. The consensus on our return was that perhaps, we hadn't really heard from God (and this from the Christians...I guess they had forgotten Rom. 5:1-5). I am grateful that I was independent enough to move ahead with my goals based on my own relationship with God and not their peanut- gallery analysis. We just celebrated our twenty-year anniversary in Poland (please read the previous Newsletter- News from Belleherst May 29) and the memories are still fresh in me of how overcome I was when presented with the evident fruit of those twenty years, standing before me.
I reflect with gratitude that God spoke that word to my son. I have watch the power of patient endurance-just never giving up or being distracted from what I have heard God say to me-turn trials and difficulties into the most faith-building events of my life, creating hope and the experience of realizing that God never disappoints us. Therefore, love is sown into our souls to be freely given to all.
As Bellherst's show, The Belle of Amherst: Double Vision
entered Edinburgh August 2011, I had a spiritual impression. I saw a Queen (like Mary Queen of Scots) returning to her rightful throne. This Queen is the return of the theatrical arts to her noble purposes to Educate, Inspire and Ennoble in the service of her Lord. To this end, I was committing myself and resources.
Being able to cross the border and win the battle will not be immediate or easy. It will take courage, strength and patient endurance....but cross it we have and win it we will.
The wonderful networking contacts made in Edinburgh was a real boon. Groups such as Saltmines Theatre Co., Patch of Blue company, Shine, Spark Productions and others. We are not alone. Together we will keep pouring in the replacements, fortifying the lines all ready drawn and supply the resources.
|The Belle of Amherst: Double Vision Home page|