Belleherst will bring to the stage a new play, Chaste, in 2012. The play will be primarily, a non-verbal representation of the effect of purity on our lives. Using the great theme of the 'solitary individual ', the piece will explore the individual who must come before God, as an individual, and not as part of the crowd. He must answer the question involving deep self-examination posed by Soren Kierkegaard: What must I do to be ready to will one thing?
Forsaking the absorbing satisfaction of self-sufficiency, understanding that the only true root of enduring equality is the Love of God for each individual and discovering that the energy of passion distilled through purity empowers us to will one thing, Kathleen, as a solo performer, will explore these themes in creative physical theatre piece using mime and dance. More to come as it develops.
|Sponsor of the Month|
| Thank you PAW!|
Belleherst has had a long and supportive relationship with PAW (Performing Arts Workshop) in Encinitas, California. They have partnered with Belleherst in our vision to offer sound,
professional training in dance and theatre to the
youth of Eastern Europe. They have donated money and dance clothing and costumes. In December, PAW donated a huge box of wonderful dance clothing, as well as, a cache of beautiful costumes for the dance theatres of Poland and Latvia. Also, they donated a charming collection of childrens costumes for one of our students who has started a children dance studio. We are deeply moved by their generosity and deeply grateful for this fabulous contribution to our work.
A Peak at 2012
Polish Studio for Movement Theatre
March July November
Kuldigas Art Studio March
for Movement Theatre
EU Mime Workshop
I AM Giver
I will try to tie-up 2011 (a little tardy) for you and put myself, once again, on schedule with the activites of 2012. The year 2011, seemed to spin out of control in August, as far as keeping up with the correspondence work. My apologies for that. Hopefully, I will do a better job this year, in spite of the heavy calendar all ready in place. September-December 2011 was exciting and, in some ways, the high-light of my year. So, here it is.
Eat, Play & Love ~ September in London
| Someone's in the Kitchen with Michal
In September Belleherst joined with chef, Michal Kuarski, to organize a fund raiser for the Polish Christian Studio for Movement Theatre. Michal was one of the very first students of the Polish school in the early 1990s. He was always a very talented young performer on the stage, but had other wonderful talents as well. He is a very creative and skilled chef.
Sarah making bread.
Michal has chosen to use his cooking talents to minister in a very unique and generous way. He is often cooking beautiful meals for groups of people to encourage conversation and relationships, while spreading a hefty portion of caring attention. Michal is a true entrepreneur of good deeds. Belleherst wishes to thank Michal for his collaboration in this fund raiser as well as, the Ichthus, Southcroft Church ,its leaders Haley and Phil Tate and the entire congreation which gave so generously to the Polish school. While
Kathleen Ann Thompson prepared the last adjustments to the set of ...And Sarah was 90 Years Old, Michal finished the final touches to a wonderful mid-eastern meal which was served in a large church hall where people sat on cushions. Kathleen presented Belleherst's production, ...And Sarah was 90 Years Old and then answered questions in a casual forum during the meal. The night had a very special touch to it.
Michal and Kathleen and the Christian Polish Studio for Movement Theatre
Polish Christian School for Movement Theatre
Yes! You Can
Over 700 students in Poland and 350 in Latvia have graduated from the Polish and Latvian schools for movement theatre. These schools offer, free of tuition, a professional and safe education in theatre arts All the workers and teachers are volunteers. We have worked for more than 20 years without essential studio or training
tools and acqutrements. We do so with joy because we have such a passion to mentor the youth of these post-communist countries so that they, as individuals along with their Unique talents and gift, count for the future of their countries and for the Kingdom of God. We, who have labored here for so many years, are deeply enriched and rewarded by witnessing the incredible development in faith, vision and skill level which takes place in our students.
Besides our schools, we tour major theatrical productions to schools, the handicapped, Christian conferences, churches and theatrical festivals. We hope to be visiting penal institutions this year with some of our productions.
Lack of supplies has never stopped our work, but having those necessary supplies or funding for a tour, or the production of a play makes our job so much easier and broadens the scope of what we can do. If you have an interest in supporting, on any level, our schools and productions, a supply need or a volunteer's legal need (such as insurance to work at the school) please contact us at :Belleherst Production
or click on the Donation Link below
All donations of any size are deeply appreciated. We thank you and would welcome the chance to coorespond with you personally.
Kathleen Ann Thompson
Artistic Director, Belleherst Productions
U.S. Tour of the Great American States ~ October
|Agnes and Kathleen|
Crossing Those Borders
In October, Belleherst packed its bags (all of its bags) and crossed the big pond to travel, border to border, in the U.S.. From Wisconsin to New Mexico, California to Florida we made them think, we made them laugh, we made them cry. We tucked three complete productions: See Me! Hear Me!, God Laughed...No Joke! and Candles in the Window in four suitcases, two carry-ons and one computer bag and braved the TSA agents on nine inter-continental flights. Agnes got pulled away to the strip closet in Alburquerque (with suspicious stuff on her hands) and with a two-hour-plus lead time at the Toronto airport, we still missed our flight to Kansas City. But with all things considered, we were good and tooting our own horn at our bully ability to pull this off.
We met wonderful people, had inspiring audiences, left behind real changes, established new and meaningful contacts. Here are a few highlights.
WISCONSIN: Many kudos to Karen Cruz in Sturgeon Bay who organized a super three day campaign against sex trafficking...and in a hurricane that took the electricity off for two days!. Five churches collaborated to bring Belleherst's production of See Me! Hear Me! into several churches, offer an adult forum and conduct an open forum after the performances to which NGO representatives came from as far away as Milwaukee. Karen also scheduled three lectures for the freshman classe at the local High School. The highlight of my year were these three lectures to these students. I loved speaking to these young people. A little reference to what we left behind is quoted below.
I just wanted to thank you again for your very powerful presentation yesterday. You have certainly planted a seed for many of us here at Sturgeon Bay High School. In the short 24 hours these are the things that have come about:
Our library will be stocking the books and DVD resources you referred to.
We are initiating a book study/ fundraiser to help raise awareness and money.
My husband and I have decided that our annual holiday donation will be made to one of the human trafficking projects.
Many students and teachers have said "I had no idea..."
Thank you so much,
School Counselor,Sturgeon Bay High School
Christ the King Church of Dietrich Bonhoeffer was such a connecting experience for us as we discovered the church spoke more German than English and that our wonderful hosts, Anthony and Petra George, had roots in Germany and had lived there. The history of the church with Dietrich was facinating and I marveled at the world wide influence of Dietrich. We had never been to Canada and (other than the airport which we plan NEVER to visit again) we were so enriched by the reception they gave us for Candles in the Window and the great new friends we made there. We hope it won't be our last visit to Canada.
KANSAS CITY, MO
Agnes and I drank in the spiritual atmosphere of the prayer room at IHOP and I kept thinking how grateful I am, as a missionary who is always abroad, that the prayer room is streamed live 24/7...what a service in the name of our Lord this is for people like myself.
We presented God Laughed...No Joke! and See Me! Hear Me! in a venue which necessitated us moving 10-12 heavy round wooden card tables and their accompanying chairs out and back into the space each night. I was impressed with the muscles and attitude of our hostess, Ivonne Cobb. I thought how the servants of God are so often overlooked in their efforts to help build The House of God. We noticed Ivonne, and extend our fullest gratitude for making our time there so meaningful to those who attended the performances.
Ezr_5:11 (KJV) ... We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up.
SILVER CITY, NM
Way down south in the brush and rocks of a small New Mexico town we experienced again a wonderful collaboration with another church and brought three performances to venues that varied from a Coffee House Cafe, to a historic old Theatre (The Sirroco), to a Sunday morning church service. The Grays hosted us and Margie competently set up the performances with true professional attention. It was a huge stretch for us to perform so early in the morning on Sunday...but, it was an Olympic victory to do our raucous, fast, high-energy commedia del'arte production, God Laughed...No Joke! at that time. Our reward was the fabulous audience who laughed at it all. We all laughed after the performance in the casual Q &A when a young boy asked me "What's a eunich?" One couple wandered into the theatre as we were having a tech rehearsal for Candles in the Window and said how grateful they were we were bringing this message to this town. He was a Jewish man who had been visiting some churches. It was a perfect play for this couple.
As always, touring brings the unexpected and one must stay flexible. So, we tried to bend and twist with the stress of an unplanned car accident two hours before our performance, our antique props being broken accidentaly 45 minutes before the performance and being an auditory witness to the unknown murder of something by a mountain lion outside my bedroom window.....seriously, we had a great time and can't wait to go back!
It was a real first for Belleherst in Oakland, where Phil and Phyllis Picosy have been hosting Chamber Art Action for many years now. Phyllis artfully brought together the performance of Candles in the Window, a beautiful sit-down diner and a group of people who have been studying Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Eric Metaxa's book. Phyllis has always been an exceptionally talented hostess, but this was extraordinary. The deep and insightful conversation we shared with each other during the delicious meal was a perfect fit after experiencing the profound and influential legacy of Dietrich brought to life in our performance . God Laughed...No Joke! hit the boards there as well, where a true lazzi (comedic piece of stage business) occurred when I made my entrance, in a great rush, through an outside door and nearly startled an audience member off her chair, (she had been,unfortunately, sitting right in front of the door....oops!)
The classes of 2011/12 ~ Poland and Latvia
A Cornucopia of Talent
Our schools begin their training year in November and it is always exciting to see who God sends down our path. I am always in great anticipation of our new students, as I consider my ability to responsibly mentor this talent for its greatest development and contribution to the Kingdom of God. We always have a mother lode of talent, but not always the chemistry present for the maximum
results. It's a fragile thing, this
Polish students: Michal, Angelika, Raphael
atmosphere, which depends on
a combination of personalities,
talents, visions and gender mix. This 2011/12 class of the Polish Studio for Movement Theatre promises to be a class which will be an aspiring bench mark for years to come. Filled to capacity, our 30 new students are made up of a great mix of male/female, experienced theatre people and novices, dance enthusiasts and drama thespians, believers and non-believers. My heart fell head-long in love with these students and the mentor gift in me blistered up to a popping stage. I don't recall being this inspired with new ideas and plans for our students in the 20 year history of our school. God is doing something special this year. I am sure of that. I can't wait to be with them in March.
Latvia's new class was a birth of something new. After a year of hiatus, we resumed the school with a new class of super professionally minded and mature students. Long term projects are forever moving through the necessary re-framing of a picture as the socio-economic environment changes in which that picture was created. Latvia, like the Poland school, is approaching the 20 year mark since our first workshops and much, much, much has changed in Latvia.
Our early leaders are now parents and job holders in a changing culture, while our students are far more mobile and geographically promiscuous since the EU status was conveyed on Latvia. They needed some time last year to pray, re-focus and re-organize our wonderful school and theatre. One of their new tasks was the creation of their website (see the link). Although, it is for the moment only in Latvian and Russian, it will be in English soon. You can click on the Fotogalerja and look at the great picutres there. The new full class of 2011/12 is an older and more mature group of students who come from all over
Latvia in a variety of occupation spanning a professional gap from teaching, to pastoring, to psychology bringing a spicy mix to the ensemble. It was such a pleasure to teach this group and begin to seed the vision of what each of them can accomplish with their dreams this year.
|With great appreciation and love,
Kathleen Ann Thompson