Posts Tagged ‘Ellen Brown’

See Saw Projects Brings Applied Theatre to the Triangle

One of the newest theatre organizations in the Triangle is See Saw Projects, a company that will offer projects in “applied theatre.” According to Artistic Director Amy Sawyers-Williams, “applied theatre” is an umbrella term for “theatre practices that use theatre as a tool for social justice, education, healing.” SeeSawLogoCreated by Amy Sawyers-Williams and Ellen Brown, See Saw works from a participant-centered model, which means that their projects are created “with” communities rather than “for.” They work side-by-side with professional artists and community members who may not consider themselves artists, which allows creation of a project that meets the needs of the community they are working with.

Artistic Director Sawyers-Williams is a theatre artist and arts educator who currently oversees Arts Outreach & Engagement at Arts NC State, is a teaching artist for Raleigh Little Theatre. She is joined at See Saw by Education Director Ellen Brown. They started the company because they saw a need for more interactive theatre for social change in the Triangle.

Although the focus at See Saw is on the development of participant-created works, two “out of the box” offerings are available for presentation in schools and community groups.  Books Got Talent is an interactive drama piece geared towards elementary students in 2nd-4th grade that asks students to think about the role of books and technology in their lives. The Arab Spring Process Drama is an interactive drama created for 8th-12th graders that explores the events leading up to the Tunisian Revolution of 2011. Through placing students in role as Tunisians who have to make difficult choices leading up to the revolution, students learn about this historical event by “living through” and in turn, reflect on parallels to their own lives.

Their initial work has been leading theatre & improv based workshops for leadership development at Durham Academy and their next project will be holding a series of meetups with local artists and community stakeholders who are interested in collaborating on theatre and creative placemaking projects in our community.

You can listen to Sawyers-Williams talk more about See Saw Projects and applied theatre in general in this Artist’s Soapbox podcast, check out their website, or connect with See Saw on Facebook or Twitter (@seesawprojects).

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