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The Salvation Army 614 Corps’ ReCreate Cafe Hosts “Exploring the Boundaries of Applied Theatre” Training Conference

The following was contributed by Tenika Dye, ReCreate Cafe Artistic Director, for The Salvation Army 614 Corps.  You can find them on facebook and follow them on twitter.

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” – William Shakespeare (As You Like It)

Have you heard this quote before?  Most likely you have heard it even if you are not passionate about theatre.  I think Mr. Shakespeare was on to something with this thought and not only as it relates to the traditional sense of theatre.  “All the world’s a stage…” especially relates to the field of Applied Theatre because mere men and women are the players.

You’re probably scratching your head and asking yourself, “What it is applied theatre?”  I certainly was asking that question two years ago even though I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and a Master’s in Storytelling.

I discovered Applied Theatre at a conference like the one we will be hosting later this month, and the course of my life was changed.  I immediately incorporated what I learned into my volunteer work with the homeless at the ReCreate Café in Chattanooga, which ultimately led to me being hired as the full-time Artistic Director.   headshot

Often used as an umbrella term, Applied Theatre describes the practice of using theatrical techniques, exercises and games to deal with specific social issues or problems.  When guided by a trained facilitator, anyone, regardless of training or ability, can use theatrical skills to understand problems and find solutions.

For the past two years, I’ve been using Applied Theatre practices in the Acting Class that I offer at the ReCreate Café located in the 614 Corps building on McCallie Avenue.  I’ve seen firsthand positive changes in adults who are given permission to use their imagination, have fun and make peace with their own stories.  My class is open to anyone, but the majority of students are from the homeless community served by the Corps.

This summer, I’m thrilled that The Salvation Army 614 Corps is welcoming my friend and mentor, Dr. Dale Savidge of the Applied Theatre Center in Greenville, SC to lead “Exploring the Boundaries of Applied Theatre” at the ReCreate Café June 27-29, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I’ve known Dale for more than 14 years and have seen for myself the positive impact he is making by paving the way for more people to learn about and get involved in Applied Theatre.

The wide variety of Applied Theatre techniques can only be introduced in that time, but the hope is we will inspire people to further explore Applied Theatre.  The specific forms of Applied Theatre that will be focused on will be Forum Theatre and Playback Theatre.  Dr. Savidge will also be guiding participants through techniques he uses at the “Playback Café” in Greenville, which is aimed at building community and bringing healing to people who are homeless, in recovery programs or are victims of abuse.

This training conference is open to anyone who is interested in using artistic means to help people.  For more information and to register, click here.

“Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society.

Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.”

– Augosto Boal, Founder, Theatre of the Oppressed

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