Workshop for Change: Theatre as Social Force with Ruth Pongstaphone

February 23 @ 1:15 pm – 3:15 pm

Vita Nova Lecture Room, Scripps College

Theatre relies on input and information from multiple diverse sources. The process, methods, techniques, applications, and impact of theatre are most clearly understood as a result of direct experimentation. This Workshop for Change presents a unique opportunity for participants from different backgrounds to learn about how theatre operates as a mode of participatory social action research and to actively engage in creative interdisciplinary collaboration that is focused on exploring new tools and methods for developing research, cross-cultural interactions, and communications via the medium of applied theatre.

Ruth Pongstaphone will lead practicum exercises and also discuss her projects with communities in Thailand and Myanmar.


Artist Statement from Ruth Pongstaphone:

For me making theatre is an act of collaborative inquiry. Theatre is a medium that acts as a powerful investigative tool for exploring human conditions, events, perspectives, situations, and behaviors. When I am working, I am at once a theatre artist, educator, activist, and social researcher. I engage in theatre-making as a mode of participatory social action research. I work in collaboration with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds within Southeast Asian communities in Thailand and Burma. I use applied theatre to develop performances and programs that aim to empower makers, participants, and audiences with creative, communal, and experiential means to raise critical questions that initiate the type of public dialogue that is key to negotiating transformative context-based social change.