‘I learn by going where I have to go’ was written on a fortune cookie […] it was the perfect finale to my past two days – because I had just finished 24 hours straight in an immersion theater workshop conducted at Santa Fe Playhouse by Nandita Dinesh. You read what you believed you read correctly. ‘Immersion theater’ is a pretty accurate descriptor. The workshop entailed staying awake close to 24 hours, from 1 pm Saturday to 1 pm Sunday, while creating performance pieces. There was some impressive work achieved in spite of, because of, in the process of, dealing with the various physical and mental constraints. It’s hard to describe such a lengthy and varied and sometimes sleepy event using anything other than metaphors. It went by a lot faster than you might think. It’s a bit like tap-dancing inside a submarine that skims the surface, then sinks lower into the depths, then emerges back to the surface while screenplay music plays in the background. The full quote from the Roethke poem reads (how appropriately): ‘I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow/I learn by going where I have to go’.
The intensity of the workshop was both insightful and extremely productive.
[Highlights of the T.I.E. experience were]
- Learning to play with the role of the audience […]
- Learning about the immersive theatre project in [Kashmir]
- Being comfortable with creating at each level of the experience and knowing that even if the work was not perfect, it was excellent because it was helping us to grow as creators
Thank you so much for your beautiful workshop!!!
I was so moved so much of the time, and left after the 24 hours feeling entirely satiated and immersed in new ideas.
I will be reflecting on our work with you for a long time to come!
[A highlight of the T.I.E. experience was] Learning about your work in Kashmir especially its sensitivity and depth, experiencing comradeship in isolation and stress, and being exposed to some of the tools you have developed in your work. It helped demystify immersive work for me!
T.I.E. is an experience. With a 24-hour theatre workshop as its core, T.I.E’s participants are: introduced to aesthetics of Immersive Theatre, as inspired by the award-winning work Information for/from Outsiders: Chronicles from Kashmir; guided through a practical exploration of these strategies; mentored in the creation of their own, social-justice focused, Immersive Theatre performance; shepherded through processes that develop their skills as actors, designers, directors and writers; supported in their quests to apply ideas from T.I.E. to social justice issues that challenge particular communities and contexts.
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