Sanctuary Stage strives to bring to the forefront the stories of micro-communities found within the larger community of the Willamette Valley, Oregon through a Community Engaged Theater-Making process.
It is through work in the arts that I explore what it means to understand the human condition, the impermanence of our existence and how the sharing of a narrative can offer perspectives that otherwise might not be considered. I believe that participation within the arts creates a lasting connection between the mind, body, and soul.
An empty stage is a void waiting to be filed with life through the ideas and actions of theatre artists. Every physical movement, every light cue, every scene shift and every spoken word is deliberately designed to communicate something. We fill the void of the empty stage with a rainstorm of communicative methods with the aim of telling some type of story. I see my job as a theatre artist as that of communicator. I think we all as theatre artists should view ourselves in that way. After all, isn’t that what we do? Aren’t we as actors trained to communicate emotions and states of being? Aren’t we as directors trained to communicate ideas and concepts? Aren’t we as designers trained to communicate mood, atmosphere, environment and style through visual and audible means? Aren’t playwrights tasked with the ultimate form of communication in the theatre through his/her written word? I see the art of communication as one of the greatest skills a theatre practitioner should develop and foster within his/herself. This becomes especially true when creating/devising a new piece of theatre. Whether I am creating a movement/mask piece based on a play by Shakespeare or a community based play telling the story of a group of people with a shared experience, or even I am constantly analyzing and honing my approach to communicating to audiences, actors and designers. The way in which we communicate affects others and how others perceive and interpret information.
There is nothing in this world that I love more than creating a piece of theatre from scratch. As an artist I find a great deal of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment when I get to witness with an audience a play that either I have written or have guided through the creation process with an ensemble of actors and designers. Through these experience I have learned that communication is the greatest skill that one can possess in the creation of new work. Throughout the devising process we are communicating on several different levels between actors, designers and audiences. Of course our main concern is that of our communication to the audience. What is it that we want the audience understand? What should the audience take home with them? In what ways can we effectively communicate to audiences that are creative and engaging? One method of communication may not be appropriate for a certain situation but be very useful in another.