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by Isaac Bashevis Singer


picture of Janet Fishman as Dobbe

An open discussion immediately follows the performance. We seek audience responses not only to the piece itself, but also to the life questions it proposes. The workshop then focuses on the transformation of these stories or other non-theatre texts into drama. Participants are guided through exercises encouraging them to use the space, everyday furniture or available set pieces, simple costume and prop elements, their bodies, voices, and imagination, and personal experiences to tell a story and to create the characters and world of their material. The next step is scene building, alone or in groups. A popular choice has often been the invention of spin-off scenes from the three Singer stories. We have seen gossips, briefly mentioned in the original text, spread juicy news throughout the town. A character from one story meets a character from another, or we discover what happened after the ending. The workshop concludes with an informal shared presentation, a highlight of the session. Participants leave the workshop proud to have initiated and carried through their own theatre project, born out of a story, character, or idea that matters to them. This format is flexible as to time and format. We enjoy collaborating with teachers and activities programmers in planning our workshops.