Tag Archives: Peggy Rubin

Collaboration as Performance Art

I’ve been studying Sacred Theater for years with a master teacher and actress, Peggy Rubin.  Sacred Theater is a workshop that Peggy offers to enable participants to look at their lives as performance art.  Sacred Theater players, as we participants are called, become playrights, directors, set designers, composers, choreographers and leading actors in our own productions.  There is creative challenge in many of the activities, a call for all to be daring and willing  to step out on the workshop space “stage” and always….always an abundance of fun.  I began this work as a way to spend time with close friends and to build my comfort being in my own skin.  What I  also discovered along the way was that having a shared, intimate, challenging experience with many of the same people year after year has taught me a lot about collaboration as an art form.   I’m recalling one workshop where we were asked to write a few lines of dialogue about a current life situation and take only 5 minutes to do so. We then were told to hand our writing to another player who then directed others to enact the dialogue in front of us.  In this scenario, I became the audience for my own writing.  I had chosen a difficult subject matter – the recent death of my adopted son’s birth mother. There was so much left unsaid between me and the woman who gave birth to my son  but I felt I only captured a taste of it in the lines I wrote.  What absolutely stunned me was  as my fellow workshop players enacted the conversation I would never be able to actually have, I experienced the comfort and closure I was strongly seeking.  The “stand-ins” for my story became my collaborators.  They took the words I wrote, riffed on them as actors do, and offered me the gift of finishing an unresolved  conversation.  If you would like to know more about Sacred Theater, collaboration through performance.  art as collaboration or performing art as collaborators, check out Peggy’s new book, To Be and How To Be:  Transforming Your Life Through The Nine Powers of Sacred Theater.

Maddie

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