Based on Theatre of Witness’ powerful model of healing and bearing witness, Artistic Director Teya Sepinuck held a four week course with ICAN in September 2011.
The course offered participants a creative and trusting environment in which to focus on their own personal stories as well as those related to holding and releasing secondary trauma. Participants used guided imagery, metaphor, discussion, and other creative and imaginative techniques to illuminate and express their personal journeys of supporting others through trauma, as well as finding their own individual wells of strength and resilience. The course resulted in biographical writings and drawings, some of which will be developed into more fully expressed informal solo and group Theatre of Witness presentations.
This was a unique opportunity to: Give attention to yourself and your own story; Explore secondary trauma’s effects on your life and work; Learn new creative expression techniques; Re-find your own passion and strength; Use ritual to express personal and collective grief; Re-dedicate yourself to your mission of support.
Theatre of Witness is a form of performance developed by founder and artistic director Teya Sepinuck in which the true life stories of those who have been marginalized by society are performed by the storytellers themselves as a way for audiences to bear witness to significant social issues. Theatre of Witness invites audiences to put a face and heart to societal issues of suffering, and celebrate the power of the human spirit to grow and transform. In residence between 2009-10 in Derry/Londonderry, Teya created We Carried Your Secrets with fathers on the front lines during the Troubles and those of the next generation bearing the legacy, and I Once Knew A Girl which focused on the unheard stories of women in relation to the Troubles.
Teya Sepinuck, MS Counseling, has been creating Theatre of Witness productions in the United States, Poland and Northern Ireland since 1986. Performers have included; refugees; immigrants; survivors and perpetrators of war and conflict; prisoners, their families and victims; people living in poverty or without homes; those healing from domestic abuse; teen parents; people in recovery; and teenage runaways.