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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Full Circle Theater Collaborative Teaches Social Justice Through Theater

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 11:36 AM

click to enlarge Cole Gilder performers with Vermont Stage's Youth Company - BEN HUDSON PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Ben Hudson Photography
  • Cole Gilder performers with Vermont Stage's Youth Company
A seasoned group of local arts educators have joined forces to launch Full Circle Theater Collaborative, a theater program with a focus on social justice. Gina Fearn, Amy Riley, Danielle Sertz and Ryan Addario previously worked together through Vermont Stage and FlynnArts, and have all directed performances at local schools.

"The name Full Circle comes from our mission to foster the connection between theatrical stories and the human experience," explained Riley. "Theater has the power to hold a mirror up to life, bringing stories full circle."

The group's first offering is an Activism Through Art intensive with local poet, teaching artist and racial justice activist Rajnii Eddins. The program, which runs from July 25 to August 2, consists of hour-and-a-half-long meetings via Zoom for two age groups: 10-14 and 15-19. The cost is $300, and scholarships and payment plans are available.

During the intensive, students will create an original piece — a poem, song, monologue, scene or dance —  with a focus on seeking justice and developing their identity as anti-racist citizens. Guest artists will offer workshops on topics ranging from advocating for change to conveying emotion through voice and physicality.

Full Circle Theater Collaborative will offer youth programming in the fall and may also offer adult classes, said Riley.

In the spring, Riley ran virtual programs through Vermont Stage Youth Company and the Vermont Young Playwright. "We have found that, while there is no substitution for gathering or having an in-person theatrical experience, there is a vast amount of learning that can happen when you look at the process of storytelling," she said of those experiences. "As this program is small and nimble, we hope to keep the connection and community of passionate art students growing while we all await the guidelines on gathering in person."

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