Performing Identity – Theater Professional’s Intensive

Hearing people’s stories is one of the greatest pleasures in all aspects of my work, as a writer, teacher, priest, and as a friend.  There’s what happens (the plot) and what we do with the circumstances (the pot thickens) and then the lyrical moment (call it grace) when the meanings becomes clear — multiple meanings; there is always more.  This is part of what we’ll be exploring in the theater professional’s intensive, Performing Identity.  There’s still time to register at the reduced early registration rate, and groups of 5 get a further reduction.  See the press release below:




(May 7, 2012, Los Angeles, CA.)  For the first time, ShPIeL-Performing Identity from Chicago will join with theatre dybbuk in Los Angeles to conduct a workshop for theatre professionals at the Spirit Studio in Silver Lake. The theme of the Intensive is Performing Identity, which comes from ShPIeL’s mission to create, develop, produce and educate about performances of identity, heritages and cultures.

David Chack, the Artistic Director of ShPIeL says, “When I met Aaron (Aaron Henne, Artistic Director of theatre dybbuk) it was like we were speaking the same language. Much of my work comes from a strong connection to the stories and play which make us who we are and Aaron’s theatre explores the myths that lie within our collective unconscious in order to create haunting performance experiences.”

Mr. Chack, on the faculty of the Theatre School at DePaul University, has worked with some of the best-known theatre companies in Chicago: Piven Theatre, Silk Road Rising (performs transcultural theatre and  LGBT themes) and Lookingglass Theatre – the 2011 regional Tony Award winner, which is an associate partner of ShPIeL. He has helped them develop new identity theatre, produce it and build community engagement plans.

Mr. Henne and Mr. Chack will lead sessions utilizing physical theatre techniques, memory and dream investigations, collaborative creation exercises and identity journey explorations — culminating with a work-in-progress showcase (invitation only). Mr. Henne’s extensive work as a playwright and body-oriented theatre artist reflects the character of these sessions. His pieces, often collaboratively developed, include Sliding Into Hades, winner of the LA Weekly Awards for Playwriting and Production of the Year and Body Mecanique, a dramatization of machines and their relationships to humanity, produced by LA Contemporary Dance Company.

Guest leaders will also be involved including Stacie Chaiken, known for her acclaimed What’s the Story? workshop for writers and performers wrestling with personal story. She is on the performance faculty of the USC School of Theatre.Participants will not only develop new work but also become part of ShPIeL and theatre dybbuk’s network for potential productions.

For more information about the program, fees or to register send an email to

*This workshop is in association with Artwalk Inc, working with artists and arts organizations exploring the intersection between artists’ work and sacred practices. Artwalk provides space and venues for people to create and present art, promotes the spiritual practices of artists and their audiences, provides hospitality and support for creative life and promotes interfaith dialogue through the arts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.