Alaina is a writer who lives in Phoenix. She is a proud feminist and likes to spend her spare time volunteering with women’s rights organizations, reading voraciously, and spending time with her loved ones.
Linda Brown, of landmark case Brown Vs. Board of Education, died on Sunday. March for Our Lives took place across the country on Saturday to call attention to the atrocity of gun violence in the United States.
Laughing Pig Theatre’s first Monologue Cafe addressing abuses of privilege and power also took place over the weekend. Our mission? To address violence, oppression, and abuses of privilege in our local community by sharing experiences and engaging in dialogue. We collected true stories, then placed those stories in the hands of 11 performers who brought each one to life. On Friday evening we followed the show with a processing session for writers, performers, and audience members. The cafe brought together a diverse, gracious, and enthusiastic group. It was inspiring to engage in the conversation with everyone who came out to participate, support and grow with us.
Writers and performers, we at Laughing Pig Theatre are stunned by and in awe of your courage, heart and humor. Without you all this wouldn’t have been possible. An enormous thank you goes out to: Julia Wallace, Patsy Parker, Dori Honovi, Darcy Cochran, Pina, Belen Markus, Arielle Hurst, Mindy Judson-Garcia, Tayo Talabi, Avery Volk, Sawyer Walter, Mara Nadolski, Katlyn Roberts, and Amy Palmer.
Want to learn more, take action, or seek help for yourself/someone you love? Here are some inspiring organizations working toward a more just Maricopa County:
ACLU Arizona: https://www.acluaz.org/en
A New Leaf: http://www.turnanewleaf.org/
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence: http://www.acesdv.org/
Arizona Foundation For Women: http://www.azfw.org/
Hope Women’s Center: https://www.hopewomenscenter.org/
NAACP Maricopa County: http://maricopanaacp.org/about-the-maricopa-county-branch/
Refuge Recovery: https://www.refugerecovery.org/
SAAF Anti-Violence Programs: https://saaf.org/care-services/anti-violence-programs/
Recently, a friend told me that they were interested in trying improv, but intimidated and afraid of the pressure to “be funny”. I knew exactly what she meant: improv is stereo-typically dominated by white-bread dudes getting a laugh and confidence boost at the expense of everyone else. It doesn’t have to be this way. Theatre (including improv) is knowledge. Knowledge is power. Power, at its best, is love NOT elitism.
In the book, Games for Actors and Non-Actors, Augusto Boal writes,
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a dance piece where the dancers danced in the first act and in the second showed the audience how to dance? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a musical where in the first act the actors sang and in the second we all sang together?…This is…how artists should be—we should be creators and also teach the public how to be creators, how to make art, so that we may all use that art together.
At Laughing Pig Theatre we’re committed to making the democratic practice of theatre safe, inclusive, and accessible to all. We’re using our inaugural season to engage with our community about important subjects, to learn together, and to have fun. Here’s how we’re doing it:
- On Wednesday’s we host a weekly Open Improv Jam. We invite anyone who’d like to play a variety of improv games to join our ensemble in rehearsal. We explore everything from long-form to forum theatre. Being “funny” isn’t important. It is completely FREE, and open to every level of experience and ability. Come play with us! All you need is comfortable clothing and curiosity.
- Every 2nd Friday Laughing Pig combines entertainment with instruction in a dynamic pay-what-you-can style evening of play. Whether it’s an improv show by our ensemble followed by an open improv jam with the audience, or a Theatre of The Oppressed Workshop, or a reading of a new play followed by a writers’ circle, these monthly events are sure to be as entertaining as they are educational.
- Our Quarterly Productions explore under-represented aspects of our communities in an entertaining, evening length, genre-bending format.
Come join us at Mesa Arts Center!
Laughing Pig Theatre’s next event is an educational workshop: Improvisation for Dialogue, set for Friday, February 9, 7-9pm at the Mesa Arts Center. In 2-hours, Ada McCartney will lead our attendees though different theatre techniques designed to facilitate crucial conversations.
If you’re a teacher, community organizer, team leader, or have ever worked in a group with other people, you know it’s essential for everyone to work together. We’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced how difficult it is to move forward when the team is out of sync. Or worse: when that big pink elephant appears, and no one in the room knows how to talk about it. These new tools may be just what you need to shake-up your group dynamic, relate to each other compassionately, and attain results.
Adapting techniques used in Forum Theatre and the Theatre of the Oppressed, drawing on the works of Michael Rhod and Augusto Boal, Ada will teach participants to use theatre to create a common language and a safe space to discuss difficult issues,and explore potential solutions. In the process we’ll have a little fun, make some new friends, and continue to build our Laughing Pig Theatre community.
In this workshop you can expect:
- Introductions and Warm-up will get you comfortable with each other and the Acting Studio.
- Trust Building exercises to help move past the awkwardness of meeting new people, raise the community issues you want to tackle, and build connections with your peers for a productive workshop.
- Bridging exercises will bring your issues and imagination together as we use theatre games to explore more deeply what matters and why.
- Improv Scene Work ties-in all that you’ve learned. We will improvise scenes in small and large groups, and discuss how we can use these tools to drive change in our own communities.
For this workshop you will need:
- An Open Mind will serve you best as we’ll be working with new ideas and techniques, and discussing potentially sensitive issues.
- Important Issues that you face in your communities, are interested in exploring, and want to find new ways to positively address.
- Comfortable Clothes and Shoes, as we’ll be on our feet moving, bending, and shake-shaking across the Acting Studio.
- $8 Donation: Laughing Pig Theatre is working to bring you new, exciting, and informative content at a low cost. We want your time, attention, and support most of all. Any financial support you can provide will help us deliver on our endeavors. Best of all: each full-price ticket comes with a Laughing Pig Theatre sticker!
- A Ticket: walk-ins are welcome, but we only have about 30 seats available. RSVP here to ensure that you have a spot.