Theater Arts Workshop Culminates in a Performance at the Kimmel Center

September 8, 2016
Two of the participants stand with their acting instructor, Jennifer Blaine from the Kimmel Center

On August 18th members of the BSM Community gathered with our neighbors across the street at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts to celebrate the hard work of BSM’s Theater Arts Workshop participants. The performance marked the culmination of BSM’s Theater Arts Workshops, which have been taking place over the past six months under the guidance of former Therapeutic Arts Coordinator, Jotie Mondair, and the amazing Jennifer Blaine, an actress and comedian who facilitates theater arts classes for the Kimmel Center’s Arts Education program. Classes introduced improvisational techniques, taught tools for connecting with an audience and encouraged students to develop work from their lived experience.

13698125_1262642073753986_2652071937878898598_oEach vignette presented was a new opportunity to laugh, to learn, and to connect with the performers’ unique perspectives. One offered an improvised (and hilarious) conversation between two voters who meet in line at a grocery store, one supporting Donald Trump and the other Hillary Clinton. The voters exchanged thoughts on the candidates and tried to convince each other to come over to the other side. Others were inspired by the lived experiences of the performers, such as a monologue about the difficulty of navigating the city as a person with a disability and an exploration of the experience of moving to America from South Africa. We even received a beautiful rendition of the Broadway classic “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.”

An earlier improv session led by Jennifer Blaine

At the end of the event, the audience applauded while performers took their bows with great big smiles on their faces. One participant reflected on the program with gratitude, saying “we are so thankful for the opportunity to work with caring professionals from Broad Street and The Kimmel Center on a project that cannot help but brighten our outlook.” We at BSM are also grateful for the amazing experience of witnessing stars being born and look forward to continued collaboration with our neighbors so that more lives can be touched by the amazing power of the arts.