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STORY BRIDGE: FROM ALIENATION TO COMMUNITY ACTION is the title of the book I’ve just written. It is based on what I’ve discovered over fifteen years of working in communities around the country and abroad. My work is that of a playwright, but really, even more, as a listener. I am invited into communities to work with them to gather their stories, and then turn those stories into a play, enacted by a cast of about 75 participants from all areas of the town, and all ages. It becomes a force to draw people together, talk about the challenges they have faced and overcome, and their shared heritage and values. It is a way to pass on the old stories to the next generation, as the young people involved in the play act out the stories of their grandparents and great grandparents. The older generation who participate are encouraged that their stories live on and won’t be forgotten. It is a place where families can participate. I’ve done these plays in my own home town ,too, and my own children worked with me—imagine, teenagers in a process with their parents, and HAVING FUN! The plays have led to great community strengthening and even building, as the energy behind these projects often move out of the theater and into the towns. Community Gardens, After School Programs, museums, these are just a few things that have come out of these plays. Where do the ideas to do these things come from? Through a series of conversations the community has leading up to and after the plays. These conversations then lead to committed actions—such as the gardens and school programs. After DOING this work for fifteen years, I finally put these thoughts together in this book. I hope if you are interested in raising your community, you might take a peek at this link, which tells a little about this book and previews several pages. Enjoy!
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