Do you want to convey difficult information that will stick with your audience and help them feel invested in creating solutions?
I designed Woman With Sword to be a transformable performance that is small, smart, sustainable, and scalable. In it, I re-use key elements while working with each presenter/community to craft a unique content-based experience. Certain aspects of the production are constant: a cast of professional actors and dancers, an expert and an interviewer who interact directly with the audience, and a character named Woman with Sword in the pivotal role of catalyst and change agent.
Other aspects are open to variation and adaptation: the piece can be performed inside or outside. On a fully equipped stage or a street corner. It can be performed with teens and families, medical students and policy analysts. A reporter, an activist or a scholar can fill the role of the Expert. It can be about the chemical industry’s disregard for environmental safety along the New Jersey coast or inadequate dental care for illegal immigrants in Baltimore. It all depends on who’s coming to the show, where it’s happening, what’s being explored, and why.
As a data person, I’m always up in my head. This time as I thought it through, I brought my heart with me.
– participant, Association of Women in Development
Woman with Sword has addressed diverse topics across the human rights spectrum both here in the US and abroad. It is a deepening of my audience inclusion practices. My facilitation style promotes individual agency, peer-to-peer dialogue, shared decision-making, aesthetic exploration, and physical expression. It fosters a safe space in which people learn anew.
Working with our bodies gives us another pathway to a more intuitive and emotional appreciation of the issues and makes us more creative.
– Meg Greene, President of Greeneworks, social change for health & development
Moments from Woman with Sword look like this:
- Creating physical doorways, archways and portals with their bodies, immigrant ESL high school students learn about Immigration and Custom’s enforcement policies and describe their fears in the face of local midnight raids. (Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion)
- Working in small groups, local community members, School of Public Health faculty, and work-study teens devise short theatrical scenes about the way government officials ignored the chemical industry’s environmental impact of Tom’s River, NJ. (University of Maryland’s School of Public Health)
- Circling together, NGO leaders from Guatemala, Brazil, Lebanon, Nepal, Bangladesh, pass a ceremonial sword and redefine its significance: “justice . . . education . . . commitment . . . sexuality . . .” (Association for Women in Development International Forum)
Margot builds deep relationships with people she partners with, making certain that voices are heard and multiple perspectives are represented in all decision-making processes. She works with people from every walk of life and all age groups with equal ease and sensitivity. She is a brilliant problem solver and she keeps a cool head.
– Jane Hirshberg, Campus and Community Engagement Manager, Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts