What made you want to create this play Carry the World: Women and Peace?
It began with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Marissa Roth’s transcripts of interviews with women survivors of war. Next, I researched testimonials from women survivors from all over the world. The voices of the women spoke to me and I felt compelled to create a play. I deeply believe in the power of storytelling to awaken the heart and to inspire transformation. The theatre is a mirror reflecting back possibilities of our selves.
Ariana, the character that Shohreh Aghdashloo plays says, “There is not one family that has not eaten the bitterness of war.” This is an unfortunate truth. I am interested in how we human beings take bitterness and transform it through art and culture into an experience that creates value for others. I am interested in turning poison into medicine. I am interested in creative activism.
Tell us about the play.
Seven women testify about what is happening to women and women’s rights all over the world. It is an uplifting play that expresses through testimony, photographs, song and movement how we can win on the battlefields of ignorance, greed and war.
The women express their individual stories but more importantly, the play unifies the women into a single humanity expressing the larger issue of our interdependent relationship as world citizens.
The play is about becoming soldiers for peace using the weapons of education, dialogue and cultural exchange to win over ignorance, greed and war. This play is really about every woman AND man. It is a human story.
What do you want to gain with the play?
To inspire an empathetic response in our audience that calls their spirit to action and their body to activism.
What makes it important for people to see the play?
The 19th century Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen wrote: “These people, the politicians want special revolutions, outward revolutions, political readjustments. All of this is inconsequential. The only revolution that counts is a revolution of the human spirit.” Our intent is to inspire a human revolution.
Tell us about The Imagined Life theatre.
The Imagined Life, acting as the art of the empathetic imagination, is a creative philosophy that I have been teaching for 25 years. My husband, Steve Tietsort and I produce, direct and teach Imagined Life™ classes and offer workshops at our theatre. Steve and I met and fell in love working on a Tennessee Williams play and we built this theatre together 16 years ago. We are devoted to inspiring empathy and activism. People always say they feel a special feeling when they come through the doors. It’s a theatre built with love.