Link Roundup! – 8/21/15

Link Roundups feature articles and bits of internet goodness that our dramaturgy team digs up. If you find something you want to send our way, drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter!

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 Upstream Arts offers a class to women with cognitive disabilities on how to negotiate relationships and avoid becoming victims of abuse. The group engages in singing, dancing and acting as they learn about sex, hygiene, body parts and self-advocacy. Judy Griesedieck for MPR News

Upstream Arts offers a class to women with cognitive disabilities on how to negotiate relationships and avoid becoming victims of abuse. The group engages in singing, dancing and acting as they learn about sex, hygiene, body parts and self-advocacy. Judy Griesedieck for MPR News

MPR News has a feature about Upstream Arts, an organization that uses arts and creativity to teach women with disabilities about health, sex, and relationships:

Despite the often tragic stories, the women laughed as they used theater, painting, movement and song to build their social skills and their sexual vocabulary. Most of the women were familiar with words for male and female body parts, but when asked if they’d heard the word “orgasm,” the room fell silent. No one knew what it meant. So Thune explained it to them.

“They’re adults,” she said later. “And it’s OK to have love. They should have that in their life.”

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Onstage has a story highlighting how poorly many theatres are dealing with issues around sexual assault, weight, and family leave:

For the past couple of years, incidents involving discrimination, domestic abuse and sexual harassment of women have been, thankfully, thrust into the public eye.  Whether it’s the ongoing incidents involving professional athletes, sexual assaults at an epidemic rate on college campuses or the debate over equal pay, these problems are finally being addressed on a national level.

However, while many organizations and industries are making leaps and bounds with how they treat women, the theatre industry still lacks progress in this area with some theaters taking egregious steps backward.

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The Medea Project presents My Life in the Concrete Jungle at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in San Francisco. Performers include Gee Dee, Felicia Scaggs, Summer Shapiro, Tamika Chenier, and Andrea Wilson. Photo courtesy of the Medea Project

The Medea Project presents My Life in the Concrete Jungle at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in San Francisco. Performers include Gee Dee, Felicia Scaggs, Summer Shapiro, Tamika Chenier, and Andrea Wilson. Photo courtesy of the Medea Project

The Art Works Blog interviewed artist and activist Rhodessa Jones to talk about her work with The Medea Project and the intersections of theatre and social work:

I think the arts are the last frontier. Art is supposed to shake things up. Art is supposed to set up a series of questions and quandaries. As my friend Shawn would say, to be a great social worker is to be a great artist—an architect of humanity. I feel like being an artist is about finding ways to ennoble our humanity. It’s about finding ways of opposing those questions that are painful, that are hard. At the same time, the real genius is how do you make it as universal as possible.

Art to me is a lot of examining, pursuing, deconstructing ideas. Some of them have already been thought about, some of them are new for maybe me, but there is always some gold in these hills, there’s always some rough diamonds to be exploited, to be shared with a community.

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Bitter Gertrude has some good suggestions for people who contact theatres to ask if a play is appropriate for their children:

No one likes this question. This question can strike deep anxiety into the heart of the most stalwart producer. Why?

We have no way of knowing what that means to you. All you’re really asking is, “Will I, a person you’ve never met, be uncomfortable seeing this play with my kid, who already knows much more about the topic than I am ready to confront, plunging me into a parental and emotional crisis, all of which I will blame on you for failing to psychically pinpoint my particular issue?”