“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – from “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver Three weeks ago, Still Point Facilitator Lindsay Porter resumed conducting weekly Persephone Project classes with women at Lake County Jail. Lindsay said that the concept of “identity” has been a theme for reflection and writing in these early sessions. The above quote from Mary Oliver’s poem was used as a springboard for discussion: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Lindsay remarked that this group is particularly supportive of one another, and that the Persephone Project environment makes honest sharing and imagining possible. I have heard repeatedly from Persephone Project facilitators, and have heard it confirmed in the testimonials of participants, that the supportive community created in this programming is vital. An environment which facilitates reflection, imagination, connection, hope and personal growth supports the women in reclaiming and rebuilding their lives. In contemplating identity, the women have an opportunity to be honest about their worst moments and worst decisions, but to also realize that their entire identity need not be defined by these mistakes. That is part... Read More.
2015 was an exciting year for Still Point. For a small nonprofit founded in 1993, we continue to fulfill our mission and expand the scope of our work. Here’s a recap of Still Point happenings in 2015! OUTREACH Regular performances are an integral part of Still Point’s Imagination Workshop for adults with developmental disabilities, and we are focusing more attention on this aspect as our programming expands. We are proud that our Imagination Workshop facilitation at Orchard Village has featured performances at the Skokie Theater and the Skokie Public Library this year. The group that meets at Ravenswood Presbyterian Church is open to public enrollment, and has had three well-attended performances at the church this year, most recently on December 15. Groups at L’Arche Chicago, Esperanza, Search, Inc. and El Valor also presented original performances in 2015. Through exposing community audiences to the unique gifts of these remarkable men and women, Still Point cultivates greater community integration and breaks stereotypes. Staff member Steve Grossman has begun working on boosting the technical aspects of our outreach performances, such as sound and lighting, in order to further enhance the experience for both audiences and performers. While Persephone Project programs continued at Cook... Read More.
I was happy to have a chance to talk to the effervescent and accomplished Virginia Smith recently about her history with Still Point Theatre Collective. It was not a short conversation. Virginia first connected with Lisa Wagner-Carollo when Haunted By God: The Life of Dorothy Day was still being produced by Catholic Activist group Call To Action. Former Call to Action Executive Director Ray Wohl asked Virginia to re-work the original production of Haunted By God. “There were three writers: Lisa, Bob McClory, and Paul Amandes. I immediately got rid of two of them,” Virginia quipped. “I said, ‘Lisa, you’re the actor. You’re too close to the material to make decisions about it.’ Bob was a journalist, and he had already contributed all of the factual information to make sure the play was historically accurate – so we didn’t need him anymore. That left Paul, and I worked with him. I told him where I thought the storyline needed more development, and he would write it… and I would cut it to shreds… (chuckles) I also decided that the show needed music. So I asked Paul to write all of the music that is in the play now.” Now, Virginia... Read More.