July 19, 2006
Dramatic and Theater Arts Departments
Performing Arts Institutions
To Whom It May Concern,
Lois Kagan Mingus and Jerry Goralnick of the legendary Living Theatre pursued the Vassar College Drama department and me personally for several years while we were only able to offer two in-class workshops on their unique style and history of street theater and performance art. I only mention this fact as a reference to Lois' undeniable tenacity, in particular, and their belief that a Living Theatre workshop contribution to academic theater is fundamentally different. Frankly, I would have to agree. No other theater shares such a potent history while remaining current with new trends and issues in the avant-garde.
Both times that they have brought their unusual workshops to an hour long freshman introductory class, they have performed a simple ritual of sound, know as The Chord, which unites a room full of 100 students into a joyous atonal chord of emotional and spiritual harmony. It is often the first time that any of the students have really invested in the class for a full 30-minute period. And they are stunned that something so simple could be so effective.
This is the essence of their work as they have described it to me over the last few years. The spiritual and socially relevant comes from sublime theater. And sublime theater is simple, though never easy. They want to share these insights and plant a seed for unusual growth in young artists. I look forward to seeing where it will all lead in the end for the unsuspecting student of my own program.
Lois Kagan Mingus and Jerry Goralnick are an organized, perceptive and fascinating twosome. Please know that I recommend them and The Living Theatre Workshops without hesitation.
Neil Flint Worden, AEA, MFA, (UW School of Drama)
Acting Mentor/Asst. Professor of Drama - Vassar College
(845) 437-7256, firstname.lastname@example.org
DEPARTMENT OF DRAMA AND FILM . BOX 734 . 124 RAYMOND AVENUE. POUGHKEEPSIE . NY 12604-0734
PHONE 845 437-5250. FAX 845 437-7575
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