SPEAKING TRUTH: A THEATRICAL EXPLORATION THROUGH THE WORDS OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
Theatre has a direct link to social change. Many plays of the past have addressed social justice issues as a means of communication. One example is Ariel Dorfman’s play Voices from Beyond the Dark; Speak Truth to Power, a play designed for The Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organization as a tool to address human rights issues. These monologues serve as a backdrop to opening up the conversation of human rights defenders all over the world. This workshop will guide students to understand the journey of a human rights defender from oppression to speaking truth to power. Monologues written by well known human rights defenders (Ghandi, Malala) as well as everyday defenders are explored through theatrical exercises such as “ Role on Wall”, exercises from Theatre of the Oppressed, tableaux work and personal journey exploration. The culmination will be a presentation of the monologues. The goal is to inspire our students through exploring these and their own lives to become future defenders of Human Rights.
Karen Sklaire is an actress, and Drama Teacher with the NYC DOE. She was the NYC coordinator of programming for The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Organization and created a theatre lesson for the worldwide curriculum. As a performer she has toured the country and featured Off-Broadway. She has performed standup comedy and appeared on Saturday Night Live, In the Mix and The Imus in the Morning show. Karen wrote and performed her solo show Ripple of Hope: One Teacher’s Journey to Make an Impact directed by Padraic Lillis which was named one of Best of Fringe, and Best Performance at The Capital Fringe Festival ( DC), NY International Fringe Festival, Flying Solo Festival and Best of 2016 (Broadway World Rhode Island). In addition Karen created the first Speak Truth to Power summer theatre camp merging human rights education and theatre. Karen is the recipient of the 2015 Robert F Kennedy Human Rights award for her work in theater and human rights.