From our Artistic Director and President, Bari Hochwald
I believe in the power of theatre to lift the artist and the audience to a fuller experience of their humanity, transporting them deeply into their capacity for empathy, compassion and creativity. This can occur most particularly through creating experiences which awaken all participants to their place in the world, both locally and globally, and which give them an opportunity to learn, expand and take action.
My artistic interests lay in combining my training and experience as an American actor, where emotional truth and expression are primary, and as a theatre artist exposed to eastern European and Asian influences which express a conscious physicality and presentation to the theatrical event. My goal is to offer a journey to an audience which celebrates the expansive potential of human beings by connecting to them both on an emotional and visual level.
As a creative producer, when I approach a project, I seek all the possible connections (meaning communities) that can be layered into the event, even if that event is singularly the production and presentation of a play. It is the cultural reverberations found within it that are the central focus of the work. As director my focus is on the power of the particular story we are exploring and how to take that story and bring it to visual form through a process of complete and engaged development with all artists involved in the collaboration. We begin by listening to it. First hearing what it has to say. Then feeling what it has to tell us. Then we explore how that storytelling will manifest into gesture, space, sound and light; visual metaphors and meanings; the use of time and language (particularly when working on bilingual projects). I work with the intent that the experience for the audience carries beyond the last moment of the final scene and that the images, as with a painting, dwell in their memory with emotional meaning.
In creating The Global Theatre Project in 2010, I have formed a container in which both my personal artistic goals, which are tied deeply to community engagement and socially relevant issues, as well as the work and artistry of others who are interested in international connections, multi-lingual exploration and community building can be nurtured, challenged and shared. The basis for this work was formed in Florence, Italy during my time as co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of Florence International Theatre Company. The Global Theatre Project is a response to the lessons learned during those five years as an artist, an educator and an American.
The Global Theatre Project itself is a creative expression for me which constantly seeks to engage other human beings and other institutions in cultural collaboration. Having lived and worked abroad was an enormous awakening and has re-focused the course of my life’s work toward what I sensed as a child: that we are all connected. We have the capacity to remember this at any moment if we observe life passionately and joyously. I have found it takes the passion of a child’s inquiry and courage. That is the aspiration of all my efforts. I seek to open the eyes of the artists, students and audiences I engage with and, hand-in-hand, face aspects of our world which we can admit to, acknowledge and, when necessary, move on from by connecting to each other through celebration, creativity and community.