Arts For the Schools | Living Voices offers Tahoe Truckee students personal perspective
Ryan Summerlin February 17, 2014
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — For the past 20 years, Living Voices has harnessed the power of theatre to highlight and inspire social change, encourage learning, honor diversity and build community.
Living Voices offers a creative and personal approach to explore complex issues and understand their significance for today’s youth. Living Voices has presented nearly 50,000 shows since 1992, reaching millions of audience members nationwide.
This performance group creates interactive multi-media performances to bring life to history. Using historical perspectives based on real people and events, the Living Voices technique combines live performance with video, audio, visual aids and discussion.
Historic film footage and photographs, blended with audio and synchronized with a solo actor, gives the audience a chance to experience how the world looked, sounded and felt during a significant time in history.
Truckee-Tahoe area students will have the opportunity this month to witness history first-hand in these intimate performances.
These presentations are suitable for most classrooms or adult audiences. The use of minimal equipment and a single performer makes Living Voices more accessible to schools all across the state.
Living Voices presentations are often viewed as a shared resource and scheduled as a field trip for many schools, making this opportunity an affordable curricular option. Professional script writers work with actors, historians, and educators to develop these programs. Each actor is not only a performer but a teacher. Teacher’s guides are available after a performance is booked. Often, Living Voices staff teams up with local museums and archives to develop the story lines and identify appropriate images or documents.
Living Voices plans to share these performances with students:
Island of Hope: Experience the struggle to escape oppression. Discover life at Ellis Island and the fears and dreams of hopeful American immigrants.
The New American: Share the journey from the Old Country to the promise of America. The immigrant journey includes the steamship passage of 1910, the path through Ellis Island, the sweatshops of the lower east side of Manhattan. Learn what American liberty means to people around the world.
Through the Eyes of a Friend: See the world of Anne Frank, witness the pain, loss and hope of young people during the Holocaust.
Hear My Voice: How long was the fight for women’s suffrage? Join the 72-year battle that won half of America’s citizens the right to vote. Recommended for grades fourth and up.
A Living Voices goal is to awaken student’s imaginations as history comes to life for a more human understanding. Co-founder Rachel McClinton hopes audiences will walk in the character’s shoes to gain a personal perspective.
The drama group is optimistic students will continue to educate themselves and gain knowledge about all aspects of humanity after seeing a Living Voices production.
Information from Living Voices, www.livingvoices.org and Bethany Lund, member of Arts for the Schools, www.artsfortheschools.org.