Ukiah Players Theatre Kicks Off New Community-Based Theatre Project

Willits News (Willits, CA), April 08, 2005


One of the hallmarks of a rural community are the shared stories of place. Which of us doesn’t have a story to tell about the courthouse, the Palace Hotel, the cemetery, Montgomery Wards or our own backyard?

It is this notion that led Ukiah Players Theatre (UPT) Executive Director Kate Magruder to seek out stories that hold meaning in our lives and to help community members share them with each other.

The success of last year’s original story-based production Of “All Places: Community Stories of How and Why We Are Here” encouraged Magruder to further explore the idea of the importance of place.

Thanks to a grant from The James Irvine Foundation, UPT will team up with the Center for Digital Storytelling, and Near and Arnold’s School of Performing Arts and Cultural Education (SPACE) to create “The PlaceMeant Project: Stories of Why Where Matters.”

The goal is to “deepen the bonds between community members in Ukiah and throughout Mendocino County by exploring our connection to places, both manmade and natural,” Magruder explained.

The two-year project will include free workshops in both writing and digital storytelling. UPT is currently seeking applicants for the workshops which will be held in April and May of this year. This fall, UPT will weave some of these collected stories into a multimedia production at the Ukiah Playhouse. In 2006, a streamlined version of the production will tour the county.

Subjects Covered: digital storytelling, diversity training, education

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