Lush Valley March Workshop: Sunday 3/13 by kristinmarting
March 15, 2011, 9:25 pm
Filed under: American Dream, Events, Honor, Research

On Sunday, we jumped right into our March workshop, which is structured around the six phases of Jim Cullen’s book “The American Dream.”  We began on Sunday morning with research and activities based on the first phase of the Dream, religious freedom (and how that relates to enterprise). We focused on a place of worship, our (America’s) beginnings, thinking about the world as a corrupt place but one that can be reformed, a sense of community and freedom exercised in subjection to authority. The tenet we’re focusing on with this section of the work is HONOR.

Our starting point was the pilgrim’s escape from England in search of religious freedom and their ideal that “people who deny their efforts could affect their fates.”  We then moved on to the individual beliefs from several different systems of belief.  Each performer was given a system, a laptop and a period of time to explore what’s important to that belief, what the main doctrines are, who the major players were/are, etc. On top of the facts, we researched the different physicality and ritual that is paired with each system. Some of the systems of belief explored: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, Atheism, Freemasonry, and Quaker.

After coming back together, one of the issues discussed was tolerance vs. respect. Between each faith there may be a level of tolerance, a level of cooperation when someone says they believe in something else. However, respect goes beyond tolerance and encompasses a level of acceptance that goes along with the understanding that each faith has different values to different people.

As an exercise we put groups of two actors together to discuss two different religions with the goal of converting the other and as an opportunity to learn about a religion that they may not have heard of before. Scenes from movies, books and plays (such as The Scarlet Letter, The Crucible, the works of George Bernard Shaw, and There Will Be Blood) were also divided up and read by the actors .


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