Workshops at PYTA 2018

The 2018 PYTA Conference will be FULL of workshops and lunchtime conversations. While we're still fleshing out details in scheduling, we're excited to announce the amazing workshops that will be on the schedule!

The Essentials: Easy Marketing Tips and Strategies To Make Your Queer Youth Theater Shine (And Save You Time)

Facilitated by: Matt Gelman & Sarah Vickery

Real talk: we know you’d rather spend your time creating and implementing your program and less time worrying about how to market it. We also know many of you are a team of one, with only so many hours in a day. How can you do it all? Let us help you check off one of the boxes. Join us for a session that will review tips and tricks to help make marketing your program more methodical and intentional, focusing on key essentials right for a queer youth theater of any size. We’ll also review a set of free tools that can help you create amazing images with a few clicks of a button. This session is interactive, so bring your ideas, favorite apps, and mobile devices, and come ready to try something new!

Fluid Energy Possession

Facilitated by Giftson Joseph

This workshop will provide knowledge and awareness of gender expression fluidity (i.e. Gender fluid Energy) from a historical perspective, specifically pertaining to predominantly POC countries/Continents pre and post colonization. Participants will explore how different cultures had similar perspectives that differed from the Eurocentric construct on gender expression and how social roles, in most instances, were not based upon genders assigned at birth, but based on natural spiritual energy that an individual possessed. Workshop will also introduce how energy manifests through sexual roles and sexuality. The topic of religion will also be explored to give participants a thorough understanding of how religion was used as a systematic tool not only to police human sexuality, but to also police gender identity and to negate the existence of fluidity, which led to the marginalization of communities for centuries to come. Relating to the present, participant will see how privilege and oppression plays a role in gender expression and identity when pertaining to intimate relationships and society as a whole. By the end of workshop participants will be able to make the connection of how the concept of gender changes from century to century. Participant will have a more nuanced understand about the concept of gender fluidity and how they can keep this knowledge in mind when it comes to challenging societal norms and dating norms.

Act Out with BlackOUT: Black Queer Truth Telling Through Theater

Facilitated by Kaamila Mohamed & Eziah Blake

As queer people of color, we live within the intersection of racism and white supremacy and transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia. These forces can show up in our lives as internalized oppression, shame, trauma, and violence. Inspired by the energy of the Black Lives Matter movement, a group of Black queer young people in Boston came together to form BlackOUT. We claim theater as a powerful tool for marginalized people. Through art, we can challenge these forces. We can heal through self expression, build bonds as a community, and speak our truth and brilliance into the world. We invite individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ POC to join us for an interactive workshop in which participants will share their truths and create art together.

Pride Players: Empowering Youth Voices through Improvisation

Facilitated by Brian Guehring

Pride Players, an award winning Omaha Theater Company teen theater troupe, is entering its 20th year of creating an annual devised play about being a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight-allied teen. The final show of Pride Players is 90% non scripted. The co-founder of the troupe will lead a hands on workshop on our creation process. The session will start with a brief history of Pride Players and information about our company. Session participants will then actively participate in improv games, small group discussion, improvisational scene creation, and artistic feedback. The session will also focus on the structures in the troupe and the creation process to empower youth leadership and artistic contributions.

Coping & Creating: Using Art for Resilience

Facilitated by Ny Wallace & Eziah Blake

In this session participants will discuss personal struggles with mental health, how they have used art to process it and then will actually use art to process it. Art forms include but are not limited to: dance, spoken word, music and theater.

To Witness Bravely: Mindfulness and the Pride Artist At Work

Facilitated by JT Buck

Mindfulness practice is all the rage these days. How might the tools of mindfulness meditation be deployed to support and enhance and young artist's work? This laboratory is an introduction to the practical tools of a 'mindfulness-based' approach to performance and art making. Basic meditation instruction as well as practical exercises drawn from Zen and other traditions will be explored. Specific exercises will involve simple visual art making, group vocalization and gentle physical interaction accessible to all. All arts disciplines are relevant. No mindfulness experience necessary.

Trans Naming Workshop

Facilitated by Finn Lefevre

This workshop delves into the experience of names and naming for trans folx. Participants will work together through movement, song, poem, drawing, and performance prompts before crafting their own individual “Naming Ritual” performance which celebrates their unique relationship to their name. Participants will incorporate elements of their culture, community, family, and/or their own creativity into short performances they can share with the group or in their communities. The performances will have three parts: their name story (invented/real/both), what they perform/sing/say in order to embody this name, and how they hope to be supported/affirmed by their community in return. Come prepared to work through traumatic or dysphoric name experiences, celebrate your identity, and create solo theatre pieces. Wear comfy/moveable clothes, bring a notebook and pen/writing device. No experience necessary.