Monday, July 20, 2009

A celebration of transformation with Dramatic Adventure Theatre

Today's jonas watch is sponsored by Dramatic Adventure Theatre.

For sponsorship information go to


Yesterday, I skipped a Jonas Brothers concert in Uniondale, NY to spend the day at the Richmond Shepard Theatre in NYC watching plays. The plays were a reflection of a year long project from an organization called Dramatic Adventure Theatre. My daughter, Mary, age 25 and her fiance, Jesse, age 28 are the creators and owners of this company.

A year ago, they decided to expand the organization to create a program for college students and theater artists. 75 people participated in this program. Groups of students and artists went to Ecuador for several weeks. It was a cross cultural program that included service projects, art workshops and the creation of a piece of theater that reflected something about the experience for them.

I watched nine short plays yesterday. Each one so powerful that I could barely speak without sobbing. The last two years, I watched Mary and Jesse perform a theater piece with several actors after visiting Zimbabwe and Ecuador. I always thought that I cried because I knew them and I could see and feel their transformation. I knew who they were before the trip and I saw how they had changed from going to the different countries.

Last night the tears came because I could feel the transformation that had happened for each of the groups. It was palpable. Transformation was oozing from their bodies as they relived their experiences by putting them into an expression of music, dance, and words.

I am still so moved by what I saw that the words of the experience for me are not fully formed.

In the beginning of this blog today, I said it was a year long project, but it was really a project that they had been preparing for all of their lives.

I can remember a night when I was really sick twenty years ago. A flu, high fever type of illness. I had worked all day, picked up Mary, age 5 and Liz, age 3 from day care and all I wanted to do was fall into bed. It was only 6 or 7 pm, too early for Mary who could barely settle down at 10pm (she is still a night owl!) I popped a video into the VHS player, Mary Poppins. I gave her some instruction like, let me know when the movie is over or climb in bed when the movie is over. Something like that. I was delirious with fever that night.

Around 3 am, I rolled out of bed to check on her. There was Mary in the living room. A stack of musical VHS tapes on the couch, some dress up clothes, an open umbrella and Mary with a huge smile on her face.

What can I say, the kid ALWAYS loved theater!

In high school, Mary was the President of Future Business Leaders of America. In college, she studied Theater, Business and Communications. In her last semester of college, she told me that she was interested in doing something with children's theater.

Then, she met Jesse who had his own path of discovering creativity as a middle school student who thrived in the arts. He had a journey of overcoming shyness to step into a bolder role for himself in the world. He has an idea of traveling to different countries and doing theater with children. A discussion with a friend a few years ago, came back as a challenge to do it. He came up with the name Dramatic Adventure. And when he and Mary partnered, each brought the life experience and skills to make this happen.

Throughout their lives, both of their families traveled and demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, a love of adventure, an openness to trying new things. We provided a "container or space" that nurtured this spirit in them. With their family in the audience last night, we cheered them on to the finish line.

Yes, we provided the container and they did the work. They combined their passions, interests and hard work. They made the phone calls, stayed up late at night, took the financial, emotional and physical risks. They had roadblocks, doubts, hurdles to jump over. They had inspiration, moments of perfection and the determination to work through every challenge. They DID it!

And in their willingness to leap, they have created a place of transformation and awakening to 75 people who now know more about themselves. They are now bringing that awareness back to their families, their communities and their work. It is a ripple effect.

As I travel with Hannah to Jonas Brothers concerts, I do not know what the impact will be on our lives in the future. But, I am aware that the people we are meeting through the blogs and at the concerts we are all touching each other, awakening something in us and leading us on a path to somewhere.

For each person, I have met and conversed with, I want you to know that the 5 minute conversations in line for the bathroom, the sharing of our stories in between sets, dancing together, and of course, the hugs, are touching Hannah and me. We carry you with us in our hearts, our conversations and into our experiences.

And as I watched Jesse and Mary last night, closing the evening with words of gratitude, I was moved by the infinite possibilities that await us all. One step at a time.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's a blessing and such a wonderful thing what you and your daughter do not to mention pretty dang cool :)

    rock on mom!!