FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 3, 2015
CONTACT & PRESS PASS: Sandra Kammann
Duir-wyyd: The Dreamer’s Doorway
The Women’s Voices Theater Festival
Playwright and Director Sandra Kammann and her cast present the world premiere of Duir-wyyd: The Dreamer’s Doorway in the Women’s Voices Theater Festival at two venues in the Washington DC metro area. Opening at the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre (8641 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD) on October 24 at 7:30 PM & October 25 at 3:00 PM, the production then moves to DC’s Spooky Action Theater (1810 16th Street N.W., Washington D.C.) for October 31 at 7:30 PM & November 1 at 3:00 PM. Ticket Reservations: www.wethetemple.com
Driven by activist passion and anthropological training, playwright Sandra Kammann’s new work tackles religious persecution, eco-spirituality, the mother-daughter bond and the nature of eternity, for starters. The hallmark alchemy of her mythic approach is deliciously nourishing, and the play’s visionary perspective proves both disarming and exhilarating in its bold authenticity. With a stirring musical score, luscious vocals, ancient poetic lore and arresting physical-theatre, Duir-wyyd: The Dreamer’s Doorway weaves tangible magic, offering a compelling message for our time.
Kammann’s new play adds to her body of evocative and powerfully communicative works, as she continues to challenge culturally imposed paradigms. “I am keenly interested in the innate transformational power of live performance, which can move audiences to expand the boundaries of consciousness and human potential. My research on sacred embodiment and ritual practices continues to broaden the reach of my creative process.”
Carol Spring & Lilian Oben
Featuring Carol Spring (Actor/Vocalist/Fiddle), who directed a play in this year’s Washington Area Fringe Festival, and Madison Middleton, who at 15 is the youngest playwright to present in the Women’s Voices Festival. The cast of Actor/Vocalists includes Mary Abbott (Harp), Craig Allen (Doumbek), A.J. Calbert, Madelyn Farris, Vanessa Nolan and Lilian Oben. Designers: Romula Hawthorne & Lynn Sharp Spears (Masks), Margaret Howard & Virginia Ward (Costumes & Set), Alexis Zanikos (Light) and Stage Manager Pamela Laray Willis.
Madison Middleton & Madelyn Farris
Sandra Kammann: playwright, director, choreographer, cultural anthropologist, activist , and lifelong practitioner of Transformational Theatre and mystical ritual traditions. Playwright & Director/Choreographer: Crack Between the Worlds: the goddess returns (an adaptation of Aeschylus’ The Eumenides), produced by Studio Theatre’s Secondstage, receiving a Helen Hayes nomination for Best Musical (Deborah Wicks-La Puma, composer & Music Director).
Founding Artistic Director: Sisters of One Eye dance/theatre troupe. Founding Director, We the Temple. Faculty: The John F. Kennedy Center Community Partnerships Initiative; Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory (1992-2013). M.A. Cultural Anthropology: Transformational Theatre (Honors), The George Washington University. Cotlow Research Fellowship in Greece: Sacred Landscape & Site-Specific Ritual Performance.
Crack Between the Worlds: the goddess returns
“Kammann’s striking production [is] a moveable feast”
Nelson Pressley, The Washington Post
Sisters of One Eye dance/theatre troupe
“A truly inspired and magical blend of dance, music, poetry, visual arts and storytelling… If you ever get a chance to see them, drop all other plans, find however much it costs and just GO.”
Siobhan Cavanagh, NYC Womanews
Indiegogo Crowdsource Funding Campaign https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/duir-wyyd-the-dreamer-s-doorway/x/9295596#/story
Women’s Voices Theater http://www.womensvoicestheaterfestival.org/plays/Duir-wyyd
we the temple
we: Akin to
temple: A sanctuary, a dwelling place of the Divine.
Sacred arts and performing arts share ancient roots. From the beginning of our time on Earth, movement, dramatic enactment, music and chant have served as tools for communing with each other and with the Divine. We The Temple Productions creates visionary Transformational Theatre events and gatherings, nourishing audiences with new paradigms and compelling messages for our time.
SANDRA KAMMANN BIOGRAPHY
Sandra Kammann is a choreographer, theatre director, performing artist, playwright, cultural anthropologist and educator. She is Founding Director of we the temple www.wethetemple.com, a non-profit organization exploring the inherent power of performed ritual to expand and alter consciousness. Her research in authentic enactment and transformational ritual culminates in creation of mythic, visionary performances and public enactments. Sandra’s latest work, Duir-Wyyd: The Dreamer’s Doorway, informed by research on shamanic traditions of ancient Ireland, will premiere in the upcoming Women’s Voices Theater Festival, October, 2015. www.womensvoicestheaterfestival.org Crack Between the Worlds: the goddess returns, Sandra’s adaptation of Aeschylus’ The Eumenides, was produced to critical acclaim by Studio Theatre’s Secondstage, garnering a Helen Hayes nomination for Best Musical Production (Deborah Wicks La Puma, Composer). Creating multi-art performance projects for many years, Sandra has directed both professional and community based performance companies in a wide range of venues, almost exclusively with live music composed specifically for her works. She danced professionally in NYC, and for the internationally acclaimed Maida Withers Dance Construction Company. Sandra holds an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology, graduating with honors from The George Washington University with the thesis “Performance as Gateway: Revitalization of Ritual by Performing Artists,” Dr. Ruth Krulfeld (Emeritus), Thesis Advisor. Sandra is currently an M.F.A. candidate in the Department of Theatre & Dance at The George Washington University.
Kammann’s striking production [is] a moveable feast”
Nelson Pressley, The Washington Post
“A truly inspired and magical blend of dance, music, poetry, visual arts and strolling…If you ever get a chance to see them, drop all other plans, find however much it costs and just GO.”
“…Feminist visionary performance” art at it’s very best”
Siobhan Cavanagh, NYC Womanews
“…A remarkable feast both rich and nourishing”
“…a pure, honest, strong sense of the feminist spirit…it is a work about reclaiming power, about rejoicing.”
Mary Koepke, Plexus: San Francisco Bay Area Women’s News
“Interesting work…worth seeing”
Sue Beving, Washington Times
“…imaginative choreography by Sandra Kammann”
Pierre Ruhe, Washington Post
“Sandra Kammann danced, sang and signed [with] high energy and expressivity”
George Jackson, The Washington Post
“The entire play is well written and choreographed [and]
the performers are passionate and uninhibited”
Kristin Kellog, Washington Times
Travelling to Greece on a Cotlow Research Fellowship from The George Washington University, Sandra employed site-specific research techniques to study the relationships among sacred landscape, myth and theatrical/ritual performance. http://youtu.be/phYGkPIQ-Ug Based on her research, Sandra wrote & directed Crack Between the Worlds: the goddess returns, an adaptation of Aeschylus’ Greek tragedy The Eumenides. The piece includes addition of a Greek Chorus of citizens singing an original score with lyrics from The Hymns of Orpheus, which garnered a Helen Hayes nomination for Best Musical Production (Deborah Wicks LaPuma, composer). After a laboratory performance at The Dorothy Betts Theatre (Marvin Center, GWU), the world premier was produced to critical acclaim by Studio Theatre’s Secondstage in 2000, and is included in Sandra’s M.A. thesis discourse. Sandra continues to offer residencies inspired by ancient Greek theatre and ritual culture.
As founding Artistic Director of Sisters of One Eye dance/theatre troupe, Sandra’s work reclaims and validates lost and hidden images of women’s lives, vibrantly reweaving them into humanity’s cultural threads. Her works include storytelling and personal narrative, and employ poetic text, ethnographic research and embodied ritual. The troupe’s full evening multi-art productions Living Strong Throughout the Land, Caves, Yah-shen and the Golden Carp http://youtu.be/xRqWCLDf3po , Blood Mysteries, and The Burning Times were presented at universities, festivals, and activist venues on the east coast corridor, including Voices Burning II Women’s Theatre Festival, The Asian American Theatre Festival, The University of Pennsylvania Women’s Theatre Festival, Sanctuary Theatre at Casa del Pueblo, Dance Place, Sisterfire, The Red Door Women’s Performance Series (Detroit), Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, The George Washington University, and The National Women’s Studies Association National Conference at Towson State University.
In 1998, Sandra joined the first international Tara Dance delegation on pilgrimage to India and Nepal, during which she engaged with the Tibetan Buddhist community-in-exile. She worked with children and nuns, and danced for the Tibetans in Buddhist temples and public offerings, including for His Holiness The Dalai Lama. This ongoing project of East-West exchange involves sacred dance ritual based on the ancient Buddhist prayer The Twenty One Praises of Tara. The ritual practice is now being taught to Tibetan nuns throughout India and Nepal under the auspices of H.H. the Dalai Lama. Sandra is part of a worldwide network of women trained and authorized to teach this ritual. www.taradhatu.org
Attending the Earth Summit in Brazil for the Omame International Arts Project for the Environment, Sandra performed at Rolling Thunder at The National Theatre (Brasilia) with the acclaimed Maida Withers’ Dance Construction Company, living and rehearsing with local artists and teaching in the community. www.maidadance.com/maidawithers.html After the dance tour, she travelled into the Brazilian rainforest, living on the Amazon River & Rio Negro. Sandra travelled into the Peruvian jungle and highlands in August 2013, journeying to many ancient sites and participating in sacred ceremony with chacaruna Jorge Luis Delgado. Sandra led her Sacred Dance Company to Costa Rica in 2007, offering performances and events in the Nosara community. Participating in a team-building project for educators on the northwest coast of Wales, Sandra learned collaborative skills, sea kayaking and rappelling.
Sandra currently leads Dances of Universal Peace, the communal practice of chanted mantric texts and embodied prayers from global spiritual traditions www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org, and practices the energy-healing arts of Chi-lel and Kundalini Yoga. She leads Moving Voices Sacred Dance, and has led sacred dance programs for over 20 years, including performing and teaching at regional and national Unitarian Universalist conferences, and receiving UU grants for both regional outreach projects and educational youth retreats. Sandra has lead ritual in Code Pink, Season for Non-Violence and Interfaith Harmony events, and works with performing artists, spiritual communities, activists, educators, children & youth, Family Therapists, ministerial students and all those interested in transcendence and creative expression.
As an educator, Sandra offers Performing Arts Residencies through The John F. Kennedy Center Community Partnership Program (DC), and is on the faculty of Brooksfield School (VA). She taught acting and improvisation for The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory (DC) for over twenty years, receiving an Outstanding Teacher award and training new faculty members. She continues to train performing artists in her home studio. Sandra was founding director of Fertile Ground Youth Contemporary Dance & Choreography Training Program, which for 30 years trained young artists as contemporary dancers, improvisers, collaborators and creators of original choreographic works. The program included sponsorship of guest residencies with Coyaba West African Dance/Theatre, Contemporary Ballet choreographers, and Improvisation artists, and received support from the Arlington County Arts Commission to produce full evening concerts at Gunston Theatre I and Thomas Jefferson Theatre (Arlington, VA). Sandra is continually developing Anthropology Express!, a series of educational residencies in which students experientially explore and integrate knowledge of other cultures through the lens of the arts, culminating in original theatrical productions and art exhibits. This dynamic curriculum is currently offered for Artist-in-Residence Programs through The Kennedy Center, Brooksfield School, and for Peace Camp Retreats. Culture areas currently include Tibet, Native North American Nations, Ancient Greece & Minoan Crete, Australian Aboriginal and Andean/Incan.
In addition to appearing in her own works, Sandra danced professionally in NYC with the Beverly Brown Dancensemble in the 1980’s, with Maida Withers Dance Construction Company in the early 1990’s, and has appeared in many other east coast companies and venues. Her contemporary dance training includes Elizabeth Price (Nancy Meehan/Hawkins), Cathy Ward (Hawkins), Beverly Brown (Brown/Hawkins), Colette Yglesias (Limon), Maida Withers, Liz Lerman, Helen Rea, Wallflower Order (San Francisco), and Crowsfeet (Vermont); Improvisation training with Nancy Stark Smith, Maida Withers, Jack Guidone, Sally Nash, and Beth Burkhardt. Sandra completed the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory three year training program with Joy Zinoman in Contemporary Realism, Character & Emotion, Shakespeare, Greek Tragedy, and Comedic Styles. She also trained with Susun Weed in Wise Woman ritual traditions and herbal medicine, and with Vicki Noble, ritualist, and creatress of the Mother Peace Tarot.