Bond Street partnered with Ida’s Hjelpefond, a Norwegian NGO committed to the youth of Guatemala, to create a theatre program at Oasis Orphanage.
Company members Ilanna Saltzman, Christina Pinnell, and Olivia Harris traveled to Antigua, Guatemala May 18 to June 16, 2012 to conduct creative workshops with young women aged 10 to 17. The workshops taught theatrical skills and show creation, including mask-making, stilt walking, and image theatre techniques.
The workshops culminated in the creation of an original show, El Cambio Empieza Por Ti y Por Mi (Change Begins with You and with Me) with the newly formed troupe of twelve girls, El Grupo Juvenil Transformando Vidas Con Fe (Young Women Changing Lives with Faith).
The troupe will perform again in July 2012 at a large cultural and religious retreat in Guatemala.
This project served as the first step in a lasting arts and theatre program at Oasis. The facility is more than an orphanage; in fact, many of the girls have families but have been removed from their homes due to violence and abuse. The new Arts Director will remain in touch with Bond Street Theatre to ensure a sustainable and effective program for the young women.
Ilanna and Christina also created an original show in Guatemala and presented free performances May 28 – June 6.
Se Necesita Soñar (You Need A Dream) is a 15-minute, two-person, Spanish language clown show that explores the pursuit of dreams. Loosely based on a Mayan folk tale, the story centers around Marlita, a chirpy green cricket from a nice town, who dreams of one day going to the ocean. She employs the help of two bumbling clowns to carry her to the sea, but unfortunately a terrible storm (created with the help of the audience) interrupts their day at the beach. Marlita begs the clowns to race back to her town so she can warn the people about the storm and keep them safe. This silly, fast paced and very musical show teaches that even though we all have responsibility, everyone needs a dream!
Ida, the founder of Ida’s Hjelpefond, learned of our international work using theatre for social development and invited us to join her. Guatemala is slowly recovering from thirty years of civil war, and our artists will assist with the healing process for young girls affected by the trauma. This is the Hjelpefond’s first foray into the psychosocial work of recovery.
Ida's Hjelpefond, Davis Projects for Peace, International House New York City