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Hi Bill and everyone. First off, I'd like to apologize for my multiple posts in the May 2 blog entry on the Networking Forum. I was using a different computer at the time, and apparently the computer thought I never actually submitted my thoughts when I did. Apparently I was heard loud and clear though! Now onto a readers theater. I think Center for Independent Futures has something like this called the VIP Academy, and it sounds very interesting. I will definitely talk with someone about it when I get the chance. I guess Illinois is just one of those "you have to see it to believe it" cases when it comes to state services for people with disabilities. We are ranked number 49. It really makes one wonder who is number 50, if Illinois isn't there yet. I have continued to try various approaches to get this O&M issue resolved, and nobody wants to help. My friends and family want to help me, but it's become all too clear that nobody does who is connected with the state. They will not even respond anymore to emails or phone calls. I can't even ask anyone what to do about my VR case. It is honestly that bad at this point. But I guess the fight's not over yet.

Hi Bill,

I really enjoyed reading about your Readers' Theatre experience. As you know, I participated in something different yet similar, called Forum Theatre. In Forum Theatre you also have a group of non-professional actors acting out situations from their lives. The scenes and characters we create are fictional, but they are made up of people and situations we're familiar with and illustrate a conflict around a particular issue.

In a Forum Theatre performance we do the plays twice. The first time we do the whole story through (the plays are short - maybe 5 minutes long). The second time, audience members are invited to stop the action at any point and intervene by replacing one of the characters and saying or doing things differently. The idea is that by changing what they say or do, they will shift the dynamic in such a way that it will reduce the conflict, or at least increase mutual understanding.

It's a very powerful way to deal with community issues, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to try new approaches to conflict resolution!

Hi Avril,

Thanks a lot for sharing. The Forum Theatre you participated in sounds very similar as you mentioned. I’ll bet the community that was able to participate in your Forum Theatre really benefited from it. With the Forum Theatre it sounds like you can receive feedback immediately. I’ll bet it was very exciting watching the expressions on the faces in the audience as you acted out your part.

I have never acted live in front of an audience yet. I have given live talks to audiences. Being blind I cannot watch the expressions on the faces of the audience. I can tell how the audience is reacting to what I am talking about by the noises they make. I can adjust on the fly a little depending on how I perceive sections of my talks are being accepted or interpreted. I’ll bet you heard the noises from the audience as well, so might know what I mean.

Thanks for sharing your great experience with all of us. I’ll bet the audience learned a lot from you, other members of the Forum Theatre and from each other as they got into participating in such a lively interaction. Has anyone else ever participated in or watched such a theater event like these?

Hope to hear from you.

Bill Tipton
Contributing Author,

Global Dialogue Center

Bill -- Can you be reached by email other than on this blog? I'd still like to dialogue a bit about a possible article (See my 6/4/06 post above)

Thanks and God Bless.

Bob Demers
[email protected]

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