"Would You Still Love Me?": Residency in Theater Explores HIV; Community Health

By Lucy Winner, mentor, Metropolitan Center

December 28, 2011

Lesotho Dancers

"Would You Still Love Me if You Knew?”, a weekend residency in applied theater, is set for March 9-12, 2012 at the Metropolitan Center 325 Hudson St., New York City. The residency will explore the relationship between theater, HIV and community health.

This interactive, hands-on, New York City-based residency will build on the applied theater work of the Winter/Summer Institute. In 2006, 2008 and 2011, students from SUNY Empire State College traveled to Lesotho to join with students with faculty from universities in South Africa and Lesotho, as well as with rural villagers, to create a model of collaborative, aesthetically provocative theater around critical issues in the battle against HIV/AIDS.

Residency participants will explore how the use of theater can help people grapple with complex questions about health and well-being, using theater to look at cultural and social issues affecting the rural communities of Lesotho and the intricate health concerns they confront. As well, students will begin to examine how theater can provoke thought about similar issues in local communities.

Using WSI's method of collaborative theater-making, and drawing on research as well as recent experiences in Africa, students will explore questions about secrecy and the impact of secrets on public health.

A collaborative performance will be created.

The opening session of the residency, March 9, 7:30-9 p.m., is open to the college community and includes a video of WSI work, a presentation by AIDS activist from Lesotgho Kelebohile Nkhereanye, reflections by SUNY Empire State College who participated in WSI, and live music of Southern Africa.

It is possible to earn up to 4 undergraduate credits for participating in the residency meetings and activities and projects, and engaging in individualized research and creative projects in related areas.

For more information, contact Lucy Winner or go to www.commons.esc.edu/wwsinycresidency.

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