HEALING NARRATIVES FOR PERSONAL, SOCIAL and ENVIRONMENTAL HEALING

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Laura Biagi, a visiting multicultural faculty member, presents her talk, “Reimagine Failure: Breathe, Belong, Believe,” at TEDxDePaulUniversity, Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in the Lincoln Park Student Center. TEDxDePaulUniversity is an independently run, self-organized event. Through the theme “Reimagine” 11 diverse presenters provoked stimulating conversation on powerful topics that invited the audience to consider questions and subjects in a new light. (DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)

I use storytelling to heal personal, social and environmental narratives. The ways in which we think about ourselves, our roles in society and relations with the environment all impact our lives and the “performance of self.” Who am I? Why am I here? How can I contribute to make this world a better place? How can I succeed without hurting others? These are all questions I ask myself, my students, and collaborators in my classes, workshops, talks and performances.

In my 2018 TEDx DePaul talk, I explore the power of words to define one’s success or failure:

I am interested in inhabiting a space of kindness, rather than aggression, in life and art.

Loneliness has become an epidemic in capitalist countries. Yes, we are not alone. When we see ourselves authentically represented in a theatrical piece, we feel we can belong to a larger community than your separate own self. This aspect of storytelling is very important to me. I explored these issues in my solo piece, SAD Self Love:

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In the spring of 2017 I launched the first class at The Theatre School through the DePaul Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. The tradition of Inside-Out has been present at DePaul through the work of some great colleagues but this is the first time that the Theatre School goes in. I am excited to be part of this new collaboration.

In this course we work with free-writing, composition, performance, reading, and community building.

http://www.depaulnewsline.com/chicago-connections/inmates-stateville-prison-and-cook-county-jail-earn-course-credit

http://depauliaonline.com/2017/09/25/inside-program-brings-depaul-department-corrections/

My performance piece, The High Priestess, was part of the PEACEBOOK Festival 2017. Collaboraction partnered with Goodman Theatre to launch its second annual PEACEBOOK Festival with a marathon premiere of all 21 original dance, music and theater performances on Saturday, August 26, 2017 in the Goodman’s 350-seat flexible Owen Theatre (170 N. Dearborn). Click here for a full program.

 

Since 2015, I have worked with storytelling to gather stories with my students, inside and outside academia. In the image below, a group of BFA2 students at DePaul University’s Theatre School perform The Boat, the ending scene of our devised play BeLonging: Longing to Be, composed of a series of solos, duets, and ensemble pieces. All the pieces in this play were written by the students, based on their personal narratives.

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This was a workshop I offered at Vassar College:

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Since 2017, I have been sharing these teachings to a larger community, to talk about internal bias and micro-aggressions…

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