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11 Feb
Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts
Feb 11, 2013 | 6:30 PM-8:00 PM


The Power of Performance: Theater in War Zones


Join members of the Gallatin community for a video and lecture led by Joanna Sherman, artistic director of the Bond Street Theatre Coalition, and explore the impact and value of the expressive arts in areas of conflict. Sherman will discuss Bond Street Theatre’s work in Afghanistan, giving vivid examples of how "theater-based" practices are applied to different communities. Together, the video and lecture promote the idea that theater is a useful tool for social improvement in some of the world's toughest conflict zones.

Since 1976, Bond Street Theatre has been creating innovative performances that cross cultural borders and initiating theater-based projects for education, healing and empowerment in critical areas worldwide. Sherman’s lecture explores why cross-cultural artistic conversation is crucial to mutual understanding, and considers how practical applications of the theater arts are powerful means for bringing peace.

Joanna Sherman is the artistic director of the Bond Street Theatre. As director, choreographer, musician and actor, she has participated in company performances and projects across Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, South America and the Middle East. The company primarily works in post-war and disadvantaged communities, collaborating with local artists and working for the benefit of women, children and others. The company is currently focusing on Afghanistan, Haiti and Myanmar.

Sherman has directed and taught internationally and is a frequent speaker and advocate for theater for social development. She is currently conducting theater programs in Afghanistan through the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Institute for Peace. The multi-year project brings informational theater to women’s prisons, shelters and isolated villages.

Under her directorship, the company received a MacArthur Award for its intercultural programming. She has been an advocate and speaker on the role of the arts in peace building at the United Nations, the National Council on Women, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the U.N. Conference on Women in China, universities and other arts forums; she has been featured on CNN, BBC, NPR, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe; and her work has been published in American Theatre magazine. She has designed and implemented arts projects for U.N. and international relief organizations.

Sherman has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Cooper Union, and an M.A. in theater and international studies from New York University. She also plays saxophone with the Shinbone Alley Stilt Band.