Time & Location
Jun 03, 2019, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
#BBATX Headquarters, 916 Springdale Rd. Bldg. 4 Unit 102 Austin, Texas 78702
About the Event
Our season launch will start with a creative workshop on building ritual led by Kimmothy Cole. Cole is a multi-disciplinary storyteller focused on decentralizing power in performance and creating experiences that reinforce new narratives and subvert old systems. Cole is the Founding Artistic Director of TAPROOT, a performance collective operating in Austin and Charlotte. For this workshop, participants will engage with ritual aesthetics, readings and video clips in the process of creating and sharing rituals. Activities and discussions will revolve around the cultural and individual need for ritual as a practice, the intentions and aesthetics of ritual performance and dress, and the capacity for all people to create meaningful rituals for themselves and their communities.
Cole on how activism and ritual are linked:
"Ritual is all about the work of facilitated transformation of the individual or the collective. The work of developing rituals as communities around healing or communion or mourning or any other number of intentions places us squarely at the intersection of community building and subversive action. Some activism dismantles and some builds up. Both are necessary. Ritual offers us the space to unlearn the messages of oppression, to build new pathways of experiencing the world and, in a time where digital communication and technology are so prevalent, it can offer us space where we are vulnerable, intimate, and fully present in the sensual nature of the world around us. Ritual can be the space where we push back against the tools of shame, isolation and hopelessness and allow our bodies to remember what it is to be in an intentional space alone or with our community. For me, ritual is the space that asks something of me and offers me something in return. Unlike the standard capitalist transactional spaces, ritual teaches us that nurturing ourselves/our communities and receiving the benefits of that work is one and the same. Ritual offers us the opportunity to reinvent the world in small ways that spread like dandelions, until what we are building is primary and what we push back against is secondary. Ritual is one of few spaces where we gather to create new collective pathways in our minds around what is important and vital. Our oppressors have always seen the value of ritual as a way to spread culture and ideas. We see examples of people pushing back against the ideas that are reinforced through oppressive ritual and suffering the consequences for it. Colin Kaepernick is a perfect example of this. By disrupting the pre-game ritual and shifting it for his intentions, he created a new ritual experience for activists and those who are dissatisfied with the culture of police brutality. We saw this ritual spread across the US. Each time that ritual takes place, that intention is worn deeper into our collective consciousness. We often see things like this as single actions, but they exist in context, and that context is ritual. He didn't just fall to his knees at any old time. He didn't come out in street clothes or refuse to play the game afterwards. He shifted the ritual because he understood not only the action, but the transformative power of that action in context, and the need for that power to be handled intentionally. In this way, theatre, ritual and activism are like siblings whose best work happens when they work collaboratively. "