For the second year, River Crossing Playback Theatre begins its season at Cafe Garth in Columbia, PA. This year though, we have a slate of public performances that touch on some key timely cultural issues.
As the River Crossing Playback Theatre ensemble continues to grow and perform, it’s been exciting to see a contagion of interest in learning more and doing Playback Theatre. Workshops are how we learn to do Playback Theatre, experience the thrill of telling, listening and improvising the group-mates’ experiences. We’ve found that ongoing classes (rather than one-time workshops) also fulfill another need: cultivating a community that generates its own momentum and support.
Some stories just beg to be retold. The story of Alexander Yakovlev is one of them. In 1958 as the Cold War simmered, Russian Alexander Yakovlev was one of the first recipients of a Fulbright scholarship to study a year in the United States. In 1985, he became Gorbachev’s key adviser on perestroika, glasnost and democratization, and helped end the communist dictatorships not only in the Soviet Union, but also in the former Soviet satellites in Eastern Europe. The cost of one scholarship probably contributed more to ending the Cold War than untold the billions of dollars spent on weapons, which served to aggravate tensions.