NOT HERE:From Howling Hurt to Healing Hope, The Alchemy of Addiction Recovery.
—Counseling and Emotional Support
Shelby Cain works as a Mental Health Counselor for Chrysalis Humanistic Behavioral Health Services. She became interested in Transformational Personal Theatre after meeting Judith Voss and learning about her approach to healing therapy. “In my own life I discovered “talk therapy” did not provide an adequate avenue to explore, release and move on from my past. As a therapist I witnessed much the same thing. People could talk about the events in their lives but often remained stuck in the repercussions of those events.”
In 2011 she moved to the Eugene area to live in closer proximity to her son. She began working for Chrysalis in 2014 and brings to her work an interest in helping others heal through learning how to tell their stories and move forward in life through creativity, activity and humor.
Rachelle “sakti” Sarfati
—Technical Director/Lead Videographer
Sakti brings a unique combination of talent to any film production. Sakti began her career in film making as an intern with a documentary film company in New York City and has since worked on a number of video productions, several short films and a behind the scenes for a feature film. Sakti is an union apprentice with IATSE 675, Eugene’s Stage Hand Union and has recently started her own production company: Envisage Productions. Sakti has preformed a number of times in front of the camera and on stage including several years studying and performing in personal theater . She earned a Master of Arts degree in International Studies at the University of Oregon and a Fulbright Scholarship to Bangladesh. Her graduate studies, travels throughout Asia and Mexico, and contact with diverse populations provide her with insight and an aptitude for research, program development and cross-cultural communication.
After two decades of professional photography, video and technical experience, and performance art, Sakti will provide technical direction and video documentation for “Not Here” and Transformational Personal Theatre.
Will is a self-taught video producer and filmmaker living in Eugene
who loves Oregon craft beer, cycling, and table tennis.
The message and meaning behind Transformational Personal Theatre
presented itself as a real storytelling opportunity, and Will hopes to
document the special moments as they happen and support the team with
Thank you to all those who participate and share their stories. I know
we will all learn something about our own struggles with addiction.
—Underpaid Assistant to the Assistant, Kitchen Angel Support, Centering Guide, and All Around Cheerleader
Patricia Hampton grew up in England.
People were always getting together to put on a play; pantomime every Christmas; Old Time Music Hall (Vaudeville); serious London plays, “The Mousetrap,” Shakespeare. A long tradition of theater-going.
Here in the US, “Theater Pieces,” a dance ensemble outside the Box Museum in Boston MA:
Participation in the opening of the Mandeville Center at UCSD. Hearing John Cage’s work, and seeing a student playing the edge of a music stand with a violin bow!
A procession from the formal to the informal. Now, Personal Theater. Freedom of expression. Meeting the depth of the group energy touching the heart of all the performers, and knowing it for the first time.
Patricia’s Sweet Boy Beezer
A friend of mine was sitting in a doctor’s office in CA, and a woman sitting next to her said, “Do you know anyone who wants a chihuahua? I have a friend who is terminal and can’t take care if him.” Hence, Beezer came into my life and his forever home. He came with two places broken in his tail, (there was a prior owner to the terminal woman), a rib that sticks out a little bit, and a nervous disposition. He is now eleven years old, sleeps a lot, but when I come home after running errands, he jumps up on his back legs, front paws pawing the air, so to speak, and his eyes take on a gladness.
He is slow to approach others, but when he begins to trust he will go over with his tail between his legs and offer himself for a pat.
Beezer has his funny little ways. Coming in from a walk he takes a quick lick around the kitchen floor! Chihuahuas, by their nature know how to burrow. Beezer is still taking lessons. He will vigorously dig up the cushion in the bottom of his bed, hoping to pull the sheepskin over his head with no effect. After awhile he will look up at me–and of course, I help him out!
My little companion.
I am Titus Fotso and I bring to you the UniverSoul Sound System. The soul in UniverSoul is my soul, Titus Soul, hammered in the fire of Africa’s forge.
I am Titus Fotso, a man of Africa, a child of Cameroon, a survivor of abuse and family violence. I am the youngest of ten children by my mother. My father has six wives, and I have thirty-four sisters and brothers. We are Bamileke, and my tribe has over 3,500,000 individuals. In my tribe, men own their wives and children and are free to treat them with the heart or with the fist.
My own mother is a princess, and yet her own son, my older brother, the abusive man who raised me from 9 to 16 years old, put a gun to her head. My mother is a lioness; she found her voice and fought back against her abuser. My mother’s cries, her suffering and her courage, her song and her strength are in my soul and in the heartstrings of UniverSoul Sound System.
My brother was a sadistic monster who made my young manhood a living hell. But I bless him for he was the force against which I pushed when I fled the tribe to find my life.
In my new life, my name was Jimmy Titus. No longer was I physically abused as I worked to become a dancer, a song writer, an artist, but abuse comes in many forms. In the city of Yaounde as Jimmy, I battled corruption, graft, betrayal and theft even as my passion for music lifted my spirit up into my first imaginings of the UniverSoul Sound System.
Yes, I traveled and toured the US with the National Dance Company of Cameroon, in 1994. I was discovered in 1997 by American producer-choreographer Debbie Allen during her intensive casting of the movie Amistad, and began working with her as an actor, dancer, assistant and associate choreographer. Then I toured the nation as a master dance teacher and performer with the Debbie Allen Dance Institute and I was the original faculty member at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Culver City, California.
I was blessed to be the 1999 winner of the John Lennon songwriting contest in the World Music category with my song “Spirit Dancer”. In 2009, I toured Europe as the choreographer for the Circus Afrika! Afrika!, created and directed by Andre Heller.
Yes, I have risen in the light of music and dance. I came to America and reclaimed my rightful name. I am Titus Fotso. I came to live in the Land of the Free where I thought I was safe from the abusers in my family, my tribe, and the corrupt music industry of Yaounde. I came to Hollywood, which I once thought was so wonderful that the name was “Holy-wood”. But there, too, friends betrayed me and tried to destroy my bliss, which is music and dance.
There is so much evil in the world! I suffered abuse as a child, and I have been shaped into a man by dark forces. But in Maya Angelou’s immortal words, “Still I rise!”
The UniverSoul Sound System contains and embraces all of humanity, both shadow and light. These songs are to end abuse, to expand the soul of the people with rhythm and joy. One world, one love, one UniverSoul Sound System.
My name is Titus Fotso, and I am a Citizen of the World. I have survived all to bring to you my soul, my vision, my music and my dance.
You, too, are a Citizen of the World, and you can help bring the UniverSoul Sound System to life with your donation of any amount. I welcome your friendship and support with your Like on our Facebook page, and I welcome you to a joyous performance of the UniverSoul Sound System!
—Social Media Assistant
I’ve had an urge to capture the moment for as long as I can remember. As soon as I was able to stand a giant VHS video-camera on a tripod, I started documenting my life. I went through reusable film cameras, VHS’s, VHS-C’s, and now have several trunks full of these images from my childhood. When I entered high school, I started seriously getting into photography, film and digital, and had my first show when I was 17 in my home town of Coos Bay, OR. As I left High school, I started to travel the country and Mexico by hitchhiking, and documented all of my varying experiences, for about 5 years.
I am now settled in Eugene. Since I arrived almost 2 years ago, I started immediately to help friends create Kickstarter and other crowd-funding projects.
I started my friend off on her mobile fermentation bus, which began with dreams of Kickstarter. Later, I helped launch a successful local campaign, Silver Lining Productions. We raised $10,000 to start up their Production House!
I have been managing several other local Kickstarter and IndieGoGo projects since.
I am excited to be a part of a project that inspires personal growth through performance. Being a performer myself, and being a part of several projects where I traveled in community, with focus on personal transformation through creative endeavors, this project speaks to me in ways I could have only imagined!
Woodworker, archery enthusiast, sailor, and theoretical supporter wandering dreamlike on a fading road.
Beverly recently moved from Connecticut to Eugene in June to join her husband Daniel. She retired from 35 years working as a Recreation Therapist for various populations, where 10 years were with people in recovery. When asked about working with the TPT Village, Beverly was most eager to get involved as it felt like a natural continuation of her previous work as a recreation therapist. Beverly has been most appreciative of the group, as they have welcomed her with open arms.
Beverly enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking, snowshoeing, kayaking and swimming. She is also a weaver and has found the fiber arts community in Eugene to be very inspirational. As a Massage Therapist in CT, she is looking forward to getting her Oregon license here and pursuing that part time career in Eugene.
Eugene and Suzanne Otis
We are a married couple and have been together for 35 years. We have lived in Eugene 27 years and consider it our home base of operations. We have 2 grown children who are both musicians, with children of their own. Having been parents raising children, we are late entries on the music scene. However, we have kept the music alive and enjoy playing, singing, and writing. Suzanne is currently a teacher and Eugene is a retired actor and director. From time to time , we do some performing, but recently have been enjoying the process of digital recording with some local talent in Eugene and its many talented artists.
We are interested in producing meaningful contemporary music of quality. We feel that our genre is a fusion of different styles, and we believe that creativity is a positive way of helping to heal our planet and bringing people together in recognizing our commonality and the sacredness of all life.
— Kitchen Angel
Natalie Sheild is the chef and owner of Sheild Catering LLC. As a self-trained professional, she has been working with food and beverages for over 10 years. Inspired by her own diagnosis of celiac eight years ago, she has particulary worked at catering to special dietary needs without sacrificing quality or taste. Along side of this desire to cater to all dietary needs, she has embraced the importance of the locally produced and organically grown products. She works closely with Excelsior Farm and Hummingbird Wholesale. Her son Ezekiel is her “Sous Chef”, coming with her to visit with the Transformational Personal Theatre crew prior to the weekly dinner that accompanies rehearsals.
— Sous Chef
Judith “Sparky” Roberts
Judith is always busy in the theater, as actor, director, teacher, and presenter. For her Masters project, she created a street-theater troupe. Since then, she formed several touring companies, and acquired the nickname “Sparky”.
She collaborates locally and abroad, and leads workshops for professional development and personal growth.
Judith’s life on stage began at age five. She came to Oregon via St. Louis, Southern California, Bar Harbor
and Boston. While studying and acting professionally, Judith performed experimental music with John Cage and other composers. Her relaxed teaching style was influenced by her graduate mentors, actor Morris Carnovsky and psychologist Dr. Abraham Maslow.
Judith has been a guest artist in museums, schools, prisons, and psychiatric facilities. Of the many shows she has directed, eleven were by William Shakespeare – the latest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (April, 2014). Judith’s Acting Shakespeare curriculum was adopted as the state standard by the Oregon Board of Higher Education.
She is interdisciplinary adjunct at University of Oregon, and a long-time Instructor of Theatre Arts at Lane Community College.
In her Sparky guise, Judith presents musical Vaudeville shows for kids at the Shedd Institute for the Arts in Eugene. She also has written short plays, and A.C.T.,a manual for teachers. Her unique foot-puppet act, performed on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, was featured in international magazines, in books, and Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not!
She enjoys painting and drawing, grandchildren and cats.
Valter de Silva
—Costumes and Seamstress
Claudia Cooper is a lifelong seamstress with a passion for fabrics, fit and flair. She comes from a long line of talented seamstresses, and has more than 30 years sewing experience. She has had the privilege of working with many local theatre productions, including Student
Production Association, University of Oregon, Eugene Opera, Willamette Repertory Theatre, and Lord Leebrick, before working with Personal Tranformational Theatre. She is currently running her own alterations business and continues to make costumes, as well as doing alterations, repairs, and custom design, including wedding dresses and other special occasion garments.
Dr. Munt Hoolala
—Mask Making Workshop Presenter
I’ve worked in a variety of medical fields, including Veterinary hospitals, all local PeaceHealth clinics, and several Dental clinics. I’ve also provided custom masks and costumes for local theater productions and vendors, done interior design, graphic design, and event planning. I continue to pursue these endeavors while also researching non-profit management.
Some, not all, of my goals include the following ventures:
Establish a non-profit clinic, Wagon of Wonders™, that uses therapeutic workshops in art, drama, dance, music, and games for the purpose of self-esteem building and life-skills mentoring for abuse victims, particularly women and children.
Create a multilingual non-profit newspaper, Rally Cry™: Power of the People, with a solution based reporting style, reporting on local events with a focus on informing the audience of related non-profits and empowering people to get involved with those causes.
Updates on the processes through which I create these non-profits will be provided online for anyone who wants to begin something similar in their community. Start-up kits, including customizable website templates, advertising material, and legal forms will also be made public access.
Branding and identiy, recruitment, marketing, management, price negotiation, networking online and offline, project planning, purchasing and vending, creative imaging and construction.
—Instigator of Creativity & Medicine Shield Workshop
—Balanced Living Ayurveda & Daily Self-Care Workshop
Balanced Living Ayurveda is owned and operated by Ayurvedic Practitioner Upásana Giglia, MS, RYT. After many years of self-study and living Ayurvedic principles, Upásana received her practitioner training at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico under Dr. Vasant Lad, renowned Ayurvedic Physician and Teacher, in 2009-2010. She also received her Yoga Teacher Training at the Ayurvedic Institute and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with the Yoga Alliance, specializing in AyurYoga – yoga based on the principles of Ayurveda.
Ashland teacher choreographer and artistic director of HeartDance company has been teaching dance, both as a healing and expressive art for over 45 years. Trained in California, her career expanded throughout Canada, Africa and France. Robin is a deeply experienced and inspiring teacher. Her seasonal workshops are taught in Ashland, Eugene, Portland and Seattle.
Eugene Peace Choir
From its start in 1984, Eugene Peace Choir has been actively and creatively using our gift of song in support of peace, environmental sustainability and social justice. We combine music, message and community to enhance our musical skills, enrich our lives and contribute to the common good. We strive to live our ideals through our traditions of openness, inter-group collaboration and singing on mission. As a non-sectarian all-comers choir, we are open to anyone who enjoys singing and wants to join. To find out more about us visit our website: Eugene Peace Choir – Home
A native Oregonian, I did still photography at the University of Oregon Theatre Department for over ten years. I worked with Judith Voss on a previous production, and I am pleased to be asked back to photograph TPT for the current show.
Prescott Cherry-Thompson and Belinda Merlos
Elaine Walters and The Trauma Healing Project
—For allowing us to grow our show in this sacred, nurturing rehearsal venue
The Trauma Healing Project was initiated ten years ago by a coalition of survivors, lay community members, professionals, students and researchers concerned about the negative impact of trauma on individual and community health. We believe that in order to improve the quality of life in our communities and to end violence and abuse, healing and recovery must be understood, promoted, and accessible. We promote healing and trauma-informed care through:
- Community education & professional training
- Organizational technical assistance
- Direct service learning opportunities
And a big thanks to:
—who are partially sponsoring the project and providing counseling support for two to four months after the show for a number of the performers…
Our Thanks & Gratitude to You!
My name is Virginia, and I am a woman in recovery from the family disease of alcoholism and addiction. My last drink was July 11th, 2001 and I am deeply grateful to be a sober woman, mother and grandmother today! I must add that I believe I am sober primarily because of the solution and design for living that has been shared with me through participation in a wonderful, spiritual program, and way of life. I would like to dedicate my participation in this incredible healing and artistic project to the precious Grace of God in my life, and to the Great Light , Hope, and Serenity that recovery can bring. With prayers that we all may know Love, Peace and Courage in this life journey.
This is my second show with Judith. I was a performer, singer, and drummer in Street Code Theatre in 2011. In October, 2014 I was in a show with The Actor’s Table of Eugene and did a monologue from The Diary of Anne Frank. When I was a theater student at Lane Community College I had a lot of acting experiences, including roles in “Twelfth Night” and “Charlotte’s Web,” both directed by Judith “Sparky” Roberts, and a show about homeless youth titled, “Shannon: A Maybe True Story.” I play drums for a group called “Heart Circle” at the Oregon Supported Living Program’s Arts & Culture program. I also volunteer for Willamalane Community Center in the annual Haunted Hayride event.
My goal is to be a few sizes smaller by the night of the show and wear a dress that makes me feel smoking hot. “Embrace Healing Hope”
My name is Wendy Lopez and I am a grateful recovering addict. I have a passion for life, love, and laughter. My family has been my biggest accomplishment and my husband Danny Lopez my biggest fan. I became a part of this project for an outlet of my howling hurt and inspiration for my healing hope. I strive to be a better person, mom, daughter, sister and friend. Through the process of “Not Here” I have found myself belonging to a community I may have judged and turned my back on; But through pushing myself out of my comfort zone I have not only found a new love for who I am, but have became a part of something much bigger then myself; This community of talented, inspirational, and beautiful individuals. And for that I’m truly blessed..
I am a self-taught musician. I play the guitar, the harmonica, the piano, and I also sing.
Sally Gerard McKee
I am a woman who loves. I am a woman who writes. I am a woman who cooks. I am a woman who laughs. I am a woman who sings. I am a woman who grows. I am a woman who learns. I am a woman who cries. I am a woman who swims. I am mother of four, grandmother of five, soon to be six. I am a woman with lots left to do. I am a woman who loves her husband, her children, their children, people in general, her friends, her pets, animals in general, music, dancing, movies, plays, praise, giving gifts, receiving gifts, reading, creating, good conversation, and shoes. I am a woman who has mental illness. I am a woman in menopause. I am a woman in recovery. I am a woman who embraces all facets of herself.
Nathan Maze (Sally’s Son from Monterey)
I am a 36 year old maker of music. I love to make music for people. I am the Husband of the most amazing Woman I have ever met.
I am Father of two Beautiful Children, a Son and a Daughter, who are the light of my life.
I’m very lucky to have a Mother like mine. I have a loving Dad who has been there for me through everything.
I also work with my hands. I build with my hands and I love to work with wood.
Mark “MC” Rolle
Hello, I’m Mark “MC” Rolle. I’m from the east coast (Virginia) via Bimini, Bahamas. I also previously served in the Marine Corps. Lately, I been noticing some strange stuff like – how come, when you’re on the bus, everybody and they mama got cell phones, lookin’ down and what not? The whole world is passing them by. They should have “Turn off Yo’ Cell Phone” day…(Wha?) In today’s society people are losing their minds. Is there something in the water? The reason I am doing this show is to show people that it’s not the end of the world. You can overcome any obstacle with faith, persistence, and strength. If you’re living in the past you’re afraid to live for today.
I have walked through fire, and learned to dance in the rain. The life that I lived yesterday has made me who I am today – for it is the struggle that has made me strong. I am free of that which once held me prisoner and my spirit soars high. I feel connected in the most sacred of ways, I am conscious I am alive. In nature I find my solace and contentment I find within I don’t have to pretend to be someone that I am not. I am who I am meant to be and to me, that me, is good enough. I have love and compassion for others to the point I feel their joy, I feel their pain. I have grown so much from the person I was yesterday, that I revel in today.
Our show was phenomenally well-received! We wish to express deep thanks and gratitude to everyone who helped to bring it to life. Please stay tuned for information about the upcoming DVD Premiere Showing at the Bijou Art House movie theater in April , and about the House Concert benefit for the performers to be held in May at Mandala Sanctuary. TPT LIVES ON!!!
Transformational Personal Theatre, LLC currently is developing a multi-media show on addiction recovery titled, NOT HERE: From Howling Hurt to Healing Hope, The Alchemy of Addiction Recovery. The title is based on a poem by sixteenth century mystic poet Rumi called “NOT HERE” that speaks to the need to walk through fire in order to transform. The analogy of an alchemical process symbolizes changing the darkness of raw emotional material into the light of rebirth through cathartic self-expression.
The show is sponsored, in part, by Chrysalis Behavioral Health Services, in Eugene, Oregon, which is an affiliate of the non-profit White Bird Clinic that has been providing medical, dental, counseling, drug treatment, crisis, and other services to low income and indigent individuals since the 1970’s. TPT is very fortunate to have the support of Chrysalis/White Bird, and as an expression of appreciation, one of the ensemble pieces in the performance is dedicated to the tireless devotion of the agency staff members who provide these much-needed social services.
The current project is a dynamic, collaborative, co-creation between a number of extremely talented and gifted performers and support team members. The approximately two hour show is presented in two acts. The first act, Howling Hurt, represents the deep core wounding that led to the addictions of the performers. The second act, Healing Hope, depicts coming out of the fire of suffering ignited by accessing painful experiences and memories, and transmuting dark raw material into lighter ways of being.
In addition to the many pieces the performers are creating through live original music, recorded music, poetry, dance, art, visual projections, singing, and stand-up routines, the ensemble will perform group pieces, including a convocation that will be a theatrical Ceremony of Sobriety. This penultimate piece includes participation of The Eugene Peace Choir and will be a celebration of the positive transformations each performer has experienced by the day of performance.
There only will be one live show, to be held at the 280 seat Wildish Community Theater in Springfield, Oregon, on February 7, 2015. A post-show catered reception in the lobby will follow the show. No admission for tickets will be charged in order to allow for the most diverse audience possible, and to signify the role the audience members will be playing in acting as sacred witnesses to what the performers will be so courageously presenting.
There’s courage involved if you want
to become truth.
There is a broken- open place in a lover.
Where are those qualities of bravery and
sharp compassion in this group? What’s the
use of old and frozen thought?
I want a howling hurt. This is not a treasury
where gold is stored; this is for copper.
We alchemists look for talent that
can heat up and change.
Lukewarm won’t do. Halfhearted holding back,
well-enough getting by? Not here.