A School Residency and Performance Program

The Nomadic Theatre Co has created a residency show titled Written in a Letter. The cast includes the 4th grade of each school visited. 4th-graders participate in a week-long physical theatre residency prior to the performance. Students train in physical theatre and create their own scenes for the show, based on instruction from company members.

Written in a Letter, an original, physical show, was created from Oregon history, drawing on oral histories of five women from different periods of Oregon’s history. The stories take us back to 1855 and bring us right up to the present. We experience 19th-century farm life; a suffragist’s struggle at the turn of the century; an African-American woman’s work for better race relations in the 1920’s; and the life of Mother Peoples, still alive today and full of stories from working in the shipyards, singing the blues and starting Meals on Wheels to feed the hungry. The show closes with students and company members looking together toward the future in the context of this rich history.

The creation of this show and its performance in Portland schools was generously funded in part by the Regional Arts and Culture Council, by a project grant awarded to Heather Pearl, co-artistic director of the Nomadic Theatre Co. The cast includes Sarah Liane Foster, Heather Pearl and Tamara Walker. Directed by Michael O’Neill.