Lydia Kelly | Breakout Session
About this session: This session is about Kathleen's collaboration with Theatre Wallay, Islamabad, entitled "On Common Ground" - an original theatre piece, exploring the effect of violence on public space. It was created in Islamabad, Pakistan and then toured to Artists Repertory Theatre (Portland, OR) and The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Two actors from the company then spent three weeks at Ithaca College working with students, who created additional material on the theme from a U.S. perspective. The final stage of the project, currently underway, is a five-city tour of Pakistan. The team, comprised of three U.S. theatre artists and the Theatre Wallay company, received a $347,000 grant for "On Common Ground". Kathleen will speak about the various stages of the project, and three of her students from the Ithaca College residency will perform their original pieces.
Lydia Kelly is currently a sophomore acting major at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, NY. Originally from Syracuse, NY, Lydia has a passion for creating social change and using theatre as it’s catalyst. In her community, she became a part of the The Vera House, (a local domestic violence shelter and education center), through its youth advisory group, which brought together students from a variety of schools to discuss how to create active and empowered student bystanders. With a dedication to storytelling, her high school senior thesis project gave Lydia not only the opportunity to research the Importance of Storytelling in Early Education, but also the creative space to design and lead her own storytelling program for 1st and 2nd grade students. The program focused on the student’s growth in communication, whether for themselves, with one another, or collaborating to speak as a group, with the hopes of creating students who would one day be engaged community members. In her freshman year at Ithaca College she participated in a collaboration with Pakistan's Theatre Walley with the devised piece On Common Ground. As a member of the ensemble, Lydia explored how her perspective compared to the narratives of those around her, and learned that despite differences in backgrounds, the human experience is universal. It is Lydia’s hope to continue this research in, as well as creation of, stories and active listening to improve thoughtful conversations, and to create a less polarized and a more empathetic world.