Meet SALUD's Teatronovelas Director Steven Beaudion
New Routes to Community Health gives voice to new leaders in immigrant communities across America.
Meet Steven Beaudion, Co-Instructor for Salud: Healing Through the Arts, a collaboration between Latinos Progresando’s Teatro Americano, Radio Arte and the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, Illinois.
On Friday, August 15th family, friends and many other members of the community gather for a free event at the National Museum of Mexican Art to cheer about forty of the most amazing and enthusiastic youth performers. Steven Beaudion assisted Ricardo Gamboa in training these young men and women and helped them present radionovelas and teatronovelas about different topics important to them and their community.
Steven Beaudion’s Performance Program Notes
Six weeks ago we trained twenty-two young people in the art of theater not to be actors but to be Ninjas. No. Just kidding, but really: These students endured rigorous training in all aspects of theater from focus-finding Suzuki Method of Actor Training to Second City style Improvisation. Now, not to unsheathe my own sword, but I applied my own expertise in comedy and improvisational theater acquired by some of the city’s most reputable dojos and brought it to the storefront of Radio Arte on 18th Street for the development of the commercials littered throughout Fronteras del Amor.
Quickly, through improvisation, my young pupils' creativity started pouring like rain drops producing ideas for commercials that could be placed on a stage. From improvisation, we discussed these issues through medicine circles to get to the heart of what would be addressed and wrote sketch comedy. These commercials touch on issues—drug use, immigration, gang violence, popular media—that not only the young warriors in this production are confronted with, but also young people throughout the city in today's society. During rehearsal, I was constantly amazed by what our young minds devised, of how what we created takes the "look at all the shiny things, ain't this so cool, you need it" portrayal of commercials to explore, fight and frame our realities. I believe comedy is one of the most effective and therapeutic ways for young people— including myself—to work through those larger issues in a way that becomes insightful and is able to catch the attention of those who sometimes might remain (whether by choice or not) blind to those issues. I am sure the audience will be taken — These commercials are funny. Point-blank. I am proud. But they are also smart. I am moved. They laugh hard and whisper truth.
I am sure you will understand why it has been an honor training and working with these stage ninjas—I mean, actors—as we work to get a better understanding of what it means to be on a stage and human in this city. Thank you. And enjoy the show. Judo chop.
Tags: alcoholism, language barriers, radionovelas, teatronovelas
Topics: Community Health, Ending Domestic Violence, Ending Homophobia, Family, Health Care, Health Care Access, Immigrant Integration, Immigrants, Immigration, Language, Leadership, Mental health, New Routes Leaders, Partnerships, Storytelling, Youth
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This report (PDF 3.8MB) offers guidance for community organizations and those who fund social change in how best to harness the power of local media-making for community health improvement. Spanish-language version is now available. Una versión en español de este informe esta en la web.