Getting messy and making art with Renaissance Theaterworks, Girls in the House and Pearls for Teen Girls
Renaissance Theaterworks is Milwaukee's only women-founded, women run theater company. Their mission is "to create moving theater that awakens our recognition of what it is to be human – from classics to world premieres – with attention to women's roles onstage and off."
Their April production of The Road To Mecca by Athol Fugard is based on the life and work of Helen Martins, South Africa's foremost Outsider Artist. "She was an outsider artist and felt called to make cement owl sculptures in her yard in the 70's when apartheid was happening." said Lisa Rasmussen, Development Director for Renaissance Theaterworks. They hired local artist and UWM Lecturer Kathyrn E. Martin (kathrynemartin.com) to make three large owl sculptures for the lobby, but that idea morphed into something much bigger.
Kathyrn E. Martin and RTW thought it would be fun to create smaller, hand made owls as a take-away for everyone that attends a performance in April. So how do they create 1,900+ owls while sticking to their mission of working with women onstage and off?
They are working with two local groups, Pearls for Teen Girls and Journey House's Girls in the House. Over the course of a few days, hundreds of volunteers from both organizations gather at the Kenilworth Studios, learning Helen Martin's story as they are inspired to create the hundreds of owls needed for the production.
Information on The Road To Mecca and Renaissance Theaterworks can be found online at www.r-t-w.com.