What an absolute gift it was to work with the residents of Mirikai - "place of peace" in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast- Yugambeh Country, during Oct- Dec 2014 to devise and perform the "The Healing Story" Ritual. The Healing Story is a Theatre action used to integrate the collective experiences and stories of Addiction performed by residents to staff, family, peers and community.
I have directed this performance on and off for the past ten years, and this year was special to me for two reasons.
1. Having completed my study with Australian Childhood Foundation in Developmental Trauma, "The Healing Story" was delivered as an action for trauma integration using creative practice drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives with a focus on the neurobiology of trauma, child and adolescent development, mindfulness and attachment theory.
2. This year I reunited with my old creative partner and colleague Emma Cook who is the co-founder of DRASTIC and Mirikai Art and Drama Programs. What an honour for me to work along side another creative, who has an integrated knowledge of the value of strength based, mindful and compassionate practice with a group of young people who are passionate about change and possibilities.
“The Healing Story” is a performance based on a modality of theatre called Ritual theatre. Ritual theatre is a form of theatre that focuses on the marking of real life transitions. It is a healing system based on ceremonies and traditions that have been practiced since ancient times by early societies and in tribal communities. It aims to effect deep transformation in its participants, support growth and development, and resolve personal issues.
This years Ritual was filmed and we are making a mini documentary which we can post for you to view. We are also performing an evaluation of the action and look forward to publishing the report.
I have had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback which has been an honour to hear and read
A Participant- Resident of Mirikai, Male 24 said " I felt a real sense of selflessness - I felt more nervous than I have ever felt before, when I was in my room getting ready. I suddenly thought - this isn't about me, I can do this for others and help them get through our ritual. There is a higher reason for this. Then I remember just focusing on my self walking and following the person in front of me. The next thing I knew I was doing it, feeling it, right up there on stage holding the ritual with my peers. This is a way of coping with nervousness I want to take into my life"
An Audience Member, Ex - Resident, Female 21 wrote " I just wanted to say thank you for your creative direction/input regarding last night's ritual at Mirikai. I was amazed at what went on there, the way everyone worked together so cohesively and really performed or felt so inspired that they could move about in such a unrestrained way and, those beautiful lanterns, the soundtrack and upon speaking to a few residents, the way they felt 'they had created it, their input was what drove the ritual'. I thought that was pretty special too, your creative direction as a facilitator allows for this incredible involvement of others and something really incredible and moving was the result. Also how you involve others behind the scene. Thanks so much again."