GOOD GRIEF is a unique performance opening at the Everett in Providence this weekend.
In the performance, Everett company members use therapeutic models such as Internal Family Systems (IFS) and EMDR to explore their own individual attempts to recover from trauma. Their journeys are theatricalized in this multimedia piece, communicating experiences and cutting through barriers of understanding in a way that uniquely moves audiences to explore their own and others’ relationships to trauma. This subject is of widespread interest to people from every background and age. When GOOD GRIEF had three preview showings to sold-out audiences at Brown University’s Granoff Center for the Arts in October, almost all audience members stayed for post-show discussions and many expressed deep connections and responses to the material.
After learning about GOOD GRIEF from one of his colleagues, Dr. Richard Schwartz, the internationally renowned founding developer of Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, asked to view a tape of the show. He then traveled to Providence for a special performance in Everett’s theater, which was filled to capacity with many therapists from the New England area that he had notified about the event. The post-performance discussion, in which Dr. Schwartz participated, demonstrated that the performance was highly meaningful to their work. “It’s brilliant – a very accurate portrayal of what we do in our offices all the time but don’t really get to see in this way. It’s just amazingly moving for me. I was crying through much of it.” Another therapist commented, “When you guys switched into dancing and moving with each other, it just pried me open.” Another said, “I just want every single client of mine to come see this.”
Everett and Dr. Schwartz are now partnering to develop an educational program based on IFS and utilizing performance techniques designed to help youth gain self-awareness and self-control through a deeper understanding of their emotional responses. Everett will work with local therapists for the program’s implementation in local schools. Dr. Schwartz has also offered two of Everett’s company members scholarships to attend IFS trainings. More details about Everett’s educational work and this new program can be found here.
Everett is a company of highly trained Providence-based artists who have been creating evening-length, nationally touring productions since their founding in 1986. Their work, which is devised through a collaborative process of research and improvisation, has been been reviewed and featured in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Dance Magazine, and many other publications. Since 1990, Everett has also offered free classes in dance and theater to Providence’s underserved youth at their school, which is also their rehearsal space and theater (with a beautiful, newly constructed additional classroom). Everett has created a new professional touring production every few years since their founding.
GOOD GRIEF will have a 4-weekend run at Everett Stage from January 25 – February 17 (Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30PM, Sundays at 1PM). Tickets are $25 with all Sundays pay-what-you-can. After the Providence run, GOOD GRIEF will travel to Cincinnati, Martha’s Vineyard, and Denver, and the company is pursuing further bookings.