About Collaborative Liberation Arts Workshop Series (CLAWS)

CLAWS is  a laboratory where we can:

  • experiment with new forms of collaboration using writing, theater and movement arts.
  • explore how race, class and gender oppression can be resisted and transformed.
  • work with one another inside and outside of sessions to create performance, story, and movement that can energize and liberate—personally and socially.
  • create a community of reflection, performance and action.

We started the series in the Fall of 2016 with a Theater of the Oppressed series facilitated by Jiwon Chung where about 25 different people used movement and theater to explore personal perspectives on gender privilege, sexual exploitation, trust and other themes that arose from the group. In spring 2017, we continued this investigation with a series entitled Movement Metamorphosis facilitated by Mirjam Krohne using Biodanza to unfold the liberatory and transformative powers within us. In the fall of 2017 we are running an expanded schedule of workshops and performances including a Theater Intensive Oct 15-16 and a 10 week collaborative workshop and performance series Kindred Voices, Oct - Dec..

Collaborating Artists

Project Director Jess Clarke has been creating storytelling and theater productions for over 25 years. Currently, the project director at Reimagine!, Jess is adept at bringing together artistic collaborations in underserved neighborhoods in a way that builds community and lifts up voices and stories that often go unheard.  Jess was a lead organizer in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, organizing workshops, spoken word performances, plays, concerts and dance performances with St Anthony Foundation, St. Boniface Church, and with the San Francisco Art Commission Market Street Art in Transit program.  Jess also served as the writer-in-residence for Poets & Writers Inc. at the Oakland Museum of California and the Oakland Public Library. Jess has been a featured performer at the Marsh Theater, Monkey House Theater, Story Slam Oakland, Southern Exposure Art Gallery and community venues such as YMCA, Glide Church, Hospitality House.  Jess’ current performance pieces focus on tales of the Irish diaspora, queer parenting, and the fusion of movement and spoken word.

Associate Director Angela Urata is a dancer, writer and storyteller.  She performed in Judith Kajiwara's Moon Hides Behind Clouds. Enter the Stillness and helped to choreograph Shedding Skin, an evening of butoh dance.  She collaborated with Bonnie Lee-Kwong in the multi-media performance, Loiter.  She is a member of the Interplay-based Performance company, WING IT!  As a certified yoga instructor, she teaches yoga at a Japanese American senior center, as well as serving on its board.   She serves on the board of the Oakland Peace Center, a network of nonprofits, community organizations, activists and artists working to create a culture of peace in Oakland and beyond. Angela is a collaborating articst in the 2017 Kindred Voices series.

Facilitator Jiwon Chung is a professional actor, director, and a key theorist of Theatre of the Oppressed. He teaches at Starr King School at the Graduate Theological Union, and the Berkeley Repertory Theater School. The focus of his work is in the application of theatre as a tool for social and political change, using Theatre of the Oppressed to challenge, resist, and transform systemic oppression and structural violence and to redress large scale historical atrocity and injustice. His approach to performance and social change is informed by his background as veteran, martial artist, and three decades of vipassana meditation.

Facilitator Mirjam Krohne graduated in 2012 from the SF school of Biodanza and has been facilitating Biodanza ever since. She creates customized classes for adults as well as youth, children and families. She was a facilitating artist from the Spring 2017 Metamorphosis series and is a collaborating articst in the 2017 Kindred Voices series.

Fall 2017 Collaborating Artists: Danielle Ancin, Jess Clarke, Ann Marie Davis, Nik Kurtz, Mirjam Krohne, Angela Urata,