For some time now, Americans have awakened each morning to reminders that our country, and indeed the world, is wracked by division, injustice, and a plethora of other problems that seem insurmountable. We often seem bereft of that most precious quality: hope. While none of us can undertake the challenges by ourselves, we can come together to mend a small rift in the fabric of our culture. Theatre Eclectic seeks to do just that: by providing equal access to theatre for artists of all backgrounds and levels of experience; and providing equal access to theatre for underserved audiences. This process aims to create circles of community: amongst the artists, and between the artists and the audiences. We hope to create bonds and understanding where before they might not have existed. In our small corner of the world, we hope to sew together the rifts in our culture that of late have caused us so much concern. I like the idea of diverse patches sewn together into a unified quilt; the metaphor suggests warmth. That's what we hope you will feel as you become a part of our Theatre Eclectic community.
Why Theatre Eclectic?
WHAT WE DO
To bring together underrepresented artists to perform for under served audiences in order to create a sense of community through theater.
A Platform for Performance Art
A community of theatre folks, including under represented artists, coming together to perform for audiences who are often underserved. Open to people of all ages, levels of theatre experience, language backgrounds, and physical/mental abilities.
HOW WE DO IT
Through the process of devised theater, we adapt texts together to provide equitable access to the performing arts for all. We invite people of all ages, backgrounds, languages, levels of theater experience, and physical abilities to join us. We have a company of co-expertise in which we all share our experiences with one another, without hierarchy. Because of this, and because of our diverse life experiences, both the local professional and the beginner (and those in-between) learn from each other.
THE URGE TO ACT
Through the Santa Barbara City College School of Extended Learning, we are able to offer an acting class/workshop to the local community (currently at both the Wake and the Schott campuses). The Instructor for this class, Philip Levien, is also the Artistic Director for Theatre Eclectic. Through this class, we not only offer an accessible pathway to all who are interested in acting, but also to those who might be interested in becoming a part of the Theatre Eclectic community. The class offers a wide variety of workshop acting activities, including theater games, improvisation, monologue and scene work, as well as opportunities to participate, if one chooses, in performance projects (such as Devising America). The ensemble of creative people in Theatre Eclectic is comprised largely of members of the acting class "The Urge to Act". Participation in each project is open to, but not required of, all members of the class. On some occasions, guest artists will join the ensemble.
After graduating from Wesleyan University, in Connecticut, Philip Levien spent twenty years acting on stage and appearing in over 100 films and television shows. He then retired from Hollywood for twenty years and worked as a high school teacher in Santa Barbara, CA. During this time, teaching English and Theatre Arts at a public high school, he directed classic plays with English learners, at-risk youth, and special ed students, being recognized as SB County Distinguished Educator, Carnegie Fellow, SCWriP Fellow, and the ADL's Educator honoree. In June of 2014, he retired from his full-time teaching position to return full time to his work in the theater, including his work as Artistic Director of Theatre Eclectic, and as instructor for the SBCC School of Extended Learning Acting class/workshop, Urge to Act.