Samantha Van Der Merwe

January 25, 8:30am - 10:00am PST. Hosted at The Armory

part of a series on Surreal


About the speaker

If the unconscious mind is the source of all imagination, how do we make a daily practice of communing with our wild, untamed self—venturing deep into its fairy tale forests, fishing in its boundless mythological oceans? And how do we effectively express all that we find there, in the mundane world?

Samantha Van Der Merwe, Artistic Director of Shaking the Tree Theatre, invites you to experiment with ways of surrendering control, aspiring to the marvelous, and seeing if you can access that part of the self that lies beyond the reach of reason.

Long interested in the synergy between theatre and visual art, and “using the architecture” around her to create a world unto itself, Samantha strives to use the theater space as a visual artist would use a canvas, maximizing the audience’s suspension of disbelief and encouraging full immersion in the material. Entering a visually evocative space allows the audience to inhabit the world of the play even before the action begins.

Working in a non-traditional theater space offers Samantha rich opportunities both for heightening the emotional experience of the audience and for supporting key ideas contained within the play.

Her ultimate goal is to create a meaningful, intimate point of connection between the work and the audience: to inspire people to think, feel, wonder, marvel, use their courage, and perhaps even change.

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