Baltimore Bound

RWTG will travel to Baltimore, Maryland in November to reprise Off the Map, a play by Joan Ackerman, for the 55th Annual Institute and Conference of the American Academy of Psychotherapists.
RWTG is a troupe of American group therapists that presents stage plays to illuminate the complexity of relationships and the universal need for mutual recognition and community wellbeing for audiences of psychotherapists around the world.

Following the performance, an exploration of the play’s themes and their relevance to the conference theme, Generativity: Energizing the Life of the Therapist, will be conducted.

As with group therapy, Off the Map is about discovery, growth and healing entwined. Protagonist Bo Groden looks back on the summer when she was eleven years old and everything changed. Serving as the play’s narrator, she sifts through the memories of an unusual childhood spent in the wilds of Northern New Mexico where her enterprising parents forged a modest life off the land and the local dump. She courageously recalls the difficult summer when her father Charlie spiraled into depression. Young Bo’s prayers for a miracle to be delivered from a mother who gardens in the nude and a father who cannot stop weeping are finally answered when young William Gibbs, a rookie IRS tax collector, arrives with a fever, an audit and a long-held secret. Healing forces are mysteriously set in motion, and dreams that once seemed impossible even to contemplate, find exuberant and transformative expression.


Our Irish Odyssey

RWTG’s Belfast Contingent
(from left to right, Rob Williams, Kavita Avula, Tom Teasley, Mary Doyle Dluhy, John Dluhy, Maryetta Andrews-Sachs, and Bob Schulte)
The Red Well Theater Group presented Off the Map at the 13th Annual Northern Ireland Group Therapy Conference, on August 12, 2010. The Conference was sponsored by the Boston-Threshold Group. This year’s theme was Recovery and Reparation through Groups: Courage to Dream Again.”

 
The Boston-Threshold Group includes professionals from Boston, Massachusetts, USA and Norther Ireland who wish to promote the theory and practice of group psychotherapy. The founders of the Group are Cecil A. Rice, PhD, Raman Kapur, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Kathleen Ulman, PhD and Patricia M. Doherty, EdD. This year’s Conference Organizing Committee includes from the USA, Patricia Doherty EdD., Cecil A. Rice, PhD, Kathleen Ulman PhD, Sara Emerson, LICSW and Hallie Lovett, PhD and from Northern Ireland, Sharon Foster, Threshold Network of Clinics.

RWTG is very grateful to the B-T Group for the invitation to present and we wish to express heartfelt thanks to Cecil Rice and Sharon Foster in particular for their generous support throughout the conference planning process and the conference experience itself.

The cast for Off the Map included RWTG members Mary Doyle Dluhy as Adult Bo, Maryetta Andrews-Sachs as Arlene, John Dluhy as Charlie, Rob Williams as William Gibbs, and guest artists Kavita Avula as young Bo and Laurie Slade from the U.K. as George. Guest artist Tom Teasely provided music and the play was directed by Bob Schulte.
  
Here are some pictures from our journeys in Northern Ireland.

John and Mary Dluhy stealing a quiet moment with our field trip organizer, Kevin Baird, during a visit to a memorial to people killed during the troubles.
Maryetta Andrews-Sachs contemplating the faces of some of the victims of the violence that has occurred in Northern Ireland over the past five decades.
John Dluhy and Rob Williams sharing a friendly moment awaiting a boat trip to view the ship building facilities where the Titanic was built in Belfast harbor.
Bob Schulte, Maryetta Andrews-Sachs and John Dluhy in front of the “Big Fish,” one of the most famous landmarks on the Belfast waterfront.
Tom Teasley leaving his mark on the “Peace Wall.”

Irish Dreaming

RWTG will travel to Belfast, Ireland this summer to present Off the Map, a play by Joan Ackerman, for the opening of the Thirteenth Annual Northern Ireland Group Psychotherapy Conference.

RWTG is a troupe of American group therapists that presents stage plays to illuminate the complexity of relationships and the universal need for mutual recognition and community wellbeing for audiences of psychotherapists around the world.

Following the performance, an exploration of the play’s themes and their relevance to clinical work in Northern Ireland will be conducted in a small group discussion format. The co-facilitators for each discussion group will include a therapist from the Northern Ireland professional community and a member of the Red Well Theater Group.

As with group therapy, Off the Map is about discovery, growth and healing entwined. Protagonist Bo Groden looks back on the summer when she was eleven years old and everything changed. Serving as the play’s narrator, she sifts through the memories of an unusual childhood spent in the wilds of Northern New Mexico where her enterprising parents forged a modest life off the land and the local dump. She courageously recalls the difficult summer when her father Charlie spiraled into depression. Young Bo’s prayers for a miracle to be delivered from a mother who gardens in the nude and a father who cannot stop weeping are finally answered when young William Gibbs, a rookie IRS tax collector, arrives with a fever, an audit and a long-held secret. Healing forces are mysteriously set in motion, and dreams that once seemed impossible even to contemplate, find exuberant and transformative expression.

The Red Well Theater Group members coming to Northern Ireland include Maryetta Andrews-Sachs, John Dluhy, Mary Dluhy, Bob Schulte (Founding Director) and Rob Williams. RWTG guest artists include Kavita Avula, Laurie Slade and Tom Teasley.


Dress Rehearsal for ‘ART’

A short video clip and some pictures from the dress rehearsal for ‘ART’ which was held at the Washington School of Psychiatry on May 30, 2010. RWTG presented ‘Art’ by Yasmina Reza at the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society’s 44th Clinical Conference at the Asilomar Conference Center, located in Pacific Grove, California on Saturday evening, June 5, 2010. The presentation featured John Dluhy as Marc, John Thomas as Yvan and Rob Williams as Serg. Bob Schulte directed the play.


California, Here We Come!

RWTG will present ‘Art’ by Yasmina Reza at the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society’s 44th Clinical Conference at the Asilomar Conference Center, located in Pacific Grove, California on Saturday evening, June 5, 2010. The presentation will feature John Dluhy as Marc, John Thomas as Yvan and Rob Williams as Serg. Bob Schulte will direct the play.

RWTG will also present a daytime workshop whereby the participants will conduct a play reading of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. A discussion of the play’s themes related to group therapy with adolescents and their experience as a ‘character’ of the play will follow.
The Clinical Conference is designed for group workers and mental health professionals at all levels of experience, and will feature workshops led by master group therapists and lectures on important theoretical and practice issues. The conference is approved for 12 CEUs for mental health professionals. For more information visit the web at www.ncgps.org.

AGPA – San Diego : Sustaining Our World through Groups

RWTG presented the Pulitzer-prize winning play Rabbit Hole, by David Lindsay Abaire, at the AGPA 2010 Annual Meeting in San Diego. The performance was followed by an audience discussion moderated by Molly Donovan. The cast featured Maryetta Andrews-Sachs, John Dluhy, Hallie Lovett, Rosemary Segalla, and Rob Williams. Bob Schulte directed the play.

Rabbit Hole explores the complicated grief reactions and recovery process of a family that has lost a four-year-old son in an auto accident. In the program note, dramaturge Molly Donovan offered the audience some perspective in advance of the performance.
“It is true that after the death of a child, one’s life is never again the same. In Rabbit Hole we enter into the forever-changed lives of Becca and Howie eight months after the death of their four-year-old son, Danny, in an accident. Reminders of Danny are everywhere, and these two parents react to them in different ways. Finding how to be with each other in their disparate ways of mourning involves many missteps and painful clashes. An angry Becca accuses Howie of thinking that she is “not mourning…in the right way.” Thrown into the mix are Becca’s mother and sister, each struggling with her own feelings about the loss of this little boy. The family’s recovery is both enhanced and complicated by the appearance of Jason, the young driver of the car that killed Danny, who is seeking his own redemption.
Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire presents us with the details of this family’s attempts to re-shape their lives in a sensitive and real portrayal of their sometimes clumsy ways of dealing with each other in this difficult situation. A subject that could be sentimentalized and made maudlin becomes one where real people are stumbling through grief and bumping into each other in very believable ways. They support each other in the ways they can. Nat, Becca’s mother, who has also suffered the loss of a son, tells her daughter that the feeling never goes away, but that ‘at some point, it becomes bearable’.”
The Annual Meeting was a unique opportunity to share with our colleagues a very powerful drama with relevance both professionally and personally for many in attendance. In reflecting on the audience discussion that followed the reading, Dr. Donovan observed: “There was what seemed to be a reverential silence in the audience after the performance as people seemed to be finding words to express their reactions. What then followed was an appreciation of the performance and of the many nuances of the play, reactions to various aspects of the production, notably its simplicity, some heartfelt associations to personal losses, and ultimately recognition of the group process of the characters shared enterprise, unfolding over the course of the play.”
We very much appreciate the innovative spirit of the Annual Meeting Conference Committee that has encouraged creative ways of teaching group psychotherapy principles to clinicians of all skill levels and experience. The Annual Meeting is the premiere group training conference in North America and we invite anyone who has not attended the Meeting before to consider joining in next February in New York City. And for theater lovers there are many Broadway and Off-Broadway venues within walking distance of the conference hotel.

Bob Schulte