Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Very Human Communion by Joshua Holguin

Freehold’s Engaged Theater Project, King Lear was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve ever undertaken. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and firmly believe in the power of bringing theater to underserved communities as a way of fulfilling human communion.

In my experience at the Women’s Correctional Center, it was incredibly challenging to stay focused and contain my own anxiety. My sister battled with heroin addiction for three years, which almost killed my mother, (death being a fresh concept in my mind, Grandma Holguin had passed away only a few weeks before), the fear of those memories and the thought that I might’ve performed for my sister rattled my nerves she could’ve ended up in prison or dead. The memories gnawed at the back of my mind, and the exhaustion of working through those events and the project itself made me realize, I needed help. I have an old habit of locking myself into my head, and I realized I couldn’t do that anymore, I reached out to the cast and crew of the project and the support and love I received was enormous, it was sincere and it snapped me right back into a very good place.

This project turned into a very human communion united under a similar cause, it became a whetstone to sharpen my own abilities, I’m eternally grateful. Every audience on tour received us with generosity and an unprecedented ability to engage with the work, the Engaged Theater Project is a necessary endeavor, bringing theater into realms that are uncomfortable, strange, beautiful, and human shows the versatility of theater and the incredible dynamics that can occur when we struggle through the past into the future.

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