About Elana F. Stanger, L.C.S.W., Diversity Arts and Unity Theater

Elana F. Stanger is a licensed clinical social worker (L.C.S.W.), social justice artist & peacemaker, writer & healer, storyteller & singer, and is Founder and President of Diversity Arts, Inc., a non-profit organization building intercultural unity and honoring our cultural diversity, through her art, music, writing, therapy and dialogues.  She is a knowledgeable, warm, and compassionate bridge-builder and intercultural ally.  She helps us all to collectively envision and live in a world of peace, love, harmony, and social justice.

In the near future, and with your valued support, Diversity Arts will begin presenting Unity Theater.  This interactive, theatrical, and therapeutic performance will create an attunement experience for human beings of diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences, enabling participants to relate to one another and connect empathically through storytelling, singing, visual art, poetry, dialogue and ritual centered on understanding and respecting our cultural diversity while celebrating our unity.  The performance may, on occasion, be followed by a community or organizational development component asking us to consider, “Now that we have experienced this amazing bond of unity through Unity Theater, where do we go from here?”.

We invite you to weave a beautiful tapestry with us of sound, story, and spirit through Elana Stanger’s healing Art to Touch the Heart and Songs to Soothe the Soul!

Unity Theater is seeking to cast members for its multicultural ensemble…

UNITY THEATER:  Very exciting opportunity!  Unity Theater is a social attunement experience utilizing the expressive arts to build intercultural unity.  It is improvisational, audience-participatory, and involves interweaving a score of original music, unique visual art, audience storytelling, facilitated dialogue, and call-and-response chant.  We want to cast an ensemble of several multi-talented actor-singer-facilitators for ongoing performances.  It may be necessary to travel around the country upon request for the performance to succeed in reaching its goal of bringing intercultural unity, social justice and peace in our lifetime.  We are calling all culturally-diverse and spiritually-attuned actors who can sing and facilitate dialogue with lovingkindness, and who want to help us bring social justice, heal social oppression, and build intercultural bridges of unity!

With respect and regard for our cultural diversity and a belief that all of us, in truth, are unified as one interdependent human race, Diversity Arts seeks to perform Unity Theater.  We seek an ensemble of several actors who can, with cultural sensitivity, build intercultural relationships across boundaries of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, nationality, age, physical and mental ability, profession and size, etc.  Several actors of culturally diverse backgrounds, experiences and walks of life are sought.  You must also be comfortable with the material we are presenting, and must be able to share your own personal story around social oppression as someone with a specific cultural identity.  We tell our own personal stories in order to bond together with other cast members and inspire the audience members to share their own stories as well.  In this way, we realize that we are all in the same boat and we strongly desire to end the oppression of everyone as it is really too painful for any one of us to bear.

This ensemble will become a strong team for one another and provide the foundation that will support the audience members to do their own healing and reconciliation.  Cast members will enjoy singing as they lead the audience in an original musical score and enthusiastically encourage others to sing.  The ensemble will also be able to effectively and sensitively facilitate group dialogue on difficult subjects such as healing racism and social oppression, with love, empathy, understanding, wisdom and compassion.  As we inspire the audience members to use their voices, loudly and clearly, through singing and dialogue, we offer an important key to stop the silent complacency that keeps oppression in place.  Borrowing a concept from Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed, during Unity Theater, audience members become active spect-actors rather than passive spectators!  In this way, hue-manity reclaims its activism!  Unity Theater may also feature an organizational and community development component at the end of each performance upon request.

This ensemble will travel to theaters locally and nationally to perform Unity Theater as long as there is a demand for this work.  We expect it will take a couple of years, at least, to succeed in our mission to build intercultural unity everywhere with everyone!

Diversity Arts is a not-for-profit and tax exempt organization based in Philadelphia and New York City, seeking to heal the world of social oppression and build bridges of intercultural unity through the unique and beautiful, spiritual and healing, whimsical and powerful art and music of Elana Felice Stanger, a.k.a. St. Anger and a.k.a. St. Angel.  Stanger is also a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist.  Sometime in 2018, Diversity Arts will begin presenting Unity Theater, an arts-based and improvisational theatre experience, to be a catalyst for social change and healing.  Please check us out on the web at the following sites: www.DiversityArts.org; www.UnityTheater.org; www.TheApology.org.

If you are interested, please keep in touch.  Email Elana@DiversityArts.org and/or Iden@DiversityArts.org.

 

Why “Build Intercultural Unity” Through Unity Theater?

Unity Theater is an interactive, improvised arts-based theatrical experience for healing racism and all social oppressions, to bring about unity through song, storytelling, chanting, movement, deep breathing, meditation, creative visualization and civic dialogue based on the original artwork and music of Saint Angel.  It also features a community development component to aid us all in taking collective community action.  Diversity Arts will begin presenting Unity Theater in the next several months.  Centered on Saint Angel’s art to touch the heart and songs to soothe the soul, we have the starting point for a healing revolution.  Together, we are setting the stage for peace, love, justice and unity as we build a mobile sanctuary for civic engagement that restores faith, hope and love in our world.  It’s time to let our hearts soar.

Unity Theater is a process for helping us, essentially, build more love and light in the Universe.  It is a container in which a safe space is created to explore issues of our cultural diversity and unity through artistic expression.  We do this for the Highest Good, taking into account that we are, each and every one of us, special and unique creations, formed like none other, into exactly who we are and who we are meant to be, by a precious and good Creator, the Holy One, God.  Of course, we also exercise our own free will in the continued creation of ourselves, and it is thus important that we channel our wills for the highest good.  This brings good health and well being, not only to ourselves, but to everybody on Planet Earth.

When we build intercultural unity through Unity Theater, we are serving the Highest Good of ourselves, of Humanity, and of Planet Earth.  We are honoring God and Humanity, life itself, and spreading light, good, and joy to everyone, everywhere.

As we have all been hurt by the injustices of oppression, Unity Theater provides a safe place to heal and express our emotional pain associated with these wounds as well as positive feelings, holding out hope for a new day.  Within the loving arms of a special and diverse community, we express the truth within our hearts and souls, healing ourselves and each other as the performance of Unity Theater winds on. We create a space for listening.  As stories of pain and promise are told, we listen with openness and a non-judgmental stance, accepting what comes.  The tears may roll down our cheeks, our hearts may open, our laughter may be released.  We may come to see our unity, to know our oneness.  And through this process, we are moved with everyone present, to work together for positive change within our communities and our neighborhoods.

In this way, we may positively channel our difficult emotions for positive change.  Anger, pain, frustration and disappointment– the by-products of social oppression– must be channeled into something beautiful, constructive and positive for healing and productivity to take place.  The expressive arts are a way to heal as we channel our emotions constructively, explore ourselves and heal our hurts, and then feel cleansed by the healing process, thus enabling us to give to and receive support from others who may be culturally the same or different from us, and to go out into the world shining our newly strengthened light.

We have used and heard common metaphors for anger in everyday conversations with coworkers, colleagues, friends, family members, and teachers.

  • “He blew his top.”
  • “She flipped her lid.”
  • “I was beside myself.”

These are examples of people becoming separated from their minds in a psychological process of dissociation that is designed to protect us in some instances, yet it may also leave us vulnerable as we may become separated from the ability to do our best thinking.  And we need to do our best thinking — to put our thinking caps on, rather than flip our lids — when it comes to working together to end prejudice and oppression.  We need to employ all of our mental capacities and cultivate our mind’s clear thinking in order to build justice and peace.

We often don’t get anywhere with anger when we express it to others, albeit in a non-therapeutic context.  We need a safe, therapeutic space in which to express the anger, sadness and outrage that are the natural by-products of being treated unfairly, with racism or other prejudices such as sexism, ableism, ageism, classism, sizeism, and even men’s oppression– that which is targeted unfairly at men.

The theory of building intercultural unity through the Unity Theater performance works because, together, we create a safe space for dialogue and community-building where we realize we are all oppressed in some way, we state that this oppression isn’t right, this oppression doesn’t feel good to our hearts/minds/bodies/souls/spirits, and we affirm that we are all one, all connected here, on this Earthly Plane, in this one vast moment, we call “Life”.  We want to make the whole place better for everyone, out of the love we feel for each other in our hearts and souls.

This works because…

We remember that we are and have always truly been connected.  Learning, erroneously, that we were all separate and thus only out for ourselves, to greedily get the most we could while others suffered, was not the correct teaching.  If we followed in this way that we learned, it was not the correct path for us. We were erroneously taught that in order to get more for ourselves, we had to take from others, and put them down, in order to justify — erroneously — our “right” to take from them. We thought we benefited from the injustices of racism, sexism, homophobia and heterosexism, ableism, etc., when instead, we created a rat race on a treadmill spinning faster and faster inside a cage of no tomorrow. We wake up each day, spinning our wheels like we can’t get enough, spinning ourselves into a cycle of Earth’s destruction.  And most of all, we wake up feeling like Rats!  (Of course, real rats don’t deserve a bad name; they are also just another of God’s creatures with a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!)

It is time for rebirth and renewal, and a healing or tikkun of our whole world with new values of loving each other, all life, all God’s creations, the Planet Herself…

Building Intercultural Unity Through Unity Theater will help us all find our way back to the Garden [of Eden].  Through these theatrical and therapeutic means — the expressive arts and dialogue — we return to God.  We laugh and we cry together until there are no more tears of sadness, only joy.  We come together to express our piece, and find our peace… and our wholeness.  Amen.

I remain…

Elana Felice Stanger, L.C.S.W., a.k.a. St. Anger a.k.a. St. Angel

Welcome to Unity Theater!

We are setting the stage for peace, love, justice and unity… Together!

Won’t you please join us and help us achieve our goals?  Together, we hope to bring social justice to our world, heal social oppression, and build bonds of unity.  With the right vehicle — Unity Theater! — peace, love, justice and unity will be possible within our lifetimes.  Amen.