July 12 – 17

DEVISED THEATRE: Story Circle & Song as Source

with Nick Slie of Mondo Bizarro (New Orleans)Nick Slie

Devised theater is like preparing food from scratch. You choose a recipe, carefully combine often-disparate ingredients, decide upon a cooking method, season to taste and serve. For this workshop, the primary ingredients are personal stories and group singing.

Stories will be generated using an inviting and surprising process called Story Circles. that comes from former Civil Rights activist John O’Neal of Junebug Productions and the Free Southern Theater. Story circles use the age-old tradition of story telling as a way to bring people together and build relationships in a lively, equitable environment. As the stories and songs are shared, participants will be led through a unique process of physicalizing the narratives by week’s end.

We will also explore the dynamic possibilities of the singing voice. Participants will be guided through a number of exercises to aid the discovery and development of range within their own voice. We’ll explore both technical proficiency and artistic expression. The work will begin with an awakening of the physical presence and move into explorations of harmony, drone and the role the eyes play in the energy of a song.

Loup Gaurau SaintWhether you think you can sing or not, whether you think you have a story to tell, this workshop is for you. Join New Orleans-based performing artist Nick Slie, as he leads participants through a six-day creative voyage that explores the dynamic possibilities of story, song and movement to generate new performance work that is vital and melodic. All levels of experience are encouraged!


Nick Slie lives and works on the disappearing wetlands of coastal Louisiana. He is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the New Orleans based performance collective Mondo Bizarro. He is an actor, director, writer, educator and community activist. Nick’s performance work ranges from physical theater to multi-disciplinary solo work, from digital storytelling to collaborative ensemble productions. He creates original works of performance that are rooted in a particular sense-of-place reflecting the needs, desires, memories and possibilities of the community from which it is born. In the last two years, he has collaborated on a vast array of local and national performance projects that include: co-creator/performer for Mondo Bizarro’s FLIGHT and Catching Him In Pieces; co-creator/performer for the national tour of UPROOTED: The Katrina Project; dramaturge for olive Dance Theater’s Brotherly Love; co-producer of The State of the National Art and Performance Festival and co-creative director of Mondo Bizarro’s post-Katrina story project The I-10 Witness Project (www.i10witness.org). He serves on the Executive Committee for Alternate ROOTS and is the Board Chair for the Network of Ensemble Theaters.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? Visit www.mondobizarro.org


Workshops are geared for participants of all levels of experience, whose ages have run from 18-85.

Workshops will meet from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday through Saturday, in Studio II or Studio III of Webster Hall on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, MA.

Driving Instructions to Amherst College

Amherst College campus map.

Workshops cost $399. There is a $50 discount for registration by May 15.
NOTE: Contact us to apply for limited pool of financial aid, or for discounts for KoFest workshop or intern alums, ATHE, N.E.T. (Network of Ensemble Theaters) members or staff/artists from TCG member theatres.

Optional room and board are available on the Amherst College campus for an additional fee.
Workshop housing is $195, for a single with a shared bath in an Amherst College dorm. A meal ticket for the Dining Commons (delicious, healthy food, much of it local) is $175.

Email us, if you are interested in alternative housing. There are a number of hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts in the area.

Studios, theatre, dining commons and dorms are all within walking distance.

To register, download a PDF of the registration form and mail it to:

The Ko Festival of Performance
498 South Gulf Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Questions? For further information email us
or call (413) 427-6147.

NOTE: Some people have been having trouble downloading the PDF registration form. Click HERE to download the form in MS-WORD.
If that also fails, either email or call us (see above), and we will send you a registration form via email or post.