July 18 – 23

PERFORMANCE AS A HEALING ACT: a workshop for women

with Kathy Randels and Rebecca Mwase 

of ArtSpot Productions (New Orleans)

This workshop will focus on performance as a tool for bridging cultural divides. Through structured and improvisational group singing, participants will explore methods of building community and ensemble generation of vocal scores. Through story circles participants will discuss assumptions about faith, spiritual practice, and race – and how these experiences apply to creating solo and group performance. No musical or religious experience is necessary.


Kathy is ArtSpot’s founding artistic director. She has written, performed in, and directed numerous original solo and ensemble works for professional, prison and student ensembles throughout the world. LOUP GAROU, the sold-out show about the Louisiana Gulf that closed Ko’s 2010 season, featured her work as director and vocalist with the Cajun ensemble that was a key part of the performance.

Randels has received OBIE, Big Easy and Storer Boone awards, as well as Louisiana and NEA/TCG Theatre Fellowships. This will be her third workshop at Ko. Previous workshops were  “THEATRE AND SOCIAL CHANGE: Theatre in Community” and “BIOGRAPHICAL THEATER.” She has also acted in two ArtSpot productions at Ko prior to her appearance last summer as a singer in Loup Garou. In 2005, she appeared as an eccentric Romanian showgirl in NITA & ZITA, and before that in 2002 she performed RAGE WITHIN/WITHOUT – a solo theater piece about women who refused to turn the other cheek that featured her extensive background in Balkan singing.


Rebecca is a first-generation Zimbabwean-American who was trained as a vocalist, actor and movement performer at Grinnell College.  She holds a BA in Chinese & Theatre and spent two years teaching English in mainland China.  She recently performed in Junebug‘s “Voices from the Back of the Class.” She works with ArtSpot both creatively and administratively, most recently in a site-specific duet with Kathy Randels entitled GO YE THEREFORE, a story about two southern women, one white, one black, both daughters and granddaughters of Southern Baptist preachers.



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 I or Studio II 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 1.

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 $200, 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 $182.

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.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF of our 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.

If that happens to you, email or call us (see above) and we will send you a registration form via email or post.