Open auditions for "Finding Voice," a powerful original production depicting empowered women survivors of domestic violence, will be held at Converse College October 9 in room 232 of the Blackman Music Building.
"Finding Voice" will be performed at Converse on March 24 in partnership with USC-Upstate and Wofford College in celebration of Women’s History Month. All proceeds from the production will be given to the Spartanburg SAFE HOMES/Rape Crisis Coalition.
For the audition, participants should bring a prepared reading or song relevant to the theme of the production.
"Finding Voice" is a collection of true stories of survival and empowerment in spite of domestic violence and is expressed through song, dance, poetry and storytelling. The production is the brainchild of Dr. Elizabeth York, Associate Professor of Music Therapy at Converse and Chair of the college’s Music Education and Therapy Department, who created the piece while on sabbatical during her tenure as director of the Music Therapy Program at Utah State University.
"The initial purpose of my research was to document how women survivors (who were members of an on-going support group) entered into a variety of expressive arts experiences including visual arts, poetry, dance and music therapy," explained York. "The project culminated in what would become ‘Finding Voice,’ which was initially written and performed by the women participants themselves. I think that it shows impressively that music can be used for empowerment and can bring to light issues to empower women."
There are 12 roles in "Finding Voice," each based upon actual events. According to York, a total of 40 women participated in the development of the original script, and a CD recording of the entire play was also produced. The hour-long "Finding Voice" has been performed 13 times in Utah since 2003 and as recently as last October.
One of the original "Finding Voice" participants told the University of Utah News Service “During the group sessions we sometimes sang. They taped us. Listening to the old tape recordings, we sounded so weak. Now we sing with strength. This is why the name of the presentation—‘Finding Voice’—is so meaningful."
For the performance at Converse, the college family is enthusiastically supporting the performance including assistance from the college’s Art Therapy and Art Education Departments in the construction of a minimalist set.
For more information, contact York at (864) 596-9166 or via E-mail.