A performance artist, a yoga teacher, a writer, and overall a humanitarian, Jennifer Schelter shines in her one-woman performance of Love Lessons From Abu Ghraib. Invited by Lierman Trust for Humanitarian Law to accompany humanitarian lawyer Susan Burke on an expedition to Istanbul, Turkey, Schelter collected testimony from tortured Iraqis who had been imprisoned at Abu Ghraib, and with it, created art.
Listening to testimony after testimony of torture and human cruelty, Schelter found relief in Yoga and was able to utilize her mind-body connection to transmute the pain of hearing what humans are capable of doing to each other. Schelter was able to use her expertise and humanitarian ideals to comfort the former detainees and give their stories voice.
The respect was mutual. â€œThese men inspired me to go beyond my depression about the subject and have faith in the power of God, however you conceive of that force. They deepened my faith in humanity. Itâ€™s counter intuitive.â€
The performance piece chronicles her experiences and in the process relays the pieces of the testimony of several Iraqi prisoners of war, using yoga as a metaphor for spiritual guidance and release.
For Schelter, Yoga is more than a practice; it is a spiritual and artistic discipline. â€œYoga â€“ my body â€“ is my sanctuary, itâ€™s my tool as an artist. Yoga to me means â€œI need to honor what is being born from within me.â€ I need to listen to what is emerging, my leading edge of awareness. Yoga to me is the art of listening for Godâ€™s funny bone and direction inside me.â€
And in Love Lessons from Abu Ghraib, Schelter does just that. This poignant, darkly comical, extremely intuitive performance is a rare glimpse at a uniquely human side of politics, war and personal journey.
InterActâ€™s special engagement of LOVE LESSONS FROM ABU GHRAIB runs for 6 performances, January 29 â€“ February 13, 2011, on InterActâ€™s home on the Mainstage of The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA. Performances are Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m.
Individual tickets for LOVE LESSONS are on sale now. Tickets are $25.00 for general admission seating and $20.00 for InterActâ€™s main stage subscribers. Patrons save $10.00 by purchasing tickets to InterActâ€™s main stage production of LIDLESS and LOVE LESSONS together. Discounts are also available for groups of 10 people or larger. Tickets may be purchased by calling InterActâ€™s box office at 215-568-8079, by dropping by InterActâ€™s offices at The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St., Philadelphia, or by visiting InterActâ€™s website at www.InterActTheatre.org.
Subscriptions and tickets may be purchased by calling InterActâ€™s box office at 215-568-8079, by dropping by InterActâ€™s offices at The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St., Philadelphia, or by visiting InterActâ€™s website at www.InterActTheatre.org.