Speak About It <3s Portland!
by Catherine Buxton, Friday, August 11, 2017
Our 2017-18 educators spent two weeks rehearsing, training, learning, and exploring in our home: Portland, Maine.
We love Portland, Maine. We love living here, working here, playing here. We have an incredible community that supports our work, we have incredible colleagues who help us grow. So when we get the opportunity to show off our hometown, we jump at the chance.
Our actor-educators hail from all over the country. And each year they descend on Portland for two weeks of rehearsal and training before they depart for their cross-country summer tour. Portland is the perfect place to host the team. The city provides an incredible back drop for our educators to prepare for an intense month of touring ahead. With its laid back pace, and plethora of green spaces and delicious restaurants, Portland offers a great mix of relaxation and respite, as well as energy and activity for our actors to focus and play. Says educator, Kystal Hernadez, "Portland really has my heart, the food is amazing, the people are even better and you can't beat having a beach less than two miles away!"
Portland has also provided great resources for Speak About It educators to really engage and learn during their time here. Early in the rehearsal process, Speak About It adventured to Camp Ketcha, where camp staff facilitated a series of team building exercises on the Scarborough based farm and high ropes course. Educators also met with advocates and experts from the Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine, for a comprehensive sexual assault response and survivor advocacy training.
An important component of the rehearsal process is self-care. Sexual assault prevention is not easy work: it can be deeply personal, it can be exhausting. Performing the true life monologues about young people's real sexual experiences day after day can be really hard. We encourage our team to take the time they need to ensure they can take care of themselves and give their best energy to the show.
Self care can take many forms. While in Portland, educators enjoyed a restorative yoga class from Ann at Horizon Line. They took themselves to the beach. They enjoyed a Portland Sea Dogs game together on a night off. There was some dancing. There was definitely karaoke.
And no visit to Portland would be complete without indulging in our incredible food scene. From late night pizza to James Beard award winning lobster rolls at Eventide Oyster Co, Portland fed our educator's minds, souls, and most definitely their bellies.
While the educators have since departed Vacationland, a number will be back soon for Maine shows at the University of Southern Maine, Maine College of Art, University of New England, and Colby.
We know this wont be last Portland sees on them! "Two weeks was surely not enough time to explore and I can't wait to come back," reflected educator, David Picariello. Until then, the educators will be packing their bags to travel to far off lands on their national tour! Be sure to follow them on tour on social media at Facebook, Instagram and on Snaphat at @wespeakaboutit.
Speak About It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners with high schools and colleges to educate, entertain, and empower students to create positive change within their communities, advocate for and practice healthy relationship habits, and prevent sexual violence.
Copyright 2016 Speak About It, Inc. Website by Alexandra Valleau