Omega Theater celebrates 40th

April 13, 2007
By

JOHN SWAN


Courtesy Photo
Omega Theater founder Saphira Linden.

The Omega Theater, located in JP for the past 30 years, celebrates it 40th anniversary this month. The group began as an experimental theater company founded by Julie Portman and JP resident Saphira Barbara Linden in the Arlington Street Church. It has evolved into both an educational and therapeutic expression of the arts—producing topical plays and offering training in their Omega Transpersonal Drama Therapy Certificate Program.

The group’s most recent production is “Motherblood,” a 10-minute play by Linden and Susan Nisenbaum that portrays an encounter between two mothers from Israel and Palestine whose sons died in war.

“We’ve performed ‘Motherblood’ in several places, but not yet in JP,” said Linden during a phone interview from her Sumner Hill studio.

“In May of last year we were the final performance at the Network of Spiritual Progressives. The performance was used in workshops of the women’s leadership training at Lesley University in August, 2006. And last April we went to Israel to perform at Imagine: Expression in the Service of Humanity.”

Linden, a certified drama therapist, also teaches an independent studies master-level course in conjunction with Lesley University.

“Drama therapy is a powerful way to deal with personal traumas,” Linden said. “Say you had a conflict with your mother. Using drama therapy techniques you would first get into her character, become you mother and speak to yourself. Then you reverse the roles.”

Omega’s office manager, Noreen Yarwood, is attending Emerson College for her master’s degree in theater education, and also is a student in Omega’s certification program.

“I want to teach and I’m very dedicated to public schools,” she said. “Theater is an excellent tool for learning and I’m passionate abut how it can help children at a young age. Theater helps [people] develop interpersonal skills and learn how to express yourself through body and voice in a way that you may not be able to in other ways.”

Omega will offer a creative arts meditation retreat at its studio April 20-22 and transpersonal drama therapy training June 7-17.

For more information visit their web site at www.OmegaTheater.org.