Date(s) - March 3, 2017 - March 5, 2017
Matt Mitler founded Theatre Group Dzieci in 1979. Initially trained in humanistic and existential psychology, he considers his therapeutic study with R.D. Laing and Carl Rogers to be equal to his theatrical study with Jerzy Grotowski and The Polish Theatre Laboratory. Combining these two pursuits, he began to lead workshops in a variety of settings, including Hutchings Psychiatric Center, the National Theatre School of Sweden, and The University of Psychology of Warsaw, where his essay “Art and Therapy” was published in the anthology New Directions in Psychotherapy. Matt is profiled in Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life Through the Eyes of Actors and The Encyclopedia of Religion.
Why so serious? Enlighten up!
Who says a spiritual retreat can’t be fun? As director of the wildly adventurous Theatre Group Dzieci, Matt Mitler has devoted decades to refining his vision, charming and transporting audiences in theaters and in such unusual venues as religious orders, psychiatric hospitals, shamanic gatherings, and weddings. Utilizing techniques garnered from such theater masters as Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook, ritual forms derived from Native American and Eastern spiritual disciplines, and an ethic based securely in humanistic psychology, Matt creates a theatrical experience which is as equally engaged with personal transformation as it is with public presentation. He’ll be bringing his full tool-kit to this extraordinary weekend, including ancient texts, tribal rites, sacred dance, mime, clowning, chant, meditation, and Holy Foolery, all to nourish and release the creative spirit. Move, play, laugh, and pray; together, with others, you’ll find a space where true communion can occur, a living expression of “all are one.” Needless to say, no previous theater experience is required!
Read about Theatre Group Dzieci’s “Fools Wedding” in Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, here.
Work with Matt is always fun, yet always challenging, as his form of theatre is an avenue of transformation: spiritual, psychological and physical. He provides a unique opportunity to “go deep” on many levels while being held and supported within his professional mentoring. As contemplatives we are always seeking what is real, and our work with Matt takes us to a place where we experience the raw energy and transforming fire of truth. His experience and dedication provides a unique and creative path for holistic spiritual renewal.
~ Katie, Postulant, Abbey of Regina Laudis ~
Growing in naturalness, endurance, flexibility, humor, individuality in response to one another, drama, vulnerability, physical trust – and more – this was a great experience for me and all the others. Above all, it has changed us as a body, a group – we know and appreciate one another with a whole new depth. I look forward to our next work together.
~ Mother Emmanuelle, Abbey of Regina Laudis ~
We had a great time working with you. There was so much laughter and so many things learned in those two days. We are grateful for your passion for what you do and commitment to finding the sacred through ritual! Thank you so much and God bless you!”
~ Rev. Brent McDougal, Institute for Clergy Excellence ~
I’m incredibly inspired. The work was something so far off the map from what I’m used to. I enjoyed flexing muscles that had not been worked ever and flying full charge into the challenge. Thank you.
~ Zachary Koval ~
I don’t think I can fully express with words all the impressions and nourishment that I received from your very unique workshop.
I’m in love, it was awesome. I want more.
Norris Salomon ~
Quite remarkable. You create the space where something can rise up without directly planning for it, and allow for experiences, which we wouldn’t be able to receive otherwise.
~ Brother Willy Van Doren, Brotherhood of St. Gregory ~
In one session, we formed a gauntlet / birth canal, offering resistance to one person trying to make it through while focusing on holy text verse each had chosen earlier in the day. At the end of the “birth canal”, other members, including those already “born” served as Mothers to welcome and comfort the newborn / reborn. Very powerful to see / participate in. You are doing great things!
~ Brother Tobias Haller, Brotherhood of St. Gregory ~
I think I’ll probably spend weeks and weeks reflecting on these experiences, many of which touched me very powerfully and very deeply. My prayer is that many will have the blessing of participating in your workshops.
~ Brother Millard Cook, Companions of Our Lady of Walsingham ~