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Marsha Gildin

Marsha Gildin
Teaching Artist

“Start a revolution. Love yourself.”

Where Marsha Got Her Girl Power: Marsha is passionate about connecting individuals, generations, cultures, and communities through the art of personal story and performance. She has worked with students of all ages and different abilities through drama, puppetry, movement, writing, storytelling, sign language and song. She finds meaning and joy in people knowing themselves, giving voice to experience and connecting with one another’s stories in community. Marsha has worked extensively with Elders Share the Arts (ESTA) in New York City directing intergenerational theatre projects as well as supporting teaching artists and community health care workers as ESTA Director of Programs and Training. As program evaluator for The Wave of Life Project (Dreamcatchers Foundation, Mumbai) Marsha traveled to the tsunami-affected region of Tamil Nadu, India to observe the impact of a four-year community regeneration program. It was there, in the children and community Wisdom Circles, that she witnessed the revolutionary evolution of young girls, women, and elders finding their voice, value and capacity for leadership in effecting and transforming village life.

How Marsha Has Been Staging the Revolution: Marsha is thrilled to join Girl Be Heard’s Education Team and help create a platform for girls with special needs to invigorate and celebrate their voices. She just completed her 18th originally devised theatre piece with elders and 5th graders in Queens. Marsha leads story circles for women with early stage memory loss and facilitates imaginative storymaking for people with dementia. By engaging creativity, authenticity, deep listening and humor Marsha gathers stories that need and want to be told. She recently directed the puppet theatre piece Journey to the East: A Modernist Rumination on a Thirteenth Century Chronicle, produced in Honolulu, Hawaii by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. For three years Marsha has participated in the Zen Peacemakers Bearing Witness Retreat in Auschwitz, a communal practice and contemplation on human suffering, genocide, life sanctity, and our individual capacities to act through love or destruction. Marsha holds a Master of Science in Education from CUNY Queens College and served on its Graduate School of Education faculty with focus on arts-infused curriculum design.

When Marsha isn’t staging the revolution she enjoys being an auntie, being a fish (swimming), walking in Ft. Tryon park, talking to birds (especially cardinals), humming Yiddish melodies, and daydreaming of Hawaii.

Hear more from Marsha: You can find Marsha’s more recent writings in the Harvard Educational Review (Spring 2013) and The Reflexive Teaching Artist: Collected Wisdom from the Drama/Theatre Field by Kathryn Dawson and Daniel A. Kelin (2014). You can email Marsha at Marsha@girlbeheard.org