PACA Hosts WoW: A Powerful Performance of Words
Women of Word With a Few Man Made Words enters its 11th season
SUNDAY, MAR. 19
WoW or Women of Word With a Few Man Made Words is entering its 11th season and continues to create new and engaging ways to educate and enlighten its audience through poetry, dance, and original songs.
"We are prepared to start strong and keep the audience on the edge of their seats," said Thasia Anne, who created, produces, and directs WoW. The production covers subjects that are difficult to discuss, such as homelessness, mental health, domestic violence, PTSD, addiction, and more. As part of Women's History Month, WoW touches on these universal themes through specific individual experiences.
Well-known local poets Mabel Howard and Cathi "GG" Mitchel are new to the cast this year, as well as Brooke Kimet — a poet, singer, and dancer. "Everyone in WoW is a survivor of something and many of us have disabilities, as I have a brain injury. We have survived abuse, PTSD, illnesses, and mental health issues," said Anne.
"We offer a gentle way to conclude on your own if you or your loved one has one of these issues. On the back of the program each year are the safe contact numbers to reach out for help. Each year I invite the agencies to come be in the audience and at the meet-and-greet to be a friendly face to reach out to. I feel that is much easier than a cold call to an agency asking for help. SafeNet, for example, always provides someone to be here to talk with. Many years the audience members would approach me to disclose their situation. Or a young man came to me once asking for help with his mental health. I showed him who to call and learned later that he had gone for help," said Anne.
Anne often says while teaching poetry workshops, poetry saved her life. "After many years of abuse, once on my own, I was able to write my trauma out of me. I liken it to taking out the trash. So I love providing workshops for youth through seniors." Anne says she would advise budding writers to keep "notes, a journal, poetry, or whatever comes out. For those with internet access, there are many poetry sites. You can read others' work and craft your own voice, which is what I did."
WoW has always been held at no cost to the public. "I feel WoW is my purpose to help others get help," said Anne. There will be a reception after to meet-and-greet members of the cast and representatives of the agencies that provide resources.
2 p.m. // PACA (Performing Arts Collective Alliance), 1505 State St. // Free