Watch the Finding Trails Summer 2021 compilation!

We had a blast finding trails with all of you! Thanks to all of our participants, playwrights, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture for their support, and Anna Klein for her video editing skills. Watch a clip here, or catch the full video on our YouTube channel.

What is Finding Trails?

Celebrating outdoor spaces and trails through theater connects arts and environmental communities, and builds a more resilient and joyful citizenry. Finding Trails projects speak to our trail experiences, and the roles wild spaces and public lands play in our lives. Centering diverse stories of environmental justice and joy, we create stronger relationships and dialogues that will help us work towards positive environmental solutions.

Summer 2021

Finding Trails: Journey versus Destination

Penguin Productions’ Finding Trails project broke us out of our zoom boxes to reconnect us with each other, our craft, and our shared environments. To increase accessibility, we invited anyone to direct a play. 

“Journey vs. Destination” – which is more important? What are the joys or disappointments of achieving destination without a great journey – or vice-versa?

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on ideas of belonging, how public spaces have historically excluded some even while promoting inclusion, and the role of art and storytelling in making outdoor spaces inclusive and a place where all can experience belonging. I invite creators to hold space for these ideas, and to enjoy the idea of pieces being embodied by a diversity of bodies and voices. The goal is to get people outside playing, to put beautiful and heightened language in their mouths, to allow people to play with new identities in new spaces, and to co-create stories that expand our awareness of our selves and our environments.

– Shana Bestock, Producing Artistic Director

Fall 2020

Finding Trails: Getting Lost

Finding Trails: Getting Lost is the second in a series commissioning new works that connect natural and constructed environments, and bring artists and audiences together to celebrate the power of trails. As access to the outdoors becomes simultaneously more vital and more threatened, what can theater-makers do to connect us emotionally to our collective need for public lands and spaces?
 

Our fall theme “Getting Lost” was conceived before covid-times, but was oddly perfect for a moment in which we were both completely centered in space, sheltering in place and all – and yet emotionally adrift without the ability to get a little lost in the big wide world.  Co-produced with SIS Productions and in partnership with Parley Productions and Prathidwani Theater.

Summer 2020

Finding Trails

The future of the planet is often told as post-apocalyptic tragedy. What about the joy of finding a trail and following it to the end? How can theater capture, communicate, inspire the feelings of hitting the trail, losing the trail, summiting a peak, eating a sandwich, while dipping toes in a mountain lake, happening upon a goat or a rare flower, feeling both small and large in majestic spaces?

With a selection of diverse artists and the support of the Washington Trails Association, we produced 4 brand-new plays celebrating the complex emotions that drive us to seek out trails, and the people we meet along the path. Our first event transitioned to a virtual platform in the early days of zoom theater and reached an audience of over 100.

 

“How can theater can explore onstage why people do or don’t seek out trails? Our relationship to public lands, to wild places, to ourselves in these wild places? By celebrating public lands through theater and celebrating theater in public lands, we build a more resilient and joyful citizenry.

By commissioning plays that speak specifically to the complex emotions we experience on trails, and the roles trails, wild spaces, and public lands play in our lives, we develop a theatrical vocabulary. A rich vocabulary is necessary to articulate the importance, relevance, and threat to these spaces.

By centering diverse stories, centering human stories within the landscape, we center ourselves in the natural world and create stronger relationships and dialogues that will help us work towards positive solutions when it comes to the huge complexities of climate threats.”

—Shana Bestock, Producing Artistic Director

Past Community Partners Include:

Pratidhwani, SIS Productions, Parley, and the Washington Trails Association

Interested in Finding Trails with us? We would love to co-create storytelling events that support your advocacy campaign, community, or neck of the woods. Please contact us for more information. 

Finding Trails 2021 made possible in part through funding from the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture Neighborhood and Communities Grant. 

Interested in Finding Trails with us? We would love to co-create storytelling events that support your advocacy campaign, community, or neck of the woods. Please contact us for more information. 

Finding Trails 2021 made possible in part through funding from the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture Neighborhood and Communities Grant. 

Penguin Productions programs are free to all in need. Fuel the future of healthy, equitable community theater with your support today!


Join our Email List