Ministry to Ministers

Just experienced one of he most profound things ever in my life. There are no words.
Well, maybe one – Dzieci.
Brother Karekin Madteos Yarian

The path of service takes great diligence. It is not uncommon to lose energy, equilibrium, and at times, even faith. This is as true for the individual who leads as it is for the community at large. Dzieci has made a commitment to minister to these leaders, and to the communities they serve. This ministry is available to all and everyone.

For four decades, Dzieci’s company director Matt Mitler has been refining a methodology that renews and deepens community through subtle work on attention and presence, and through dynamic physical encounters that both challenge and affirm. Integrating elements of ensemble theatre, humanistic psychology, movement, meditation, and sacred ceremony, Matt and the Dzieci troupe peel away crusted layers of personality and habit to reveal the essence and universality of the individual. Cultivating expansion, expression, and intimacy, in an atmosphere that supports and encourages, participants are guided towards a more authentic and inspired way of being, and an opening to a higher ground, a greater mystery.

Dzieci crafts the ideal program for each community that it serves, ranging from one-on-one sessions, to intensives that can take the space of a few hours, a day, or multiple days, to extended residencies and retreats. Dzieci also offers return visits, or phone consultations, for continued processing and renewal of the creative relationship.

With a foundation in sacred theatre and a practice of art as a vehicle for transformation, Dzieci is uniquely qualified to serve leaders, teachers, healers, and all the communities they minister to. Dzieci has created workshops for the Archdiocese of Erie and of Hartford, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, The Brotherhood of Saint Gregory, Union Theological Seminary, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, the Institute for Clergy Excellence, the Heart of the Healer Foundation, the Annual Conference on Spirituality and Psychotherapy, the National Conference for Arts Therapists, and the Parliament for the World’s Religions.

Dzieci would like to invite you to take a glimpse into one of our more profound and moving experiences, a transformative three days spent with The Brotherhood of Saint Gregory.  This is the work we wish to do in the world and we are eternally thankful for those who grant us such an opportunity.

A photo album:
Brotherhood of Saint Gregory

And here:
The Brotherhood Speaks About Dzieci

More Testimonials

Sample Themes for Retreats and Workshops:

Sacred Theatre: Through physical, vocal, and ensemble exercises, explorations in ritual and ceremony, and vigorous confrontation with perceived personal blocks and barriers, participants are brought to the axis where theatre and spirituality converge, where attention is strengthened and presence is demanded.

The Holy Fool: The Trickster and The Fool are alive within all of us. The Fool is an archetype that holds universal wisdom, crosses mutable boundaries, and speaks truth in a way that is accessible to all. Through trust, relaxation, and improvisation, we discover a practice of service through the healing power of anarchy, laughter, and simplicity.

Art in Service: We all have a gift, something unique that we bring into the world. But this “gift” is only honored when it is sacrificed to something higher. This workshop is specifically designed for those who actively engage the question, “What do I serve?”

Presence: Facing a real teacher, we are brought to a place of stillness and attention. Some say we are brought “home”. For leaders or healers, presence is an essential quality to develop and refine. In this course, we will meticulously study a most illusive and fascinating subject: The Self.

Workshops can be designed for any length of time or number of participants. Performances may be arranged to spark further study. Fees are always flexible.

Dzieci has had a relationship with The Abbey of Regina Laudis for over a decade. In 2012, they invited us to create a Passion play with their community for Holy Week. Since then, Dzieci has worked intensively with the same group of nuns to produce a piece of theatre culled from selections of Shakespeare as a surprise gift for their Mother Abbess’ 50th Jubilee Celebration. The final piece, presented in May of 2013, was partly funded by a generous grant from the Elizabeth Ann Bogert Fund for the Study of Christian Mysticism.

Testimonials

“I invited Dzieci to spend a year at New Brunswick Theological Seminary as our Artists-In-Residence.  During this year they used theatre with faculty and students as a way of  breaking-through academic paradigms for knowing, inquiry, and encounter. Their work with faculty in particular is too complex to be easily summarized, but, at its core, their ways of engaging enabled us to enter a variety of liminal spaces that brought us into deeper knowledge of and expression with one another. Our work/play with Dzieci was about bodies and more than bodies. It was about human experience and more than human experience. In the end, I would describe what happened with and for our faculty as being taken up into the relationality of the divine in such a way that our own relationality was strengthened by a power not our own, and also, our own.”
~ Renee House, Dean, and Associate Professor of Practical Theology, New Brunswick Theological Seminary

“Dzieci is a wonderful example of the spiritual intensity possible when theatre engages the age-old mysteries of faith and the human experience.”
~ Canon Tom Miller, The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

Moving easily between the sublime and the ridiculous, drawing its audience through laughter toward participation and contemplation, [Dzieci’s] work resists being categorized as either theater or religion, becoming both at once in an event experienced by many as transformative.”
~ Encyclopedia of Religion: Modern Western Theater

For further information, please contact Matt Mitler at 718 638 6037 or matt@dziecitheatre.org