For the last year  The H.E.A.T. Collective has been on a city search to find the best place and the space to create a welcoming center for theatre as art, as healer, as education and as a vehicle for social change. We have found a home (for the next year at least) in Santa Rosa California at The Arlene Francis Center for Spirit, Art and Politics. I am the new Director of Theatre Arts at AFC.   We (AFC and H.E.A.T.) received a grant for Creative Sonoma for Emma Goldman Day (please see attached)  Beyond the Emma Goldman project the plan is to assist The Arlene Francis Center in building and strengthening their Performing Arts Program and offer H.E.A.T. workshops, classes and salons. This spring we will be collaborating we Artists Rise Up Los Angeles to recreate The FEAR Project in L.A. and in Sonoma County. I also want to build a strong network with other theatre companies in the area and do some work as a performer and playwright and teacher : Playwriting, Voice, Ensemble Work, and Theatre for Social Justice: Drama Therapy/Playback/Theatre of the Oppressed.

The Arlene Francis Center: The Arlene Francis Center is a non-profit, community-centered cultural hub that provides a place to co-produce visions of a better world and co-create new ways of being. Situated in Santa Rosa’s historic Railroad Square, the Center produces nonprofit and charitable cultural, educational, social, ethical and ecological activities united by a common purpose—the development of a theory and practice that will foster the creation of a better world

The Arlene Francis Center Presents:

H.E.A.T. WORKSHOPS, CLASSES and EVENTS Winter-Spring 2019

Contact us ASAP to get pricing, get your questions answered and reserve your spot!


The H.E.A.T. Collective Workshop
H.E.A.T. is an acronym for Healing, Education, Activism and Theatre. Using the four disciplines of the H.E.A.T. Collective Litwak merges aspects of drama therapy, research, social justice and theatre skills This workshop provides unique and important skills for doing theatre for social change. A balance between active creative work and vibrant discussion, the workshop moves between theory and practice. In this intensive action- packed workshop, participants are introduced to Conflict Transformation techniques, Voice and Improvisation, Drama Therapy (Playback, Psychodrama and Sociometry), Community and Ensemble Building, Composition and Viewpoints, Theatre Of The Oppressed techniques. From these varied tools, the students will develop project ideas alone and in groups and then create useful, generous, and provocative theatre art that serves.  Participants learn about current and previous work in the field of Socially Engaged Theatre Leadership in conflict zones throughout the world. Students acquire tools and skills for creative and ethical conflict transformation, discover resources and join a global network of thoughtful practitioners. 

February 16th 2:00-8:00 OR April 13th 12:00-6:00

Puppets for the People

Join Jessica Litwak, theatre artist and drama therapist for this fun and therapeutic puppet-making workshop Learn how to make a puppet and bring him/ her to life. These puppets allow workshop participants to tell their stories with hands, body and voice. P4Pworkshops have been done in Palestine, India, Lebanon and all over the U.S. First, we build the “brain” of the puppet; the heads are filled with sacred items and important words. The faces are formed with imagination and decorated with expression, we find the face in the paper, hold and mold the face with masking tape. These puppets can be made anywhere, with any population quickly and with artistry, emotional/intellectual depth, and fun. 

Dates TBD


Theatre of The Oppressed: Acting and Voice

Theatre of The Oppressed techniques, Playback Theatre and the Three Paradigms of Acting:  CRAFT (Developing the actor of precision through clarity of voice and speech, movement and expression), CREATIVE RISK (Developing the actor of ideas and vision through character work and composition)  TRUTHFUL EMOTION (Developing the actor of authenticity through kinesthetic, psychological and emotional spontaneity and moment by moment action / reaction)  At the core of the work we will master the Litwak Voice Progression a technique for warming up the body, voice and soul in preparation for expressive generosity. Its goal is to inspire people toward free, organic expression both physically and emotionally. Merging theories and practices of classical acting, experimental performance and method work, students will attain a toolbox of skills for future exploration and practical use, as well as create work that can be further produced, build a community within the group and practice Acting for Change: Great art for good service.

 (3 afternoon classes culminating in an open presentation)

Sunday afternoons 12:00-5:00

March 24th, March 31st, and April 7th


Writing The Revolution: Playwriting

 I am passionate about helping writers to move forward in their process and have had taught workshops in a variety of countries, and institutions. I like to encourage writers to discover their own revolutions: both inner self and outer world, and inspire them towards the freedom of strong and clear expression. It will be an intimate group, and we will do one-on one sessions, as well as group work, using a variety of writing exercises and theatre practices. Led by a playwright who focuses on theatre as a vehicle for both personal and social change.

Participants will work on individual plays after doing exercises and discussing ideas. There will be group work and one-on-one interaction with the workshop leaders. In the culminating sessions participants will read their new work and we will consider options for  production. You are welcome to bring in a new play; or to continue a work in progress; or to discuss ideas for what is not working; or what you want to write next.  What excites us most is to find ways to nurture your talent and accomplish your artistic goals.  Also, we love to connect people, and have had success in creating collaborations for artists and in community building. 

Eight group meetings to work on a piece that we will help shepherd to completion; or to work on a variety of pieces in development.  Includes individual meetings with Jessica.

Weekly Peer Support Sessions with “writing buddies”. Final class will be an invited reading of student work.

Thursday nights 6-9

Feb. 14th, 21st, 28th

Mar 14th, 21st, 28th

April 4th, 11th 

Playing Shakespeare

Using voice, acting and text work based on Kristin Linklater’s work and Litwak’s studies at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, students will approach the work of Shakespeare through body, voice, intellect and heart. We will focus on the precision ensemble work possible with Shakespeare as well as the individual performance. We will work on sonnets, soliloquies and scenes- discovering character, bringing precision and authenticity to the text. Participants will experience the soaring power of the plays and express joy through all emotions.  The three days of intensive work will culminate in an open class presentation. Work in this class may be developed towards future performance.


March 16th, 23rd  and 30th 

Other Events:

Winter Welcoming Ceremony (free):

January 27th


Spring Equinox Ceremony (free):

March 23rd 


H.E.A.T. Salons: (invited short community performances with specific themes)

Feb 2nd: Theatre pieces, songs, presentations about Justice and Love for VDay

March 30th: Theatre pieces, songs, presentations about Women Heroes for Women's History Month

April 13th:  Theatre pieces, songs, presentations about Climate Change  for Earth Day

EMMA GOLDMAN HAPPENING (for Women’s History Month)

March 8th 6-9:

Celebration of International Women’s Day: Speakers and Discussions and Short Performances

March 9th 12:00- 10:00

Ten actors, three staged readings, three discussions and three meals.
Love Anarchy and other AffairsThe Snake and the FalconNobody is Sleeping

Written byJessica Litwak  short video: https://youtube/DudJidYBPSE

March 10th12-6

Afternoon workshop: Writing and Performing Women’s History

"Litwak is a radiant, born storyteller who knows how to walk the walk and dance the dance. A modern-day shaman, she spins a healing tale of the power and potency of womanhood." The Los Angeles Times 

 Jessica Litwak, Ph.D., is an award-winning playwright, a professional actor, an educator and an activist. She is a Registered Drama Therapist. She is the Artistic Director of The H.E.A.T. Collective ( and the New Generation Theatre Ensemble, ( Litwak’s written work has been published by Applause Books, Smith and Krause, No Passport Press and The New York Times. She has a BFA in acting from NYU and an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University as well as a Ph.D in Theatre as Leadership. She has taught theatre and performed in theatres and universities in the U.S. as well as in Iraq, Lebanon, India, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, Hungary, Eqypt, the U.K. and at La MaMa Umbria. Litwak is a core member of Theatre Without Borders and is a Fulbright Scholar.