Board of Directors

Dear Friends,

It has now been 39 years since I joined the Theatre Within Workshop and 56 years since the workshop was founded by my great teacher, Alec Rubin. The workshop changed my life in so many ways: It was where I learned to cry, no small thing for a young man. It was where I learned that my real voice is my creative voice, a vital lesson. And it was where I learned, encouraged by Alec and inspired deeply by John Lennon (who lived just down the street from our studio), to take the risk of fully expressing myself.

From the very start, Theatre Within has been about nourishing consciousness and creativity. Alec believed that the essential task of the artist is to become more conscious — Carl Jung called this process “individuation” — and to share the journey along the way. The artist’s journey then is one of continual self-discovery and sharing. We become more conscious through meditation, remembering our dreams, and sharing our felt experience as we are naturally inspired to — in written or spoken word, music, movement, and the visuals arts. We are committed to keeping this vital creative and healing work alive.

Our focus since 2014 has been providing ongoing free workshops at Gilda’s Club, NYC, for children who have lost a parent to cancer, adult cancer survivors, and those undergoing treatment. Our current programs include:

The John Lennon Real Love Project – songwriting workshops for children and adults impacted by cancer.

Imagine Peace, Practice Peace – meditation workshops for cancer survivors.

MAD Art – caricature and illustration workshops for children and adults impacted by cancer.

In 2018, Theatre Within will provide between 40 and 50 free workshops in creative expression and mindfulness for the New York-metro cancer community.

In addition, we now offer free meditation workshops open to the public at the spring and fall equinoxes, and the summer and winter solstices.

Meanwhile, our Annual John Lennon Tribute, now in its 38th year, has grown into an important New York cultural event, attracting top artists and fans from around the world. Over the years, the Tribute has raised funds to help feed the hungry, build music schools in developing nations, and support Hurricane Sandy relief. Proceeds now help support our own life-affirming workshops.

Theatre Within does not reach a tremendous number of people with its workshops and events, however we have a tremendous positive impact on those we do reach.

Thanks for sharing the journey with us.

Onward, with love,

Joe Raiola
Spring 2018

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