social practice

My social practice is motivated by my conviction that humor, curiosity, personal encounter and creative exchange are necessary ingredients in a humane world.  Through both my projects and my teaching, I work to create opportunities for both.

Commuter Rail Writer-in-Residence

A collaboration with graduate students in the Public Humanities department at Brown University, this project focused on the 8 am MBTA commuter rail trip from Providence, RI to Boston’s Back Bay station.  Each day for two weeks, a self-identified “Writer-in-Residence” set up shop for the duration of the trip, both writing and conversing with other riders.  The project culminated with the publishing of a Commuter Rail paper, handed out to commuters.

Project lead: Laura Mitchell


What will we notice if we stop to pay attention? In this early piece, folding chairs became deconstructed movie seats and the Chashama Window Gallery became a theater in which to watch the movie of NYC pass by.

MILTON Community Engagement

For more about PearlDamour’s multi-year, national MILTON visit

MILTON relies on conversation and relationship-building. PearlDamour’s engagement with each Milton not only allows us to write the show that we ultimately bring back to each towns, it also gives the performance a good shot at having meaningful impact on its audiences when it’s there. Because of this, a huge percentage of the energy of the project flows towards sustained local engagement– it is a significant part of both our creative process and our outreach.  Our work begins with one-on-one conversations grounded in 4 questions:  How did you get to Milton? If there were one thing you could change about the world, what would it be? Do you have advice for future generations? Why do you think we’re here on this earth?   From there, we work with residents on programs and projects that speak to issues urgent to the town. These projects, programs, and actions then provide context for our play [link].  This looks different in each Milton.

In Milton, NC, we worked with the town to launch an annual Street Fair with a live performance component. In June 2016, Milton had its 3rd Annual Street Fair.

In Milton-Freewater, OR, we partnered with the city to sponsor Talk Play Dream – Hablar Jugar Son~nar, a year of bi-lingual, family friendly creative programming (funded in part by an Our Town grant from the NEA).

[slide-show of dream booth, cinco parade, arts portal, artist meetings]

We are currently engaged in Milton, MA via MILTON REFLECTING, a year-long series of interconnected creative, conversation-based programming that invites Miltonians of all ages to come together to claim, celebrate, and reflect on the extraordinary diversity of their town. The MILTON show will be presented there in May 2017 (funded in part by an Our Town grant from the NEA).