Arts In Conversation

In spring 2013, Elements Theatre Company launched the “Arts in Conversation” panel series. Featuring leaders in the arts, education, religion, media and social outreach, this series aims to create broader, richer public dialogue on the power of the arts to humanize our culture.

As a theatre company, our core mission is to educate and illuminate through the honest exploration of classical and classically-rooted modern theatre. We believe that theatre provides a mirror for ourselves and our society, creating a possibility for meaningful exchange over ideas that matter most deeply. In our experience, reconciliation and transformation are only possible when we clearly see and name the issues that divide us.

November 2018

Elements Theatre presented Battered and Bright: Celebrating the Saints, an original production that is a part of the Sacred Drama Series Exploring Transfigured Lives. The post-performance conversation panel included Sr. Danielle Dwyer, Artistic Director of Elements Theatre Company, John Sweeney, Paraclete Press Editor-in-Chief and Author, Susan Miller, Author, Bert Ghezzi, Author and Speaker, The Rev. Christian Holleck, Pastor, and Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, Author, Speaker, and Retreat Leader.

December 2015

Elements Theatre presented
A Series of Performances, Panel Discussions, and Post-Show Conversations
Inspired by William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice


January-February 2015

New York City & Chicago

A Series of Performances, Panel Discussions, Workshops, and Post-Show Conversations
Inspired by William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

This winter, we presented Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice as a springboard for thought-provoking conversation on “the other” in our society today. In a world torn by hatred and prejudice of many kinds, we can feel powerless to create any real change. But by creating a space for exchange, reflection, and even disagreement, we might discover truths at the core of the issues. These insights might be frightening or surprising, but they can also ignite real change.

In the Pound of Flesh series, distinguished guest panelists and the Elements cast considered: What drives Shylock (and other “outsiders”) to such extreme measures? In what ways could we be responsible for creating a climate of persecution, rather than acceptance? What are the qualities of mercy that might turn the tide of violence, in our culture and in our relationships?


November 2014

Elements Theatre Company presented yasmina reza’s God of Carnage.

Talk-backs with the actors following the performance were lead by Kate Snodgrass and Nina Schuessler (Producing Artistic Director, Harwich Junior Theatre).


February 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014
The Players, Gramercy Park, NYC

Elements Theatre Company presented their debut performance of an original work, Labyrinth: A Legacy of Language, exploring Shakespeare’s tremendous influence on playwrights through the centuries, from Sheridan to Ibsen to Stoppard. The production was a springboard for a 7:00pm panel discussion, How Shakespeare Humanizes Our Culture: The Transforming Power of His Work. Panelists included George Drance, SJ, Artist in Residence at Fordham University, Louis Colaianni, author of ‘How to Speak Shakespeare’ and Teacher/Coach, Josh Cabat, Co-founder of the New York City Student Shakespeare Festival, and Danielle Dwyer, CJ, Elements Artistic Director.

Taking place at the beginning of Shakespeare’s 450th birth anniversary year, this timely panel explores how the Bard’s work challenges the way we live as a society today. “Shakespeare has a tremendous understanding of human nature and concepts of revenge, forgiveness, accountability, making amends, and taking responsibility for our actions,” observes Danielle Dwyer, CJ, Elements Artistic Director. “His incredible grasp on the many different aspects of what it means to be human gives us a deeper, longer view on life. He understands the importance of living in harmony within ourselves and with each other.”


September 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 – 7:30pm
Back Bay Events Center, Boston

Arts In Conversation
The Importance of Live Theater In Our Culture:The Art of Making Humans More Human

JARED BOWEN, WGBH Executive Arts Editor
JULIE HENNRIKUS, Executive Director of StageSource
JOYCE KULHAWIK, President of the Boston Theater Critics Association
GEORGIA LYMAN, Elliot Norton Award-winning actress
FR. THOMAS KANE, Professor at Boston College

Moderated by SR. DANIELLE DWYER, Elements Artistic Director

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and other violence in schools and in our culture, this is a pivotal time to shine new light on the power of the arts to redeem tragedy, cultivate empathy, and provide personal connection in our digital age. Using a performance of Yasmina Reza’s The God of Carnage as a springboard, panelists will discuss how live theater creates community and provides a vehicle for catharsis that can heal and transform individuals.

March 2013

“Highlights: How Do the Arts Humanize Culture?”

On March 4th Elements Theatre hosted a panel discussion on this question. Our director, Sr Danielle Dwyer, moderated a varied panel of NYC experts.

PETER FILICHIA, esteemed New York theater critic and author
LARISA GELMAN, Director of Educational Outreach, 92nd Street Y
MAURICIO SALGADO, Director of Domestic Programs, Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP)

It was both engaging and enlightening.
Check it out.