Marfa Live Arts’ Summer Shakeup theater camp using art to heal

MARFA – As the weather heats up and the Marfa ISD school year draws to a close, Marfa Live Arts will once again join forces with the school district for its seventh year as a participating organization with Camp Summer Shakeup. This year’s Summer Shakeup will see students coming back to real-life instruction and activities following last year’s all-virtual courses, as the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.

For this year’s program, Marfa Live Arts presents Movement Theater and will be collaborating with playwright/actor/educator Eliza Bent, whose credits include Obi-winning theatre ensemble Half Straddle and Seagull. A MacDowell fellow, Bent’s work has been produced at Abrons Arts Center, JACK, New Ohio, Atlantic Theatre, Bushwick Starr and New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door Series. Bent is part of the Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit and has an MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College.

Bent, who is currently teaching “writing and other forms of mischief” in the radio/TV/film department at Northwestern University, is excited to work with younger students following the 2020 pandemic. “Encouraging a sense of play and making space for a release from the psychic, emotional, mental and physical stress of this past year feels vital and important,” Bent said of the course. “I am always curious to explore this question: What are ways we can use art to heal and radically transform the world we live in?”

The course, Marfa Live Arts Director Jennie Lyn Hamilton explained, has been designed to impart students with the tools to live healthier, more mindful lives utilizing drama therapy.

“After the year we’ve all experienced, Marfa Live Arts’ theater camp this year has a special focus on movement,” Hamilton said. “We are looking forward to teaching useful stress management skills like breathwork and improvisational movement all in the setting of playful and creative theater exercises.”

Marfa Live Arts’ Movement Theater will take place June 1-4, from 8:30 a.m. – noon in the Hibbits Gym at MISD, and is open to students entering into grades 3 – 8. Breakfast and lunch are both provided, and students should meet first at the school cafeteria.

Other programs during the 2021 Camp Summer Shakeup, which runs June 1-July 1, include Chinati Foundation’s Sculpture Makes Us Move, Marfa Public Library’s Passport to Japan, Big Bend Conservation Alliance’s Dance and Plants, Ballroom Marfa’s DJ Camp, and Marfa Studio of Arts’ Papier Mâché Masks, Spirit Animal and Mural Making. For more information on the Camp Summer Shakeup Movement Theater and other Marfa Live Arts programs, please visit