chapter  1
Introduction
Pages 36

Vocal empowerment workshop in Guatemala One rainy afternoon in a cloud-forest village in Guatemala, indigenous Mayan women began streaming into our applied theatre workshop until nearly 70 mothers were present. Speaking only their native Ixil language, they giggled at the strangeness of our vocal warm-up exercises but gamely raised their arms and called out with a strong “ah” sound (see Photo 1.1 ). When it came time for each woman to declare her most passionate concern, many women voiced concerns about poverty as it related to their lives and the lives of their children. When rehearsing ways they could use their voices to act on these concerns, the group decided to focus on a concern common to the majority of these mothers: their children’s education.