What happens when a free mind encounters negative thoughts for the first time? In the new dance production The Forest Inside, a young girl opens the door of her forest to a mysterious, but alluring stranger. Before she knows it, her forest is overrun.
The production runs Saturday, March 24, 7 P.M. and Sunday, March 25 at 2 P.M. at Crown Center’s Musical Theater Heritage stage. Tickets are $16. Tickets available HERE.
“The concept for this show started with my own struggle of fear of the dark and nightmares when I was young,” Liz Dimmel, founder and artistic director of Dramatic Truth Ballet Theater. The dance company and school are a biblically-based arts effort that expresses biblical truths in new ways through dance and theater.
“I have always wanted to be a choreographer and produce shows, so I decided to start developing this idea. Not long after I made that decision to make this show a reality.”
Dimmel says the original idea quickly evolved into focusing on negative thoughts and how they can enslave a mind.
This subject is very important because it is something every person can relate to on some level.
“We have all had people say mean things to us. We have all doubted our worth. We have all felt lost in the darkness of our own mind,” she said.
For this production, the forest is actually based on a physical place from Dimmel’s childhood and is a very important part of the whole process. Dimmel says the forest was where she could go and was where she felt she could truly be herself.”
“It was the place I was free. My hope is that people will find that freedom by simply learning to love who they are. The choice to allow those negative thoughts to take control or to close the door is in our own hands.”
Audra Wilson, who stars in the lead role of the production, began dancing at age 13 with Dramatic Truth School of the Arts, the ballet company’s professional dance school based in south Kansas City. There, she trained in ballet, pointe, Graham based modern, and contemporary. As a member of the school’s Trainee Company for three years, it gave her the opportunity the perform locally as well as in Houston and New York City.
Audra has performed in the ballet company’s most well-known and popular productions including Firstborn from the Dead, The Mystery of Christmas, and Dethroning the Prince–all Christian allegories.
In 2014, Audra spent time overseas using her dance on the mission field in both England and Italy where she not only performed, but also taught workshops and had the chance to collaborate with other artists from around the world. In 2016, Audra graduated from Dramatic Truth’s Traditional Track and is currently teaching the Graham technique and ballet at the school.
While appearing at Crown Center for a limited engagement, Dimmel hopes theater goers will come away with a new perspective on the mind, and the outside thoughts that try to pull us down.
“That’s something we deal with our entire lives, but God has given us a ‘new mind’” she says.