I’m thrilled to share this piece Drexel University asked me to write for their website. It’s only one small part of my Fulbright-Nehru research but the first that any of it’s been published (hopefully this is just an appetizer). I’m honored that they took interest enough to have asked me for it.
Today wrapped up my 4th and final session of serving again this spring as a playwriting mentor to at-risk middle school youth in West Philly through Drexel University Theater Program Director Nick Anselmo‘s Mantua Theater Project. The plays are moving, hysterical, poignant, zany, all of the above. Next they get handed off to professional actors and directors and performed for the community as an evening of short, kid-written plays. It’s an unbelievable experience for everyone including me, and, most importantly, it blows the kids’ minds and opens them up to a whole new world of expressive possibility.
Supernatural Skeptics Don’t Know What They’re Missing
by Jeffrey Stanley
I like Ouija boards. I’ve used them since I was a teenager. More recently I’ve messed around with electric spirit boxes, also known as Frank’s boxes after their inventor Frank Sumption. They’re radio receivers which allow you to listen to and record voices of the dead, also known as EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) or Raudive voices, after one of their early discoverers. Over the past two years I have frequently used Ouija boards and spirit boxes in my performance art, attempting to conjure up the dead as my co-stars before a live audience. At one of the universities where I teach playwriting and screenwriting part-time I am also the faculty adviser for a student-led paranormal investigation club. Friends and fans assume I am a true believer but the truth is that I am not. I am a healthy skeptic. And that’s depressing for me because it means that on some level I feel certain there’s nothing out there. I try contacting the spirit world before live audiences to keep an element of hope simmering on the back burner of my mind. Continue reading “Supernatural Skeptics Don’t Know What They’re Missing”