What is shapelight?
shapelight is: a participatory ritual performance, creating harmony between the material and sacred realms.
shapelight brings together an intimate group of participants, for creative and mystical encounters. Participants build ephemeral and intimate installations with and of each other, using body, objects, light and sound.
shapelight explores our sacred connection to spirit and ancestors, earth and each other.
Our participatory installation-builds begin with a process of gathering materials: in connection with the land, waters, cities and personal lives & lineages of our community partners. These materials are the foundation for the ever-shifting installation, the site of our ritual performance. We then engage our stories, our bodies and sacred objects to generate a creative & ceremonial experience - where everyone is both a performer and a witness.
Connect to ancestral & spiritual lineages with embodied & participatory installation
Cultivate creative intuition through writing & performance
Nurture spirit & body in meditation (sitting & movement)
Cultivate sacred space with transformative ritual and creative ceremony
Bushwick 2021: Young Women's Leadership School
Omaha 2020: Creighton University
Beirut 2019: Mediterranean Director's Lab
Brooklyn 2018: Target Margin Theater
Gaia Squarci /Creighton Photography / Noelle Ghoussaini
Basma Baydoun /
TMT 2018 Institute Fellows
Noelle is a theatre-maker, ritual artist and cultural organizer. She creates expansive and genre-defying theatre and ritual experiences to: re-imagine liberation & decolonization, nurture transformation and foster spaces of creativity and sacred connection for all beings.
Graphic / Installation Designer
You-Shin Chen is a New York based Taiwanese designer who is committed to diversity and humanity. Trained as a theatre designer, she centers the human experience in the process of creating a three dimensional space. www.youshinchen.com
"Through shapelight I discovered new ways to be vulnerable. I watched us transform our space and the way we connected to the world around us."
-Jill, Theatre Student
1-4 week residencies or singular experiences
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A note from the
Shapelight started from an impulse. A knowing. How could my embodied feminine, Lebanese-American, time-traveling, community-focused, boundary-pushing and expansive inner spirit world existence be translated into a performative experience with and for community?
I was tired of creating theatre for proscenium stages. Of separating audience and performer. I was tired of being told I was too poetic. That my stories weren’t linear enough. That I needed to box myself into forms of expression that didn’t suit the experience of my body and heart. I wanted to explore and re-imagine the boundaries of theatre through creative ceremony and ritual: honoring spirit and sacred gathering.
In 2018, I spent my year long fellowship at Target Margin Theatre exploring sacred geometry, light installation, exploratory meditation, ritual and performing for ancestral & nature spirits - in collaboration with a team of incredible artists. I realigned with creative forms that resonated deep in my body, spirit and heart. These experiments, these community rituals, this playfulness and explorations were the birth of shapelight.
Shapelight has now traveled, and been explored with students, designers, directors, performers and teachers in the US and the Middle East.
And our team expands. You-shin and I have been working together for many years - and she is one of the most collaborative, visionary and intuitive designers I have ever worked with. We have shared values of community, the transformative power of theatre and social justice.We are two women, working together to build creative experiences rooted equity, healing and freedom.
Our team continues to explore the original impulses of this project: how do we honor our spirit, ancestors, earth and each other through ritual, performance and creative ceremony. Yet, shapelight is ever evolving. We are excited to invite you to join us in the journey - as YOU are at the center of how it unfolds.
Special thanks to the teachers, collaborators, ancestors and spirit guides, all of whom have been instrumental in making shapelight possible.
shapelight was first explored with the support of the 2018 Target Margin Theater Institute.