Operation Trash Baltimore Tour 2020 (cancelled)

Photo of Kathie DiStefano's interactive 'Seagull Mama' Performance at Enoch Pratt Library in 2019Rotterdam-based, American born theatre artist and educator Kathie diStefano visits Baltimore region each semester. She had intended to visit Baltimore in 2020 but travel for cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

Kathie diStefano’s originally planned activities for 2020 included:

Seagull Mama — A Performance Piece about Trash and Recycling

Ms. Kathie is part of the artist roster at Young Audiences Arts for Learning, Maryland and she had planned to perform “Seagull Mamma” at several schools in Maryland during her visit. Public schools can sign up on the Young Audiences website to schedule the “Seagull Mamma” performance for future semesters, for kids in kindergarten through grade 2. Young Audiences can provide subsidies to public schools to significantly reduce the cost of the performance by up to 80%; schools can inquire with Young Audiences for details.

This interactive show takes young audience members on a journey through the eyes of a seagull mamma who mistakes trash for fish while hunting for food for her young. How do our waterways get so polluted with plastic trash? The term ‘plastic soup’ is introduced; lakes, rivers, and seas that have so much plastic trash that no fish can live there. This presentation also uses physical theatre techniques to provide comic relief. Learning through laughter is Ms. Kathie’s favorite way of introducing theatre to young audience members while sharing important social messages. In the show finale, Ms. Kathie teaches the audience a Dutch song from the country she immigrated to 35 years ago.

Other activities

During Ms. Kathie’s visits to Baltimore, she had planned to conduct other performances on trash and recycling for middle school audiences and to attend several meetings.

About Kathie diStefano

Ms. Kathie is an American/Dutch performing artist who has been living and working in the Netherlands for most of her career. She has taught drama and theater arts in Dutch public schools for many years, pioneering the concept of using performance arts to enhance required curriculum studies. She co-founded Avalanche Arts in 1986. Current programs focus on using creative arts to teach students, young and old, to throw trash away where it belongs and how important recycling is for our future. ‘Kettie de Klown’ was her alter ego for 25 years, when she toured schools, theaters and community centers in the Netherlands performing in a clown duo with her Dutch husband. She has extensive experience performing and teaching improvisation theater, inspired on the work of Keith Johnstone, Loose Moose Theater in Calgary, Canada. Kathie graduated as a drama/dance major from Bard College in upstate New York.