We are a small and diverse group of artists rooted collectively in the Anabaptist tradition of lived-out faith and witness to the world, especially the tradition of prophetic peacemaking that has grown since the day that Jesus refused the sword.
We prefer to to describe ourselves rather than define ourselves. As a Troupe, we have a core group, an advisory group and troupe friends, all contributing to an ongoing creative process.
Core Troupe 2005
- Christina Cruz, of Lancaster PA, graduated from Goshen College (IN) in 2004 with an interdisciplinary degree in English, Art, and Environmental Science. One of the Troupe's founding members, she has long expressed herself through poetry and has more recently explored singing and liturgical dance in her continued creative journey.
- Christopher Fitz, is the founder and director of the Jubilee Troupe to which he brings his dance, drama and faciliation skills -- as well as organizing energy. For a decade, he worked in various peace education programs in the United States and abroad while also quietly nurturing a passion for the arts and spiritual expression now coming to fruition. He hails from York, PA.
- Tabea Steinbeisser took time from her work as a midwife in Munich, Germany to be part of the Jubilee Troupe in 2005. A former student of music in Munich, she has traveled with performing choirs, practiced yoga, served as an art teacher at Camp Lookout (Michigan) and worked for a year on a medical mission ship in Guinea, West Africa.
- Holly White, of Richmond, IN, graduated from Bethany Theological Seminary in 2004, where she studied theology and art. A thoughtful facilitator, writer and creator, she has worked in educational service projects with youth and young adults in the US and Northern Ireland, reflecting on the role of faith in secular society. In 2005 she began a PhD program in religion at Syracuse University.
Troupe Friends and Former Core Members
- Shalom Black recently decided to exchange a PhD program in Medieval English for a PhD program in Educational Psychology at Catholic University in Washington DC. She has intregrated her work in visual and performing arts with her education and found sometimes surprising intersections with the Jubilee Troupe. Shalom was one of the Troupe's founding coordinators in 2003-2004.
- Joy Hodges met and performed with the Jubilee Troupe as a student at Earlham College (IN), an experience she described as being a fish dropped in the right water. Now in Johnson City, TN, she works with an emerging spiritual community and is increasingly involved with social justice ministries in the United Methodist Church. An artist of many forms and flame for cultural transformation, Joy co-coordinated the Jubilee Troupe’s 2006 retreat.
- Myra Martin-Adkins, from Washington, DC, graduated from Manchester College (IN) in 2006, majoring in Gender Studies. Ever a warm and bubbling stage presence, she honed many of her skills attending the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in DC. In 2000, she toured with the Church of the Brethren Youth Peace Travel Team leading performances and workshops in conferences and camps across the country.
- Gloria Newton, of Pasadena, CA, has developed a life in drama and theater in projects ranging from political street theater and Shakespeare to liturgical drama and shadow puppetry. She holds an M.A. in Theater Arts from the California State University at Los Angeles and interned at Vermont's Bread & Puppet Theater. A founding Troupe member, she was the artist in residence and administrator at the Center for Anabaptist Leadership until Spring 2005 and has since been developing her own solo performance work.
- Eva Neuhaus is a musician, dancer and performance artist living in the San Francisco Bay area. Originally from Washington, DC, she graduated from Wesleyan University (CT) and has performed and consulted occasionally with the Jubilee Troupe. In 2005-2006, she developed several ritual-performance pieces in her Jewish community in Washington, DC. She is now pursuing an M.A. in Somatic Psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies.
- Chris Palsgrove, a former student at Manchester College, now works as an information technology specialist at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. A gifted comedic and improvisational actor with a commitment to social justice, he traveled with the Church of the Brethren Youth Peace Travel Team in 2002.
- Judith Reichsman, independent InterPlay® instructor (VT)
- David Radcliff, director of the New Community Project (IL)
- Arlene Kiely, founding director of the Dumbarton Playback company (DC)
- Matt Guynn, trainer, program associate for On Earth Peace (IN)
- Paul Grout, visual artist, former pastor of Genesis Church of the Brethren (VT)
- Chris Fitze, improvisational actor, technical theater director (ME)
- Jessica Eller, activist, mediator, Portland Friends Meeting, Taizé services (ME)
- Ruth Aukerman, visual artist, teacher and activist (MD)
Primary Sponsor: On Earth Peace Assembly, Inc.
Other Sponsors and Resources:
About the director...
Chris Fitz founded the Jubilee Troupe with much inspiration and support from those above and others. His formal studies focused on conflict transformation and international development with an M.A. from the Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain and a B.A. from Hampshire College (MA). As an undergrad he first learned skills in mediation, group facilitation and oppression sensitivity that he has now taken in creative directions such as Playback Theater and Theater of the Oppressed. A 1991 graduate of the William Penn Performing Arts high school (PA), Chris specialized in acting, singing and directing, later broadening his work in technical theater, production and modern dance at Hampshire and Amherst Colleges. There he also began learning social dances such as contact improvisation, swing, contra, salsa, Argentine tango and others. He continues dancing Contact Improv in the United States and Germany and since 2004 has performed with the Dumbarton Playback company (DC), Münchner Augenblick Playback (Munich) and the Storyplayers Playback company (Germany). Chris is active in the Church of the Brethren and has been part of Mennonite, Friends (Quaker) and ecumenical communities in the USA and abroad. He currently lives in Marietta, PA with his wife, Tabea and their son Noah.