Britt Aamodt

Nobody's Fool: Theater and the Homeless

Nobody's Fool: Theater and the Homeless | Media List


Statement

The Elk River Star News

Nobody’s Fool

by Britt Aamodt

Nobody could call Sister Carmen Barsody a fool. Yet this 1980 graduate of Elk River High School adopts that title every day when she arrives at Faithful Fools Street Ministry, a resource center, meeting ground and creative workshop for the homeless and underprivileged in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.

In 1998, Barsody co-founded Faithful Fools with Minnesota native Reverend Kay Jorgensen. Their street mission derived its name, said Barsody, from the fool, or jester, of medieval and Renaissance theater who, though playing the clown, is the voice of reason amid the pomposity and ignorance of the royal court.

Barsody’s “faithful fools”—staff, members and local residents participating in the ministry—use their real experience of homelessness to chip away at popular misconceptions about who the homeless are and how they ended up on the streets. They bring their message—that every human has value—to individuals, groups and communities whose only connection with street people may come through media images.

Barsody, with the sponsorship of the Elk River Area Arts Alliance and Central Lutheran Church, will be presenting a free performance of “The Witness,”1 p.m., October 2, at Central Lutheran Church on School Street.

The one-woman drama, acted by Rebecca Noon, takes a closer look at homelessness through four different perspectives: Tracy, the well-intentioned if somewhat naïve lead character; Wendy, Tracy’s aunt; George, a friend; and a Faithful Fool.

Central Lutheran will put on a free luncheon beginning 12 p.m. Following the performance, audience members will be invited to stick around for a question and answer session with Barsody.

Though Barsody may not have grown up planning for her present career, she credits her parents with giving her the foundation.

“My parents cultivated a generous way of being in the world,” said Barsody.

Elk River residents Geri and Joe Barsody taught their daughter and her sisters and brothers that “whether you have a talent or a material gift or time, you pass it on. You make yourself available. They modeled that.”

Tony Darkenwald, board member of the Elk River Area Arts Alliance, has known Carmen Barsody and her family for years.

“Carmen would call and ask to take care of my children, just because she knew I could use a break and because she loved children,” said Darkenwald.

Having following Barsody’s career from Minnesota to Chicago, Venezuela, Nicaragua and now San Francisco, Darkenwald jumped at the chance to bring “The Witness” to Elk River.

The play was written in response to playwright Martha Boesing’s experiences in the Tenderloin as a participant on a Faithful Fools-sponsored street retreat.

Since 1998, Faithful Fools has placed more than 1500 people from all walks of life on the street in an area Barsody calls “that part of San Francisco you’re told to stay away from.”

The participants “don’t play at being homeless,” said Barsody. “They just spend time in the neighborhood. They stand in food lines, see who’s there. They find out many of the people there aren’t who they thought they were.”
Barsody’s experiences over the years have broadened her perspectives, but she still feels the same young woman who graduated from Elk River in 1980.

“The heart’s remained the same,” she said, “just larger.”
Anyone wishing further information about the October 2 performance of “The Witness” should contact the ERAAA at (763) 441-4725 or elkriverart@sherbtel.net.

Artist Work


Roles

Journalist

All Work

Letterpress Art, by Design
Chick Flicks
Just a girl
POP CULTURE: From Sandman to Star Trek to Sammy the Mouse
Why I Joined the Air Force: Part 1. The Man in the Light
Oh Hell
An ‘unforgettable’ man
The Mystery of the Third Lucretia: Susan Runholt
Rose Ensemble to Perform in Elk River
Rena Haus plays the blues with Taste
Nobody's Fool: Theater and the Homeless
Mississippi Connections: Artist Ron Merchant paints Minnesota's river towns
New Christmas CD by Elk River flutist
Doralucia in Bloom
"The Witness" performed at Central Lutheran Church
Secret Gardens: The Landscape Arboretum's Summer Gift
A River Journey: Ron Merchant
The Art of the Natural
ArtSoup dishes up fun activities for children
Art for sale at ArtSoup
ArtSoup Community Arts Festival looking for artists
Classic Car Show at ArtSoup
Monticello artist will create chalk art at ArtSoup
Where there's fair, there's food
The Raptor Center at ArtSoup 2005
The Rena Haus Band invites local musicians to jam
Ring of Kerry to perform on the ArtSoup Energy Stage
Chaska author to discuss new novel at ArtSoup
It's lovely weather for a sleigh ride...in June
Swan Sculpture will promote ArtSoup 2005
Elk River artist Cari Rock remembered
Mike Olson's Sound Art
Mike Peterson's American Vision
The Poet's Antarctica
Life through a pinhole
Debbie, Manny and the Mob
Student musicians to share stage with Army Field Band
Holocaust survivor to speak at Elk River Public Library April 5
Mu Performing Arts will return to Elk River
Cashing in on Cabela's?
Everything's Coming Up Roseville
Wild Life
Author Jane Toleno Makes the Connection
Sorry to see you go...
Enhanced 9-1-1 Speeds Response Time When Time Is of the Essence
What your children need to know about Enhanced 9-1-1
Your house is your home: Enhanced 9-1-1
Curves holiday craft sale to benefit the American Cancer Society
Twin Cities Underground Film Fest NR
Going vintage
Red Wing Framing Gallery harvests the season with Autumn Aire
Arts on ice: Arts in Harmony '08
The Mitten Tree
I want to be in pictures
Wedding Gifts: Shopping the Exquisite Past
POP CULTURE: From Sandman to Star Trek to Sammy the Mouse
Cyberbullying
Where the Action Still Is
Working in a Hot Medium: Bakelite
Carved and Painted Beauties
Wagon Train trip West led to mutiny for maricle and other travelers
Re-TREAT Yourself: Minnesota's Spas and Retreats
Stillwater Still Has It
Arts, Activism and Robert Bluestone
‘Some Enchanted Evening’ at Zabee
For the Love of Roxie
RADIO: Rescuing Seneca Crane
Online, on-leash and together at last
Horse Wisdom
Heid Erdrich: A Monument of One's Own
Heid Erdrich: National Monuments
Diary sent Fargo man on 34-year hunt
Radio Play: The Evil of Shady Lake (with production notes)
The Norm (screenplay - early draft)
Cartoonist Profile: Steven Stwalley
Cartoonist Profile: Zak Sally
Cartoonist Profile: Zak Sally
Cartoonist Profile: Doug Mahnke
The Norm screenplay (early draft)