Laughter as a Catalyst for Change

Saturday June 4 2:00pm

Southside Theatre
Tickets: Admission Free


A presentation by Touretteshero artistic director Jessica Thom who will also be interviewed by Cultural Odyssey’s co-artistic director Rhodessa Jones. As a person living with Tourettes syndrome and an artist whose work addresses the subject, Jess Thom has found that humor can be a powerful but subtle tool in overcoming prejudice and changing mainstream society’s perspective on, and acceptance of, people with disabilities and learning to over come their fear of “the other.”

Jess Thom is co-founder of Touretteshero and may or may not lead a secret double life as a superhero. Artist, playworker, and expert fundraiser, Jess currently helps coordinate a large play project in South London. Jess has had tics since she was a child but wasn’t diagnosed with Tourettes until she was in her twenties. With some encouragement from her friends, Jess decided to turn her tics into a source of imaginative creativity and the Touretteshero project was born.

Rhodessa Jones is Co-Artistic Director of the San Francisco acclaimed performance company Cultural Odyssey. She is an actress, teacher, singer, and writer. Ms. Jones is also the Director of the award winning Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women, which is a performance workshop that is designed to achieve personal and social transformation with incarcerated women. Ms. Jones was recently the Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence for the College of Letters and Science and the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Beginning in 2015 Rhodessa will be a Visiting Professor at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. In 2013 The Office of Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the San Francisco Art Commission presented the Mayor's Art Award to Rhodessa Jones, for her lifetime of artistic achievement and enduring commitment to the role of the arts in civic life.


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