Cat Gilliam

Visiting Faculty

am passionate about the human encounter and the stories we have to share. What are the capacities that allow us to listen and understand others the way they would like to be understood? How can we develop these? How can we be self-connected AND have a keen interest in the other?

I am an “improvisationalist” at heart. What are the “rules” of improve that can be practiced and lived? Show Up! Commit! Use Everything!
Notice More! Be Curious! Make Your “Partner” Look Good!
Can Playback Theater provide tools for these, as well as offering it’s unique gifts of connection & community building, reflection & digestion of experiences, new perspectives & insights?

I am learning about, researching and experimenting with the “art of questions” as it pertains to relationships of all kinds, empathy through Playback Theater and NVC, and the work of Rudolf Steiner specifically in regard to “we must be able to confront an idea while thinking it; otherwise we fall into it’s bondage”.

I am enthused and inspired to weave these together to enliven, embody, and support each other and hopefully help to make visible the possibility of living out of freedom and creating deeds of love.

I have been working with the OSR program since around 2004. Threshold Ensemble, the Playback Theatre group I have been with since 1999, began doing one performance at the end of that two-year program. This involvement has grown into 3 performances and two workshops led by James Lucal, and myself, where we engage with the students using elements of Improv and Playback. Playback offers an artistic empathy; ways to digest experiences, reflect, and gain new perspectives. Elements of Improv are seen and experienced. These skills translate and support the OSR program. As well, I weave the NVC language of ‘feelings and needs’ and the concepts of “seeing differently”, observing one’s thinking and an observational approach to communication, into how I bring Playback.

Working with the OSR program has inspired me to think about my own goals in a more focused and creative way. I have also seen the broader application of what I am bringing through the eyes of the students and staff. I have seen first hand the transformation of individuals over the two years in the program and know the ripple effect each individual has in the world around them. I deeply appreciate the values and capacities that the OSR program teach and develop.

I received a BA in Special Education in 1974 and worked for 6 years as a teacher, grades 9-12. After working as a home tutor for students removed from the public system due to violent behavior, I was motivated to go back to school for a Master’s in Transformational Psychology. I also have bodywork certification, facilitation training, NVC training with Marshall Rosenberg 2003-2006, and Restorative Circle training with Dominic Barter 2010-2011; as well as 22 years as a Playback Theater artist.

I have lived in the PNW, NE, SE and SW of the US. And have traveled and taught in Europe, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand.
My most recent accomplishment is living AND working, 24/7, with my husband, since 2010, collaborating in bringing NVC/Restorative Circles and Playback to communities around the world. This is where the rubber hits the road!