My Career Choice: Carol Lee Campbell – The Goddess Diaries Posted on June 20, 2014 by Woman Around Town in Wom

Carol Lee Campbell is a goddess in the true sense of the word. As an advocate for women, she uses education, artistic endeavors and storytelling to increase awareness and raise funds to support individuals and charities. Her theatrical production, The Goddess Diaries, is now reaching national stages. Voted One of the Best of the Fringe two years in a row by DC Metro Theater Arts at The Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC, The Goddess Diaries is preparing to return to Capital Fringe for five nights in July and two nights as a fundraiser at George Mason University in October.

As a regular contributor for five years on the Sirius-XM satellite radio hit broadcast, Broadminded, Carol provided commentary on a wide range of women’s issues that headline the media, took listener’s questions and drew from myth and ancient imagery to find answers related to body image, relationships and new opportunities.

Carol has twenty five years of experience in women’s health education and counseling, including inspiring and coaching women through her creation, Crone Stones, a meditation tool using sacred stories and goddess mythology. The much anticipated publication, Return to Wellness: The New Book of Crone Stones, was published in 2011. She facilitates coursework in feminist theology – sessions dedicated to goddess history, philosophy and art, conducting workshops and gatherings bringing ritual to the community. She is married and has two daughters.

Can you point to one event that triggered your interest in your career? 
When I was ten years old, my grandparents gave me The Purple Puzzle Tree, a collection of bible stories that included a book and record album to play and read along with. Even at that early age, I could not accept that Eve was supposed to take the blame for upsetting God. There was something suspect about it. I think that’s when I became a women’s advocate.

In college I joined a group of women who created The Rape Awareness Campaign in Richmond, VA. They stenciled outlines of women on sidewalks where women had been raped. This was my first experience in activism and it really opened my eyes to the realities women face.

What about this career choice did you find most appealing? 
My career path has unfolded in many forms; doors opened and inspiration was found in unexpected ways and places. The greatest appeal has been discovering the stories to share and working with the people who share them.

What steps did you take to begin your education or training?
A lot of my training has been, post college, in book form. In the 1980’s a wealth of women’s empowerment writings exploded onto the scene and I was swept up in self-discovery and learning about the wider universe that existed outside of traditional values and conventional teachings. In terms of staging productions, I had some experience in college, but through my very liberal church, I co-produced Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues as well as other awareness events. These shows taught me a lot in terms of marketing, fundraising and what a small group of women can accomplish in a short amount of time.

Along the way, were people encouraging or discouraging? 
I was lucky to find a community of artists who have been an incredible source of support.

 

Carol Lee Campbell, far right, with the Cast of The Goddess Diaries

Did you ever doubt your decision and attempt a career change? 
I have never considered a career change.

When did your career reach a tipping point? 
My tipping point occurred when I became a regular contributor to the women’s Sirius-XM talk show, Broadminded. It validated my sense of purpose and gave meaning to the passion that drives me forward. When you’re writing your own script for your life’s work, it’s hard to know you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Realistic elements of life beg for doubt; namely, the solo aspect of writing and the low income at times can be very challenging.

Can you describe a challenge you had to overcome? 
One of the challenges I have faced is learning how to reach the most people. My work has always found a niche market. There was a process figuring out how to expand my messages to include a wider audience.

What single skill has proven to be most useful?
I’ve always gotten excited about the work and about new projects, new discoveries. I think my exuberance comes through when working with others.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’m proud to witness how The Goddess Diaries has evolved to become both a great tradition for women to kindle their own empowerment and a vehicle to raise money and awareness for critical issues our society faces. More specifically, being able to transform a woman’s experience into something for the stage is an incredible blessing.

Any advice for others entering your profession? 
As for giving advice to others: Don’t live as a hermit trying to pursue a passionate art. Everyone needs to master the learning curve of business as well as art when seeking success.

- See more at: http://www.womanaroundtown.com/sections/woman-around-town/my-career-choice-carol-lee-campbell-the-goddess-diaries#sthash.ESE0FVBs.dpuf

The Goddess Diaries at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts by Michael Poandl

October 10, 2014

 

Like the circle of birth, death, and re-birth that is such an important symbol in the work, Carol Campbell’s The Goddess Diaries is back in a new incarnation at George Mason University. Directed by GMU theatre student Kathleen Barth, The Goddess Diaries is a roving project that has been mounted several times at GMU as well as the Capital Fringe Festival, where it was declared a “Best of the Capital Fringe” by this fine publication. Like the journeys of the women whose voices are the heart of the show, The Goddess Diaries is constantly evolving.

Similar to Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, The Goddess Diaries is made up of first person narratives that each showcase a different facet of what it means to be a woman in the modern world. The difference is that The Goddess Diaries absorbs bits and pieces of whichever venue it happens to be staged in; in this case, a monologue written by a George Mason student about the routine objectification of the female body (performed by the excellent Nerissa Hart) makes it into the show. It this customization and specificity that, paradoxically, gives The Goddess Diaries such a universal quality. Each monologue is the story of one woman in one particular stage of one particular life. But by expressing such a broad cross section of the human experience, The Goddess Diaries becomes a much larger story that has the capacity to speak to us all.

The seven monologues (and one song) in The Goddess Diaries cover a wide range of subjects. There is the teenage angst of “Snake Girl” (Mia Amado) so named for her reptilian pet, which accompanies her as she bursts out of her parents house at 16 to live on her own; Kay (Kira Omans), the 30-something bride-to-be who sees the Crate & Barrel wedding registry as a proxy for domestic slavery; And there is Beth (Cami St. Germain), a middle aged divorcee who goes to a New Mexico monastery to find enlightenment but ends up finding swarms of tarantulas – and a possible outlet for facing down her fears.

What binds together the disparate monologues is the idea of personal transformation. The obstacles the characters face sometimes come in the form of another person, like Dawn (Sarah Jebian), who struggles to leave an abusive husband. Or sometimes the adversary is the entire culture of female sexualization and objectification, like in Dani’s (Nerissa Hart) monologue. But in both cases, the resolution must ultimately come from within the characters themselves. It is this message of personal empowerment that buoys The Goddess Diaries from beginning to end.

At the heart of The Goddess Diaries is the metaphor of the wheel of seasons, symbolized literally on stage in the form of a giant wheel that is evocative of a spinning wheel or a ship’s steering wheel. The narrator (Madison Landis, who fulfills a sort of MC role between each monologue) explains how in ancient times, time was seen as an infinite cycle of birth and death, plant and harvest. Thus, the first piece in the show is of an adolescent character (the aforementioned Snake Girl), and as the show progresses, so do the ages of the women. The second to last character is Julie (Kim Condas) who looks back on her life and extends a surprising word of gratitude to her long-ago ex-husband. But the final monologue is delivered by Eryn Rhodes, a very talented young actor who plays Devon, an 11-year old girl who’s world is all dreams and boy/girl parties. Her problems may be “juvenile” in the literal sense, but they are not petty. She reminds us that young people do not live apart from conflicts and anxieties. Conflict follows us from cradle to grave; but we can always overcome it.

There is no doubt that The Goddess Diaries can occasionally drift into sentimentality.The best parts are when the actors are able to resist the warm-and-fuzziness sprinkled throughout the text. Nerissa Hart and Sarah Jebian are the most effective at leading their performances in specific action, allowing the emotion to follow naturally. But overall the ensemble is strong. Proceeds from the Goddess Diaries are always donated to a woman-focused charity; in this case, they are going to the Gender Studies Department at George Mason University. So when you go to see this short, simple gem, you’ll have an additional reason to feel good about it.

The Goddess Diaries has one more performance Tonight, October 10, 2014 at The Harris Theatre at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts. For tickets, purchase them online.

My Career Choice: Carol Lee Campbell – The Goddess Diaries

 

Friday, June 20th, 2014
by Woman Around Town on Woman Around Town

Carol Lee Campbell is a goddess in the true sense of the word. As an advocate for women, she uses education, artistic endeavors and storytelling to increase awareness and raise funds to support individuals and charities. Her theatrical production, The Goddess Diaries, is now reaching national stages. Voted One of the Best of the Fringe two years in a row by DC Metro Theater Arts at The Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC, The Goddess Diaries is preparing to return to Capital Fringe for five nights in July and two nights as a fundraiser at George Mason University in October.

As a regular contributor for five years on the Sirius-XM satellite radio hit broadcast, Broadminded, Carol provided commentary on a wide range of women’s issues that headline the media, took listener’s questions and drew from myth and ancient imagery to find answers related to body image, relationships and new opportunities.

Carol has twenty five years of experience in women’s health education and counseling, including inspiring and coaching women through her creation, Crone Stones, a meditation tool using sacred stories and goddess mythology. The much anticipated publication, Return to Wellness: The New Book of Crone Stones, was published in 2011. She facilitates coursework in feminist theology – sessions dedicated to goddess history, philosophy and art, conducting workshops and gatherings bringing ritual to the community. She is married and has two daughters.

Can you point to one event that triggered your interest in your career? 
When I was ten years old, my grandparents gave me The Purple Puzzle Tree, a collection of bible stories that included a book and record album to play and read along with. Even at that early age, I could not accept that Eve was supposed to take the blame for upsetting God. There was something suspect about it. I think that’s when I became a women’s advocate.

In college I joined a group of women who created The Rape Awareness Campaign in Richmond, VA. They stenciled outlines of women on sidewalks where women had been raped. This was my first experience in activism and it really opened my eyes to the realities women face.

What about this career choice did you find most appealing? 
My career path has unfolded in many forms; doors opened and inspiration was found in unexpected ways and places. The greatest appeal has been discovering the stories to share and working with the people who share them.

What steps did you take to begin your education or training?
A lot of my training has been, post college, in book form. In the 1980’s a wealth of women’s empowerment writings exploded onto the scene and I was swept up in self-discovery and learning about the wider universe that existed outside of traditional values and conventional teachings. In terms of staging productions, I had some experience in college, but through my very liberal church, I co-produced Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues as well as other awareness events. These shows taught me a lot in terms of marketing, fundraising and what a small group of women can accomplish in a short amount of time.

Along the way, were people encouraging or discouraging? 
I was lucky to find a community of artists who have been an incredible source of support.

 

Carol Lee Campbell, far right, with the Cast of The Goddess Diaries

Did you ever doubt your decision and attempt a career change? 
I have never considered a career change.

When did your career reach a tipping point? 
My tipping point occurred when I became a regular contributor to the women’s Sirius-XM talk show, Broadminded. It validated my sense of purpose and gave meaning to the passion that drives me forward. When you’re writing your own script for your life’s work, it’s hard to know you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Realistic elements of life beg for doubt; namely, the solo aspect of writing and the low income at times can be very challenging.

Can you describe a challenge you had to overcome? 
One of the challenges I have faced is learning how to reach the most people. My work has always found a niche market. There was a process figuring out how to expand my messages to include a wider audience.

What single skill has proven to be most useful?
I’ve always gotten excited about the work and about new projects, new discoveries. I think my exuberance comes through when working with others.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’m proud to witness how The Goddess Diaries has evolved to become both a great tradition for women to kindle their own empowerment and a vehicle to raise money and awareness for critical issues our society faces. More specifically, being able to transform a woman’s experience into something for the stage is an incredible blessing.

Any advice for others entering your profession? 
As for giving advice to others: Don’t live as a hermit trying to pursue a passionate art. Everyone needs to master the learning curve of business as well as art when seeking success.

 

Real Life Stories Told for a Critical Cause "The Goddess Diaries" at George Mason University.

Local Oakton playwright Carol Lee Campbell has taken stories of real women's journeys from adolescence through later stages of life and used them to make a theatrical production called "The Goddess Diaries."

#After a well-received run at the recent 2012 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C. under the direction of Stacey Jones, "The Goddess Diaries" will be performed at George Mason University with proceeds benefiting the Mason Victims of Violence Fund. The Fund provides support and assistance to student victims of sexual and domestic violence. 

Where and When 

#"The Goddess Diaries" at the Harris Theater, George Mason University, University Drive, Fairfax. Performances: Oct. 12 & 13, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. $5-$20. 703-993-2787 or visit www.cfa.gmu.edu/t.... Note: Recommended for ages 13-plus.

#Campbell has melded stories she has gathered into eight different vignettes that include dramatic and comedic stories along with music and choreography by Sabrina Haritos with a narrator to stitch together the evening. Each story is delivered by a woman of a different age reflecting upon what has happened and its effects. 

#Both Campbell and Jones describe the production as "inspiring and compelling." "The Goddess Diaries" was first presented at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax in Oakton in 2009. Under Campbell's guidance, the show "blossomed into a full production." 

#According to Campbell, a building structure for the performance was "the positive challenges as she listened to women share life stories with her." She used the collected stories to "construct upon ancient Celtic notions of building shared wisdom through narrative. "Since the stories are human stories they are for everyone." 

#Stacey Jones, a Luther Jackson Middle School teacher, has been associated with "The Goddess Diaries" almost since the beginning. She worked with Campbell to further develop theatrical story arcs to make them an organic and real whole.

#For Jones the idea is to make the production into one that depicts "different pictures of women's lives as a fulfilling experience and written to everyday women." It is a show that both women and men will find meaningful either as a "mirror" or as "a magnifying glass."

#Sarah Jebian, a professional performer now living in Oakton, will direct the performance. For Jebian "taking personal stories and developing into a theatrical performance connects with audiences. They can emotionally relate to the life lessons."

#According to Hope Savolainen, education coordinator, George Mason University Sexual Assault Services, the performance gives the community "an opportunity to support survivors of sexual assault, stalking and dating/partner violence. It helps to shatter the silence that too often surrounds these issues."

David Siegel, Connection Newspapers

 

Capital Fringe Review: ‘The Goddess Diaries’ by Pat Davis - July 2012

 

by Pat Davis on July 16, 2012


Having read that The Goddess Diaries sprang from an exercise at playwright Carol Campbell’s church, I must have had in the back of my mind the image of a basement room in an old building, a group of women working on something heart-felt but amateurish and fluffy. I was surprised. The production is slick and professional and the piece as a whole resonates with hard-earned wisdom.

 

The cast of 'The Goddess Diaries.'

Seven monologues, delivered by seven females of different ages, explore the various seasons of life and what it means to be a woman in each. From a seventeen-year-old’s first gynecological exam to a sixty-six-year-old’s reflection on her divorce and a tween’s exuberance over the success of her first girl-boy party, the monologues afford richly detailed but brief glimpses into each life. Such a structure would seem to invite problems – one monologue might be more intense or more interesting than the next; the piece as a whole could feel disjointed. But, with the help of director Stacey Jones, Campbell achieves a perfect balance. Each monologue is equally compelling, and a commanding narrator, a skilled drummer and a wonderfully accomplished dancer smooth the transitions between each.  A singer adds her rich voice to the mix at one point.

The Goddess Diaries has a steady elegance, and that consistency of tone may be what allows Campbell to swap out monologues from one production to the next. Introducing the play, she revealed that The Goddess Diaries has been used as a fundraiser for local women’s groups.

Heavy-handed sincerity is art’s undoing. But Campbell’s touch is deft.  She has patched together the monologues – each finely written and delivered and each very different – into a whole that is valuable and uplifting, graceful and sincere.

 

The Goddess Diaries - DC Theatre Scene Review 2014

July 18, 2014 by Leila Hernandez 

The simplicity of The Goddess Diaries only adds to its brilliance. The single prop on stage is a giant ship’s wheel. A woman in white (Kim Posthumus) tells us that, since ancient times, the wheel has been used as a symbol for time. The wheel can represent both a single year and a single lifetime.

This is the third year The Goddess Diaries have appeared in Capital Fringe, each year bringing a new collection of stories.

The Goddess Diaries doesn’t need an elaborate set or fancy costumes. With captivating stories and phenomenal actors to tell these stories, this play is perfect just the way it is, simply told. Eight women, from eight different phases of life, share real life stories of grief, hope, and joy.

The first storyteller is the teenager (Eryn Gleason). In the cycle of a single year, she represents the end of winter. The teenager speaks of rebellion and the maturity gained from moving out on her own at the age of seventeen, followed by Spring Equinox (Kathleen Barth), Beltane (Halah Zenhom), Summer Solstice (Ruthie Rado), each storyteller older than the one before.

 


The Goddess Diaries
by Carol Lee Campbell
90 minutes
at Main Stage – Goethe Institut
812 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Details and tickets

The story about the abusive husband (Dana Maas) is gut wrenching (“I did not come into this marriage with a history of abuse”). But the story about the young mother trying to shelter her kids from religion (Ruthie Rado) is hilarious and adorable (“No, he’s not calling me a bad word, I really am a witch”). The story I could personally relate to most was the one about the woman in her thirties who is terrified of getting married (Halah Ball).

 

Each scene is no more than ten minutes long, which is the perfect amount of time to feel fully immersed in the story. And each actor is fantastic. They all truly engage with the audience. This is the strongest cast I have seen so far at Fringe.

If you love beautiful storytelling and heartfelt acting you should see this gem.

‘The Goddess Diaries’ at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts

by Michael Poandl on October 10, 2014

Like the circle of birth, death, and re-birth that is such an important symbol in the work, Carol Campbell’s The Goddess Diaries is back in a new incarnation at George Mason University. Directed by GMU theatre student Kathleen Barth, The Goddess Diaries is a roving project that has been mounted several times at GMU as well as the Capital Fringe Festival, where it was declared a “Best of the Capital Fringe” by this fine publication. Like the journeys of the women whose voices are the heart of the show, The Goddess Diaries is constantly evolving. Similar to Eve Ensler’s The Vagina MonologuesThe Goddess Diaries is made up of first person narratives that each showcase a different facet of what it means to be a woman in the modern world. The difference is that The Goddess Diaries absorbs bits and pieces of whichever venue it happens to be staged in; in this case, a monologue written by a George Mason student about the routine objectification of the female body (performed by the excellent Nerissa Hart) makes it into the show. It this customization and specificity that, paradoxically, gives The Goddess Diaries such a universal quality. Each monologue is the story of one woman in one particular stage of one particular life. But by expressing such a broad cross section of the human experience, The Goddess Diaries becomes a much larger story that has the capacity to speak to us all.

 

Similar to Eve Ensler’s The Vagina MonologuesThe Goddess Diaries is made up of first person narratives that each showcase a different facet of what it means to be a woman in the modern world. The difference is that The Goddess Diaries absorbs bits and pieces of whichever venue it happens to be staged in; in this case, a monologue written by a George Mason student about the routine objectification of the female body (performed by the excellent XYZ) makes it into the show. It this customization and specificity that, paradoxically, gives The Goddess Diaries such a universal quality. Each monologue is the story of one woman in one particular stage of one particular life. But by expressing such a broad cross section of the human experience, The Goddess Diaries becomes a much larger story that speaks to us all.

The seven monologues (and one song) in The Goddess Diaries cover a wide range of subjects. There is the teenage angst of “Snake Girl” (Mia Amado) so named for her reptilian pet, which accompanies her as she bursts out of her parents house at 16 to live on her own; Kay (Kira Omans), the 30-something bride-to-be who sees the Crate & Barrel wedding registry as a proxy for domestic slavery; And there is Beth (Cami St. Germain), a middle aged divorcee who goes to a New Mexico monastery to find enlightenment but ends up finding swarms of tarantulas – and a possible outlet for facing down her fears.

What binds together the disparate monologues is the idea of personal transformation. The obstacles the characters face sometimes come in the form of another person, like Dawn (Sarah Jebian), who struggles to leave an abusive husband. Or sometimes the adversary is the entire culture of female sexualization and objectification, like in Dani’s (Nerissa Hart) monologue. But in both cases, the resolution must ultimately come from within the characters themselves. It is this message of personal empowerment that buoys The Goddess Diaries from beginning to end.

At the heart of The Goddess Diaries is the metaphor of the wheel of seasons, symbolized literally on stage in the form of a giant wheel that is evocative of a spinning wheel or a ship’s steering wheel. The narrator (Madison Landis, who fulfills a sort of MC role between each monologue) explains how in ancient times, time was seen as an infinite cycle of birth and death, plant and harvest. Thus, the first piece in the show is of an adolescent character (the aforementioned Snake Girl), and as the show progresses, so do the ages of the women. The second to last character is Julie (Kim Condas) who looks back on her life and extends a surprising word of gratitude to her long-ago ex-husband. But the final monologue is delivered by Eryn Rhodes, a very talented young actor who plays Devon, an 11-year old girl who’s world is all dreams and boy/girl parties. Her problems may be “juvenile” in the literal sense, but they are not petty. She reminds us that young people do not live apart from conflicts and anxieties. Conflict follows us from cradle to grave; but we can always overcome it.

There is no doubt that The Goddess Diaries can occasionally drift into sentimentality.The best parts are when the actors are able to resist the warm-and-fuzziness sprinkled throughout the text. Nerissa Hart and Sarah Jebian are the most effective at leading their performances in specific action, allowing the emotion to follow naturally. But overall the ensemble is strong. Proceeds from the Goddess Diaries are always donated to a woman-focused charity; in this case, they are going to the Gender Studies Department at George Mason University. So when you go to see this short, simple gem, you’ll have an additional reason to feel good about it.

The Goddess Diaries has one more performance Tonight, October 10, 2014 at The Harris Theatre at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts. For tickets, purchase them online.

Crone Stones Review - SageWoman Magazine

Divination using three-dimensional objects (as opposed to paper cards) has a history that goes back to our most distance foremothers. There is something about using stones, sticks, shells, and such that stimulates a primal response in our psyches, which can add significantly to the divination experience. Many such tools exist, and here's a new one to add to your collection. Crone Stones, by Carol Campbell, is a set of thirty-three flat oval stones hand-cast in white unglazed porcelain clay. Each has a simple line drawing imprinted on its surface (the backs are blank). Based on the concept of the Triple Goddess, the stones fall into three suits: Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Within each of these suits are eleven sets of three stones each, representing archetypes to inspire and guide the reader. 

For example, in the set called Dualities, the three stones represent the exchange of energy with other brings, whether in a romantic relationship, a business connection, a spiritual or artistic connection, and so on. The Maiden stone is "Love," the Mother stone is "Empathy," and the Crone stone is "Teaching." The stones' interpretations don't set this up as a hierarchy - love is less powerful than empathy, which is less powerful than teaching, etc. - but rather to show you various ways we all experience relationship. 

In another set, Journeys, insight is offered into the way in which the reader is connection to the world at present. The stones in this set are "the Wheel," the steady passing of time and search for one's destiny; "the Nest," a focus on sacred space at home; and "the Otherworld," representing spirit journeys and dreams. 

The images on the stones are easy to understand and recognize, and after a while it should be easy to set aside the accompanying booklet and work with the stones alone, letting your intuition guide you deeper. 

The 74- page book contains a page or two for each stone, suggestions for using the stones and several spreads and readings. Each stone's interpretation includes a connection to a specific Goddess (sometimes more than one), and it's nice to see that there is a wide cultural representation here. The stones come in a sturdy velvet drawstring bag, large enough to comfortably put your hand inside and stir the stones. While writing this review, I chose a stone with the question, "What else should I tell SageWoman readers about this lovely oracle?" The stone I drew is She Who Inspires: "You must trust that what inspires you is the torch to light your way." Crone Stones are a useful tool to add to that inspiration and light the path before you.

Lunaea Weatherstone
SageWoman

Crone Stones Review - Crone Chronicles

“A fascinating meditation tool...A wonderful croning gift ”

A fascinating meditation tool.  Thirty-three stones, made in the style of the
rune stones, depicting Maiden/Mother/Crone cycles each of us go through in 
our daily lives.  The accompanying book reveals the character of each stone. 

A wonderful “croning gift” for yourself or another. 

 Raven Reviews 
    Crone Chronicles