I am delighted to introduce my latest book with ten performers from Northern Ireland who after thirteen years, are still presenting Theatre of Witness Peace workshops nationally and internationally. These are stories of courage, perseverance and inspiration:

We are the Ripple Effect – Theatre of Witness in Northern Ireland was published by The Playhouse in Derry/Londonderry in March 2023. You can purchase it through the Playhouse using a credit card. It will automatically change dollars to sterling. The book costs $15 plus $6 shipping in the US.

Purchase the book 

It is extraordinary to see the legacy of Theatre of Witness Northern Ireland continue to reach new generations of students and community members who want to learn the lessons from the past and be inspired towards peace. The book contains the scripted parts from the original Theatre of Witness productions as well as explorations with performers about how they have grown into peacemakers and a model of community building across divides of difference.

I stand before you as a man, a grandfather, and a peacemaker.
But I actually stand before you as a convicted terrorist. – James Greer

There’s no denying that there was a lot of heroism in the conflict. But that’s not what I want my children, grandchildren, and their friends to be focusing on. We’ve got cemeteries full of heroes. And we’ve got prisons full of heroes. – Jon McCourt

Part of my role as a peacemaker, truthteller, and taboo breaker is not to hide in shame anymore.
Anne Walker

Theatre of Witness may be the only form of truth-telling we have left. – Robin Young


Purchase the book

The credit card you use will change dollars to sterling. It costs $15 and will cost $6 for shipping in the US

Clean will be an original storytelling Theater of Witness project that will be created with Environmental Service Associates (EVS associates or ‘cleaners’) who clean in hospital trauma bays, operating rooms, emergency departments and patient rooms. The project will bring together a group of six EVS workers to engage in a year-long exploration of their personal and collective stories about the experiences and emotional effects of cleaning in a hospital setting following trauma, violence, illness and care.

Watch this video to learn more about the project. 

Clean will culminate in an original Theater of Witness production and film that will tour various entities within the Penn Medicine health system, and be performed publicly in West Philadelphia. Performed by the EVS associates themselves, the production will serve as a way for hospital staff, patients and other members of the care teams to learn from the first-hand accounts of those who clean up what most of us don’t want to see.

Often overlooked and undervalued, this project seeks to lift up the people who do the essential work of keeping hospitals clean and safe. We are especially excited about shifting the hierarchy within institutions so that staff and providers have the opportunity to listen to and be inspired by the voices of those often not heard and who are often considered to be at the bottom rung of the ladder. The very people who keep the hospital functioning as a sterile environment for care. And who find ways of creating essential and meaningful relationships with patients that other healthcare staff are not always able to do.

We are also interested in the deeper metaphorical question of what it means to cleanse? How do we cleanse ourselves? How do we cleanse our broken institutions? How do we cleanse from the trauma of gunshot violence, poverty, racism, and hopelessness?

And what can we learn from the wisdom and lived experience of those who have been on the frontlines before, during and since the pandemic? How can those who clean teach all of us about our common connections, resilience and humanity?

We are seeking initial seed funding to begin this exciting project with the hopes that it will blossom into something magnificent and powerful that will open important and life changing conversations. Your generous donation allows us to begin the project as we continue to source foundational support. If you are able to donate, you can do so here.

(Featured image: Three of the EVS associates who will perform in Clean | photographed by Ariel Desphy-Carter)


Mt. Vernon Manor CDC, Donna Griffin, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Altovise Love-Craighead and Theater of Witness are happy to present poignant new audio stories from four residents of Mantua and three Philadelphia police who serve the people of Mantua.

Originally created to be a Theater of Witness production, during the pandemic, like many groups, we pivoted. Our group of residents and police had already laid the foundation of deep listening, connecting and supporting each other as they told their stories of trauma, gunshot violence, poverty, loss, and fear as well as stories of resilience, relationships, spirit, safety and transformation.

Experience their stories here.

I like to think that when we straighten our backs up, no one can keep us down. – Danielle

I am a Black man, a police officer and a peacemaker. – Seante

Home is where your heart is.
But what if you keep losing your heart? – Trae

I live with the fact that every day that I go in to work, it might be my last. – Brian

My mom came out and said, “Baby, they killed your baby.” – Rasheed

I come from a long line of African Women enslaved in America. – Rikeyah

I want to say to the people in Mantua “It’s a pleasure protecting you. It’s an honor. I won’t let you down.” – George

A 2017 Performance Film with Police and Community Members Sharing Their Stories and Vision for the Future

The tremendous wounds of our society are in full reveal.
What are the stories that need to be heard?

Walk in My Shoes is a film of the Theater of Witness performance created in 2017, performed by four Philadelphia police and three community members.  The performance explores societal wounds and shares the performers’ stories and visions of the future.

In this time of fear, turmoil and anger, Theater of Witness brings people together across divides of difference to bear witness to the beauty of meaningful engagement, cultivate empathy and truly listen to the stories of people we’ve never heard before. This is the time for a new story. One that taps into the spirit of love and connection between us all.

We are pleased to say that the film and workshops are now licensed to the EMIR Healing Center. For information about how to screen the film or schedule a community workshop, contact:walkinmyshoes@emirphilly.org

Photography by Raymond Holman

The production premiered in November 2017 to extraordinary audience responses:

Extraordinarily moving. Courageous performers. I was blown away.

Speechless, Profound. Real. Deep. Connected right into the core of the wound and into the Breath of Life. Their wounds Breath and love is …. Thank you!

This was the most powerful performance I have ever seen. It is gut-wrenching.  I so admire all these men and women who have the courage to share, to stand up and let the world know what they feel and what their journey has been like, what makes them who they are.  As difficult as it is to watch and hear it actually provides a ray of hope.  If we can hear and understand one another maybe, just maybe we will learn to respect and love one another.   

For more information about setting up screenings and workshops contact walkinmyshoes@emirphilly.org

Project Partners:
Philadelphia Police Inspector, Altovise Love-Craighead and Theater of Witness Artistic Director, Teya Sepinuck

12 New Films!: Watch the films exploring the performers’ experiences with dementia, love, and loss on the Tangles in Time website.

Join ‘Tangles in Time’ Artistic Director, Teya Sepinuck who will present films of performances from the original Theater of Witness production created and performed by people living with dementia, care partners and healthcare professionals. These true stories of love, loss, illness, and caring invite audiences to connect and build empathy—even through changes in memory, identity and time. The presentation also includes live discussion with some of the participants/performers about the healing effects of creative story-telling.

For more information about bringing the ‘Tangles in Time’ Presentation to your venue, contact Teya at: teya@theaterofwitness.org

Tangles in Time was an original Theater of Witness performance created and performed by people living with dementia, care partners and health professionals. Based on the performers’ own true stories of love, loss, illness, and, caring, the production wove together live performance with original music, film, and visual imagery. Co-produced by Thomas Jefferson University and Theater of Witness, the development of ‘Tangles in Time’ is led by Teya Sepinuck, founder and artistic director of Theater of Witness. The live performances took place at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral on September 14th and 15th, 2019.

Visit tanglesintime.org for more films, photos, and information.

Photography by Raymond Holman

Watch Mike & Mary Anne’s story:

Watch Sunny’s ancestor story:

Reflections and Endorsements

“It is a gift that puts love at the center. I feel gratitude for your vision, compassion, community and voice.” – Audience member

“Thank you for reminding me that love has no boundaries, no age, and defies the test of time.” – Audience member

“Simply beautiful. This gives hope and inspiration for the future.” – Audience member

What a moving and motivating presentation! I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience ‘Tangles in Time’;  to be able to witness the stories of those who are living with dementia either as the patient or caregiver.  I learned so much from their words, their stories, and from the Artistic Director, Teya Sepinuck.  Thank you for sharing your talents and stories with us, and for helping us to become better caregivers in our work and in our lives.” 

Patricia Curtin, MD, FACP, CMD

Section Chief, Geriatric Medicine

Geriatric Medicine Education Coordinator, Dept of Medicine Residency Program

Medical Director, Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE) Units—Christiana Hospital-6A & Wilmington Hospital-8S


As one who is not easily moved emotionally, ‘Tangles in Time’ touched my heart in a very special way through its beautiful artistic design and meaningful delivery from caregivers and clinicians.  It enabled me to join them in their experiences, walk in their shoes, and learn important life lessons that I can use to be a better person and caregiver.

Cheryl Botbyl, Wellbeing Program Coordinator

Center for Provider Wellbeing

ChristianaCare Health System

Read about Tangles in Time on the Tangles in Time website or in the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Tangles in Time has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Invite  Teya Sepinuck, Founder and Artistic Director of Theater of Witness, to give the  Soul of Story program – an inspiring multi-media program of films and life stories from her work creating original testimonial theater with people who have lived through trauma, marginalization and/or oppression. This work with survivors of violence, war, prison and resettlement illuminates the healing power of deep listening, giving voice and “finding the medicine” in stories of struggle, injustice and transformation. Teya will speak personally about the power of bearing witness and using personal and collective story to inspire healing, empathy and peace-building both for performers and audiences.