A Simple Solution to the Complex Issues of “People Like Us”
Heard ya’ missed me, well, I’ve been a bit busy but, according to my observations, the universe is unfolding exactly as it should.
You see, in another life, I ran Plays For Living, a NYC based non-profit that uses drama as a tool for bringing the unspoken into the open around sensitive issues such as diversity, substance abuse, domestic violence, aging and other social challenges. Theater techniques such as plays, improvisation, and role-play can serve as powerful catalysts to raise awareness and build awareness skills.
That said, over the past several weeks I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tannis Kowalchuk and the NACL Theater in an effort to bring this tool to play (pun intended) in SoLuvin’ County. An effort that has completed its first phase…”People Like Us , ” a short play enabling conversation about diversity in the workplace, is now looking for a SoLuvin’ County audience.
Most effective with groups of 100 or less, a vital component (and the beauty) of this approach is an interactive discussion after the play that allows the audience to explore ’tough issues’ and their reactions to what they’ve just seen in a safe and supportive learning environment, which often results in a once-in-a-lifetime (aha!) experience .
This is especially timely since the methodology was first used during World War II to help a confused and frightened nation deal with their veterans and other hard issues that arose as a consequence of the war. It performed a sterling service then and it still serves the highest purpose of drama: to be a medium for ideas and to guide society toward a harmonious shared existence.
As yet another NEW YEAR dawns, SoLuvin’ County need to be prepared to face the issues arising from a rapidly changing multi-cultural community. The intent is to use this finely honed tool to make SoLuvin’ a better place for all. In a recent WJFF interview a call to action was issued to our County Legislature and Human Rights Commission. Can you think of a better starting point?
So, what is your role in this developing drama? You’ve being cast as the audience and agents of change that will make countywide transformation a reality. Your first order of business is to write, call, email, text or tweet your Legislators and urge them to appropriate some of their discretionary funds toward performances for an audience that you will be (or build). Then have them call Tannis Kowalchuk (Artistic Director) of the NACL Theater at 845 557 0694 to book locations and dates.