"STOP!" A faculty member interrupts the performance. She comes onstage and replaces the actor playing the instructor to try out her own strategy for facilitating a “difficult dialogue” in the classroom. The actors playing the students prepare to respond in character. This is interactive theatre, in which audience members become active performers, trying out their own solutions to the problem depicted in the scene.
The heart of our program here at the Center, our Interactive Theatre Troupe (ITT) has been facilitating workshops and performances for the last fifteen years. Interactive Theatre allows audiences to learn better approaches to discussing difficult issues such as racism, sexism, gender identity, religious difference, and many others. Although most people know what these issues are, they often have no idea how to discuss such controversial issues in a civil manner. ITT gives these people the chance to practice such conversations in a safe space where it's okay to fail.
Our performances offer an opportunity for a "rehearsal of real life" that empowers our participants to engage in these difficult dialogues in more productive ways. In a world filled with sound bites, political polarization, and diverse ideologies we simply must learn how to communicate better in the midst of our differences if our world is to survive.
The Interactive Theatre Troupe performs in a variety of venues, including all kinds of classrooms, leadership seminars, caregiver support groups, and many others.
For those outside of the University of Missouri-Columbia campus, we request an honorarium; and, as we do pay our actors for their services, costs will be redirected for payment and travel expenses.