By: Jennifer Simpson
Integrated Work is excited to be partnering with Affinity Arts Consulting to design and deliver our upcoming cohort-based Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program. Co-led by Trent Norman and Rebecca Brown Adelman, Affinity Arts uses the power of theatre to energize the development of community and organizational leadership.
I first met Trent and Rebecca when we all worked at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the late 1990s and early 2000s. During that time, we partnered together on a wide range of community building, dialogue, and diversity-related efforts on campus and became colleagues and friends.
During that time, I not only had the pleasure and privilege of partnering with Trent and Rebecca to deliver a number of Interactive Theatre experiences, but also participated in a workshop with renowned theatre-for-social-change artist Augusto Boal. While theatre has always been a passion and I both acted and stage-managed performances in college, working with Trent and Rebecca allowed me to experience first-hand the transformative power of performance to change people’s lived experience.
Theatre can help us build our future rather than waiting for it.
What I saw, up close, is that interactive performances that engage the audience as spect-actors can allow people to engage in constructive conversations that might otherwise be intimidating, allow them to have felt experiences of other people’s circumstances that are hard to get at through dialogue alone, and provide a safe space to “try on” new behaviors or ways of engaging that can create breakthrough results. Trent and Rebecca have continued to hone their craft over the intervening years and while we have stayed in touch personally, I’m delighted to be able to partner with them professionally in this way again.
If you haven’t already applied to participate in this upcoming program, you can do so here. Our work together promises to be provocative, profound, and playful.