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World Communities

Human Rights Theater

Plays that shine a light into dark places in the world. Through the process of Partnership Playwriting—a collective writing of the play whereby information is exchanged for artistic perspective—these efforts often lead to introspection and healing on the part of those whose lives have been fractured by historic events.

Basic Tenants of Human Rights Theater:

The goal is to create compelling and accessible plays that allow for the following:

  1. Illuminate: Recognize situations that would otherwise be unfamiliar to the audience, the telling of which on stage somehow helps elevate and reveal their struggle.
  2. Humanize: Strive to reveal the underlying human component to broad social, historic or political issues.
  3. Empathize: Create an empathy through the realization of the universal themes that transcend the particulars of place and circumstance.
  4. Involve: Allow for broader participation in the writing process from those whose story is being told and from those with an academic or other perspective on the story.
  5. Heal: Through this broader engagement in the creation of the play, through facing difficult issues and through the cathartic effect of the presentation of the material, healing occurs.

Human rights productions can come out of a residency at a theater, cultural or educational institution, whereby the exploration of some unresolved history somewhere in the world can be addressed through the participation of scholars, artists and students from a variety of disciplines. Through classes, workshops, and symposiums, the knowledge and experiences of many fuels the *Partnership Playwriting* of the script and ultimately leads to a production at the host institution. Such efforts also lead to study abroad or cultural tourism opportunities whereby those who have seen the play travel to the place written about, the interest in which has been piqued through the production.