Workshops, Performances & Community Dialogue
Theater for Humanity’s core program consists of three distinct parts designed for police officers and formerly incarcerated persons to understand one another’s humanity and share their vision of the future with the community where they live and serve.
The workshops invite participants to look closer at their past experiences to see one another’s humanity through acting techniques.
The stories shared in the workshops become the content of an original play performed across the city.
The participants lead the audience members in dialogue following each performance to create a unique plan for reconciliation in their community.
From Personal Narrative To Performed Solutions
The workshops address the trauma, pain and fear that defines the dynamic between formerly incarcerated persons and police officers in order to influence the decision-making patterns of both groups. The work aims to make the participants the leaders of a community that promotes reconciliation.
Why Formerly Incarcerated Persons
Beginning with the arresting officer, the nature of the relationships that formerly incarcerated persons have with representatives of law enforcement sets the tone for not only the nature of the kinds of punishment that they expect in the future but it also permeates the communities that they come from which are usually heavily policed, high crime areas. The relationship between people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system and law enforcement officers defines the nature of the relationship between that entire group and the police. By providing a healing experience for formerly incarcerated persons with police officers, Theater for Humanity addresses the trauma that often leads to repetitive cycles of criminal behavior and effectively offers true reentry and social acceptance.
Why Police Officers
In 2009, 90% of the individuals who killed police officers in the line of duty were formerly incarcerated or individuals who had a prior arrest; and, in 2016, 76% of the individuals who killed police officers in the line of duty were formerly incarcerated or individuals who had a prior arrest. These numbers tell us that there is a hostile relationship between the police and formerly incarcerated persons. These numbers also tell us that in the last ten years American society has become increasingly anti-police. Rather than sending America’s protectors into a hostile, high-risk situation, Theater for Humanity proposes that the officers who take people out of the community, welcome them back after they have served their time.