How We Work

We see the stage as a natural space to explore hiding behind masks, and perhaps the only safe space where denial, fear and conflict are exposed without judgment, where multiple truths co-exist and where the intimacy of the stage disrupts the anonymity of social media so that empathy can become a perceptual skill again.

We’ve often been asked what we want an audience to take away from our productions as they leave the theatre. We respond that we'd like people to come away with what we’ve learned in rehearsal—that if you drop your mask, you will not die.

In Global Arts Corps rehearsal nothing can be swept under the rug, nothing can be denied. Nothing must be left off the table no matter how painful, no matter how right we think we are. In our rehearsals we allow taboo humor to throw us off-balance; to illuminate the absurdity as well as the hard truths underlying our fixed identities and inherited memories. Masks fall as a matter of course; perpetrators and victims discover that they often own a piece of each other’s experience in ways they may not have had the courage to imagine.

The productions that emerge, forged from performers’ memories, multiple truths, and conflicting narratives, are necessarily messy. Yet within this messiness a core of vital meaning unpeels stories that otherwise may never surface. Once this group of actors has agreed that its collective story has been found, we take the work on tour to other conflict zones around the world to create dialogue between survivors of cultural violence across borders.