The Vashon DOVE Project, in partnership with Pacific Northwest (PNW) Theatrical Intimacy, will present a workshop, “Foundations in Theatrical Intimacy,” aimed at helping theater-makers learn more about consent-based theatrical practices.
The workshop will take place in two sessions, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, on Zoom. Participants can elect to attend both sessions or only the morning session.
The event is the brainchild of Ellie Hughes, a theater-maker that grew up on the island and recently graduated from Kalamazoo College. For her college senior thesis, Hughes wrote about the history of the theatrical intimacy movement, interviewed five major intimacy directors on the nuances and importance of their work, and wrote intimacy guidelines for the Kalamazoo College theater department.
When Hughes found herself back on Vashon after graduation, she knew that she wanted to share what she had learned.
“I grew up on Vashon nurtured by its close-knit and creative theater community,” she said. “Now, I’d like to share ways to make that community even more sensitive and supportive in its artistic practices.”
Currently, theatrical intimacy practices are quickly being implemented by theater companies around the world in an effort to put an end to the history of harm and abuse that has been present in the theater for far too long. With theatrical intimacy practices in place, the physical boundaries of actors are respected, and no one is demanded to do anything without their consent.
This topic of intimacy direction falls in line with the work that the Vashon DOVE Project does to erase harm in the Vashon community. The DOVE project is a registered domestic violence agency that provides advocacy and legal support to victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse. DOVE also offers programming that focuses on prevention education.
PNW Theatrical Intimacy was formed in December of 2020 in order to create a community of theatrical intimacy professionals in this part of the country.
The theatrical intimacy movement began to take off as a field in response to the #MeToo Movement in 2016.
Vashon’s workshop will be led by PNW Theatrical Intimacy members Alyssa Kay, Ian Bond, Jess K Smith, Emily Rollie, and Kate Drummond. This group has a diverse range of theatrical experiences and backgrounds.
The workshop is split into two sessions. In the morning session, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., participants will learn an overview of the foundations of theatrical intimacy, its relevance and its importance. This will include a discussion about how power dynamics come into play, what “consent” really means and how to centralize that in the theatrical process.
In the afternoon, from 1 to 4 p.m., participants will be divided into different groups. One group — suggested for actors, directors, stage managers and other people who are part of production teams — will focus on how to implement intimacy practices in rehearsal rooms. Another group will be geared to help theater administrators to create policies, audition protocols, costuming considerations, and other topics related to work done outside of the rehearsal room.
Tickets for the workshop are available for purchase on a sliding scale pricing model, in order to expand access to those that do not have the resources to purchase a full-price ticket or have been historically underserved and kept out of training opportunities due to high prices.
This workshop is designed for theatre-makers of all ages and experience levels. Register for the event at www.vashondoveproject.org/post/intimacy-direction-workshop.