The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund (DLDF) is pleased to introduce their new toolkit, Dramatic Changes: A Guide to Producing Live Stage Works on College Campuses in the 21st Century!
What does the notion of a safe space mean and whom does it serve?
How can you resolve potential conflicts between safe spaces and creative/academic freedom?
This toolkit explores how students and educators can work to resolve tensions between the importance of free expression and the need to advance values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access when producing shows on college campuses. It is intended to be a guide for those who are involved in creating theatre on college campuses, as they take a theatrical work from its selection to its performance, and through to its aftermath, while proactively addressing the various challenges that may arise along the way.
Students want to use theatre to confront the major challenges of our day, to broaden the range of perspectives seen on stage, and to shake a sense of complacency from audiences and from the community. Not all of the stakeholders in the process -- the students, the faculty, the administration -- will always see eye to eye on how best to accomplish this goal. That’s okay.
Performance, even of supposedly “safe,” uncontroversial material, necessarily entails a degree of risk and vulnerability. Maintaining trust and cohesion within a production is hard work. These dynamics are tested further by material that forces those involved to consider difficult questions or to confront unpleasant truths.
The DLDF hopes that this toolkit can help students, faculty, and administrators alike to create opportunities for healthy discussion and disagreement, bound by mutual respect, unified by a common understanding of the unique and vital role that theatre can play in their lives.