A Summer of Theatre & Community Building

Please describe the title and purpose of your project as well as the goals and objectives of your research.

Our research is titled The Art of a Community. The purpose of our research is to examine the relationship between non-for-profit  community outreach theatre programs and marginalized inner-city communities, particularly Black and Brown communities. We will explore the ways in which these theatre programs have affected these communities and the lives of their participants.

Highlight what you expect to achieve or learn from this project.

We expect to gain a more complex understanding of the significance of community outreach theatre programs in marginalized communities of the 21st century. Additionally, we intend to understand the role which changing demographics has played in the theatre programs in the NYC area with many longtime residents being pushed out due to gentrification. Additionally, this research will highlight the role of race and class on the creation and support of theatre in relation to community building, especially those which are non-for-profit.

Explain what methods you will use to answer your research questions.

In order to answer the questions we pose in this research (which will be mostly qualitative) we intend to interview staff from Community theatre programs in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Harlem, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. In these interviews we will uncover challenges that the programs face, the effects that the outreach programs have had on local communities, examples of successful alums, and projections as to where they see the program going in the near future.

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