Grand Valley Institution for Women
It all started when…
Theatre of the Beat is rooted in Restorative Justice principles that creates applied theatre pieces for and with individuals who might not typically be exposed to theatre, in an effort to positively affect both personal and social change.
In 2016-17, Theatre of the Beat's Education and Outreach Manger, Kimberlee Walker, created a pilot theatre program inside Grand Valley Institute (GVI). This pilot consisted of a variety of theatre workshops and rehearsals that culminated in The Identity Project, a half-hour play created and performed by participants at Grand Valley Institute. While the program was not explicitly offending-focused or clinical in nature, the program’s intent was to support reintegration through meaningful experiences of personal growth and reflection, contributing to the forging of a pro-social identity for participants.
As we continue our partnership with Grand Valley Institute we are constantly striving to meet the following goals and objectives:
To offer a higher number of participants the opportunity to experience the benefits of theatre programming stated in the goals of the project, by providing a variety of programming to meet the interests and schedules of participants.
To offer individuals the benefits of long-term engagement in an arts programming, since long-term stability and continuity of programs and relationships will provide greater opportunities for personal and artistic growth.
To provide education and experience in a rich variety of theatre techniques, potentially including but not limited to physical theatre, mask, improv, puppetry, dance, and theatrical forms specifically geared towards advocacy and social justice awareness.
To integrate theatre & performance into the cultural life of the institution, if this is desired by inmates and staff. TOTB can provide opportunities to explore theatre and performance as part of special events and assemblies such as during the holidays, Black History Month, Pride Day, Volunteer Appreciation events, etc.
To continually evaluate and evolve our work, responding with flexibility where necessary, based on input from University partners, participants, GVI staff, and TOTB facilitators.
To offer participants…
an opportunity to explore their own creativity & artistic self-expression
an opportunity to develop confidence & public-speaking skills
the benefit of being part of a collaborative group
the opportunity to contribute to a positive atmosphere in the institution.
Along with Kimberlee Walker, the four year contract with The Grand Valley Institution would not be possible without our facilitators.