In March 2020, as the company made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend all its in-person programming for the time being, the company began the “Neighborhood Watch” Digital Arts Series. Built from conversations about how we could continue to provide meaningful and accessible cultural programming remotely, these free weekly events were held over Zoom every Wednesday from 6pm-8pm EST. This allowed all members of our global arts community to continue to engage with us and with one another during this difficult time.
The events each had a specific structure, including Scene Sutdy, Music Jam, Poetry Night, and the adaptation of our ever-present community event Storytime.
This monthly programming event is the keystone of our community outreach programs. Taking inspiration from The Moth and LiveBait, "storytime" is a night of storytelling and live music from the community that is meant to bring us together through the shared experience of the ancient verbal tradition of stories. Featuring live music by different musical groups, each night has a theme, such as “If only I’d known” or “Expectation” or “Running on Fumes”, and any audience member who is willing to tell a story related to that theme is given six minutes on stage to share. It needs not be literal or esoteric, funny or sad, it simply needs to be a true story that has meaning to its teller. The event inaugurated at the Industry City Distillery in Brooklyn, and more recently has moved The Factory Bar & Restaurant in Bushwick.
Interested in playing in our next event, or have a theme suggestion?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
This event is a semi-annual evening of open discussion and questioning of relevant topics in the theatre and the community at large, co-produced by Kori Rushton, artistic director of IRT Theatre. By inviting guest speakers, colleagues, and our audiences to a structured discussion about complex topics, we hope to give voice to the problems that face the field and debate the avenues available to fix them. The inaugural symposium, held in 2017 and titled People as People: A Symposium on Diversity, saw panelists and audience members discuss the stark imbalances that remain apparent on stage as they relate to gender identity, racial diversity and sexuality. The most recent, 2019’s Agency in Storytelling: A Symposium on Privilege, Visibility and Influence, saw panellists debating the question of who can, and should, tell which stories - as we mentioned above, this is a question that concerns our company - on stage and screen, in literature and through visual art. The discussion examined the intersection of privilege, visibility and influence, and how that directly affects the access and space given to certain stories and their stakeholders.