Inspired by the WWTNS? commitment to diversity and inclusion, the company launched an education program to encourage artistic engagement amongst young students. Our education initiatives have included a new musical for young audiences, free arts workshops at Central Falls in Rhode Island, an education partnership with El Puente, and a college course at Queens College in Documentary Theatre-making.
Our first education initiative, Untitled Shape Show is a new musical for young audiences that celebrates self-expression, promotes individuality, and posits that it is our differences that make us beautiful. The show uses the metaphor of shapes to create a positive, affirmative theatrical experience.
The show follows the life of a young Polygon as they try to transition into both a new school and adolescence. Using non-gendered shapes as a stand-in for human characters, Untitled Shape Show is designed to resonate with all students regardless of their gender, ethnicity, or creed. The performance puts on stage situations that young people experience on a daily basis: bullying, stress, and the difficulty of understanding yourself.
With funds from the Grace Annabelle Fund for the Arts, WWTNS? carried out a developmental production of this piece in Rhode Island in June 2017. The next iteration of the show was performed at IRT as part of WWTNS?'s Residency, and then at the Red Sandcastle Theatre in Toronto.
We have also developed a continued relationship with El Puente, a community human rights institution founded by Luis Garden Acosta that promotes leadership for peace and justice through the engagement of members (youth and adult) in the arts, education, scientific research, wellness and environmental action. As part of our partnership, we offered free arts education for their members and invited them to our workshop of our Agua, Vida y Tierra, where they shared valuable feedback on the developing piece.
In Spring of 2020, WWTNS? developed a college course on Documentary Theatre-making which they taught for the first time at Queens College, which is part of the CUNY system. The course focused on the full process of adapting real narratives to the stage, leading students all the way from the initial conception and the proper steps of responsible research to the creative process in developing a short play.
Photography by Pablo Calderón Santiago
Bring WWTNS? to your Community
Our company is always looking for new opportunities to engage with underserved communities in meaningful ways, be it through arts workshops, artistic programming, or any number of ways.
The Untitled Shape Show is an ideal production for schools, youth theatre groups, or community organizations. The script requires five adult/teen actors, and can accommodate between five and fifteen other young people. The set and props requirements are minimal, as are the costumes, and backing tracks are available for all songs in addition to sheet music.
WWTNS? provides various packages: the team can come to your venue to perform and direct the piece; the script, music, and materials can be licensed out; or the soundtrack is available to download for educational use.
If you are interested in bringing WWTNS? to your school or community or would like to know more about what we offer, please email our education department at firstname.lastname@example.org.