“The exercise when you are doing the three things at the same time you are paying attention to what’s happening behind you, plus what’s going on in front of you, plus what’s coming at you from across the hall. I don’t know if you did that on purpose but that’s kind of like our job.”
Officer Jaime Ramirez, 73rd Precinct, Brooklyn
Irondale’s To Protect, Serve, and Understand project brings together civilians and police officers to create semi-improvised performances of monologues and scenes. For eight Tuesday nights, this ensemble will get together for dinner and an evening of games, learning to improvise, and to tell their own stories and “step into each other’s shoes”. The workshops will culminate in FREE public performances on February 5 & 6 at 7PM.
Irondale has invited the New York Police Department to join with them in developing a community program that will use theatrical improvisation to build communication and empathy between officers and the communities they are charged to protect and serve. Over a period of eight weeks, officers, teenagers and adult community members will learn to play together. They will be able improvise, to tell their own stories, and “step into each other’s shoes” to ultimately create an original and spontaneous performance that demonstrates what can come from mutual trust and empathetic understanding. Our goal is not to create actors but to create the opportunity to learn and practice important life-skills that will serve officers on the job as they attempt to sensitively deal with residents in their communities.
To play together we must learn to speak each other’s language. And by playing together we begin to break down insecurities we may have that come from not understanding. We can actually teach each other in a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere—an atmosphere of joy, play and healthy competition.
These workshops will be recorded by documentary filmmakers from the award winning production company, Press and the Public Project, and used for internal training by the NYPD. The raw footage from the film can later be made into a documentary film for national distribution in collaboration with HBO, Showtime, PBS or another producing partner.
- Friday & Saturday Feb 5 & 6 at 7:00PM
This is a free performance, but seating is limited, so we suggest making a reservation. Click HERE to make a reservation using code FREE.
- 2.4.2016 – The Wall Street Journal Police and the Public Bridge Gap on Stage
- 2.3.2016 – BrooklynPaper.com article on To Protect, Serve, and Understand Project
- 1.26.2016 – BRIC/BK Live video on To Protect, Serve, and Understand Project
- 12.1.2015 – DNAinfo.com Improving Police-Community Relations Once Improv at a Time
Help support this project. Make a DONATION now.
Donations received by December 31, 2015 will be matched $1 for $1!
For more information contact Executive Director Terry Greiss at 718-488-9233 or Terry@irondale.org