Mind the Gap is a free intergenerational theatre program in which youth [14-21] and elders [60+] interview each other and collectively create a performance piece inspired by each other’s life stories. Mind the Gap’s primary goal is to use theatre as a creative tool to increase empathy and communication between generations. The workshop will culminate with a public presentation in which the collaborative work is performed by the participants. No theatre experience is required to participate in the program.
Through the workshop participants are able to:
- Investigate, listen and empathize with someone of another generation, while using playwriting as a tool to understand and represent their unique experience
- Broaden their perspective, see the other generation in a new light, and take on the task of telling someone else’s story with respect and understanding
- Share their stories and ultimately see them interpreted through another’s eyes making meaning out of their personal narratives and gaining insights into their own lives
- Desire to share, listen and create – sharing your stories with someone of another generation and giving them permission to use your stories as inspiration for a play.
- Desire to bring your curiosity, stories, experiences, creativity, listening ears, and willingness to share at every session.
- Desire to perform and act both individually as well as within an ensemble.
- Desire to collaborate generously and with an open mind.
- Desire and ability to attend every session. Since most of the work that we will do together will be in partner groups, potential participants with fewer conflicts will be prioritized over those with more conflicts.
Things to Remember
- It is important to note that Mind the Gap is not an acting class; performance is merely the tool through which we mind the gap between generations.
- Mind the Gap is not focused exclusively on the past. During the program participants explore the past, present and the future. However, Mind the Gap is not a documentary or verbatim theatre program. Intergenerational interviews are used as inspiration, not as the sole material from which artistic content is created. Participants are treated as artists.
- Mind the Gap is not a mentoring program. All participants are seen as equal in the process. We value everyone’s stories, input and life experiences. At New York Theatre Workshop we believe that we always have something to learn from each other, regardless of age.
- Although we encourage everyone to push past their comfort zones, we do not demand that anyone share anything that they feel is too personal or too private. On that note, if participants share something with their partner that they wish not to have shared or written about, participants always have the right to ask their partner(s) to exclude any information from the artistic piece(s).
Teaching artist Andrew Garrett
Teaching artist Gaven D. Trinidad
Learn more about New York Theatre Workshop.