From the beginning of our work creating Insight art, we have been interested in the polarizing habits of mind that divide people and communities, and there is no issue more polarizing than race. Colonization and racial inequity are embedded in the history of the United States, and yet it is a part of our story that is often side-stepped, avoided, or altogether denied. Right now, this dark underbelly of biases, prejudices, and violence is being exposed on a much larger scale, to a much wider audience. And yet, the personal stories of how the dynamics of race effect individuals are still often overlooked. What do interactions that are knowingly, or unknowingly, steeped in a culture of racism do to an individual?
The Aesthetic Aim
By honing in on the interiority of a diverse cast of characters, the de-colonization of self, and the line that connects the past, the present, and a hoped for future we will create a performance piece designed to draw audiences to engage in thoughtful reflection and discussion about the dynamics of race in America, and the felt impact of this social construct.
Using the Insight method, we have embarked on an artistic journey exploring the complex themes, feelings, thoughts, and ideas that make up individuals’ experiences with race. By engaging in hour-long, one-on-one Insight conversations with over 30 individuals the TÉA artists wonder with the person about how race contributes to the flourishing or corruption of relationships and interactions.
The Performance Piece
This project will culminate in a performance piece done in venues that are specially tailored to enhance audience experience of an innovative, multi-genre theatrical experience. TÉA artists will seek to answer the following question: “How does the drama without become the drama within?” (That is to say: how can what we do on the stage facilitate an enhanced awareness of the inner drama of thinking, feeling, and deciding that we carry on within us?).