Breaking down social walls through collaborative creative engagement
Telling My Story is a non-profit organization that breaks down walls between socially isolated individuals and their communities using theater as a medium for social reflection and relationship building. Our programs develop self-awareness and communication skills with populations behind visible and invisible social walls — such as those created by incarceration, addiction, and poverty. Through writing and performing, people behind walls are empowered to reclaim their own voices and strengths.
At the same time, Telling My Story collaborates with people “on the outside” to break down stereotypes and build understanding between groups that would not otherwise interact. By working and creating together, program participants from both “inside” and “outside” can understand what they have in common and discover opportunities to shift deep patterns of social exclusion. The resulting performance opens a space for public discussion about the root causes of seemingly intractable social issues and the impacts on individuals, families, and the larger community.
Pictured above: A former Dartmouth student rehearses with Chilean inmates during a collaboration with Pati in a women’s prison in Santiago, Chile.