The Community Chorus
A powerful collaboration between company artists and community singers culminating in a critical on- stage performance in the it gets better production. Creates opportunities for dialogue, artistic growth, and community solidarity. Each community will identify a local choir (or combined choir) suitable for performance on stage with the company artists (subject to approval by the Company). A local chorus “leader” will receive advance music and training materials. Performers will sing a song composed for this project by Emmy- and Grammy-winning composers Jeff Marx (Avenue Q) and Mervyn Warren (Take Six).During the week in residence, company artists will work with the group for two rehearsals, each lasting two hours in length, under the direction of the Company Music Director. Plus one rehearsal to be held in the performance space on show day. (Ideal chorus size is 25-80 individuals, though other sizes have been accommodated.)
The It Gets Better World Café
World Café is an emerging global facilitation model for community dialogue utilizing the approach of appreciative inquiry. Company members will facilitate an examination of an issue of particular interest to each community. For this project, the suggested topic is the local climate for LGBT++ youth. Participants (to be secured by local presenters) should include a breadth of stakeholders in the topic arena. To date, these have included teachers, students, parents, civic and campus leaders, law enforcement, clergy, LGBT++ leaders, school board members, local business owners, artists, and others interested in the dialogue. The company artists serve as impartial facilitators, leading a series of constructive, engaged vision of the future. (24-48 community participants; 120-180 min.)
School Program 1:
The It Gets Better Experience
The artists of SFGMC are outstanding in their work with students. In this assembly-style session, artists perform selected scenes and songs from it gets better and share personal narratives about the harms of bullying and ways in which they have overcome adversity. Q&A opportunity.This session is suitable for small or large school audiences of junior high and high school age (30-300 students). A music-focused session is also offered for choral music classes. Large venues may require professional amplification by presenter or host. Piano required. (25-60 min.)
School Program 2:
Workshop for LGBT++/Ally Students
LGBT++ and ally students often engage more fully during smaller, interactive group interactions. For sessions with these students, company members offer two options. The basic approach is a reflective round-circle, casual discussion in which experiences are shared among participants. This works well for meetings with existing GSA groups. This workshop can also include an activity-based workshop component in which students work to create a music video or PSA related to identity, bullying, self-image, LGBT++ issues, and more. NOTE: Parental permission slips/releases must be secured in advance for PSA workshop; Students may also participate in off-camera roles. (90 min. workshop can be modified in length; maximum participants: 20)
School Program 3:
The it gets better Journey
It may be meaningful in some communities to introduce them to the broader It Gets Better Project and explain the purpose of our work, while also allowing an opportunity for inquiry and dialogue. In this straightforward session, a select group of 2-3 company members will conduct a multimedia journey through the brief but powerful history of the project, including a discussion of the development of the live stage work, it gets better. Two to three company members share their personal stories and reflections about the mission of the project. (Up to 50 min. including Q&A; maximum participants: no limit with proper amplification). A/V projection required.
School Program 4:
Facilitated Faculty Dialogue
A select group of 3-4 it gets better tour company members engage a group of teachers and/or future teachers for a stimulating dialogue about topics and issues related to the touring project. Company members do not serve as experts but share stories an pose case study scenarios and provocative questions to generate meaningful conversation. The philosophy of the it gets better tour is that the answers to every community’s questions can be found within that community. General topic areas include bullying, school and classroom climate for LGBT++ students, supporting at- risk students, and using It Gets Better Project videos in the classroom (40-70 min. Suggested attendance is 15-40).
School Program 5:
it gets better Karaoke OR Piano Cabaret
In order to create an opportunity for informal interactions related to the project and to raise community awareness of the performance, company members can either attend a local karaoke night OR can host an evening of piano cabaret. For the karaoke option, the company will perform one piece, and individual members may remain to sing other selections available at the venue. For the piano cabaret, the accompanist has available selections from the musical theatre canon. The cast can perform one piece, and individual members may remain to sing at their leisure. Past sessions have been hosted in a local restaurant/bar and common participants include the community chorus and high school/college students. This event can be held before OR after the stage production of it gets better.