The Brave Space Project
Formed in the face of rising awareness in the performance industry, the Brave Space Project is creating interventions to prevent sexual assault and harassment in small theaters. Conducted by Faultline Ensemble, a company devoted to theater that enhances community health, this project pioneers the application of workplace sexual violence research to the performing arts field. Through this combination, Brave Space seeks to harness the current national attention to workplace sexual assault to build practices that reduce violence and build safe creative spaces.
Brave Space recognizes systemic oppression in theater spaces and builds interventions to support vulnerable, non-union and underrepresented artists. We also recognize that marginalized individuals experience increased levels of trauma, and building safe spaces is essential to diversifying our stages. Through this project, we hope to increase the accessibility of our industry to marginalized artists, and expand the diversity of voices in the performing arts.
Brave Space began as a pilot project in Spring 2018, inspired in part by the Not In Our House Campaign and Intimacy Direction, Physical Theater and Fight Choreography fields. Supported by a Network of Ensemble Theatres Travel Grant, an interview-based needs assessment was conducted with ensemble theater makers across the US in Fall 2019. This residency grew from a partnership with the Cucalorus Film Foundation begun during these interviews.
About the Residency
The Brave Space residency is seeking a small, diverse group of artists to participate in a five day workshop at our partner organization, the Cucalorus Film Foundation in Wilmington, NC. During this time we will discuss and analyze takeaways from the needs assessment, and work to develop and perfect exercises, best practices and recommendations for building safe rehearsal spaces.
This residency will be a unique chance to help shape future Brave Space interventions and to explore emerging practices together. This is not a training, but an active collaboration between Brave Space organizers, guest facilitators and residency participants. We seek participants who want to dive into the complex, messy and rewarding work of finding new ways for our industry to care for its artists. Together, we will:
Analyze interview transcripts and needs assessment findings
Pilot, provide feedback on, and make adjustments to physical exercises, warm-ups, and games that promote safe rehearsal culture
Explore ways of building a nonverbal vocabulary for establishing and recognizing physical boundaries of performers and ensembles
Examine relevant occupational health literature and discuss its relevance to the performing arts
Discuss the translation of occupational health recommendations to the theater industry
Propose, develop and edit best practice recommendations for companies in preventing abuse and supporting survivors
Support one another in engaging in these complicated and at times difficult questions
Build a small community of artists pioneering proactive approaches to building safe spaces
We hope to emerge from this residency with a clearer idea of future directions for Brave Space projects, and with new connections to a small network of artists committed to this work.
The residency will be facilitated by Faultline Ensemble facilitators Taiga Christie and Wiley Davis. Between us, we possess experience in facilitation, direction, devised ensemble process, consensus decision making, abuse survivor support, trauma intervention and emergency response education. We both identify as queer and white, and have experienced some of the complexity of navigating consent violations within queer and artistic communities. We are also still learning and are excited to learn together over these five days. Guest artists from XOXO Theater in Charlotte, who create devised physical performance through a Grotowski-inspired process, and who have prior involvement with this project, will serve as guest facilitators of specific sessions.
Residency participants will live and work on the Cucalorus Film Festival’s growing creative compound in downtown Wilmington. The Jengo’s Campus includes 13 beds in three houses, two kitchens, four bathrooms, three to six outdoor couches, one green van, and an outdoor shower, as well as studio, office and film screening space. The compound is just 8 blocks from the core of Wilmington’s historic riverfront business district with restaurants, bars, clubs and shops.
Food costs for the residency will be included in the residency fee. Dinners will be cooked and eaten collectively, with participants rotating meal planning, cooking and cleanup.
The residency will take place April 23rd-27th, 2020, in Wilmington, NC. Participants will attend the full residency, live on site and participate in full-day activities, from morning writing exercises through communal evening meals. During free periods, downtown Wilmington is within walking distance, and beaches are a relatively short drive.
Cost and Financial Assistance
We are committed to financial accessibility, but have concrete costs to cover associated with housing and feeding people for the duration of the workshop. If these costs are inaccessible to you, please speak with us – we are still fundraising for financial assistance, and are committed to having a diversity of voices in this room.
We ask participants who are able to pay the full amount of their housing and food costs in order to help us support participants who may need assistance. Full cost is:
Housing and materials costs: $300
Food costs: $200
Participants are also responsible for their transport costs to and from Wilmington. Our application contains a question about financial need – please be honest with us about what level of assistance you would need in order to attend, and we will fundraise as much as we can to include a diverse range of participants.
Applicants are asked to fill out the form linked below by March 15th, 2020 for priority consideration, and may be asked to participate in a brief phone or video call with facilitators.
Application Form: https://forms.gle/