dark glass theatre

My own eyes are not enough for me.
I will see through the eyes of others.

C.S. Lewis


TWUSA-62 2

An initiative of the Humanitas Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre, Dark Glass Theatre is founded on the idea that empathy can change the world; that as we learn to know others and know ourselves, we unleash the power of our common humanity; that personal stories of shame, forgiveness, and restoration free us from judgement and enable us to see each other more clearly; and that this process can bring about a compassionate revolution.

Why Theatre?

As we watch a play, we are transported into another’s story, walking alongside and sharing in the joy and pain of a fellow human being. Compassion begins with a basic understanding that we are all the same – as children of God, we are created in love, designed to be lovable and loving. But circumstances and choices shape who we become. As we identify with others on stage – people who are not two-dimensionally represented on a silver screen or buried within the pages of a book but living and breathing right in front of us – we are confronted with our common bond. We can no longer judge the “characters” as we consider the world from their point of view.

Theatre also provides a platform to tell personal stories. For people crippled by shame or corroded by anger, the opportunity to share their pain can be life-giving. Research shows that those who endure harmful experiences are greatly assisted by telling their stories because human connection is central to healing. Theatre is an intensely collaborative process which immerses participants in the realization that they are not alone. Giving voice to those who do not feel heard, and bringing to life experiences that might otherwise remain hidden, grows empathy for both actors and audience.

Tell Stories

Tell stories that enable audiences to experience greater understanding of and compassion for ‘the other’

Build Bridges

Build bridges between groups or individuals separated by discord or trauma

Explore & Express

Equip individuals to explore and express their own stories of forgiveness and healing, generating increased empathy in themselves and audiences

How Will It Work?

Dark Glass Theatre will accomplish this by:

  • Productions of existing plays with relevant themes, produced in partnership
  • Commissioned original plays that tell true stories of living people
  • Collaboratively created pieces. These are productions in which participants enact their own or others’ stories, giving specific individuals a voice and educating others through their experiences. These can be created with many different groups, including:
    • Students – whose both learn and teach by embodying powerful stories
    • Special interest groups – for example, going into prisons to facilitate the telling of prisoners’ stories
    • Churches – promote healing among individuals and groups within the church.
  • Dissemination of ideas through presentations, workshops, academic conferences, and publications
Why Does It Matter?

Our belief is that one of the most damaging forces at work in our world is the demonizing of the “other”. Whether separated by trauma, social standing, religion, race, sexual orientation, geography, age, or gender, breaking down barriers begins with a willingness to see beyond labels like ‘oppressed’ and ‘oppressor’.

As we come face to face with another’s perspective, without judgement, we are empowered to act in love. And that action can change the world.

For more info, contact Artistic Director, Angela Konrad:

  • We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.

    Martin Luther King, Jr