#What’sNext?: New Resources and Policies Regarding Sexual Harassment and Misconduct in Entertainment

#What’sNext?: New Resources and Policies Regarding Sexual Harassment and Misconduct in Entertainment

At Theatrical Intimacy Education, we firmly believe that knowledge is the greatest source of empowerment for artists, so this blog post will provide an overview some of the new policies that have been enacted and resources compiled in recent months and what that means for working conditions within the entertainment industry.

Meet Celeste!

Laura, Kate, and I are excited to introduce you all to the TIE research and marketing intern, Celeste! Like the three of us, she's focused on education and has a huge passion for educating others. She's a great addition to our busy team and we hope to help her grow in her own business. 

Celeste Carle was the dramaturge for Lasso of Truth at Arizona State University when I was brought in to stage the intimacy, bondage, and violence in 2016.

She will be working with us on connecting to educators across the country and hopes to be a TIE representative at ASU, where she is a junior. She is completing her degree in the filmmaking practices program, but Celeste is also completing certificates in LGBTQ Studies and Arts Entrepreneurship.

We hope that working with TIE as we grow will support her long term goals of starting a small business that connects artists and entrepreneurs with people who are social media fluent. She’s also helping high schools build and maintain more robust GSAs, which is just plain cool. 

“The stuff I liked talking about, applied to a real life person’s job. Here’s the niche job that I could do”

Welcome to the team, Celeste. We’re so excited to have you with us.

Professional Development in a Developing Profession

“Hello….can you tell me a little about theatre intimacy training and how it works?”
“I don’t understand how it works, can’t the actors just work it out for themselves?”
“I have my own system of doing things. Why do I need this?”
“I am traditionalist isn’t this going to get in the way of the actor’s instincts?”
“Who has time to add an intimacy call into the preshow preparations?”

“If the actor has that much voice, how is that not self-indulgent?”

People have lots of questions about our work with Theatrical Intimacy Education. And I understand where each one comes from. The #metoo movement has gotten everyone talking about what many of us have felt for a long time: that we have to create a more respectful work environment in all professions. The theatre and film industries are starting to acknowledge that they are lacking in techniques and skills for dealing with how to stage intimate scenes. But many are still unaware of where to learn these skills. Furthermore, many seem unsure about how to incorporate these techniques into their systems of training and rehearsal. Understandably, some fear that the work is going to stifle the creative and instinctual process of the actor. 

Of course there are a lot of questions. The problems are old. The solutions are new.  

Over the past year, I have met and discussed this work with practitioners at professional theatres and on movie sets, spoken with teachers in many different types of training programs, chatted with casting directors, and presented workshops. I have learned that there are just as many people who are resistant to, confused about, and/or oblivious to theatrical intimacy training as there are people who welcome it. The resistance seems to center around two main areas of concern: the first, some directors fear it will inhibit the freedom of the creative process; the second, some teachers feel that it will get in the way of traditional acting training.

I get it. But in the 2000 years of theatre history, we have not done enough to address how to create self-care for actors as they deal with the physical and mental effects of staging and performing sexual intimacy and sexually violent scenes. In the past 100 years since traditional studio acting training was created, we have not traditionally included this work in training pedagogy. So of course theatre artists are going to resist adding a new system of training into what they already do. The history for this work is short lived. It's happening right now. 

This is an opportunity for professional development.

We are willing to do it with other areas of our work pretty readily. If we need better skills in helping an actor connect with the voice, we are open to taking a voice workshop in one of the many voice training systems or hire a voice director/coach. If we want to improve our movement skills, we do not think twice about signing up for a Viewpoints, Margolis, Lucid Body, Alexander, or stage combat workshop. Everyone has taken a movement workshop. Not everyone has seen what good intimacy training can do for a theatre practitioner. 

This work is not about forcing any actor, director, teacher, or producer to throw out their creative process, it is about helping everyone improve what they already do well.

Theatrical Intimacy Education seeks to help the industry improve the work and training environment, not only when staging intimate scenes and sexually violent scenes, but in how we treat each other in rehearsal and on set. We can help practitioners understand how to have healthy discussions about positive body image, how to discuss boundaries without judgment, understand empowered consent, and teach in a safe, supportive environment. That's what we do. 

Recently, I was consulting with a chair of a top ranked theatre program, and he informed me that he wanted me to create a policy stating that all his performance teachers had to use the work we teach in Theatrical Intimacy Education. I told him to slow down. Forcing teachers to use any technique won't end well for anyone. Instead, I told him to make opportunities for his faculty to train in this work. That he needed to seek funding for that training. He could make change in his department by creating opportunities for professional development. He agreed.

We want to help you incorporate this work into what you already do. We want you to see how it serves the repetition work in the Meisner technique, the physical action ideals in Adler, the sensory work in Strasberg, the composition exercises in Viewpoints, the tremoring of the Fitzmaurice technique, the spontaneity of improvisation. Whatever techniques you work with, we are going to help you further develop an even more healthy practice that gives the performer agency and voice without sacrificing the work. That's why we're here. 

The time for readily available access to this type of professional development is long overdue, but now there is no excuse. There are a number of organizations doing this work, all listed on our resource page. Find the right training for you and go.  This is the beginning of a ground breaking, positive movement in our industry. Feel free to reach out with any thoughts, questions, and concerns. After all, we are all doing the best we can and learning takes time. 

We are here for you. Let us help. 

©

Good Kids: Check out Kate in Fight Master

TW: sexual violence

Kate recently had an article published in the Society of American Fight Directors’ industry magazine, The Fight Master, about her experience as a movement coordinator and violence and intimacy designer on Good Kids. The article, “When the Problem is Personal: Working on Naomi Iisuka’s Good Kids as a Sexual Assault Survivor,” talks through Kate’s process for staging some really challenging moments with undergraduate actors.

The play tackles the Steubenville rape case and this production re-created several of the images from the events of that night on stage. Kate talks through her process for staging those moments and her struggles and strategies for keeping herself emotionally safe. Additionally, the production team worked with the Title IX office and Office of Civil Rights at University of Missouri.

She encourages productions to follow their lead in bringing in experts to empower the team with language and knowledge to keep conversations productive and rehearsals safe.

More knowledge and better language is at the core of what TIE stands for and we are excited for more people to share in the work with us.

To check out Kate’s work, look in the current issue of Fight Master. Not a member of the SAFD? Join here!


 

Moving from #metoo to #thisendsnow

Creating an environment at rehearsal where the actors feel safe to explore potentially dangerous play is a top priority for me as a director.   If I fail to establish such an environment, I know the actors will limit themselves in exploration and discovery in rehearsal.  

A few weeks ago, I started rehearsals for a production of Romeo and Juliet. This is a production with all college students, so I started the first day giving them an overview of my expectations as a director, and specifically offering them some thoughts on tools for self-care when balancing the rehearsal process with real-life demands.  I call this, “TLC for the Rehearsal Process and Beyond.”  

Due to the required fights skills necessary to pull off a production of Romeo and Juliet, as well as the intimate nature of some of the scenes, I requested a few extra days at the beginning of the rehearsal calendar for some specific ensemble training. I used this time to have all members of the cast – not just the actors who would fight on stage - train in sword fighting with an SAFD certified teacher. I also trained the entire cast in TIE's system for staging intimacy. Although not all the actors are fighting or staging scenes with intimacy, I thought it was best to give all members of the ensemble an opportunity to experience and practice these skills, in the hope it would establish guidelines for safety, create a common vocabulary, and expand the learning opportunities the show provides to student actors in all roles.

In the time since we began rehearsal, I have perceived a positive sense of camaraderie in the room, and the cast has not shied away from asking hard questions:  the rehearsal room feels like a safe place.   I was curious if in fact this was the cast's perspective as well; and, if so, what had I done has a director to help establish this feeling?  So, I took a voluntary, anonymous survey of the cast.  I asked, “How has the director established a safe environment in the rehearsal space?”  All of the actors surveyed responded with the same initial sentiment:

PROVIDING GUIDELINES FOR STAGING INTIMACY WAS THE REASON THEY FELT MOST SAFE IN THE ROOM.

They felt the TIE work gave everyone the professional tools needed to establish boundaries, and taught them a respectable way to talk about their bodies and that of their fellow actor's as a professional. 

Another common response was the effectiveness of including all actors in the training for stage combat.  The performers felt that by including the entire team, everyone continued to build a common language for safety, and understood the importance of taking things slow while allowing the rehearsal process to build the pace.

The survey was presented to the actors before the Weinstein scandal appeared in the media.  In light of those vents, I find it interesting that it wasn’t the learning of the physical skills necessary to perform stage intimacy and combat that made the actors feel they were in a safe environment, but rather learning how to talk about safety, being able to establish boundaries, understanding body positive communication, and establishing as a regular practice how to give and receive consent. At this time, when we need to ask ourselves how to move beyond the inspiring #metoo phenomenon towards a #thisendsnow campaign of action, what these students learned are not only skills for rehearsal, but skills for life. I see the students carrying these healthy practices into their classroom work, and in their respect for one another outside of class.

If we can inspire students to establish these safe practices when it comes to intimacy in the theaters, rehearsal rooms, and the hallways of our training institutions, it will not be long before these safe practices become the norm of the studios and theaters of the most established producing organizations in the world.  Creating a safe process for the industry can start with just one rehearsal and actors eager to learn.

 

 

Tomorrow’s Headline

Written with Jason Davids Scott, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Film, Arizona State University

 

It’s hard to write about the headlines in the news.

Not because we are unaccustomed to headlines about people abusing their power in performance industries, or immune to the stories about careers thwarted, bodies damaged, and lives ruined because of pervasive, unchallenged, and ignored acts of sexual misconduct, humiliation, and abuse.

But we struggle to write because it seems so lacking to make a statement about abuses in the industry that reduce the problem to any one person, or any one company.  Focusing one’s wrath on an individual producer, director, executive, or other empowered individual only seems to serve to make each case seem so exceptional, so much a product of intentions and mistakes made by an individual and a small circle of people around them.  While such expressions of outrage may be cathartic, the ultimate impact may be unproductive.

Because we all know: this stuff happens all the time. It’s probably happening right now, and today’s headlines about a famous person finally being held accountable for unconscionable and indefensible abuses of power seem to be little deterrence to others who commit such acts far removed from the spotlight or the vision of a journalist investigating a story.

We focus on ethical practices on discussing, staging, and producing sexual intimacy in educational environments because we are tired of the headlines about the industries the students we train are preparing to enter, and we want to make a long-term impact.

We focus our work in academia, because we want to have the opportunity to address the problem at the root: teaching people best practices results in best practices, while ignoring worst practices only perpetuates the systemic invisibility of everyday abuses of power.

In our workshops, classrooms and rehearsal rooms, we see the producers, directors, choreographers, and performers of tomorrow. We teach every single one of them the importance of ethical behavior and to understand power dynamics that extend from director and producer to ensemble to individual performer to audience member. We give them the skills to be the good people in their own rooms in the future, to give them the physical and verbal language and skills to create and maintain their own safe creative spaces.  We believe that the skills that we give them also give them the confidence and fortitude to respond to unethical situations where abuse may occur with immediate focus and purposefulness.

If we don’t teach this work, we might be in the room with tomorrow’s headline.

We want today’s worst headlines to happen never - not because the conversation is being ignored and the individual symptoms have been identified, neutralized, and held accountable, but because the causes of the problem of systemic abuse and exploitation have been eradicated, and all creative artists have the language and ability to stop abuse every time it occurs . That’s why we do what we do. It’s about more than staging ethical, efficient, effective intimacy. It’s about teaching emerging artists that there is a better way.

The “Sexy” Trap

Staging intimacy needs to be ethical, efficient, and effective because it’s not just about the intimate moment: it’s all about telling the story. At TIE, we know moments of theatrical intimacy need a little extra TLC, but the moments surrounding intimacy, or even around the idea of intimacy can cause problems of their own.

The Problem

Social ideas of sexiness trick students into thinking sexy needs to look a certain way, sound a certain way, and move a certain way. Women try to make themselves impossibly small, restricting their breath, movement, and character choices. Men tax their bodies, straining their voices, creating tension, trying to perform a “manly” version of bigness. Non-binary actors can feel lost or forced to choose between hyper-binary ideas of how sexy “should” be.

It’s a real life behavioral Photoshop.

These ideas of “sexy” get in the way of truthful acting and they limit the types of stories actors have the opportunity to play. Missing the truth of the moment and “acting sexy” can drag a production down and can feel like a minefield to navigate as a director or educator. Giving an actor a note about untruthful “acting sexy” can make them feel nervous and actually make the problem worse. Trying to address it with action-based direction can help with the choices, but misses the vocal and physical issues. Fixing “acting sexy,” like staging intimacy, is all about having the right tools to describe the movement in a desexualized way.

Get out of the “Sexy” Trap

Story

Always come back to the story. Just ask the actor to explain why their character is in the room. Ya know, acting stuff. It will help with the nerves.

Breath

Shallow breath is a giveaway of “acting sexy.” Try big sighs and shaking it out on a yawn. Think about letting the release of breath release your shoulders and shake it down into your pelvis. Those deep, full breaths will help with the next tip.

Gravity

If the actor doesn’t understand their weight, it reads as nervous or stiff. There are lots of reasons actors are timid to be truthful with their own gravity. Help actors ground by trying some contact improvisation or weight sharing with partners.

It might seem a little out there, but nothing teaches grounding like squats. I know. Bear with me.

I highly recommend actors learn how to squat. Maybe even with a little (or a lot) of weight. The movement requires a supported core and causes the actor to literally drop their weight and engage their musculature. Pushing out of the bottom of a well-executed squat is a perfect opportunity to practice being fully grounded. Obviously, this isn’t an option for everyone, but it is one of my favorite shortcuts.

With any exercise-type of suggestion, I always drive home that this is about strengthening their instrument, not about physical appearance. Contact the student wellness center or a local gym and find a qualified instructor so everyone is working with excellent form.

Alignment

“Acting sexy” lends itself to hyper extended thoracic spines for everyone! Focus on alignment and allowing the head to float to reduce the thoracic thrust forward. A good roll up and down the spine solves a lot of problems.

Tempo

Nervous actors speed everything up and telling them to relax just makes it worse. Give them clear instructions about slower tempo to help tell the story of a more confident seduction. Or vary the tempo of a simple movement to help physically shape the story. If “slower” and “faster” aren’t doing it, try counts. For example: “That gesture is happening over about a three-count right now. Could we try an eight-count a big, low breath?”

The Confidence Trick

It can be tempting to encourage confidence in an actor when they seem reluctant to let their “sexy” mask go. Resist the urge to address their confidence. A nervous performer being told to be confident gets even more nervous. A performer that genuinely felt confident will now worry that they aren’t enough. Skip all of that worry and address the physical symptoms instead.

Images of sexualized bodies inundate us every day. Those ideas make their way onto stage, and we see real bodies trying to Photoshop themselves to look “sexy.”

Talk story, not sex. Talk physical choices, not confidence. You can break them out of their “acting sexy” box and it will serve them well throughout their training.

Need more? Reach out. 

Let’s Get Real: Truth vs. Reality in Staging Intimacy

It was late on a Sunday night. I was doing my nightly ritual of unwinding in bed and scrolling through my facebook feed. As I scrolled, I came across a Cosmopolitan article entitled “10 Movies Where the Actors Have Actual Sex.” (You don't need to read it, but if want to, it's here.) The subtitle was three shocked emoji faces.

I clicked on the link and instead of finding an article with that explained the obvious problem, I found a photo gallery with brief subtitles describing the “Actual Sex” the actors have in each film. Many of the descriptions in the list mention that the unsimulated sex was performed by body doubles in the porn industry whereas the actors performed simulated sex. The article wasn't what I had been expecting. It didn't seem to acknowledge the awfulness of this practice. It didn't offer any solutions. 

This led me to ponder, why do we have this fascination with “real” and “authentic” performance? Why do we as an industry and society value actors making a commitment to full immersion into a role, even to the point of actually performing a sex act? I worry that student actors coming up through academic theatre read articles like this one and think, “Well, I want to be an actor. This is what I have to do to achieve my dream.”

But we know that just isn’t true.

As educators, directors, and artists, we need to shift away from this narrative around “real” and “authentic” acting. Instead, at Theatrical Intimacy Education, we promote the idea of “truth.” Do you have a truthful connection to your partner? Do you have a truthful sense of what your character is going through? Do you have a truthful way to perform what you as the character are living this experience? “Real” slams down pressure onto actors to go to the ends of the earth to authenticate their own performance by “feeling” it. “Truth” alleviates this pressure by encouraging actors to access these feelings, thoughts, and emotions with honesty and with what they know. This conflation between reality and truth has become a dangerous game for our actors.    

This problem of truth vs. reality isn’t limited to film, either. In 2014, Thomas Bradshaw’s Intimacy was staged off-Broadway by The New Group. In it, several actors in the production appear nude and perform simulated sex acts with each other, even using prosthetics that ejaculate (specifically onto an audience member/plant). Austen Cauldwell, the actor who performed this act, stated, “We’re not trying to make sexy images, we’re trying to be real.” This attempt to be real was extended to one of the actors in this show who actually masturbated onstage during this production. Had I been involved in this production, I would never allow actors to go to this extreme extent, no matter how comfortable with their own bodies in performance they are, because it is simply unnecessary to do so. 

This also applies to the ways we stage violence. I have had more conversations with actors who have insisted on actual violence to help their performance seem “real” to them. No matter how much detail I go into of the number of injuries that could occur and the risks involved in performing real violence, I have been met with stubbornness. The Profiles Theatre scandal in Chicago proves that this is still a massive issue beyond any one person's anecdotes.

To be clear, I wholeheartedly believe in the exploration of staging intimacy. If you are directing actors, or you are an actor who desires to explore the extreme vulnerability of performing a sex act onstage, it is absolutely within your right to do so. What I object to is putting actors in positions that they feel like they might not be able to get out of in fear of being a “problem actor” or being labeled as “difficult to work with.” Making matters worse, these are fears that I most often hear from women and actors of color.

Not sure what I mean?

Let’s revisit the Cosmo list that prompted this blog post. In one of the films, the director was also the actor on which the sex act was being performed (Editor's Note: WHOA). I think back to some of my own acting classes and productions I have been a part of over my time in academia where professors whom I respected and adored told me to “just do it” or “just get over it” without me or my scene partner being able to have a discussion regarding how our kiss was to take place (if you haven’t already, check out Laura’s fabulous blog post that I wish I would have had as an undergrad here).

Our goal at Theatrical Intimacy Education is to empower the actor to have the tools to navigate these sticky situations. We want actors to know what to do if they don’t want to go to the level of “real” and reframe the narrative of the scenario around “truth.” Truth encourages actors to be honest about their own personal boundaries. If you want me to hit/kiss you because that makes the experience of being hit/kissed “real” for you, expect my truthful response that I am really not comfortable doing so, and that is okay as my personal boundary for acting.  We also want to empower the director with the knowledge to stage these scenes in truthful ways that does not compromise the integrity and agency of the actors or the director.

“Truth” allows actors to explore that Stanislavskian “Magic If” more than “Real” could ever permit because reality is unachievable on the stage.

This change in narrative from reality to truth will take time and effort on all of our parts. We hope that Theatrical Intimacy Education will spread this message and empower actors emerging into the industry to know what their guidelines are for navigating these waters (whether it be Title IX, SAG-AFTRA, AEA, or EOCC) in a positive and productive way so they will never have to fear being labeled the “problem actor” while not compromising their agency and integrity.

Working on Intimate Scenes in Class

This past August I attended The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was invited to present a demonstration for the Directing Focus Group's pre-conference in which I guided the audience through a series of exercises that I take all of my acting students through before they are allowed to work with a partner on scenes for class. Additionally, I also presented these guidelines as a member of the panel, “Acting Sexy,” sponsored by the Association of Theatre Movement Educators.

After returning from the conference many theatre educators reached out to me for this list, so I am publishing these tips here for all to access. While many of us have developed our own way of handling the tricky stuff in our classrooms, at ATHE, many theatre practitioners expressed that they felt these tips helped them articulate their own process to students.  

These guidelines have been proofed and approved by the Title IX office at the University of Miami. If you are unsure if they serve the guidelines of your program I encourage you to reach out to the Title IX office in your institution. This work is available in more detail through a Theatrical Intimacy Education workshop and will be part of our workshops (coming this spring). 

The Prep  

The following tips are the guidelines that my students learn and must practice when working on scenes for class.  

  • Accept that you have to work in an open, vulnerable and neutral stance.  Take a few moments to silently stand in an open neutral position (without touching) and take in your partner. 
  • Be specific and clear about boundaries – especially physical boundaries.  While we recommend establishing boundaries through a physical exercise that we teach in our workshops, boundaries can be reinforced verbally. We like to say areas that are off limit to touch have "fences."  This way the partner can physically visualize the boundary of a fence and remember not to cross the boundary established by their partner.  

  • Self-Care cue – agree on an word that will be used by anyone to stop the action when the actors feel there may be something amiss in the choreography or the if the actor needs a moment for mental self-care.  When the cue is  used by anyone, all action should stop and physical concerns and issues should be addressed.  If this is for a moment of mental self-care, allow the actor to have a moment alone and move on when ready.  Full permission from each partner should be given before rehearsal can start again. I suggest picking a cue line that is not related to the show, for example, "New Orleans" is not a great self-care cue if you are working on a production of A Streetcar Named Desire

  •  When new contact occurs for the first time ask for permission. Receive clear, affirmative permission before initiating touch. 

  •  Use “I” language.  Remember to offer ideas, do not direct.

  • Always work towards telling the story.  Clarify the objectives for physical action.

  •  When you find complicated physical touch in a scene make sure you repeat with a slow pace.  Continuing work at a slow pace until it is completely safe to move to performance pace.

  • Take breaks during the rehearsal in order to address each action with the following phrase:           

“As my character I want to (state the character’s intention),                                                             as the actor I am going to (describe in detail how to physically accomplish).”

  • Always keep working towards telling the story, do not allow yourself to get caught up in showing clever ideas.

  • Never leave the rehearsal without discussing what you achieved.

  • Be honest with your partner about you how you feel about the outcome of what was achieved in rehearsal.  Be honest about how you feel about the way you and your scene partner worked together.  If you do not feel you can be open with your partner immediately contact your teacher, director, or stage manager to discuss your feelings.

  • Make sure you are in agreement about how the scene is working. Never leave the rehearsal with unanswered questions for your partner. 

  • Journal the process.  It is important to have a written record of the rehearsal process.  In rehearsal for a production the stage manager will do this but in a private rehearsal for class you need to journal.  This will help you keep a clear idea of the intimacy choreography created during the rehearsal.  This will help you journal your process as an actor.  This will also serve as a record of agreement or disagreement about what was achieved in rehearsal that can be compared with your scene partner’s record if needed.  Title IX officials suggest always having a third party present when rehearsing scenes for class but because that is not always a possibility, a journal is the next best option.

TIE offers a comprehensive approach to staging and teaching theatrical intimacy. These tips are a great starting point for any class exercise. For more detail on these tips, reach out to Laura.

For information about our more in-depth workshops or general inquiries, contact us

 

 

Welcome

Hi. I'm Chelsea. This is Theatrical Intimacy Education. 

We stage intimacy.
We want to teach you how to do it.
Actually, we want to teach your whole department how to do it.
That's why we started a company. 

We're here to make it all less weird. 

We began this work because we saw a problem and we are here to fix it.  

So many theatre artists have had experiences with insensitive, unethical, awkward, or traumatizing direction in scenes that involve physical intimacy, nudity, or sexual violence. So many were left wondering if they did something wrong, or worse, if they should just toughen up and take it. Incoming freshman at colleges and universities have already seen enough “just kiss her’s” to last them a lifetime. The professional theatre echoes this awfulness back to us hundredfold. 

We are here to end it. 

That’s why we choose to focus on changing educational theatre. By working from within the educational system, we can change the profession. By training emerging artists in ethical, efficient, and decidedly desexualized practices, we can take out the creepy weirdness of staging intimacy in our profession for good.

The Guiding Principles: Ethically, Efficiently, Effectively

Ethically

Desexualized language and consensual choreography is the backbone of the progression we teach. We will be thinking about finding an oppositional rock with their partner, opening and closing distance, visible power shifts, and weight of contact. We don’t talk sex positions or use sexual language. We don’t need to. We give the power back to the performers and give you the tools to create safe, professional, dynamic choreography that meets everyone's needs, all while respecting the boundaries of the artists in the room.

Our work establishing clear boundaries will delight your Title IX office, and fewer students will cry in yours.

Efficiently

Our work will never grind your process to a halt. If our methods can’t save a director time, they won't use them. If they don’t use them, we aren’t getting our progression out there. We teach you how to use our progression so that your department’s precious resources can go towards things your department needs. By working from a tested progression with easy to follow steps, any director, regardless of experience, can make staging intimacy an easy part of their process.

We make you the expert to save everyone time and money in the long run.

Effectively

A scene built on feelings won’t last. A scene built on solid choreography can withstand tech week, finals week, and will hold up through closing night. A progression that empowers the performers to approach intimacy the way they approach every other scene allows them to focus on storytelling, rather than worrying if their scene partner is trying to make out with them. It makes for better rehearsals, better productions, and moves us towards a more impactful theatre.

We give you the tools to choreograph exactly what you need to tell your story without turning your rehearsal room into group therapy.

We are Theatrical Intimacy Education.

We are dedicated to empowering artists with the tools to ethically, efficiently, and effectively stage intimacy and sexual violence in educational theatre. We teach workshops, train faculty, guide students, and stage quite a bit of intimacy ourselves. We are scholars, artists, directors, and educators.

Our goal is to change the industry from the inside out. We each have a story about how we ended up here, but we are here to change the story for students. If staging intimacy ethically, efficiently, and effectively can be as natural in your department as thanking a stage manager, we will have done our job.

We are here to help. Reach out. Send us a message. Let's get started.