Mind the Gap
In 2009, NYTW created Mind the Gap: Intergenerational Theatre Workshop as a way to foster meaningful dialogue among artists and audiences of diverse backgrounds and generations. Mind the Gap workshops are held twice per season at NYTW, as well as in residence at multiple community partner locations in New York City and beyond.
Mind the Gap is free intergenerational theatre program in which elders [ages 60+] and youth [ages 14-19] interview each other and write or devise short plays inspired by their personal stories. Mind the Gap’s primary goal is to use theatre as a creative tool to increase empathy and communication between generations. No theatre experience is required to participate in the program.
Elders and youth can participate in one of two versions of Mind the Gap:
- The Playwriting Workshop – Over the course of ten sessions, participants work in intergenerational pairs to interview each other and write plays inspired by their partner’s personal stories. Each playwriting workshop culminates with an invited work-in-process presentation in which professional actors read participants’ work aloud. NYTW holds sessions of Mind the Gap – Playwriting during the summer and fall.
- The Performance Workshop – Over the course of a weeklong intensive or the equivalent of ten weekly sessions, participants work in intergenerational pairs and as a group to create a performance piece inspired by their personal stories. Each performance workshop culminates with an invited work-in-process presentation in which participants’ perform their piece. NYTW holds sessions of Mind the Gap – Performance during the spring or summer. NYTW Education Staff has also facilitated Mind the Gap – Performance workshops in North Carolina, New Jersey, London, UK and Santiago, Chile.
Applications for the Winter 2020 session are now closed!
The goals of the program are both to teach writing and theatre skills and foster better communication and understanding between these two age groups. No playwriting or theatre experience is necessary to participate in Mind the Gap.
Through the workshop participants are able to:
- INVESTIGATE, LISTEN and EMPATHIZE with someone of another generation, while using playwriting as a tool to understand and represent their unique experience
- BROADEN THEIR PERSPECTIVE, see the other generation in a new light, and take on the task of telling someone else’s story with respect and understanding
- SHARE THEIR STORIES and ultimately see them interpreted through another’s eyes making meaning out of their personal narratives and gaining insights into their own lives
Want to bring Mind the Gap to your community? If you work with elders or teens and are interested in learning more about recruitment or becoming a Mind the Gap community-based partner, please contact Alexander Santiago-Jirau, Director of Education, at AlexanderS@nytw.org.