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    Making Waves: Social Justice Theatre Troupe

    Making Waves: Social Justice Theatre Troupe at Hamline University uses the art of performance to provoke dialogue about race, gender, class and other issues that can threaten our diverse and collaborative community of learners. The troupe performs in classes, for staff and faculty development and for a wide variety of groups on and off campus, doing short plays followed by facilitated discussions where the audience enters into dialogue with the characters in the plays and then seeks solutions for the problems presented.

    The Work

    The work of MAKING WAVES gets right to the heart of much of the mission of Hamline. In particular addressing the stated values of: the “creation, dissemination, and practical application of knowledge,” multicultural competencies, and most of all “an individual and community ethic of social justice, civic responsibility, and inclusive leadership and service.” The students in the troupe are willing to tackle the hard questions. What they have gained in personal growth was matched by what they brought to the groups for whom they performed. We are proud of them for what they have brought and continue to bring to our campus and to the work they have begun with students younger than themselves. Another stand out was watching the relationships that formed among the members- unlikely friendships between and among very different people who grew in their understanding of one another.

    Plays in Our Repertoire

    View some of the plays in our repertoire below.

    • Immigration Intolerance
    • Racism in the Teacher's Lounge
    • White Privilege
    • Driver's Ed: Police Brutality
    • Bystander Gossip: Victim Blaming & Rape Culture
    • Intersectionality
    • Trans Coming Out
    • It’s Just Not Fair: Disability issues on Campus
    • Test Anxiety: Expectations borne by students based on race & gender
    • We Don’t Have That Problem Here: Pronouns and Gender Binary issues
    • Supporting a Survivor: Secondary Victims of Sexual Violence
    • What Are You?: Questions faced by people of various marginalized identities
    • Pressure Cooker: Hunger and Class issues faced by students
    • Tenant and Landlord: Discrimination based on a domestic violence situation
    • Just Kidding: Heterosexism in our language
    • Among many more!

    History and Archives

    Making Waves Theatre Troupe has a long history of social justice and impacts in the Hamline community.  Read about how we got started and view a list of past performances and events.

    Testimonials and Evaluations

    In 2015-2016, Making Waves implemented evaluation forms to audiences to receive general feedback about content portrayed in performances and most importantly how valuable it is for communities to engage in conversations around social change. Over 80% surveyed on a scale of 1-10, chose between 8-10. View a selection of responses.

    Community Partnerships

    The Warehouse Project & Gallery is one of our newest partnerships, which began at the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference, we attended and presented at in Chicago, Illinois in the Summer of 2015. The Warehouse Project & Gallery (TWPG) encourages social change & neighborhood development by providing artistic outlets that engage & empower the community. They traveled to Hamline in 2016 over the summer to participate in a collaborative workshop, hosted by Making Waves, and which culminated in a performance piece based off our work together. Making Waves reconnected with the group at the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference in Detroit 2017 where each group presented independently and soon will journey to Summit, Illinois in August 2017 to facilitate a collaborative workshop with TWPG members once again.

    Advocating Change Together (ACT) is an organization led by and for persons with developmental and other disabilities. They invited us to facilitate a workshop with leaders in their organization. In those workshops we were able to introduce them to our process, create a play about an issue that they experience, and then assist them in finding alternate solution to those situations through forum theatre. Multiple participants engaged in the process as part of The Olmsted Academy project since our partnership started in 2012.  

    Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a leading U.S. drug & alcohol treatment center & recovery community which also has developed an evidence-based approach to preventing sexual violence on college campuses. In academic year 2015-2016, troupe members were featured in 6 short videos surrounding topics such as recognizing unhealthy relationships and awareness of sexual violence. Making Waves drew upon ideas from plays developed in the past along with resources from the organization’s project manager. These videos are used as part of an online course used by many colleges nationwide.

    Irreducible Grace Foundation works with vulnerable youth; especially those who are aging out of foster care or state guardianship, to become highly successful adults. They assist youth to develop/repair emotional trust in adults, while planning and achieving their college, career, and life goals.  In addition to sharing members, Making Waves members participated in a meeting at Irreducible Grace Foundation in April 2016 to gain knowledge about their play creation and rehearsal process while also beginning to develop a relationship with the group. This year, we plan to collaborate further and create a performance piece together.