5/29/14 – Civic Community Brainstorms This June

Civic Community Brainstorm


June 17  &  24

7:00 – 9:00 pm

at the Kitchen Theatre 

417 W. State St./Martin Luther King Jr. St.  Ithaca, NY


Reservations recommended

Call  (607) 241-0195 or click here.

Two nights to come share your ideas for what to include in a play about community-police relations. This is a preview project for Safety, a community-based play: A play in development by and about the community.

  • Listen to stories told at recent story circles
  • Share in a free meal
  • Learn how to join the cast of the play
  • Brainstorm what the play should include
  • Watch a demo of games and activities




For the next phase of their 2014 community-based play, Safety, Civic Ensemble invites community members to two Tuesdays of free fun, brainstorming, and food being held at the Kitchen Theatre Company on June 17th and 24th from 7pm-9pm.

Every year, Civic Ensemble recruits a group of community members to develop, create, and perform an original play about a topic of importance to the community. The topic of our next production is community-police relations and how these relationships can both help and hinder our cohesion as a community. Civic Ensemble is committed to creating an environment in which the community can examine different points of view without judgment. This project uses collaboratively created storytelling to address the divisions in our community with regard to policing and public safety.

The Civic Community Brainstorms will be an opportunity for community members, including law enforcement professionals and their families, to learn what the annual community-based play is all about and how they can get involved. The events will engage attendees with the topic of community-police relations, give them an opportunity to contribute their ideas about what the play should include, and recruit participants for the cast of the play. The events will be similar so there is no need to attend both evenings, though people are welcome to come to both. Food will be served at both events.

Safety is led by Civic’s Director of Civic Engagement, Sarah K. Chalmers and Artistic Director, Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. Chalmers has a masters degree in Applied Theatre from the City University of New York. She specializes in creating theatre with communities. Of the Safety project she says, “I’ve been conducting story circles for Safety since October 2013. I’ve heard stories from a wide variety of viewpoints about everything from traffic stops to drug busts to shootings. Our work on this play is not to find the right answers, but to find the fruitful questions. What do we need to ask ourselves and each other to move through this human experience together in a new way?” Simmons adds, “Civic Ensemble welcomes all interested community members, including law enforcement professionals and their families, to sign up to help develop the play during July and August and rehearse and perform in September and October of 2014. No experience is necessary and the theatre company works with individuals who need transportation, childcare, or who have other special needs, to make sure everyone who is interested can participate. The production will utilize theatre-making tools that empower community members in the creation of theatre that is vital and relevant to their neighbors here in Ithaca. Civic Ensemble believes that a truly civic theatre cannot exist without the voices of the community it serves.

This project is supported by the Community Foundation, the Cornell Public Service Center, Tompkins Trust Company, and Shared Journeys. This event is sponsored by the Kitchen Theatre Company and Alternatives Federal Credit Union.

Civic Ensemble is a non-profit theatre company serving Ithaca and Tompkins County that produces new and overlooked plays, reinterpretations of classics, and community-based plays that deal with the social, political, and cultural issues of our time. Through the production of plays, after-school and in-school education programs for young people, and civic engagement programs with Ithaca community members, the company works to bring audiences of different races, classes, and experiences together in a public forum on the American experiment. Civic Ensemble is committed to employing Ithaca-based theatre artists whenever possible. It is our vision that theatre be accessible to all people, onstage and off.