15 Donation


In Donation, Joe’s character describes a personal encounter with someone who had asked him for money. Joe gave them a $10 bill. One friend said that it was a good choice and that Joe had helped the person. Another friend was against the decision, noting that there is a liquor store next door and Joe could have been enabling an addict.

Topic Risk Level: Medium
Dramatic Skill Difficulty: Low

Watch the Scene:

Jokering Techniques

Voices For and Against

  • The two characters in the scene had different opinions about whether giving a $10 bill was a good idea or not. Come up with some of your own reasons for or against giving money and explore questions around whether or not giving money is a good idea. This scene also provides opportunity to discuss the difference between charity and justice.

Index Cards 

  • On index cards, learners can reflect on their own personal encounters with people asking for money. If some are comfortable, they can be invited to share what they have written to open up further discussion.

Note: While we label this scene as generally medium risk in terms of topic, this jokering technique can lead to higher risk depending on how the discussion unfolds.

Initiating Questions

  1. Consider the different implicit biases that might be held by all three characters. Are there overlaps between characters in the biases that you identified?
  2. When we make a donation, who benefits? Does it benefit the person in need? Does it benefit us? What might different motivations for donating be?
  3. Is there a threshold for the “right amount” to donate? How much is too much?
  4. What is the difference between charity and justice?
  5. Is a focus on charitable acts distracting from working for deep justice and equity for all?  Are the two mutually exclusive? Explore.
  6. What social, personal and systemic factors contribute to one to be homeless? Are these based upon facts or assumptions? See Mirror Theatre’s Challenging the Myths: Stories from Inside and Outside a Women’s Shelter for more on this topic.



Haunting our Biases: Using Participatory Theatre to Interrupt Implicit Bias Copyright © 2022 by Kevin Hobbs; Michael Martin Metz; Nadia Ganesh; Sheila O'Keefe-McCarthy; Joe Norris; Sandy Howe; and Valerie Michaelson. All Rights Reserved.

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