“Every change starts with a conversation”

Every change starts with a conversation. [The TSDC Performance Exchange] provided a forum or an avenue for that conversation to happen.

— Performer-advocate, TSDC Performance Exchange with All of Us Together and We Need to Talk!

Our Cities (and worlds) are shaped by conversations. The breadth of our visions for our collective futures determined by the people who are included in, or excluded from, these conversations. Encouraging inclusive, creative, ongoing exchange about our shared futures as co-residents of a City (or Cities), has been TSDC’s guiding principle and purpose. Just as TSDC plays are intended to prompt conversations between people with different points of view or from different social locations, the process of bringing the plays into being has been shaped by conversations across and between the many worlds of our uncommon partner collaborators:

  • Community and self-advocates, activists, and performer-advocates
  • Theatre practitioners and artists
  • Social service providers and policy makers
  • Arts and social science researchers, educators, and students

With this workbook, we’ve strived to share some of what we’ve learned on our journey over these past five years. What we’ve written reflects our perspectives and experiences, and the writing (and conversations around the writing) have deepened our own understandings of ‘what went on’ in TSDC. We share these in the spirit of expanding existing collaborations and the hope of sparking new connections: between ideas, people, projects, worlds.

How do things look from your worlds?
What would you add to the creative mix?

As a research project, TSDC had a set of goals that were time-limited. But we recognize that in order to do this kind of a project in a way that would introduce more (and more, and more) voices into conversations about the future of our Cities, the process would need to be ongoing. In this final chapter, we’ll talk about some of the things that we think would need to be addressed for a project like this — or the social and artistic processes at the core of projects like this — to be sustained and furthered. We’ll reflect on some of the things we’ve done so far — and wish we had been able to do more of. Some of the things we set in motion — and still hope to do some day. Things we dreamt of doing — and (also) still hope to do some day. And, things we’ve undertaken in the wake of the pandemic.


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Transforming Stories, Driving Change Copyright © by Helene Vosters, Catherine Graham, Chris Sinding is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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