Bad Dog Theatre Company Faculty Training

The Context:

Bad Dog Theatre Company is an Improv Company in Toronto that teaches courses, holds performances, and puts on festivals in their theatre space. Bad Dog has a large focus on inclusivity – traditionally, North American improv comedy has been very exclusive – cis gender, straight, able-bodied, white, male dominated.

One Thing They Were Looking For:

As they continue to work in inclusive ways, they commissioned Delve In to work with their teaching faculty who are also their performers, to train them about Power in the classroom-power dynamics between students, between students and teachers, and within the wider, Bad Dog community.

Activities/Techniques Used:

One of the exercises used involved the group dividing into partners, A & B. A holds their hand about one inch from B’s face. B has to follow that hand as A moves slowly through the space. As an instructor, I emphasize moving very slowly in this exercise. This is an exercise adapted from the work of Augusto Boal.

What came out of this practice, in this context, with these people:

Faculty reflected on themes of leadership, power and practice methods. The exercise made visible some of their habits and assumptions in roles of both leading and following. The faculty made links to their work in the classroom, where they saw power and how themselves and students negotiate this power.