Realizing the power of the theatrical event to bring about extraordinary communion between audience and performer is at the core of Freehold’s mission.
The work of Engaged Theatre calls on us to be more courageous and honest in our art. Making our work radically accessible poses certain artistic challenges that result in the expansion of the traditional boundaries of performance and practice. We believe that theatre has a more lasting impact when artist and audience come together to share a new experience; great stories can be the catalyst for generating meaningful inquiry around life’s largest issues, and we encourage engagement and discourse at every level.
This philosophy extends out into the world around us as we seek to build authentic relationships through active involvement. Since 2003 our Engaged Theatre program has developed partnerships with organizations that represent culturally under-served populations in our larger community. For example, the Engaged Theatre program connects Freehold to a variety of communities, including Washington Correctional Center for Women, Monroe Correctional Center for Men, Echo Glen Children’s Center, Harborview Trauma Center and New Futures. We tour to these unique populations with performances and workshops.
Benefits for our Artists and Our Community
- Our actors are introduced to individuals living through extraordinary circumstances, which informs both their character choices and performance; they must perform with greater truth and generosity.
- Engagement in the creative process empowers the voices and imaginations of community participants and builds trust within the communities.