The In[HEIR]itance Project began in 2015 as an experimental playmaking project. From 2015-2020, The In[HEIR]itance Project created 12 original pieces of theater in communities spread over 8 states, engaging over five thousand process participants. 100% of the box office receipts, over $30,000 to date, goes to local artists and arts organizations to continue the civic conversations in their communities through their own artistic practice.
Our first endeavor paired stories from the book of Genesis with topical civic conversations through an open access artistic process, becoming The Genesis Plays: 5 plays in 5 American cities in 3 years. Our five pilot communities were Minneapolis, Charleston, Seattle, Austin, and Kansas City. In 2018, the plays were presented in a retrospective festival at the 14th Street Y Theater in New York City. Our next series exploring Exodus narratives has led to projects in NYC, Omaha, Cincinnati and Norfolk/Virginia Beach. Other work has included projects related to war (West Point), tribalism (Harlem, NYC), ritual (Detroit), and the environment (Palm Beach), along with residencies in California and Wisconsin. The Covid-19 pandemic instigated the launch of our first virtual project, CYCLES: Revelations.
Our unique, collaborative process sits at the intersections of sacred and artistic practices. We endeavor, through collaborative artmaking, to investigate what we as HEIR's do with our shared and individual inheritances (myths, narratives, ideas, theologies, systems, etc.) and how we can apply them to hard conversations in our communities.
The In[HEIR]itance Project has evolved and will continue to evolve to serve partner communities with our unique approach to collaborative theater and community building inspired by shared inheritances.
The In[HEIR]itance Project creates space for communities to navigate challenging civic conversations through collaborative theater projects inspired by inherited texts, traditions, cultures, customs, and beliefs.
We believe that the broken systems we have inherited will only be healed by collectively examining our shared beliefs, experiences and biases. This is reflected both in what we make and how we make it. We focus our energies on breaking down barriers set by race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion, ethnicity and geography.
We believe that relationships forged through our playmaking process have long-term positive impacts for our partners. Therefore, we foster a culture of community participation and collaboration in our work that creates unique opportunities for cross-community human-to-human connections.
We believe that offering a variety of opportunities to participate in the artistic process ensures more authentic co-collaboration. We build bridges into our creative spaces to ensure a multiplicity of voices are included & activated.
We believe that our unique process allows our projects to come into being, or “emerge,” creating space for unexpected connections to appear between people, projects and perspectives.
WHY WE DO what we do
We are divided now more than ever, and it is easier to remain in our chosen silos than it is to engage with our neighbors and communities. These divisions create barriers to civic dialogue and civil society. We believe that something magical happens when people gather together and open their hearts to those around them. And through this work, we are offering an open door for people to find just that. It is our hope that by learning more about each other, we can learn more about the world around us, and about how to make it a better place for everyone. We find this work to be healing. We hope that you will too.