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Active Bystander Workshop for families (ages 12+)

October 13, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Tuesday, Oct 13
7:00 – 9:00 PM
With Arlington Community Education

Working Together for Change: An Active Bystander Workshop

Have you been or have you wanted to have family discussions about how to build a more equitable society? Take this class together and learn strategies for having empowering and informative talks and how to hold each other accountable. We all witness situations where we want, but hesitate, to intervene whether we’re at school, the workplace, family gatherings or on social media. An active bystander is someone who not only witnesses a situation, but also speaks up or takes steps to defuse a situation or keep it from escalating. Learn how to become a more effective active bystander. We’ll focus on looking at our own blindspots as well as the microaggressions and biases we witness in friends and family. Learn how to engage in effective and non-aggressive conversations around harmful things people have said or done in order to promote dialogue and change around these issues. We will practice practical strategies for handling specific situations and discover what tactics may work best for you. Leave this class feeling more empowered and better informed. Ages 12+

Trainer: Franci DuMar

Franci began working with True Story Theater to lead Bystander Intervention Workshops three years ago. Now more than ever, Franci is inspired to focus her facilitation and bystander intervention training and teaching towards outreach of young people and families. In facilitating multiple workshops to children and teenagers in Playback and improvisational theater, Franci has engaged young people in finding more connection, empathy, and spontaneity from both telling and performing their stories. When leading Bystander Intervention Trainings, Franci seeks to engage these same core values so that participants practice taking effective action against hate and ignorance. Franci looks to help people challenge their own biases, hold helpful and nonjudgmental dialogues around standing-up for social causes, and make the commitment to this life-long practice of challenging harmful societal norms. She is currently an Arlington resident, a member of True Story Theater in Arlington, Massachusetts, and is earning her Master’s degree at Lesley University in Mental Health Counseling & Drama Therapy.


Arlington Community Education
View Organizer Website


Arlington Community Education
View Organizer Website

What happens in a True Story Theater performance?  Our events bring together the delight of improvisation with the courageous vulnerability of people sharing their personal truth.

The show’s emcee (called “the conductor”) facilitates brief, spontaneous conversations with volunteers from the audience who share their own feelings and experiences related to the show’s theme.  After each conversation, the actors and musician immediately embody the key feelings and actions they heard, using movement, music, dialogue, and superb listening. All of it is improvised on the spot. During the course of a 75 minute show, True Story enacts about 6-8 stories.

From this simple interaction, audience members feel validated, laugh, cry, get insights about their lives, and feel an expanded sense of community. You can share a moment from your life and see it performed, or just come to watch.

What are True Story Theater’s classes like?  We will teach you the basics of Playback Theatre, which can hone your listening skills for everyday life.  All are welcome.  Classes are supportive, informal, intimate, and fun, an enriching experience for both newcomers and experienced actors.