Interactive Theatre Troupe

The TWU interactive theatre troupe performing on the Redbud stage
Interactive Theatre Troupe wearing masks while performing
The TWU interactive theatre troupe performs for an audience
The TWU interactive theatre troupe performing on the Redbud stage
The TWU interactive theatre troupe performs for an audience
Photo of students backstage in the TWU Interactive Theatre Troup
The TWU interactive theatre troupe performing on the Redbud stage
The TWU interactive theatre troupe performs for an audience

Using theatre for dialogue, education and awareness

The Texas Woman's University Interactive Theatre Troupe (TWU ITT) was founded in 2016 by Dr. Noah Lelek with support from a Creative Arts and Humanities Grant from the TWU Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. The troupe is housed in and strongly supported by the Theatre Department. The goal of the troupe is to increase dialogue about sensitive subjects, including sexual assault, victim blaming and racial injustice. The troupe is based on Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed and Forum Theatre techniques, which provide audiences a way to promote social change and explore, analyze, and transform the circumstances in which they live. The performance begins with a 5-10 minute traditional play, followed by time for the audience to ask the characters questions about their backgrounds, the situation, and their motivations. Finally, members of the audience are asked to enter the scene to try to solve the issues raised in the script in a safe and supportive manner.

Scripts

Welcome to College: This script has six actors and deals with sexual assault and victim blaming following an off-campus party and can be used for groups of students, staff, faculty, etc.

Enjoy your Weekend: The script has two actors and deals with sexual assault, victim blaming, and how faculty, staff, and students deal with reporting instances of sexual assault. This script works well for faculty/staff training.

Diversity in the Classroom: This script has five actors—four students and one professor. The setting is a classroom where a discussion about racial injustice spirals out of control. This script is great for faculty/graduate student training on how to deal with microaggressions, diversity, and communication in the classroom.

Spectrum News: TWU's Interactive Theatre Troupe takes a look at awkward situations

“I like to describe it as presenting an impossible puzzle to the audience which they are then invited to come and try to fix,” said Talia Gritzmacher, the assistant director for the Interactive Theatre Troupe at TWU. “What they find out, though, is it’s not about fixing — it’s about trying to learn as much as possible about a very complicated subject.”

Book us for your next event

We recommend performances last at least 75 minutes, with an audience of between 10-100 people. 

To request a performance from the troupe, or to request information about consulting, please contact Dr. Noah Lelek at nlelek@twu.edu.

Hear from our audience

“It was very effective in giving realistic situations/points of view to what happens and what tactics would work as an outsider helping the situation.”

“After working at a number of colleges, this was perhaps the most powerful program I've seen.”

Performances

  • 2018 Cultivate Safe College Campuses: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Campus Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Conference at Southern Methodist University
  • Plenary session at the 22nd Annual Texas Higher Education Law Conference at the University of North Texas
  • North Central Texas College-Gainesville
  • Midwestern State University
  • Performances at Pioneer Camp at Texas Woman’s University
  • Performance at the North American Drama Therapy Association Conference in Kansas City, MO
  • Performance at the National Communication Association Conference in Salt Lake City, UT
  • Plenary session at the 2018 Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences in Chicago, IL

Meet the troupe

Talia Gritzmacher headshot

Talia Gritzmacher

MA in Theatre, 2021 
Areas of Study: Theatre for Social Change, Playwriting

Talia is the Assistant Director of TWU ITT. She is currently aiding in the research project “Breaking Bad News: Interactive Theatre to Increase Communication Between Health Care Providers and Patients” as Dr. Noah Lelek’s graduate research assistant. She received her BA from the University of Missouri in 2019, with an emphasis in Writing for Performance.

Wendy Acosta headshot

Wendy Acosta

BFA in Art Education, 2022

The Vagina Monologues: Miss Pat/Ensemble 
Not About Nightingales: Mrs. Bristol/Mex 
The Laramie Project: Ensemble 
The Shadow Box: Interviewer

“I joined ITT because I wanted to be able to act again and because I believe we need to provide a means to provoke discussions about various issues.”

Janel Agbor headshot

Janel Agbor

BA in Theatre: Acting/Directing, 2022

 

“I am a part of ITT because I enjoy the creative process of developing storylines based on real experiences that are not given enough attention. ITT offers a collaborative experience for both the audience members and the actors involved!”

Olivia Andrade headshot

Olivia Andrade

BA in Theatre: Acting/Directing, 2022

House of Home: Brenda Devita 
Footloose:  Aunt Lulu 
Little Gems' (Great Books):  Beverly

"I am involved in ITT because we tackle societal issues through theatre."

Andrew Carroll headshot

Andrew Carroll

BA in Theatre: Acting/Directing, 2024

By the Bog of Cats

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

“I chose to be a part of ITT because I want to educate our surrounding community of current issues going on in the world through the art of theatre and improv!”

William Clark headshot

William Clark

BA in Theatre: Acting/Directing, 2021

A Christmas Carol: Dancer/Topper 
Hamlet: Francisco 
Terra Nova: Sound Designer 
In the Heights: Ensemble Member 
VROOOMMM!: Sound Designer

“As a part of ITT, I hope to shed light on sexual assault and how to spot signs of abuse.”

Hannah Fuller headshot

Hannah Fuller

BA in Theatre: Acting/Directing, 2022

Car Park Sonnets: Ensemble 
These Shining Lives: Catherine 
Circle Mirror Transformation: Lauren 
Cabaret: Herman/Ensemble

"I joined ITT because I wanted to be a part of something that would help us grow as a society and start talking about what really matters"

Amanda Greenfield headshot

Amanda Greenfield

BA in Psychology, 2022

Twelve Angry Men: Juror #2 
Proof: Claire 
Rule of 3 Improv Troupe: Troupe member

“I loved the improv troupe at my high school and wanted to continue to be a part of an improv troupe in college. Upon coming to TWU, I became very intrigued by the Interactive Theatre Troupe for the way in which it would supplement my passion for improv, while also providing the facilitation of dialogue around sensitive social topics that surround the college experience.”

Jesus Gonzalez

Jesus Gonzalez

BA in Theatre: Acting/Directing, 2022

Mama Mia!: Ensemble 
Silent Sky: Peter 
The Addams Family Musical: Mal

“I enjoy the spontaneity of improv theatre which is something we usually don't get in traditional theatre.”

Dania Kaikati "headshot"

Dania Kaikati

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 2024

Aristocats: Backstage, Scenery 
The Last Nights of the Month: Playwright 
Hamlet: Ophelia

“I joined ITT in hopes of building a community that shares the same passions as I do. I've been in plays before and I remember the long and arduous hours of rehearsals, but it was all worth it in the end. Interactive theater is a new experience for me and I love that I am able to educate the audience as well as entertain them.”

Mia Leavell headshot

Mia Leavell

BA in Theatre: Tech/Design, 2022

The Birds: Dresser 
Emilie La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight: Lighting Board Operator 
Cabaret: Hair Designer

“I love how being in the Interactive Theater Troupe because it has given me the opportunity to bring more awareness to and educate myself and others about prevalent social issues. And being a part of the creative process such as writing and developing backgrounds for different characters has also helped me think about these situations in a way I never would have before.”

McKenzie Mitchell headshot

McKenzie Mitchell

BA in Theatre: Education, 2024

I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Chorus 
Women Of Lockerbie: Madeline

“I joined ITT because I believe that we should be ready to have uncomfortable conversations that can spread awareness of unjust within America, and an association like this is the exact tool to do that."

Yivette Silva headshot

Yivette Silva

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Stained Glass: Marching Band 
Winter Showcase

“Being a part of the ITT would help others and myself express social issues freely.”

Eden Solomon headshot

Eden Solomon

Avenue Q- Lucy the Slut 
Shrek the Musical- Princess Fiona 
Murders in the Heir- Nurse Withers 
Cinderella- Anastasia

“Why I joined ITT: Well firstly I really missed being a part of theatre. I always said that theatre is what made me sane through high school. I really wanted to join theatre in college but I chickened out my first two years. Now that I’m close to graduating I forced myself to audition for something! I remember seeing the ITT my freshman year of college and thought this is AMAZING why not try it!”

Chelsea Stephenson headshot

Chelsea Stephenson

BS in Medical Technology, 2024

“I joined ITT in hopes of making new friends and to gain more experience in the world of art. It's something I've always wanted to do, so why not start here?”

Tyler Voyles headshot

Tyler Voyles

BA in Theatre: Education, 2023

Julia Pastrana: Lent 
Cinderella: Ensemble 
Anything Goes: Elisha J Whitney 
She Kills Monsters: Director

"I joined ITT to help make a change while doing what I love most. I have always wanted to get into activism and thanks to ITT I can now do Theatre at the same time."

Katherine Weber headshot

Katherine Weber

MA in Theater, 2021
Areas of Study: Acting, Devising, Theater for Social Change

Welcome to College: Heather 
Virtual Medical Simulation: Patient 
Diversity in the Classroom: Taylor, Dr. Carter

“I have always believed that theater and storytelling can make the world a better place, but ITT embraces this mission more than almost any group I have seen. While it can be tough to perform such sensitive scenarios, I appreciate the opportunity. Not only does it allow me to grow as an actor, it helps educate both me and our audiences on current social issues. We can learn about perspectives and problems we may have never considered, propose solutions to them, and become more empathetic, supportive people as a result.”

About Dr. Noah Lelek

Dr. Noah Lelek's headshot

Dr. Noah Lelek received a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Missouri in 2012, where he was the Assistant Director for the MU Interactive Theatre Troupe and a member of the prestigious Rollins Society.  He also received a B.S.Ed. in Speech and Theatre Education and an M.A. in Theatre, both from Missouri State University. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked briefly for a theatre company in Chicago creating original musicals with incarcerated youth. In 2015, Dr. Lelek was awarded the Diversity Award for Excellence from the Mississippi Board of Trustees and the Mid-Career Award for Artistic Scholarship, Teaching and Leadership from the National Communication Association. His research and creative interests include performance auto/ethnography, performative writing, devising, directing, lighting design, and theatre for social justice. He is the creator and Artistic Director of the TWU Interactive Theatre Troupe.

 

 

2019 Pioneer Camp Survey Data

Download the results of our 2019 Pioneer Camp Survey (PDF)

Page last updated 3:42 PM, October 13, 2020