‘Theatre is about interaction, about learning other people's stories’

Theatre sketches

Two interludes were arranged during the symposium by four actors who presented several different scenarios on inclusiveness. During and after the scenes, the audience were able to respond and question the players, in their roles, about their behaviour and attitude. This interactive approach generated some interesting and stimulating discussions.

Sketch 1:

Me? Discriminate? Are you kidding me?

Three teachers meet in the staff room and discover they each have a very different set of opinions about discriminatory behaviour. “This student - she accused me of being discriminatory. Me! Of all people! Are you kidding me? I’m black!”

Reactions from the audience:

Sketch 2:

‘From my experience, students from a migrant background don’t perform well’

A student visits his teacher, asking for his grade on a chemistry paper. The teacher seems annoyed to be disturbed and is rude to the student, saying that because of his Turkish background a career in chemistry is not for him.

Theatre company Leiden International Arts and Theatre Foundation performed sketches based on real life cases at universities in the Netherlands. The performing artists, led by Kathryn Bentley, discussed the issue with the audience: how can we develop an inclusive Leiden University? Bentley is Associate Professor of Theatre Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a diversity trained specialist.

The mission statement of the Leiden International Arts and Theatre Foundation is to unite artistic and non-artistic communities from both Dutch and international backgrounds through performance art with the aim of engaging the whole community of Leiden and beyond in art and theatre. The production team, cast, directors, and generally all the participants come from different backgrounds and work towards a common goal: a great theatre performance.

Reactions from the audience:

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