Amid calls to rethink hierarchical structures in theatre and decolonize pedagogical, rehearsal and performance spaces, Jacob Buttry and Kristina Friedgen began to develop and explore a Theatre of Radical Compassion (TRC) as a philosophical approach to performance that centers relationship care within rehearsals and productions. As such, our initial application of TRC on a production of Everybody at Arizona State University proved successful in cultivating a space of encouragement, collaboration, and mutual respect that took root in productive and humanizing ways. This paper offers an account of how a primary focus on relationship care in rehearsal led to a productive and empowering space through collaboration and inclusive practices that ultimately led young artists to contribute more deeply to the interpretation of the play and to thereby exercise more ownership over the rehearsal process and product than they traditionally had experienced. We conclude that our rehearsal process for Everybody employed an intentional gathering of diverse perspectives in the rehearsal room, a collaborative method of artistic creation, and designated times of playful exploration, resulting in positive outcomes for company members such as inclusive representation of experiences in the final production, collective ownership of the creative output, and mutual growth for company members.
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