An Idea based on Equity
"You don't need easy, you just need possible."
For many, the idea of a professional career in theatre seems impossible. Several hurdles may impede your goals- finances, family, knowledge, experience, support systems, confidence and a myriad of other circumstances.
TGI's founder, Corey Mitchell, has worked with students for the past twenty-five years who have faced these obstacles. Although Mitchell has a proven record of accomplishment, neither he nor Theatre Gap Initiative can solve those problems. However, they can be a vital step in helping to face challenges head-on and create opportunities that may not have been possible before.
Theatre Gap Initiative was founded on the principle that Equity means more than the distribution of wealth. It is access to systems that people of color have been historically excluded from. By collaborating with local, collegiate, and national Arts Institutions, we will help to dismantle those systems.
Opportunity does not come without hard work. The course work for TGI is meant to be rigorous. The adage "there is no growth in the comfort zone" is very true. Rónán Cleary wrote, "Either you transcend your comfort zone and reach the higher planes of life, or stay transfixed within your comfort zone and remain stagnant."
Finally, we have chosen to call each class a
Con·frère-/ˈkänˌfrer/(n) a fellow member of a profession; a colleague. The literal translation "with my brother."
Our stated goal is a profession in the Arts. A BFA degree can be a catalyst for a number of different careers in Theatre in performance, production, and executive paths. Whatever your chosen trajectory, there will still be occasion to join forces create amazing work with others.
We whole-heartedly invite you to take on the challenge of facing your obstacles, stepping out of your comfort zone, and working hard with a community of like minded individuals in a healing environment.
While there are aspects of Theatre Gap Initiative that are similar to other programs (coursework, audition preparation, masterclasses, college readiness, etc.), there are also components that distinguish TGI from other gap year programs. This includes:
* Content delivery focused on the experiences of actors of color
* Length of the program
* Adult-supervised trip to National Unified Auditions
* Music Theory for Singers
* One-to-one pairing with college professor mentor
* Inclusive instruction for multiracial and LBGTQIA+ students
Theatre Gap Initiative's primary goal is to equip students with the right tools to get into reputable collegiate programs.
To be a clearinghouse for data about the number of students of color who are applying for, being rejected from, and accepted into college programs. Also to collect data on recruiting efforts, programming and support within the programs.
Since most BFA programs are at predominately white institutions, we will to create a support system for students of color. It would be an opportunity to create community among students who often feel isolated within their individual programs, as well as a place for students to seek advocacy if an occurrence arises.
The bird in the logo is a stylized SANKOFA.
Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. We translate it to mean:
"Seek your Future with your Past in Hand"
The sankofa symbolizes the Akan people’s quest for knowledge with the implication that the quest is based on critical examination, and intelligent and patient investigation.