Major Waves

Hannah Manikowski

Hannah was our first intern wrote this response after her first experience assisting at a Culture Bending workshop.

The workshop was a massive success. People seemed to be notably impacted by the inversion of the narrative we're typically fed - that culture is what changes our stories.

Just from one-on-one experiences I had, I know, definitively, that there were people present in the room who had never considered the alternative: that stories can, in fact, change our culture. A group I sat with told me that a friend of theirs had attended the workshop and had then told them that it illuminated for her what she wants to do with her life. So, yeah. That's pretty powerful stuff.

As the workshop focuses so heavily on heightening awareness, I think one of the best things to do with it is to take it to educators who can then embody, as teachers, the workshop's message. Having role models who understand the nuanced nature of issues with representation and with social concerns as a whole is so important for young people. This dialogue is evolving, and teachers, perhaps more than anyone else, need to be up to speed.

I believe the workshop created something sincerely special. So many people approached me and told me that this is the sort of theatre project they've been searching for - that they didn't even know that a company like this existed and that they were exhilarated and encouraged just to know that Bechdel Project is real. I know we're still building our identity, but, no matter where this company finds its niche, I am of the opinion that it's going to make some major waves.

I am SO grateful for my time at the conference and for the opportunity to help the progress of this company. This week was amazing. I had the bar set high, both for the workshop and for the conference as a whole, and my expectations were still exceeded.