With an estimated ten percent of the population identifying as other than heterosexual, sexual orientation, gender identity, homophobia, and heterosexism are increasingly significant issues of workplace diversity. In recognition of this fact, we created “Ten Percent”, a performance piece addressing the topic. “Ten Percent” uses humor, physical comedy, scenes, and monologues in an informative and entertaining way to explore a myriad of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues. (more...)
A graduate of Maryville University, Ashley has worked with That Uppity Theatre Company for over five years. She was a performer, stage manager, and Assistant Director with the DisAbility Project, a principle organizer, director and performer with Peace Out, and helped to direct pieces in Women’s Bodies, Women’s Lives. She also facilitates a number of workshops, including those focused on movement and theatre. Currently, Ashley is in the process of writing, directing and performing in a theatre project to shed light on sexual violence against people with disabilities known as Project Illumination.
What we are doing...
With an estimated ten percent of the population identifying as other than heterosexual, sexual orientation, gender identity, homophobia, and heterosexism are increasingly significant issues of workplace diversity. In recognition of this fact, the Greater St. Louis Federal Executive Board commissioned Uppity to create a performance piece addressing the topic for their annual Gateway to Diversity Conference. The result? “Ten Percent”, a 30-minute theatrical training piece that uses humor, physical comedy, scenes, and monologues in an informative and entertaining way to explore a myriad of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues.
The Greater St. Louis Federal Executive Board represents a conglomerate of 82 federal agencies. The mission of the Board is to sustain a federal community environment that promotes the administrative goals, workforce development, and community outreach in the Greater St. Louis Bi-State area. Former Executive Director, Susanne Franza Valdez, contacted Joan Lipkin in the fall of 2005 about developing a new piece. Valdez had invited our DisAbility Project to perform at a previous conference and said that their performance was a highlight. She wanted the company to return and design a performance that was more specifically related to another aspect of diversity--sexual and affectational orientation.
We met with Valdez and members of a programming committee for six months to discuss issues being raised in their individual agencies. Committee members included representatives from the VA Medical Center; Department of Defense, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency; and Department of the Air Force. The topic presented numerous challenges. How might this theme be explored in a way that encouraged active listening and increased appreciation for diversity? The audience would include a very diverse crowd, including people with strong moral or religious objections to gender or sexual variance. Committee members offered invaluable insight on the script throughout the piece’s development.
Our new piece, “Ten Percent,” debunks myths, explores historical LGBT achievers and role models, offers personal narratives, and provides definitions of varied identities and workplace etiquette.Upon receiving outstanding reviews, we were hired to perform and to design and facilitate additional diversity training around the topic for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Our “Ten Percent” ensemble also performed for St. Louis College of Pharmacy and will be traveling to Chicago to do several shows and facilitated discussions for the University of Illinois College of Dentistry.
Our performances of "Ten Percent" usually include a form of diversity facilitation. We host conversations, and do exercises. Here is a sampling of written feedback by audiences. All were submitted anonymously.
That Uppity Theatre Company • 4466 West Pine Boulevard, Suite 13C •
Saint Louis, MO 63108