No one is born prejudiced, no one is born to discriminate, no one is born to be intolerant, it is learned.  And just as it is learned it can be unlearned!

How do we eliminate prejudice?  Through education.

How do we fight discrimination?  Through education.

How do we foster understanding, tolerance and acceptance? Through education.

What is the main cause of prejudice, discrimination and intolerance? Fear, fear of the different, fear of the unknown.  And how do you combat fear? Through education.

I think you get my point.  There have been numerous studies regarding the power of entertainment to educate society.  All of these studies came to the same conclusion: societal views on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and sexual identity are greatly influenced by entertainment.  The POWER of entertainment to influence, to …OPEN EYES…TOUCH HEARTS…CHANGE MINDS is great.

From the beginning of human existence, stories have helped us to understand and shape our world, enabling us to share our experiences with one another. Stories inspire us, teach us, move us, and in so doing, they change the world. Entertainment draws on our deep affinity for stories to reveal worlds of new possibilities, where dramatic conflicts and decisions are tied to real world consequences. The choices that characters make center on critical social issues, illuminating pathways to change, adoption of new behaviors, and ultimately lead to a world of hope. Sexual orientation and sexual identity, as well as the adverse effects of prejudice, discrimination, intolerance, injustice and bullying on individuals and society are key plot elements in all of the productions that Evolution Theatre Company presents. Characters serve as role models to bring these concepts to life. Audience members become emotionally tied to the characters, and these ties influence values and inspire behaviors much more powerfully than direct appeals for change.  Whether it is a drama, a comedy or a musical, the message and the outcome is the same.

These stories and ties not only affect audience members but also cast members.  Here is an excerpt from an email received from one cast member that really says it all:

I wanted to thank you and the creative team at Evolution Theatre Company for being a home for me in the years I’ve lived in Columbus. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this but when I moved up here, I was bitter about being queer having been fired from a job partly because I was outed during the course of an investigation into my teaching at a public school… My first show when I got up here…and the experience with the cast I thoroughly enjoyed. (Since I have been in Columbus), I’ve been involved in (several) shows with Evolution and it made me more confident in myself as a person and in my skin as someone who is queer and no longer afraid to be a gay man in public. Art is strange in that in empowers and emboldens us and I thank you for providing the space for me to grow into the man that I am today, from (production to production). I hope to carry the lessons I’ve learned and the strength I’ve gained from ETC.
Again, thank you for being such a large part of my life for the past years.

Receiving an email like this, well it just seems to make it all worthwhile.

And this is a main component of Evolution Theatre Company’s mission and dedication to the community, to “EDUCATE THRU ENTERTAINMENT”   But like everything else in the world, we cannot do it alone.  We need your help.  Please consider making a tax deductible donation to Evolution Theatre Company.  Help us fight to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against and to promote understanding, tolerance and acceptance for the LGBTQQIA community.