Our Mission, Our Values, Our Projects, Ourselves

The Hidden Room’s MISSION: We engage and employ the world’s top scholars, technologists, and theatre-makers to create the most accessible, immersive, entertaining, and educational theatre experiences possible. We specialize in bridging the gap between early modern classics and tech- forward new works. The result is a theatrical curiosity shop that rides the junction between performance and technology, past and future, what is accessible, and what is hidden.

Our VALUES are rooted in respect, kindness, empathy, and fostering a greater understanding of each other and ourselves through theatre. We believe that through telling stories, we explore and celebrate the ways in which we are different, and the ways we are the same regardless of color, background, social-economic status, geography, or indeed, the time in which we are born.

Our VISION is to create impactful work that is highly accessible, educational, empathetic, innovative, and interactive – starting locally, and rippling out internationally by way of:

  • acting as a living laboratory for world-renowned scholars;
  • developing innovative new work that experiments with audience immersion;
  • making theatre as accessible and interactive as possible through digital performance and other technology-based innovations;
  • bridging what we believe is an imaginary gap between early-modern and modern theatre;
  • fostering a family of artists of diverse racial backgrounds, age, size, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and abilities so that they can represent a broader spectrum of Austin’s populace, and bring a wealth of experience to our theatrical table at the height of their creative powers.

The Hidden (class)Room’s MISSION is to improve 4th – 12th grade students’ communication skills, empathy, expression, reading comprehension, and confidence through exploring Shakespeare as actors rather than just readers. These active workshops get students on their feet, performing together, inhabiting characters of different genders, skin colors, socio-economic backgrounds, and communication styles from their own. The workshops also teach such practical life skills as eye contact, speaking in public, listening well, and empathizing with others – all excellent tools to be a better and more confident person.

We offer these workshops for students and teachers 100% free of charge to anyone who requests them, and our outreach for the program hopes especially to reach schools who may not have the discretionary funds to bring in additional arts programs.

Beyond the individual students that each workshop reaches, the program’s benefits ripple out by providing educators with theatre director-style tools so that they can more easily teach the works of Shakespeare as living plays to their other students. Since the program’s launch in 2017, we’ve served over 2000 kids throughout Texas, but focus our efforts here at home in Austin. 

We do have one selfish hope from these workshops – that we are helping develop early skills of future Hidden Room actors, who will better represent Austin’s beautiful diversity.

The Hidden (class)Room was developed under the supervision and guidance of two Austin-based educators with the goal of being as effective as possible while meeting TEKS standards.

Our new INITIATIVES

The Hidden Storybook is a series of reimagined and culturally diverse classic story adaptations in which the listener/receiver embodies the role of the protagonist. It seeks to infuse our digital work with the values that we embrace in our live theatre work: respect, kindness, empathy, and fostering a greater understanding of each other and ourselves through performance. We believe that through telling stories, we explore and celebrate our similarities and our beautiful differences regardless of background, social-economic status, geography, personal physical limitations, or age – whether we are sharing a communal experience in person or in a virtual space.  As we believe that art enriches lives, we also believe that art enriches the digital landscape. 

The Hidden Workshop Series will bring together diverse voices of expertise to help address our community’s most pressing problems. We will find ways to gather safely in a time where the pandemic limits face to face meetings, but still allow these workshops to be personal, connected, impactful, and inspiring. This program is being guided by our Board Member and Research Chair, Dr. Farah Karim. Dr. Karim has most recently spearheaded the Globe Theatre’s excellent Shakespeare and Race symposium. You can read more about her work here.

We continually look for new ways to better serve our community, and be a better arts organization. We welcome your suggestions and your feedback.

OUR BOARD LEADERSHIP

Andrew Rodriguez, President

Djahari Clark, Vice President

Amy Minor, Treasurer

Dr. Farah Karim – Research Chair

Indiia Wilmott, Committee Chair

Beth Burns, Executive Director

OUR ADVISORY BOARD

Robert Matney, Technology and Arts Advisory Board

Judd Farris, Education and Arts Advisory Board

Jennifer Jennings, Education and Arts Advisory Board

Isto Barton, Outreach Advisory Board

Katy Thompson, Advisory Board

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