When Shakespeare penned his now infamous line “What’s in a name?” he knew that his own title, and the legacy his name would carry, could not be so easily boiled down to the word “playwright.” An artist, a social critic, and an entertainer, Shakespeare and his King’s Men wore many literal and figurative hats throughout their years on the stage. Like the pioneers of the theatre arts before them, these actors understood that their roles were not simply to entertain but also to engage, to question, and even to educate. It is precisely this multifaceted understanding of theatre, and the refusal to be conventionally defined, that continues to make theatre such a versatile and educational art form.
At CLIMB Theatre, we delight in all things “unconventional.” Behind-the-scenes you won’t find an office full of sales people and accountants; we call ourselves Engineers, Stabilizers, Poets, and Conductors. Our unique titles reflect our vision for ourselves and our future, and serve as a constant reminder that the best, most meaningful work is done by individuals who feel creative and inspired.
In our Teaching Company, our actors become Actor-Educators, inviting students to embrace CLIMB’s unconventional approach to creative learning and encouraging them to explore their own extraordinary places in the world. It is our sincere hope that alongside our messages about empathy, respect, and acceptance of differences we are also inspiring students to discover their own unique and varied roles in their schools and communities. Just as we do not view ourselves as ordinary office workers, we do not view students as ordinary children; we believe students are future engineers, poets, architects, and citizens of the world, and strive to foster this incredible potential in each and every child we perform to.
So, maybe the description of our administrative meeting sounds a bit like the introduction to a cheesy joke. And maybe calling our accountant a “Stabilizer” or our Executive Director the “Leader of the Pack … Vroom Vroom!” feels like a silly, unimportant title change. And perhaps a student is simply a child in a classroom. But here at CLIMB we take our work (and our silly names, and yes, even your silliest students) seriously. We think big, we act big, and we always aim to inspire – big time.