Lend Me Your Ears 

Lend Me Your Ears

“Lend Me Your Ears” pairs student playwrights with professional actors, writers, and artists.  Under the guidance of theater professionals, young people from the Gainesville community who have been affected by or have been the author’s of gun violence are encouraged to use theater, specifically, playwriting to examine the topic .

This topic and literary forms are investigated and examined in conjunction with readings from plays by William Shakespeare, classes in communication and examined through the practice of Restorative Justice; an approach to justice that aims to repair the harm done to victims and deeply examines the motivation behind the actions of those who have authored the harm.

The Hippodrome Theatre Education Department has been selected as a recipient of the Lend Me Your Ears Grant through the One Nation Project. The One Nation Project, a national initiative spanning nine U.S. cities, aims to highlight the proven health benefits of arts participation on individuals and communities. This initiative seeks to unite artists, local governments, and community health providers in a collaborative effort.

“We are truly humbled to be recognized and awarded the Lend Me Your Ears Grant for our project,” said Gabrielle Byam, Education Director of the Hippodrome Theatre. “This grant allows us to delve into a meaningful collaboration and address a pressing issue in our society.”

The Hippodrome’s Lend Me Your Ears project is a collaboration between We the People Theater and the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding. The initiative will bring together student playwrights and professional actors to explore the theme of gun violence through the powerful medium of theatre and the arts.

The project will culminate in a compelling performance featuring the students’ written works, skillfully presented by professional actors alongside community members. Gabrielle Byam, Education Director of the Hippodrome Theatre, expressed her gratitude, stating, “This grant will enable us to bring awareness, empathy, and understanding, fostering hope for healing in the context of gun violence. We are extremely grateful to the grant committee for this opportunity. This project, driven by the community and in collaboration with We the People Theater and the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding, promises a lasting impact.”

“This program/event is funded in part by One Nation One Project-GNV, an initiative of the City of Gainesville.”