MMC Professor and Alumnae Collaborate on Theatre Project

November 09, 2018
  • Project: Human Better
  • Professor Melissa Tonning-Kollwitz

Working with ten MMC alumnae, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Melissa Tonning-Kollwitz, MFA, established Project: Human Better, a womxn-centric theatre group focused on empowering womxn through education, mentorship, and devised theatre.

A few years ago, at the conclusion of one of her classes, a student told Professor Tonning-Kollwitz, “I feel like this class is going to help me human better.” Calling it “perhaps the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me as an educator,” Tonning-Kollwitz began to examine her belief that theatre and storytelling are the conduits for becoming a better—i.e., more empathetic, more supportive, more engaged—person, and thus, Project: Human Better was born.

The group works to empower womxn by creating dynamic, provocative new works that highlight topics affecting womxn and give voice to those typically silenced in the theatre industry and beyond.

Project: Human Better will perform The Ladies’ Room, a one-act devised piece about historical womxn, as its first collaborative artistic endeavor. Inspired by the first scene of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls—during which a “modern day” womxn has a dinner party with famous womxn from different time periods and they discuss the female experience—the play explores feminism and intersectionality through conversations between female icons, including Carol Burnett, Jackie Kennedy, Sojourner Truth, and Frida Kahlo.

Performances will take place from December 6-9 at The PIT Loft. In addition to The Ladies’ Room, on December 7, Project: Human Better will also present a special night of original one-act comedies.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Project: Human Better’s website.

Best of luck to Professor Tonning-Kollwitz and our MMC alumnae!