By Tammy L. Reed, 19th Airlift Wing
/ Published September 25, 2017
Tech. Sgt. Tahlia Robinson, 19th Command Post, and Tech. Sgt. Nathan Southern, 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, rehearse their skit for a performance at Camp Robinson, Ark., on Oct. 2, 2017.
Three Little Rock Air Force Base helping agencies are working together to develop the Little Rock Improv Troop, with the mission of combatting inappropriate behaviors across the base with improvisational theater.
Representatives from the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, Equal Opportunity and Family Advocacy offices are the core group of the acting troupe who will perform short skits loosely based on real-world scenarios these representatives have faced in their work.
“Its purpose is prevention and awareness,” said Karen Hubbard, SAPR victim advocate. “Our idea is to put out real scenarios and how to intervene if necessary, or who to help you intervene if you have to.”
LIT will stop mid-skit and ask the audience questions such as: Do you think this is harassment? Do you think this is sexual assault? What would you do? Who would you go to?
“That way the audience can tell us what they think,” said Tech. Sgt. Tahlia Robinson, 19th Airlift Wing Command Post. “And we can tell them, ‘You are on the right track,’ or ‘No, we understand why you came to that conclusion, but this is actually what it is.’ They can also ask us questions, too.”
“Even though we have scripts, the skits are loosely based off the script,” Robinson said. “We definitely have to touch our key points in the scripts. For example, if we are talking about sexual assault sexual harassment or domestic violence, we have to touch on those particular points to make you think; but the beautiful part of this is that it’s not going to be the same thing over and over again.”
The troupe idea came from Robinson seeing the same type of show in Korea called “Stop Light.” She worked with the other agencies to make the troupe Team Little Rock’s own.
To put their spin on it, SAPR included the Family Advocacy and EO programs, as other troupes usually only involved the SAPR program.
“We wanted to make it broader, so we could reach a multitude of people with three different topics at once,” Hubbard said.
“The vice wing commander got a chance to preview what we are doing, and he highly endorsed it,” added Charles DeSaussure, Equal Opportunity installation director. “He said it’s real and in your face, it may make you uncomfortable, but it’s designed to give you a glimpse of what victims actually go through.”
Right now, victim experiences come from scripts that the core group representatives put together. This group is nine members from the three agencies, but they are looking to expand with more actors, script writers, and support help.
“Anyone wanting to volunteer can email us, we have an application process, then we’ll have to clear it through their supervisor, then they’ll meet with our core members,” Hubbard said.
If someone wants to book the group for a show they can also email Hubbard, Robinson or DeSaussure to work with the group to schedule a skit.
The group’s first show was at Camp Robinson on Oct.2, with the next circuit Wingman Day on Dec. 15, at the Walters Community Support Center.
If you would like more information about the troupe call Linda Benjamin at the SAPR Office at 987-2685, or email Tech Sgt. Tahlia Robinson at email@example.com.