In 2004, Tonia Sina began her work on creating what is now the Intimacy for the Stage method. At the time, the idea of being an “Intimacy Specialist” was completely new. 12 years later, Intimacy Directors International (IDI) was founded to support the growing speciality of Intimacy Directors, and share a process for approaching scenes of intimacy to the entire performing arts industry. In the short time since our inception – can you believe it’s barely been a year! – we’ve received overwhelming support from various theatres, universities, and artists of all kinds. At the same time, we’re hearing from people who are interested in supporting IDI and advocating for safer workspaces, but aren’t sure how to do it.
Here are a few ways you can share and be an advocate.
Download and share a copy of The Pillars
The first document IDI created is The Pillars: a guideline for approaching scenes of intimacy. You can contribute to the growth of this work by sharing The Pillars in your next rehearsal or shoot. If you re-post it on your blog or social media, please be sure to tag us, and direct people to our website. We’ve made it freely available on our website because we know that not everyone is going to be able to hire an Intimacy Director yet, so this document will at least give you somewhere to start.
Promote safe workspaces
Another reason for creating Intimacy for the Stage and IDI was to promote safe workspaces of respectful communication in theatres and on set. In addition, to using the guidelines for consent and communication from The Pillars, look to movements like Not In Our House, Not In Our Space and Theatre Artists Collective for Consent and Respect in Calgary, Canada. These groups have sample agreements, documents and resources to help you be part of the cultural shift in performance workspaces. In addition, you might consider taking a mental health first aid course (Canadian link, American link) to help your community members in times of need. Also, consider looking at your union rules to see what your rights are. Find out what the procedures are for reporting harassment, should an incident happen so you can report it. If you’re non-union, consider applying union rules to your work to promote best practices in your community. After all “a rehearsal has to be a safe space where dangerous things can happen. Otherwise, it’s a dangerous space, where only safe things happen”.
Host an Intimacy Directors International workshop
Bring a trained Intimacy Director to your area to teach these principles to you and your community. IDI has templates you can follow to help you get started. Contact us at info@IntimacyDirectorsInternational.com to start the conversation.
Directly support Intimacy Directors International
Still not sure how to advocate Intimacy for the Stage and Screen, and the cultural shift towards safer workspaces? Now you can directly support IDI with an IDI membership. Your membership fee has far-reaching benefits. Not only are you supporting this work, but you will receive discounts to IDI-organized workshops as a token of our gratitude. Your membership fee covers expenses like overhead and promotional considerations so that we can hold more workshops, nation-wide. You keep us writing informative articles (free resources for everyone), you support the forthcoming book on Intimacy for the Stage by founder Tonia Sina, and much more. Together we reach performers, theatres, students and academia across the States, Canada, and worldwide!
In the short and eventful year since our inception, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received, and we thank you for being a part of this movement.