Mission | People | Programs


iROC ("Individuals Relating and Overcoming Conflict") was an in-school education program at McMain High School in which we use our devised theater processes to promote dialogue with students on the topics of identity, gender, sex and sexuality, race and culture, conflict resolution, and cultural organizing.  The program operated from 2008 through 2014, and was administered in collaboration with the Students at the Center program.

Evolving out of a decade of in-school public school ArtSpot programs, iROC gained its unique identity from our participation in V to the Tenth, Eve Ensler's New Orleans-based celebration of her V-Day movement.  In response to a prompt from Ensler — "What will it take to end violence against women?" — Kathy Randels and then-ensemble member Ashley Sparks worked with girls from SAC classes at Eleanor McMain and Frederick Douglass high schools to develop a performance piece called We As Women Are Now Taking a Stand.

The students' experiences of creating and performing that piece, and their participation in other V to the Tenth events, inspired them to create a sustainable program that would benefit future students at their schools.  Over several years of conversation, workshops, and planning with SAC students and leaders and students, our ensemble developed a curriculum for 8th and 10th grade students in the Health and PE Department at McMain High School.

From 2010 on, the program was directed by Rebecca Mwase, with assistance from Lisa Shattuck, interns Maile Zox and Chen Gu, and iROC alum Leland Leon.

iROC was supported by generous contributions from The City of New Orleans' Community Arts Program, The Louisiana Division of the Arts, The Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education, Open Society Foundations, The Surdna Foundation, The Wisner Foundation, and The Kalliopeia Foundation, among others.