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Storytelling is powerful. When you watch a living, breathing person on a stage, you are compelled to understand his or her emotions and choices – and ask yourself what choices you might make. I graduated from the theatre program at Trinity Western University, where my professors instilled in me the desire to create and inspire change through the arts. When I returned to TWU later in my career to support the school’s arts programs and community engagement initiatives, I happened upon the work of Theatre of the Beat – this, I said, this is just the sort of group TWU needs to team up with. We are extremely proud to help bring Forgiven/Forgotten to BC audiences for the first time, not just because we teach and love the fine arts at Trinity Western, but also because we see the impact stories like this can have in fostering compassion and change in our neighbouring communities. Impact like this isn’t a “nice-to- have” for a Christian university. It’s a must.

I’m proud to work for a school with a thriving arts program. A school where students majoring in the arts, media, and culture – where all of our students – are equipped to become leaders of integrity, wherever their careers take them. I’m proud to be part of the university’s external relations team, where we have the privilege of coming alongside companies like Theatre of the Beat – helping to stimulate important conversations about inclusion and reconciliation in schools, churches, and beyond. Conversations about seeing the marginalized in the loving, grace-filled way that our creative and life-giving God sees them.

And yet, what’s most special about this play is that you come to the end of it not seeing “the marginalized” – in the place of any generic, de-personalized term, you see instead a human being. His name is Phil. As you watch his story come to life before your eyes, as you walk away from the performance, I wonder if you’ll be that much more apt to notice the Phil in your own community.

-Diana Squires Associate Director, Arts Marketing + Community Relations, School of the Arts, Media + Culture, Trinity Western University

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