My North Hill

My North Hill is a tréteau or “platform” play that condenses the action to one small stage (4’ x 8’). The script was created from transcripts of four story circles conducted with the International Institute at the Exchange House designed to create conversation through sharing stories of personal experience in order to more effectively manage racial tension and celebrate ethnic diversity. In the next year, a book will be published that highlights excerpts from the transcriptions of the story circles and demonstrates the process and play production.

Four story circles were facilitated on September 19 and November 29, 2017, and January 31 and March 13, 2018 at the Exchange House in Akron, OH with the International Institute of Akron.

Some of the questions asked throughout the story circles included:

  • What’s the oldest thing in your home that you can hold in your hand?

  • If you had a time machine, what year would you go back to and why?

  • Write down what you see, hear, taste, smell, and touch in North Hill.

  • Share a moment or story of when you noticed progress in North Hill.

  • What it something you’d never want to change in your community?

  • On large sticky paper, create the North Hill you want to see in the year 2100.

  • Why do you live and stay in your town? What would make you leave?

  • Share a moment or a story of when you had a turning point in your life hen you had to make a major decision.

The first story circle for  My North Hill  with the International Institute of Akron.

The first story circle for My North Hill with the International Institute of Akron.

The short play has been performed 3 times in 3 different neighborhoods.

Our first performance was on October 16, 2018 at the Ward 2 Community Meeting at Patterson Park Community Center. Cast included Tessa Gaffney, Josy Jones, Tilchan Kalikotay, Razya Tazamir, and Hsa Win.

The second was at Many Voices, One Akron on October 20, 2018 at Compass Church. Cast included Katie Beck, Tessa Gaffney, Tilchan Kalikotay, Razya Tazamir, and Hsa Win.

And the third was on November 17, 2018 during Wandering Aesthetics’ Bigger than a Breadbox: Legends of Tomorrow at Club Bricco. Cast included Tessa Gaffney, Josy Jones, Tilchan Kalikotay, Neema Tamang, and Hsa Win.


My North Hill was recorded on December 2, 2018 at The Center in Akron, OH. This short play is an original production by Gum-Dip Theatre in partnership with the International Institute of Akron.