About the play
The Drum Major Instinct by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On February 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered this sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. In it, King speaks to his congregation about the destructive forces of “the drum major instinct,” defined as the desire to be first, to be recognized, and to receive distinction. This instinct, according to King, leads to “the most tragic expressions of man's inhumanity to man,” including white supremacy, violence, consumerism, and unjust wars. King challenges his congregants and the world to harness this “drum major instinct” for good, to be first in love, first in righteousness, first in generosity, first in justice, and above all, first in service to others.
War & Mental HealthTheater of War
Rooted in discussions about the invisible and visible wounds of war, the company’s hallmark project is designed to increase awareness of psychological health issues, disseminate information on available resources, and foster greater community cohesion.
Consent & Sexual ViolenceTape
Tape has been developed as a sexual assault awareness and prevention training program that uses dramatic readings of Stephen Belber’s 1999 play to ignite powerful discussions about consent, sexual assault, rape, and power dynamics.
Natural DisasterThe Tohoku Project
The Tohoku Project: Sumidagawa presents powerful dramatic readings by professional actors of Sumidagawa, a Noh play from the early 15th Century that timelessly depicts the unique challenges faced by parents in the wake of unimaginable disaster. Each reading is followed by the responses of community panelists, culminating in a lively, facilitated audience discussion. This interactive event promotes healthy, constructive dialogue about the lasting impact of the Tohoku disaster upon individuals, families, and communities—fostering compassion, understanding, awareness, and positive action.