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boundary check-ins

There are a few options for communicating boundaries--choose the one that works best for you and/or the actors.

short version 

  • All parties say: “Hey just wanted to check in on your boundaries today--what parts of your body would you prefer I not touch?” 

  • Additional step if you'd like an even stronger check in: All parties say “My name is ______, and I’m playing the character of _____. I respect your boundaries and I’m excited to work with you.”​

long version 

  • Stand opposite scene partner and choose who will be A and who will be B. 

  • Person A uses a slow wiping/swiping movement to show Person B all the places on their body where they are giving them permission to touch in this rehearsal/performance today. No talking is necessary. 

  • Person A says “Would it work for me to take your hands?” If Person B says yes, Person A takes their hands and moves them in that same wiping/swiping movement over those places they’re giving permission to touch. (If Person B has boundaries surrounding touching parts of someone else’s body, they can call “button.” Options for doing this another way include hovering, following hands, placing hands on top of another’s, or just looking.) (NOTE: You may discover that when someone else is about to touch someplace, you actually DO have a boundary there! That's totally fine. Boundaries can change.)

  • Person B says “I noticed a boundary around ________” (name parts of body where no permission was given to touch). Person A clarifies as needed. (Use language of muscles and bones.) RESIST THE URGE TO EXPLAIN/JUSTIFY BOUNDARIES

  • Switch and repeat!

  • All parties say “My name is ______, and I’m playing the character of _____. I respect your boundaries and I’m looking forward to doing this scene/show with you.”

things to remember: 

  • Consent may change from day to day, so be sure to always take a moment and check in with your scene partner before rehearsals or performances

  • Consent is also an ongoing process, so if it's an intense scene, check in with your scene partner often

  • None of us are perfect at consent. Give yourself and your scene partners grace.

  • If someone violates your boundary, you can say things like: 

    • "Button. I have a boundary around my knees/the front of my chest/those kinds of jokes.."​

    • "Hey, that wasn't cool." 

    • "Pause: I just wanted to remind you that I have a boundary around ___." 

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