Cornerstone Theater Company


2018 Institute: Meet the Players: Amanda Chandler

This summer we traveled to the other side of the country to make a new play called, The Cardinal with and about the people of Queens New York, the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. The production is part of Cornerstone’s Institute Summer Residency, which has brought together thirteen participants (“the players”) from across the United States and Canada to live, learn, and create together. In one month’s time, and working alongside Cornerstone staff, Ensemble and community members, these creative souls are learning Cornerstone’s process for creating community-engaged theater. By participating in classes, workshops, and taking part in every aspect of the play-making process from casting, auditions, rehearsals, costume/design build, and acting. This blog series is an opportunity for you to “Meet the Players”!












Amanda Chandler AKA Community Engagement Associate

A little bit about Amanda.

“I am a resident of Harrisonburg, Virginia and graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in 2014 with a B.A. in Theater and History. I have been a member of Inside Out Playback Theatre since 2014, using Playback and Theatre of the Oppressed techniques with groups such as migrant farm workers, refugee and immigrant students in English language learning classes, and students returning from study abroad semesters. I am an active member of the Blue Ridge Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and am currently serving on a committee to revitalize Gemeinschaft Home for recently incarcerated men re-entering society. In my spare time, I enjoy cycling around the Shenandoah Valley, reading, writing and any and all live music.”

What inspired you to join Cornerstone’s Institute Summer Residency this year?

“I am inspired by the work Cornerstone does in communities with a high level of artistic excellence. Theater has the power to create a lasting impact on a community and it’s clear that Cornerstone creates pieces that leave that impact. I want to learn what it looks like to collaborate with life long artists and community members and fully jump into the experience.”

What has been your favorite moment thus far?

“Watching the principles discussed in class come to action during the first read of the script with the entire cast and company. The process left space for everyone to have a voice in the room and be fully heard.”

What do you hope to learn from your experience this summer?

“I want to learn tactics for how to hold space for a diverse group of voices to be heard and valued in the process of creating a piece of art.”

Complete this sentence. Queens is….


Why do you think people should come and see the play?

“It’s a world premiere, only to be seen 3 times!! The play addresses issues of diversity, highlights our shared humanity with humor and beautiful music.”

The Cardinal performs August 10 & 11th. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets today!

“I saw this sign in Queens and I think it very much relates to our work and the huge diversity in Queens. These signs came out of a Mennonite church in Harrisonburg (my home town) and have spread all over the country—so it was also like seeing one of the best things about home here in Queens.”



Comments are closed.