Challenging the Myths: Stories from the Outside and from the Inside of a Women’s Shelter

Complete Video

Scene by Scene:

Scene 1 – Better?


1) 1) During interviews the ‘guests’ claimed that they appreciated not being judged. This led us to questioning the whole concept of ‘fixing’ others with the cast coming to regard a shelter as a safe haven. What do you believe the role of a shelter should be?

2) The ‘sculpted’ people eventually challenge the ‘sculptor’. asking, “Better for whom?” Is ‘fixing’ a form of controlling?

3) How might some of our behaviours be considered more an act of controlling than assistance?

4) How would your rewrite this scene to move it beyond the external ‘fix/fixer’?

Scene 2 – How Do You Read/Judge People? Version A


1) They say that first impressions are lasting. However, these perceptions are based as much on the perspectives of those observing as about those being observed. What biases do you bring when you judge others?

2) How would you like to be read/regarded by others?

Scene 3 – Walk of Shame


1) Imagine if you experienced these types of behaviours on a daily basis. What would this do to to your self esteem?

2) What behaviours might you have toward others (friends, family, co-workers, strangers) that would make them feel ‘less-than’?

3) What is our collective responsibility to those we encounter in public?

Scene 4 – Walk By

Scene 5 – How Do You Read/Judge People? Version B

Scene 6 – Donations?

Scene 7 – How Do You Read/Judge People? Version C

Scene 8a – What Brought You Here? (Mother-in-law)

Scene 8b – What brought you here? (My Way or Highway)

Scene 8c – What Brought You Here? (Lease?)

Scene 9 – Thresholds

Scene 10a – Enter a Stranger – Version A

Scene 10b – Enter a Stranger – Version B

Scene 11 – First Encounter


1) Even best intentions may not result in the desired effect. How can we make people feel welcome who are new to our midst?

2) Like Goldilocks, first encounters might be too strong and too weak, before we find what might be just right. Find a friend or classmate and explore, through improvisation, what might be a possible way of approaching someone for the first time.

Scene 12 – Home Is…


1)What is your definition of home? What would it mean to you not to have a home?

Scene 13 – My Experience

Scene 14 – Appreciation

Scene 15 – Conflicting Perspectives


1) Given what you have watched, how would you respond to the characters’ comments in this scene?

2) Both the Board and the neighbourhood groups seemed to be unified in purpose. This is not always the case. What might dissenting perspectives be? How would the larger group respond?

3) What roles do you believe that shelters can play, do play, should play in the fabric of society?