A New Performance Film with Police and Community Members Sharing Their Stories and Vision for the Future.

by Sue Ann Rybak

Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields will hold a screening of the Theater of Witness film “Walk in My Shoes,” which shares the life stories of four police officers and three community members of color in their own words. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. at the church, 8000 St. Martin’s Lane on Wednesday, Jan. 2. After the film, attendees can participate in a conversation with the creators, Artistic Director Teya Sepinuck and Police Inspector Altovise Love-Craighead. All are welcome. The screening is free.

According to its website, Theater of Witness seeks to bring “people together across divides of difference to bear witness to the beauty of meaningful engagement, cultivate empathy, and truly listen to the stories of people we’ve never heard before. Without shying away from the painful wounds of our society, Theater of Witness offers a new story — one that taps into the spirit of love and connection between us all.”

The Rev. Barbara Ballenger, associate for spiritual formation and care at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, said the church is showing the film as part of its anti-racism process, which they call the “Becoming Beloved Community.”

“A key part of this work at our church is encouraging honest and open conversation around race and opening myself to experiences that are different than my own,” she said. “Theatre of Witness does this so beautifully and powerfully. I’ve been thinking about these complex stories from both police and community members ever since I saw the live production of Walk in my Shoes. And I’m so excited to have more people to be able to enter these stories and talk afterwards with the visionary people that made this film possible.

“I hope this will foster ongoing work to promote compassionate listening and racial soul-searching and transformation in Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill.”