Urban street drama team, DRIME, joins Trinity Western University

Langley, British Columbia—If you had asked Tanya Steinhilber when she graduated from high school in Lacombe, Alberta, about her plans to create an urban street drama team, she probably would have looked a little puzzled or even given a small chuckle over the idea. But ask her now, and the 25-year-old graduate of Trinity Western University can hand you a brochure and poster about the team and even let you know the dates of their upcoming street drama training workshops in Langley, Kelowna, Red Deer and Seattle.

Called DRIME, Steinhilber’s brainchild which combines choreographed mime and music, has taken off so well, that Trinity Western made the street drama team an official part of the University this year. With many of the 50-plus team members TWU students, it has been a natural fit for DRIME to call Trinity Western home.

“Everyone, right up to the president of the University, are supportive of DRIME and of helping students accomplish their goals and dreams, and will give of themselves to see this happen,” says Steinhilber.

Using drama as a tool to share a message of biblical hope, the team has performed on streets throughout North America, South America and Europe, as well as youth events across Canada and the U.S.

But things haven’t always been this way. Steinhilber can remember the team’s modest beginnings, when she was attending Bible college in B.C. and knocked on dorm doors to see if anyone would be interested in the idea.

“I remember driving through Vancouver for the first time,” says Steinhilber. “My heart went out to the people there, and I knew I wanted to do something to help.”

After talking with fellow students in dorm rooms and at cafeteria tables, Tanya found ten willing participants to start the drama team. A stumble on words “drama” and “mime” prompted the name DRIME, which today, Steinhilber states, stands for Disciples Ready in Mobile Evangelism.

Those who can remember DRIME’s start eight years ago, recall the team performing a rotation of three dramas in downtown Vancouver. While they rewound the songs on their small tape player, the team would talk with those who had stopped to watch, or play a song on a guitar.

It may seem like a distant memory today, as thousands of teens cheer for DRIME and ask for their autographs at youth events across Canada. Last year, DRIME performed in the opening event at Youth Conference (YC) in Edmonton, Alberta, which attracted approximately 14,000 teens. They will perform again at Edmonton’s upcoming Youth Conference on April 5-7 and at Explosion 2002 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on May 3-5.

“One of the best things about these events is the chance to encourage youth to think about what’s important in life,” says Steinhilber. “We hope that through our dramas and drama training, we’re able to motivate youth to take a stand for what they believe and to make a difference in their world.”

Their performances at youth events are just a small part of what DRIME does throughout TWU’s academic year. With their main focus on street drama, DRIME performs on Saturday evenings in front of the Art Gallery on Robson Street in Vancouver. Of the 50-plus member team, 18 take on additional leadership roles. The team leaders serve as everything from coordinators who organize bagged lunches and blankets to give those living on the streets, to communications assistants who help plan and prepare for DRIME’s street drama training workshops.

“Tanya has used her gifts and education to create a unique way to touch our culture,” says Neil Snider, president of TWU. “I’m thrilled that our students gain another practical way to take what they’re learning to share the message of hope with others.”

In addition to sharing a message of hope on Vancouver’s streets, DRIME travels in Canada and the U.S., and abroad during the summer months, in order to train others to use drama as a means to help people in their own communities.

“The ultimate vision of DRIME is to see it expand and to see what is happening in Vancouver as a model of what’s happening all over the world,” says Steinhilber. “While it’s effective to have a team in Vancouver, it’s also exciting to know that across the country and even overseas, drama is being used to impact young people and to change communities.”

This year, DRIME will hold street drama training workshops in Langley, B.C., on February 15-17, Red Deer, Alberta on March 1-3, Seattle, Washington on March 15-17, and Kelowna, B.C. on May 24-26. For more information, visit www.drime.com.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a privately funded Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,000 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 34 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2007-09-26