Affinity Nights

Third Rail Affinity Nights at Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

All tickets for affinity performances are Pay What You Will. Click the link below for more information and to purchase tickets.

Saturday, June 25 at 7:30pm – LGBTQIA2S+ Affinity Night

Affinity Nights are one piece of a multifaceted effort to build trust and create a welcoming environment for people who have been historically pushed out, under-represented, misrepresented, or otherwise made to feel unwelcome at the theatre. Affinity Nights are a newer practice in mainstream theatre, but becoming increasingly common in Portland, and throughout the US. Profile Theatre and Portland Playhouse are among the local companies who include affinity night performances as part of their programming, and from whom we’ve drawn inspiration.

What is an affinity space?

An “affinity space” is any gathering created with the explicit purpose of bringing together people who share a particular identity. This identity can be based on race, gender, sexual orientation, language, nationality, physical/mental ability, socio-economic class, family structure, religion, etc. Affinity groups can be a place for underrepresented people in a community to come together to feel less isolated and more connected. 

What purpose do affinity spaces serve?

For people whose identities have been marginalized, misunderstood, stereotyped or targeted, affinity spaces can offer a sense of safety, community, and visibility that may not be available in many other spaces. It can provide a time and place where typical social stigma, judgment, and assumptions are suspended. It can also be a place to discuss issues directly relevant to a community, or share an experience through a common lens.

What will Affinity Nights at Third Rail look like?

At Third Rail, Affinity Nights are performance events designated exclusively for audience members who share a particular identity or identities. We may hold affinity night performances for different affinity groups depending on the script or material we are presenting, but we will typically focus on providing an affinity space for historically marginalized or underrepresented identities. Because theatre is a dialogue between performer and audience, the makeup of the audience affects the experience of the show for both performers and viewers. 

Can I come to an Affinity Night performance even if I do not identify with a particular affinity group? For example, can I come to a BIPOC affinity night if I’m White?

Affinity nights are reserved only for the people whose identity aligns with that particular affinity night.

More questions about Affinity Nights? Email to connect with us.