Do-Be-Do-Be-Do: How Veterans Theater is Giving Back to the Community of the Homeless – blog by David M. Boje, Ph.D. Sep 1 2015

Do-Be-Do-Be-Do: Veterans Theater is Giving Back to the Homeless Community

Veterans Theater has been raising money by putting on plays with stories created and act out by veterans and homeless in transition


August 31, 2015 two board members of ANTENARRATIVE FOUNDATION and members of its VETERANS THEATER program, are seen here donating charcoal, extension cords, clothes lines, and charcoal starter to a Day Shelter, somewhere in the Southwestern United States.

The goods were purchased by money obtained by putting on performances of how veterans experience the Veterans Administration appointment system, how homeless veterans transition (or not) to housing, how the homeless are treated in the USA.

When dependence’s authentic Being-is-come-to-an-end, then what is experienced is empowerment, the dying of powerlessness.  The possibilities belong to the Being of Veterans Theater, settling its accounts, repaying its debts for past help received.   Here and now, and in this mattering of ‘giving-back’ are Veterans Theater actors and Foundation Board Members, “Being-with-one-another in a world” of empowerment in action, where “‘one is’ what one does” (Heidegger, # 239), or in the words of Frank Sinatra, Do-Be-Do-Be-Do.

Dying is something every organization must face, when an organization ‘is’ at all.  The death of Veterans Theater, is ‘not-yet’ but rather a phenomenon, to be understood existentially, since Veterans theater is past its beginning, more in-the-middle, unfolding, rather than at its ending.

Being in-the-middle, Veterans Theater is unfolding, not at all the Being-of this wholeness itself, and something has fallen away, a sense of dependency, by entering into the acts of giving-back, giving something for the very first time.  Disempowerment, here is “going-out-of-the-world” (Heidegger, # 241). No more life of disempowerment, for that is perishing, even while dependency thrusts itself to the fore, Veterans Theater is disentangling itself from dependency, we pay as we go, Do-Be-Do-Be-Do.

Empowerment is coming to the fore-care, in acts of fore-having, and fore-structure, some necessities of living donated to a day shelter, becoming part of their everyday life world.

Of course, there are many homeless veterans, many just homeless, and some volunteers, all from quite different realms, and they are recasting their relationships, disbanding form the aggregate ‘they’ of societal stereotypes of veterans, homeless, volunteers.

There is a definite ontological character by Being-in the spacetimemattering  of disempowerment “coming-to-an-end” (Heidegger, # 242), Do-Be-Do-Be-Do.

I have a challenge to Heidegger, all his idle talk of “Being-a-whole” (IBID.). A whole-is-not-yet, still ahead, still outstanding, for Veterans Theatre is not at all whole, not a whole system. I prefer the term ‘systemicity’ to ‘whole system’ since I have never met a whole system, only ones not finalized, the whole promised in the future, and still outstanding, lacking wholeness, totality. Still here in the photo a “debt gets paid off” (IBID).  At a homeless camp or shelter, or mission, there is a “lack-of-togetherness” and still a Veterans Theater, stilling “piecing-together” something (Heidegger, # 243), Do-Be-Do-Be-Do its systemicity. The parts of it are unmerged, unfinalized, parts are being expelled, parts are joining-in, we are in-the-middle, emerging, fragments realigning, certainly not a totality, or wholeness (Boje, 2008, 2014).

Veterans Theater is ‘not-yet’ yet some paths are being taken, some decisions made with the money raised by performing theater, and the audience paying for the theatricalizing of the veterans, and the homeless, by its very own actors.

Last night we rehearsed, for the very first time, in a theater, on campus. True, on April 30th 2015, we did a theater performance at Center for the Performing Arts, but we did not ever rehearse there, as that was not in our budget. We did rehearse at Good Samaritan auditorium, and we are grateful, but Read’s Theater, is a ‘real’ theater where actors go to train. We practiced, for the very first time some Augusto Boal, improv exercises. Why not before: too much happening, getting organizing, chasing a storyline, and not the time to practice the Boalian rehearsal moves. I did them spontaneously, in-the-moment, at Sweet CeCe’s on March 18th fund-raiser to cover the costs of renting the ‘rehearsal hall’ in the Center for the Performing Arts. I invited a young social work student, to take the role of the Veterans Administration case worker, and let the veteran military actors resist his every move, so no easy solutions would suffice. Do-Be-Do-Be-Do!

I passed out, for the first time, yesterday August 31st, a Veterans Theater of the Oppressed, official training manual. Do-Be-Do-Be-Do!

Finally the manual was ‘ready-to-hand’ but there was much still “un-ready-to-hand” (Heidegger, # 244-245), Do-Be-Do-Be-Do!  And backstage, an actor quit, and walked away, and that is part of the little deaths, the dying, that is entangled with the becoming of Living Veterans Theater, as two student-actors, stepped up, and did the Theater of the Oppressed training.

The beginning-middle-end (BME) narrative would have us believe life is linear, our living stories straight as an arrow. But while some parts are stopping, others are begining, and its all unfinished in so many ways.  But look at it this way, some people come and tarry for awhile, then move long, and “Being-towards-the-end”  (Heidegger, # 245), Do-Be-Do-Be-Do!

Yesterday, I blogged about a conference I founded, then enjoined others to found, and it keep living for 25 years, the Standing Conference of Management and Organizational Inquiry (sc’MOI).  Soon we will disband, and part of our disappearing from the conference scene, is April 2016 we hold our very last conference, and in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, Do-Be-Do-Be-Do!

The demise of dying Sc’MOI, needs an investigation. Are we dying authentically, in a factical demise? Certainly, people who were sc’MOI Brothers and Sistern did die along the way: Terrence Krell, Debra Summers, Heather Hopfl, and some of us are getting long in the tooth, and others who worked on arrangements, proceedings, websites, calls, well they are tired, and then there is the collapse of the European Higher Education, the move in USA to only validate the Academy of Management conference ticket by most Business Colleges, and let’s not forget the outcomes assessments, the ranked journal lists, and the new quizzes we take to accomplish IRB (not for knowledge-sake, but lest university be sued, once again) Do-Be-Do-Be-Do!

We need to ask “what may be after death” of Sc’Moi, and in the case of Veterans Theater, after the demise of disempowerment, here and there, certainly not everywhere, and “this-world” act of giving-back stuff by two homeless, one a veteran, one in a day shelter, and doing this for all of us at Veterans Theater (Heidegger, # 247-248), Do-Be-Do-Be-Do!

What may be after death, not in the transcendental (above or below), but in this-worldly, here and now, in the mattering that afflicts academy of Management, then IABD, and now sc’MOI, merging into the everydayness, without any more fore-having, fore-conception, fore-structure, fore-sight of the fore-care becoming Being-toward-the-end of possibilities.

On the plus side of the ledger, Being-towards-the-end of disempowerment as fore-care acts “ahead-of-itself” with the disempowering role model falling away, well that is really something, that has its own “potentiality-for-Being” (Heidegger, # 250), Do-Be-Do-Be-Do!

OK, I have been saying here and now, that in living, there is dying, the emergence and the demise, and that is why there is just ‘systemicity’ ontologically existential, while the fantasy of whole systems, its epistemology lives on, along with ontic (empiric) attempts to measure a process, found elsewhere, in the meaning of life.

Speaking of death and dying, let us not forget why Veterans Theater is putting on plays, and raising money for Legacy Ranch


Don’t forget the homeless suicides! Between 2000 through 2009, mortality rates for suicide, unintentional poisoning, unintentional falls, etc. increased by 15%, 128%, & 71% respectively. Suicide ranked first as a cause of injury mortality, followed by motor vehicle traffic crashes, poisoning, falls, and homicide source.

Donate to Veterans Theater GoFundMe and we can give more stuff
Legacy Ranch GoFundMe Donation and we get a place for veterans and families to go to decompress post-combat, and some space too for homeless

Falling into suicide is a phenomenon, a way of Being, for more people, and that is why its time to be doing fore-care, to give-back. Do-Be-Do-Be-Do!