TrueVille is Big Blue Door’s 2017 story collection and oral history initiative. TrueVille asks the people of the Charlottesville area to share some of the stories of their lives. We want to get to know our neighbors’ histories, so we can understand better the history we all are making together.

TrueVille Police Stories

TrueVille Police Stories is the first chapter. Melissa Wender has conducted forty interviews with local police. We want to safely edit and store the recordings, and put the transcripts of the interviews online in a format so everyone can read them. Then we want to use passages and stories from the interviews to stage a play.

Interview Format

Our interviews are non-confrontational, open-ended, but guided to help interview subjects find and share what’s interesting, important, and moving to them.

  • Who was someone who influenced you?
  • What was an experience in your life that changed you?
  • Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
  • What made you become a police officer?
  • Tell me about a good day.
  • Anything you’re proud of lately in work or in life?
  • Do you have a favorite TV show or song about law enforcement, even if it’s silly?

Participants can talk about their work, but they don’t have to. People relate to their jobs and the people they work with in different ways.

The format is inspired by the oral histories of the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, the lifelong work of Chicago writer and radio host Studs Terkel, the more recent StoryCorps model of interviews, and Big Blue Door’s own true stories tradition. Click here for links and resources for the interview model.

The Play

We’ll put together a monolog-based script and oversee the production of a 1-hour play to be staged locally. The show will tie together parts of all the interviews into a fun, interesting, and moving evening.

The Future

We want to interview other parts of city and county government and then move to the neighborhoods.

How Can I Help?

Our GoFundMe campaign is online! Click here or on the image below to donate!





7 thoughts on “TRUEVILLE

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