When a reinterpretation of West Side Story opened on Broadway, picketing and #MeToo demonstrations preceded and followed the opening. The protest publicized the sexual abuse and hostile work environment a female dancer suffered two years earlier when she worked with Amar Ramasar, one of the leads in the West Side Story production; a principal dancer and one of the first dancers of color at the New York City Ballet.
The lead producer of West Side Story and other investors are negotiating with the Salt Lake City Ballet West Board of Directors to perform in Salt Lake City for a run of at least four months. The SLC Ballet West Board is concerned that the picketing and demonstrations will follow the show from New York, embarrass the Board and the community, and cause a drop off in ticket sales during the run. The SLC Ballet West Board is seeking indemnification (and protection) if civil disruption occurs.
Major lessons in this exercise include:
How should concerns around sensitive issues like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter be taken into account in the design and management of negotiations?
The role of ethics and values in distinguishing between positions and interests in this type of situation.
How do relationships benefit or impede negotiations, especially when the parties will likely need to carry on working relationships long after the conclusion of the negotiation?
The role of the mediator, and what, if any, value added they provide in the dispute resolution process.
There are two versions of this simulation. Version A includes only the counsel for the parties, whereas Version B includes Waterbury and Ramasar appearing pro se.
Prof. Susskind’s Top 5 Environmental Negotiation Teaching Materials
From time to time, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center asks PON-affiliated faculty to nominate their top five books, top five teaching videos or top five role-play simulations in certain fields or teaching settings. These change periodically.