I can’t remember how I got in contact with Richard Satterwhite to tell you the truth, but we decided to meet up with each other for lunch at the Red Lobster in Rochester on a very snowy day that would qualify as blizzard conditions anywhere else in the country. I live in the Syracuse area, and he’s in the Buffalo area, so it was the most convenient place for us to meet. He’s very engaging and friendly and intelligent, and he’s run a business for many years that I’m betting most people wouldn’t even know that such a business existed, yet is an industry leader in educating the principles of diversity.

1. What is Business Theatre Works, LLC??

What is, ‘ interactive business theatre ‘? Well, it is a live, interactive theatrical training experience where audience members are presented with a “dramatic mirror” of themselves and the workplace situations they create and share. In the customized scenarios that we build, the actors become mediators of all kinds of thoughts and emotions for audience members. This objective but stimulating encounter allows the audience to experience real life issues, situations and characters in a safe and relaxed atmosphere. In our work, we focus on understanding the intricacies of communication through an understanding of human dynamics. Be it the subtleties in body language (also called non-verbal communication),or the ability to read a person emotionally. Our goal is to effect positive change within the individual and organization.

2. What made you decide to go into this business?

As a union and college educated actor living in Western NY, I was presented with a challenge. Do local theatre and get a full time job doing something, I don’t like, to pay the bills or use my life time worth of theatrical abilities and create an opportunity, I chose the latter.

3. What types of challenges have you had along the way?

Getting companies to understand what we do, it’s more than just skits.

4. Have the positives outweighed the negatives, and if so, how?

In the 8 years that BusinessTheatre Works has been around, we’ve learned alot. We’ve gone from just being actors to becoming proficient business people. Negatives, haven’t been on stage as an actor in 4 yrs, I really miss the craft. Positives, can pay my bills.

5. What would you recommend for anyone looking to go into business for themselves?

Find something you like doing and can see yourself doing for the rest of your life and understand, that it’s going to take a lot of commitment and hard work.