The Living Case Study

Generating meaningful and open discussion

Talking about wealth, and how to use it effectively raises personal and family issues involving identity, status, legacy, communication and interpersonal dynamics. It is difficult to develop objectivity, see different perspectives and consider potential solutions.

Shaking the Tree has developed The Living Case Study as a pathway to exploring such emotional issues as family–business succession, corporate governance in family enterprises, trustee/beneficiary relations, family decision-making, and the responsibility of inherited wealth, including philanthropy. Through the combined use of professional theater and expert facilitation, The Living Case Study generates meaningful and open discussion on the real impact of the choices made and actions taken by individuals and families of substantial resources.

It’s not just a story.

Each Living Case Study serves as a starting point to explore what just happened, what could still happen, and what might have happened differently.

The Shaking the Tree process delivers a high-end experience:

  1. Our Creative Team and guest collaborators are well-regarded professionals from different aspects of wealth management and philanthropy bringing authentic detail through decades of experience in working with affluent families.
  2. Our Managing Artistic Director, David Kersnar is a seasoned theater professional who is a co-founder and ensemble member of the prestigious Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago. Through his network, we are able to tap into the region’s top acting, writing and directing talent.
  3. We individually cast each play, through a casting call process, with professional actors thoroughly prepared and fully rehearsed to provide a faithful portrayal of their character.

“Shaking the Tree’s production affords the opportunity to learn about one’s own family by observing and discussing another family. A family’s experience with its foundation, compressed into a short play and the participatory conversation afterwards, becomes a discussion of why family members act and react the way they do and allows the audience to evaluate objectively. Yet at the end of the evening, every person watching learns something of his or her own family and of himself or herself. The sensitivity of the players, their ability to leave the stage and remain their characters for group discussion, and the high quality of the script enhance the experience immeasurably. ”
– Charles A. Lowenhaupt, Lowenhaupt & Chasnoff

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