Tom Ross-Williams: (Populace theatre)
Becki Hillman: (In Good Company)
Participants: Tom Brocklehurst, John Ward, Susana Davis Cook, Rod Dixon, Christina Caralina, Nicola Sianhope, Fran Hyde, Eve Leigh, Lauren Cooney, Emma Callander…
Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:
Questions/provocations/models of practice/thoughts relating to the group discussion:
- come to me with a solution, not a problem
- how do giving answers/asking questions lead to political agency in performance?
- positivity/negativity for politicisation in performance
- the efficacy of ownership/belonging for a theatre of action
- Theatre Uncut and David Greig: his short play last year needing audience to participate – and empowering model? (Engendered emotional responses from audience members who empathised with what was going on and had to perform role-play)… …(but is an audience reading from a script in unison always empowering?)
- Third Ring Out (performance) – educative, gaming model of performance, which began anonymously but became more involved/actively engaged
- An invitation to become active/the active engagement of the audience must not lead to nowhere! (Where can it lead? – into other actions/networks/practices/social movements or groups? Into further productions? – how can we facilitate further engagement, what obstacles might we encounter as practitioners and how might we overcome them??)
- Collective identity feels safer for an audience to practice agency (builds confidence). How can we engender this in rehearsal/performance? By splitting people into groups? Inviting them to socialise? Involving them in process……..
- Is the word ‘political’ a turn off to theatre audiences (and what audiences do we want to politicize?) Is it unsexy/not escapist enough?...Automatically unpopular? Or is this relative to historical/political/economic contexts? Where is it sexy/popular? (Scotland? Other…?)
- OR reclaim the word ‘political’???
- Is being told something or being preached at always something we shy away from or do we accept it in contexts that aren’t ‘political’?
- Is theatre encountering its biggest period of ‘formal explosion’?!
There’s much more but I am running out of time!....... thanks to tom and participants for great discussion! Becki
- Donation only political theatre
- Don’t turn the lights out on the audience
- Giving people a shared experience
- But give audience a role in political theatre is important
- Leave a show feeling galvanised rather than pacified
- The power of obstruction – audience unified by having to solve a problem of sharing a tight space
- Encouraging audiences to be disobedient
- Audience - Soho Theatre (manipulated but disempowered?)
- Nature of the offer given to the audience
o If we are told what to think do we turn off?
o Demanding to share viewpoints to incite reactionary thinking/action
- Connect audience to tangible stories rather than abstract ideas
o Like the demolition of local building
o Localised is political theatre
- We can learn from other forms – circus/stand-up/dance
- 7:84 Black Black Oil
- What is your language
o Political issue explored through a ceilidh
- Shalom Baby – political moment a gay kiss in Stratford East
- “Be the change you want to see in the world”
Leave the theatre with the world “yes!”