Castlegar, November 14th- The messages from corporations tell us hundreds of times a day, in ways we may not notice anymore, how to relate to each other and to ourselves; what to buy, how to feel, how to perceive and the kind of person to aspire to be. Can we use the theatre to become aware of these messages, and to change our relationships to them, to live healthier and more sustainable lives with each other, with ourselves, and with the planet? This project hopes to be more than just an investigation – we have a desire for Corporations in our Heads to move into transformative action! How? By making each event relevant, at a grassroots level, to each unique community in which it happens and for the local organizers to use that momentum to move forward on local community issues. Each event is the community’s creation. We are touring a process in which the whole evening of theatre emerges from the audience.
Sounds heavy, but it’s a great deal of fun!
What does this process look like?
Corporations in our Heads has evolved from Augusto Boal’s (founder of the Theatre of the Oppressed)1 technique “Cops in the Head”. It works like this:
After a short warm-up the audience is asked to offer stories out of their own experiences; stories in which the storyteller had to make a decision, and in that moment, they knew that the messages of corporations were affecting their choice in negative or unhealthy ways. The audience chooses the story that resonates the most and we bring that story to the stage. But first we need to agree on “branding”. Which Corporations are present in the space that night? Identifying the Brand helps us to understand the character as well as the messaging. The chosen moment is then theatricalized on stage and Diamond (in the role of Joker/facilitator) freezes the scene in a moment when the “corporate voices” appear to be present in the storyteller (the Protagonist). The Protagonist is then asked to identify what the loudest voice is saying, and to make a physical shape to represent that message. An audience member, who recognizes that message from inside his or her own experience, volunteers to become that shape on stage and develop the shape into a character. That character becomes the “voice of a corporation”.
Another voice and another volunteer. We enter a very metaphoric space, yet space that has practical meaning in our lives. Using interactive techniques, if an audience member has an idea of how to disarm or evict a voice from “occupying” a space in our collective psyche, the audience member yells, “stop”. They then enter the playing area and, taking the place of the Protagonist, try their idea. The audience member portraying a “voice of a corporation” responds authentically as a character taken from inside our heads, now in physical form on the stage, that is affecting our decision-making. We work through the voices one by one, peeling layers of complexity away as we go, exploring tactics to deal with the voices. This, in Augusto Boal’s words is one of many ways that “the theatre can make the invisible visible”.
Who is The Joker: David Diamond co-founded Headlines Theatre (now Theatre for Living) in 1981 and has directed over 500 community-specific projects on issues such as racism, civic engagement, violence, addiction, street youth, intergenerational conflict and homelessness. He has worked throughout Canada, the USA and Europe, as well as in Namibia, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Rwanda, Palestine and Singapore, and has pioneered the development of live, interactive Forum television and web casting. He is the originator of Theatre for Living, a merging of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, and his own life-long interest in systems theory. Theatre for Living recognizes communities are complexly integrated living organisms and invites them to engage in constructive social change, moving from various forms of violence to respectful engagement. For more about David Diamond please visit: http://www.theatreforliving.com/staff.htm
What the Audience is Saying:
*Oct 14-Jim Peskin, GVPTA
Quote from Jim Peskin’s review: “Corporations in our Heads is an experience for you to participate in. What you will take away from is something that will make you think about how and why you buy things, how media affect you and how you might change your response to it. You will feel safe, engaged and energized by it. You have to be there to experience it and that makes this theatre of the purest kind. Go!”
*Oct 14-Betty Gilgoff BC Teachers for Peace and Global Education
Quote from Betty Gilgoff’s review: “Indeed it is theatre, as it is entertainment, but it is also intelligent, provocative and important. It makes you think as you are being entertained but it doesn’t easily let you off the hook.”
The Community Partner for this event is:
The Mir Centre for Peace “Peace Cafe” Nights.
For more information about Theatre for Living
| www.theatreforliving.com| @theatre4living | facebook.com/TheatreForLiving |
| Inquiries: Mallory Gallant, Publicist| 604.871.0508 firstname.lastname@example.org
(formerly Headlines Theatre) presents
Corporations in our Heads
Theatre without a net. No actors. No play. No script.
Theatre for Living continues a 32-year legacy of innovation with a project about the corporate voices that live within our collective psyche.
Joked by: David Diamond
The Mir Centre for Peace / Thursday November 14th / 7pm
For information contact Marya Folinsbee, 250.226.7311
For more information about the Corporations in our Heads tour
604.871.0508 or www.theatreforliving.com
The event takes 2.5 to 3 hours.