Theatre for Living presents: Corporations In Our Heads

As part of the BC/Alberta Tour of Corporations in our Heads, Theatre for Living (formerly known as Headlines Theatre) will make a two-night stop in Victoria:

  • Fri, Oct 18 @ 7.30pm at David Lam Auditorium, UVic (3800 Finnerty Road)**
  • Sat, Oct 19 @ 7:00pm at First Metropolitan United Church (932 Balmoral Road)**

Both venues are wheelchair accessible
For more info, tel. 778.977.3180
Admission by donation. Find the event on Facebook

The voices of corporations tell us hundreds of times a day, in ways we may not notice anymore, what to buy, how to feel, how to perceive and the kind of person to aspire to be. How do we break deeply ingrained patterns? 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?

We are touring a process in which the whole evening of theatre emerges from the audience. Each night is focused on identifying the corporate messages that are present in our psyche and seeking ways to change our relationship to those messages that are healthier for us as individuals, as living communities and as a result, for the planet. Sounds heavy, but it’s a great deal of fun and no one is forced to participate!

Theatre for Living (Headlines Theatre) in collaboration with Praxis Theatre Collective

Corporations in our Heads in Victoria, BC*
No actors. No play. No script. Theatre without a net.

Joked by: David Diamond

*This event is part of a Vancouver/BC/Alberta tour. For more info about the project and full tour itinerary click here.
Theatre for Living gratefully acknowledges:

  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • Catherine Donnelly Foundation
  • City of Vancouver
  • The Province of British Columbia
  • British Columbia Arts Council
  • The Georgia Straight
  • Vancouver Co-Op Radio

What does this process look like?
Corporations in our Heads has evolved from Augusto Boal’s (founder of the Theatre of the Oppressed) 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”.
We have done “process projects” like this in Vancouver before, but never toured. One of those projects was 2° of Fear and Desire (what stops us from taking action on global warming):

“2° of Fear and Desire was the most profound activism I have ever witnessed.” Molly Caron, audience member

“Experiencing 2° of Fear and Desire was so refreshing because it went straight to the source, the human psyche, and examined it with honesty, respect, and witty humour. Furthermore, the performance was strikingly tangible and personal to the audience members and participants. The show helped each of us understand our mental processes a bit better, and develop a sort of solidarity with each other in recognizing and processing through our common struggles. Thank you so much for the wonderfully deep work you have done.“ Elisa Lee, audience member

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