During the Spring and Summer of 2020, Mixed Company worked with communities and artists to create three completely virtual Forum Theatre presentations. We used the physical distancing measures and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to not only inspire the content of these presentations, but also the virtual delivery. We learned many lessons through this process about how to host and present Forum Theatre through video conferencing, which we will carry forward with us into our future work. For more information on the shows presented, see below.
These digital presentations are also our first attempt at Newspaper Theatre this season, a technique of Theatre of the Oppressed as conceived of by Augusto Boal. Newspaper articles and headlines, books, and speeches provide the content of these presentations which are intended to prompt reflection on socially relevant issues by acting them out. With the help of such sources, participants create a short scene provoking critical dialogue around emerging issues and headlines.
Our intention is to continue creating projects like these in response to major news events so communities can unpack, discuss, and respond to the dynamic and constantly changing news or “newsfeed” on our social media, in this uncertain yet significant time in human history. We will collaborate with our associate Forum Theatre artists throughout the 2021 season, drawing from the pulse of ongoing developments to continuously create virtual Forum Theatre experiences. We believe this will ensure communities can access (with an inclusive pricing model) the means to cope with all that is going on around them.
What’s personal is political.
Protests upholding freedom and justice for the black community are taking place everywhere – in the midst of a pandemic.
Is this time going to be different? How do white allies stand up for #BLM and communicate with those around them? How do we become accomplices? How much are we willing to risk? Is it different for everyone?
In this interactive Forum Theatre presentation lovingly put together and co-created by our associate artists, we hoped to find some answers and engage in critical dialogue.
Jun 20, 2020 | 4:00 – 6:00 PM (ET)
We are living through this pandemic together or are we?
Physical distancing is for outside the home, but inside? With roommates? Sharing living spaces?
Pandemic Roommates was an interactive online theatre presentation that glimpsed into the lives of roommates in a Toronto house. With Remi being immuno-compromised, Carmen might be putting her friend’s health at risk. Deb started working from home which puts a strain on the internet bandwidth and Marge? – well, she owns the house. Each is doing their best to get through this challenging time, but how do they support one another when they all have different needs?
We hoped to find some answers and engage in critical dialogue through this interactive work co-created by Malia Rogers, Max Cameron Fearon, Heather VON Atzigen and Madeleine Brown, with input and support from Mixed Company Theatre’s associate artists.
July 9, 2020 | 6:00 – 7:30 PM (ET)
To Work or Not to Work
As restrictions lift, will we still be allowed to keep working from home?
Does the system ask us to choose between our careers and our family’s health?
How can we support each other when we’re asked to return to the office?
Written by renowned Forum Theatre artist Luciano Iogna, To Work or Not to Work was an interactive theatre presentation that sought answers to these questions. We came together as a community to explore solutions and possibilities to what lies ahead for us all. Our talented cast included Malia Rogers Madeleine Brown Gabriel Hudson and Tony Babcock, and Simon Malbogat directed this play.