Monday, December 05, 2005
Helping the Audience, Part 3: The Talkback
Playwright Laurie Brooks has a fascinating article in the latest American Theatre about a new approach to talkbacks that goes beyond the typical Q & A session. "How can theatre be a more vibrant, necessary part of our culture?," she asks. "There are no easy answers to that question, but an after-play event that invites audiences into structured dialogue adds ownership and transformative power to the theatre experience. As Daniel Renner, director of education at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, says, reflecting on his experience with [Brooks'] The Tangled Web forum: 'So often we lose sight that theatre is a communal event. We might discuss a play on the way home, but we are already removed from the experience we just had with strangers in the dark. What this simple but elegant design provides is an opportunity for strangers to become a true community that wrestles face to face with feelings, values and reactions to the primal issues of a play.'" Brooks challenges us to "take a risk. Move talkbacks beyond banality to deep engagement." You can read Brooks' entire article, as well as descriptions of her different approaches to talkbacks, at www.lauriebrooks.com.
Posted by Scott Walters at 10:35 PM