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Open Call to All to Join a Portland "Real World Theatre" Troupe

Open Call to All to Join a Portland "Real World Theatre" Troupe
Open Call to All to Join a Portland
Open Call to All to Join a Portland "Real World Theatre" Troupe
I'd like to extend an invitation to all artists, activists, actors, and anarchists to start a "Real World Theatre" troupe in here in Portland. It's something I've been chewing over for some time, but unfortunately a cast and crew of 1 just doesn't cut it.

In traditional theatre, the audience is acutely aware that a show is going on and thus are passive viewers of the spectacle. No matter how boisterously encouraged to participate, they're always aware that it's just a show, because there you are up on the stage.

I propose not just a blurring of that line between audience and participant, but a removal of the boundry between the stage and the viewers completely. "The only way to get people to stop watching and start acting is to get down from the stage" -- or to remove the stage altogeather!

The idea here is to have scripts, actors, and props, though much would be done improv. We would infiltrate common, every-day spaces where people sleep, and wake them up, get them thinking about "the issues" in a very personal, "radical", sometimes eye-opening, sometimes humorous, but always practical way.

It'd be almost like "The Truman Show" -- we'd be giving a performance, but only we'd know.

Some example "shows":


A patient enters a dentist's office and says they'd like to make an appointment because they has a really nasty toothache. They might even be wailing a bit to get the attention of people in the waiting room, possibly some fake blood dripping from mouth but otherwise behaving. As the person behind the desk goes through the motions of scheduling an appointment, the patient informs them that he neither has any insurance nor money to pay for it himself.

A moment later, a second patient enters the dentist's office and pretends not to know the first. This patient proudly declares to the person behind the desk that there is nothing wrong with them, but since they have a job and therefore health insurance they'd like to excercise their right to see a dentist.

Meanwhile, the first patient's pain is increasing, and they begin spitting blood and perhaps melodramatically pass out onto the floor.

As the person behind the desk picks up the phone to dial an emergency number, the first patient springs back to life, wiping the fake blood off, and both people declare this to be an action of the Portland ... group. They pass out mini-fliers discussing health care issues for the poor, then leave.


A person is sitting on the MAX talking on a cellular phone to his stock broker. They are going over the profits they have been making and is speaking loudly enough for other riders to hear. While speaking, he is picking his teeth with his finger and he mentions he just ate a splendid $50 tab steak dinner.

A few stops later, a second person in worn clothing boards and begins asking a few of the riders for spare food. When he reaches the man with the cell phone and asks him, the cell phone guy pauses and says "No, but I've got some food between my teeth you can have." The worn clothing guy says "sure" (much to MAX riders' disgust), and the cell phone guy picks a nice chunk out of his mouth and hands it to the worn clothing guy who then eats it and says "thanks" before walking away.

Again after a few well-timed "reaction" moments it is revealed that this was the handiwork of the Portland ... ! Fliers are passed out relating to hunger or perhaps capitalism (the analogy here being that we give the poor be it nations or people our breadcrumbs/leftovers/waste from our indulgences).


Two people enter a crowded elevator. As the two wait for their floor, ignoring the other people in the elevator, one person in the elevator says to another person, "Plans for tonight?" The person responds, "Go home, watch TV, go to bed." Then all the other people in the elevator ask each other the same question and the same response is met. Finally, just before the floor of the two people that entered the elevator, someone says to them, "God, it's great being alive, isn't it?"

After proper "reaction" moment, fliers are handed to the two people perhaps relating to television consumption or to the mechanics of life and death of spontenaniety.

(I set you up to think the two people entering the elevator were the theatre people, but actually they were the audience. See, it's that kind of cleverness we need!)


And so on and so forth. I'm sure you have plenty of ideas too. Again, the idea is to have short, rapid-fire "performances" that aren't bogged down with scripts, props, set-ups, etc. Sort of in the spirit of the Ramones -- 30 rapid-fire 2-minute performances being better and more fun than 2 30 minute performances.

Sooo... email me or call me if you're interested! The operative word here is "fun". The "shows" need not even be political, so long as they wake people from the slumber of their daily routines.

I removed the "@" sign in the email address so spam-bots don't pick it up, but I'm josh at earthjam.com, or 503.274.9614.

And of course I emphasize that these would be safe, peaceful, relatively legal forms of theatre -- nothing so radical that it could be construed a threat to the safety of the public or to property.

-- Josh

phone: phone: 503-274-9614

Interesting 26.Jul.2001 06:37


I may risk contacting you!