PARCEL FROM ABROAD/SENDER UNKNOWN
A participatory performance
By UNITED SOLITUDES UNLTD.
In co-operation with Futur3 (Köln/D), Totem Theater Lab (Kherson/UA) and Youth Theater Studio (Bishkek/KYR)
Do you know what people in southern Ukrainian Kherson think about western capitalism? Do you have a pen pal in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, who will tell you how people feed their families despite an economic crisis? Have you heard, that many people in Germany prefer to earn less money but have more free time? Are you curious whether these people, who live in different countries, have similar dreams of the future? Do these people, besides all differences, have similar ideas of happiness?
The Democracy Verbatim Project
The Democracy Verbatim project started being implemented in October, 2014 with support of the UNPD and the Ministry the Foreign Affairs of the Kingdoms of Denmark. The goal of the project is development and practical approbation of methodology and a technique of carrying out public hearings in a theatrical format. The main stages of implementation of the project have something in common with a basic chain of activity of the Totem Center Theatre Lab – researches, dramatic art, documentary performance, discussion. In the Democracy Verbatim project more attention is given to researches which ideally have to represent a position (positions) of residents, and the procedure of discussion during which there is a search of solutions of a specific problem.
For a year of work of the project four public hearings on the basis of the performances “The Day During Which Nothing Happened”, ”Stuff” (2 issues) and “20 Reasons for Temptation” were prepared and carried out.
The Verbatim and Society Workshop
Originally the workshop “Verbatim and society” was supposed to be a seminar in training and dissemination of the verbatim method in Ukraine. Gradually the workshop perspective considerably extended, and now it includes the various directions concerning methodology and methods of obtaining documentary information and its integration in theater.
The first workshop “Verbatim and society” was organized in 2012 together with Teatr.doc (Moscow) and was held on the basis of the Kherson State University. Classes were given by Mikhail Ugarov and Elena Gremina (Teatr.doc), Mykola Homanyuk and Maxim Afanasyev (Totem Center Theatre Lab).
The second workshop “Verbatim and society” was held in 2013 in partnership with the East European Performing Arts Platform. Classes were given by Wojtek Faruga, Joanna Wichowska and Magda Mosewicz (EEPAP) and Natalya Kozarenko (the Ombudsman coordinator in the Kherson Oblast). Following the results of work of the workshop the documentary performance “The Day During Which Nothing Happened” was staged.
The First Act Workshop
The workshop “The First Act” has a local character, and only participants from Kherson take part in it. The workshop has no exact specialization and works according to the general project scheme of the Totem Center Theatre Lab: research-text-performance-presentation-discussion. The workshop participants look for a subject, collect information, participate in classes in dramatic art and work on staging a performance. The performances “The Stockholm Syndrome” and “Stuff” became results of work of the workshop “The First Act” in 2013 and 2014. In 2015 the workshop begins the work in January.