Audience-participation play planned for Nov. 21, 22

November 13, 2014 Community Print Print

It’s a theater production where the audience provides the ending, based on conflict scenarios created by the actors in the center of the room.

The stout of heart will be encouraged to come onto the set and act out the solution to the problem that has been set up, said theater Professor Brent Noel.

Noel is directing the Forum Theater production at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 20 and 21, in Room 1C5 in the Arts and Humanities building.

He is calling it “Pavlov’s Dog,” an attempt to call attention to the ways people have  become conditioned to many types of oppression.

Forum is a type of theater created by Augusto Boal, Noel said. Boal calls this “Theatre of the Oppressed” which teaches people how to change their situations.

“The play consists of situations where the protagonist is faced with problems,” Noel said. “These problems could vary from racial, gender, or sexual orientation issues.”

The content can be controversial, said Marta M. Seitz, one of the performers in the play.

“We are doing and saying things that people are scared to say out loud,” Seitz said.

She encourages everyone to attend because it is unlike traditional theater.

The idea around the play is that there will be many different solutions to problems. The cast will explore their effectiveness and rehearse possibilities.

“The goal is to give people a voice, particularly those who do not have a voice in decision-making,” Noel said.

In the scenes, the protagonist will have no clue about how to face these problems so he or she seeks advice.

It is then that the cast will stop and turn to the audience for discussion on how they think the problem should be handled.

“The cast will discuss with the audience, then invite audience members to demonstrate their ideas on what they would do in the situation that was just played out,” Noel said.

David Chen said this is the time for individuals in the audience to be a hero if they would like to be —or to just observe if that’s what they choose.

The cast consists of Cheyenne Clauson, David Chen, Tiffane Shorter, Kia Shorter, Taylor Tyree, Bethanie Hamilton, Mariah Martin, Rody Orcutt, Dominique Samuel, Ya’Fae Lewis and Seitz.

Assistant director and stage manager is Misty Red Elk.

Admission to the play is free.

For more information, email

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