Us and Them

On the weekend I had the pleasure of seeing “Us and Them,” an interactive show up on by Headlines Theatre.

I as the show began watched the shadows dance under the glow of the sunlight (stage light). The harmonics tickled my ears with their delicate touches of perfections, it was a quiet beauty.

As the opening scenes unfolded I observed many things. When I began looking for differences, they grew to be great and many. I think we see what we want to see. When you look for differences they are infinite. I also saw consumerism get in the way. Quite literally, one character couldn’t see his path over his big screen TV. I see a social irony here….

Also apparent to me were the differences and perspectives in every situation. There is an inside to every window and a room behind each wall.

A large theme that the show presented was the modern differences in gender. Transgendered stigma was explored. It is something that I have only been part of dialogue on recently and I am still learning about issues and challenges faced by transgendered people. This is an area where I am fairly ignorant. Man… Woman… can’t we just be people? I am curious if these issues would exist outside of North American culture.

“We never know what we do.”

– DAVID DIAMOND

Is too much equal to nothing at all?

After the play we engaged in a DIALOGUE. In a dialogue, we suspend judgement and listen to others, even those with whom we don’t agree. This dialogue was centered around hot to build bridges, tear down walls, and stopping putting them up in the first place. The community in the room looked for access points to create these new outcomes.

“Is the wall inside yourself?”

– DAVID DIAMOND

I was left with these conclusions. Laughter, silliness and acknowledgements are the ANSWER TO EVERYTHING. I want to be a celebrator of differences and an empowering force of change in the world : )

US AND THEM runs until Saturday, November 12th. Shows are at 8PM at The Cultch. Dooo it!

US & THEM: the inquiry

 

You’re invited to…

US & THEM: the inquiry.

A THEATRE FOR LIVING WORKSHOP (hosted by Jenni Rempel)

Monday, March 21st at 5:30PM

SFU Burnaby, Room BLU 10021.


WHY DO PEOPLE…

+ Hoard food or money?

+ Over consume with no regard for others or the planet?

+ Racially profile?

+ Witness hardship and even atrocity and not reach out?

+ Plan and carry out the annihilation of cultural or ethnic groups?

+ Pollute someone else’s “back yard”?

+ Drop (so many different kinds of) bombs on people?

+ Turn a blind eye, a deaf ear?


What makes all these, and so many other ways that we compromise the planet’s and humanity’s well-being, possible? The creation, over and over, of “the other”: the creation of the “them” in “us and them”.
If global warming teaches us anything, it must be that on this tiny, fragile blue speck hanging in the middle of a vast nothingness, there is nowhere to go. Inside this reality in which humanity lives, who are “they”? A new revolution is required on the planet. Somehow, we must find a way to let go of our mechanistic need for certainty – our need to know that “we” are right and entitled and therefore “they” must be wrong and not entitled.  We must find a way to relax into the certainty of UNcertainty – to know that in whatever geography, whatever politic, whatever context, there is no certain “them”; there is only an ever-evolving us.


WHAT IS “THEATRE FOR LIVING”?

Theatre for Living has evolved from Augusto Boal’s “Theatre of the Oppressed”. Humans think in metaphor. Theatre is a metaphoric language. Combining this with the immediacy of flesh and blood authentic stories makes theatre a very powerful medium for self-reflection and transformation. Us and Them hopes to live in a territory of what John Paul Lederach calls constructive social change. He defines this in his book The Moral Imagination as:

“…the pursuit of moving relationships from those defined by fear, mutual recrimination, and violence toward those characterized by love, mutual respect, and proactive engagement. Constructive social change seeks to change the flow of human interaction in social conflict from cycles of destructive relational violence toward cycles of relational dignity and respectful engagement.”

In this workshop we will use a technique called The Rainbow of Fear and Desire to explore many impluses present in a single conflict. Workshop participants may be directly involved in the action by performing or may choose to observe and be indirectly involved.

ABOUT THE HOST…

Jenni Rempel is certified by Headlines Theatre, after having completed the Rainbow of Desire Group Workshop Facilitator Training. She comes with a background in leadership, training and over 10 years of theatrical performance and directing experience. She is an SFU Student studying Interactive Art + Technology and Communications.