3 Remote Control

The Remote Control is a general technique that can be applied to any scene that is being acted out live. As one might use a remote control for a TV, our Remote Control has many different functions:

  • You can pause a scene. For example, when a scene is re-enacted or replayed, the Joker can ask the audience to raise their hands when they perceive a misuse or abuse of power. When a hand is raised, the Joker yells ‘pause.’ The actors in the scene instantly freeze or the video is stopped. The person who raised their hand speaks on why they chose to pause in that moment. The scene (if performed live) can be re-directed as an Out Scene as a result of this. If learners were initially watching the video, they can try reenacting the scene live and pausing in this way.
  • You can also rewind a scene to go back to an earlier moment, maybe one that we have not yet explored. The Joker (or audience member) suggests a return to this point and asks the character what they were thinking at this moment. The character can also be asked to consider what they wanted to happen in this situation or how they imagine things could have gone differently.
  • You can fast forward the scene to later in the day, week, etc., to see how the characters have or have not changed since the original moment of the scene.

Considerations while Jokering

  • Begin by having the facilitator/Joker hold the Remote Control. As the co-learners become more confident, they may also hold the Remote Control and use it to explore new insights in the scene.  
  • Mimicking fast-forward and rewind sounds can be fun for bringing a light sense of humour to the room if the Joker senses that it is appropriate.

Examples for using the Remote Control

  • As the Remote Control is a general technique, you may find yourself using it at any point where learners are enacting a scene. You may want to pause what is happening for open discussion, or rewind to highlight a certain moment.


Haunting our Biases: Using Participatory Theatre to Interrupt Implicit Bias Copyright © 2022 by Kevin Hobbs; Michael Martin Metz; Nadia Ganesh; Sheila O'Keefe-McCarthy; Joe Norris; Sandy Howe; and Valerie Michaelson. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book