Putting the audience in the picture
“Choose Your Destination … is an invitation to think about the kinds of spaces we create and to think carefully about the impact on the young lives forming here. It is an invitation to build spaces centered around comfort and warmth, learning and growth. It is an invitation to build spaces that can turn into meaningful places for everyone.”
— Sarah Adjekum, TSDC research assistant and member of the Choose Your Destination workshop team.
Through the plays, performer-advocates poetically invite audiences to join them in an ongoing collective world-making conversation. In fact, many TSDC performances end with performer-advocates requesting something of the audience. This request can be issued in the form of a “direct address” — a moment at the end of the play when the performers look out at the audience and issue a statement. For example, in We Need to Talk! the women drop the armfuls of rocks they’ve been carrying from agency to agency, step out of character, and say to the audience: “This isn’t working. We need to talk!”
Similarly, the fictionalized apartment dwellers in When My Home is Your Business stand beside their doors and share their hopes in a direct appeal to the audience. The play closes with these words from “Alice”:
“We need you to tell us which flowers you want to help to grow. We need you to be part of our garden.”
In the closing scene of All Of Us Together the performers drop out of character, look out at the audience, and ask, “Who will you stand beside?” and “Whose dreams will you fight for?” before tossing the coloured ribbons they’ve been using to weave their stories together out to the audience as an invitation to participate a community web of solidarity.
In Choose Your Destination, the appeal was less direct, but no less powerful, when the four fictionalized youth sit facing the audience and share their ‘dream’ of having a place to chill and watch TV together, a place where they can relax.