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The Jig She Saw: Reflections on Creating Relational Encounters in Participatory Theatre, by Regan O’Brien

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EVALUATION ESSAY – Written document following phase one of practical research on

The Jig She Saw: Reflections on You.

Regan O’Brien.

MA Drama & Performance Studies (Interdisciplinary Arts), Queens University Belfast.

Supervisor: Professor Anna McMullan

The Jig She Saw: Reflections on Creating Relational Encounters in Participatory Theatre.

In this essay, I will be reflecting on the theories and practice which took place in the process of creating and performing The Jig She Saw: Reflections on You, a small scale immersive, interactive performance installation. The project is rooted in Relational Aesthetics as discussed by Erin Manning in her book Relationscapes, and in social choreography in relation to William Forsythe’s research on the ‘choreographic object’.

The project took an experiential approach to creating an inclusive, relational platform that facilitates the involvement of non-performers and performers alike in a participatory event, seeking to expose and frame the creative act in live performance.

This interdisciplinary project drew from the conventions of theatre, film, live television, sound art and choreography. It was a complex structure, intended to incite the participants to focus on inventing and embodying their role within it. Seventeen simple, individual scores of tasks were activated consecutively by the participants throughout the performance experiment (See appendix 1. for task list.). There was also a bank of seating for an audience that wished to witness the installation as performance only.

The initial question with which I began this research regarded the architecture of perception: How can one create a relational performance installation which explores the difference between the visual perspective of the audience and the embodied participatory perspectives of the role of the audience within a theatrical event?

I approach this research through the following related question:

How can one facilitate the exposure of the creative act within the performance through a communal storytelling structure or relational choreography?

In hindsight, the ‘difference’ is not quantifiable. There were, however, at least three different perspectives which emerged through which one can engage with the performance. The value of this experiment was in learning how the participants perceived their role in a participatory event, and how much power they endowed themselves with to manipulate that role in a creative adaptation of their score.

The aesthetic structure absorbed, framed and valued the input of the participants as integral, poetic detail in the construction of meaning in the overall piece. I wanted to ensure that the performance was an expression of my research on visual and embodied perception as I had intended to communicate it: through the story told by the narrator, Sophie Spade, in relation to the participants and to how the installation transmitted this information through the physical space.

Two questionnaires were provided to the audience to document their experience of the performance, one for the participants and one for the witnesses. From the responses, I was able to gather a sense of the experience as felt by the two groups, and also to assess where the choreography may be improved. I want to learn which aspects of the choreography succeeded at providing the individualized and inclusive experience that I had intended for the participants.

There were eighteen witnesses who completed questionnaires. When initially asked (in question 2) if they were eager to participate, all of them said ‘No’. However, in response to question 6, seven of them said that they had changed their minds, as they now felt that the structure of the performance had made them feel safer. (See appendix 2 for the questionnaires). Throughout the presentation, more than one-third of the witnesses experienced a shift in perspective: a desire to participate, a feeling that they had something to offer to the event, a sense that the performance sought to facilitate and value their input.

The initial research question was premature in relation to the actual exploration disclosed through the creative process. While I was adhering to my original question throughout my research, I found that what I actually wanted to explore, and in fact did explore, was focused more specifically on the ‘embodied, participatory perspective’ of the participating audience. I wanted to generate moments of ‘real’ contact in a live performance, while providing a dynamic  theatrical experience for the non-participating witnesses. The act of observing the participants from the see-ers perspective went far in transforming the spectator into a witness of real events in real time.

In question (4) for the see-ers, when asked if they felt any projected feelings for the subjective reality of the participants, sixteen out of eighteen said that they felt nervous and excited for them. There was an immediate investment from the see-ers in the overall success of the performance through a sense of empathy for the participants. This placed the participants, rather than my character as I had initially imagined her, in the role of the internal focalizer, forming a composite representation of the story. In this way, the practice was true to the research question in developing a communal storytelling structure.

So I arrived at a reformulation of the question:

How can one create an immersive, relational performance architecture which enables non-performers to interact with this architecture? How can one provide an experiential and artistic framework for the creative input of non-performers within its aesthetic structure?

I would like to frame the relational matrix which emerges through and from the interactions. I would like to foreground this matrix as a means to further the discussion regarding the evolving nature of the role of the spectator and the artist in producing meaning within the performance experiment.

Erin Manning suggests that “bringing relational encounters in to actual experience is a way of thinking in its own right.” (Manning: 2009, 214)

Methodology and Approach

This project took as its point of departure William Forsythe’s concept of the ‘choreographic object’: “an object or series of events that activate participatory movement, thus affecting the space-times of encounter.” (

My research investigated a way to apply this concept, enlarged to include performance and everyday behavior, as a method allowing us to re-conceptualize the ‘event’. Strong links were made to Erin Manning’s concept of the “relational platform”; a forum for devising and applying strategies to practice and frame the relational encounter.

The choreography of seventeen tasks, the screen, the network of artists, the storyboard, and the mise-en-scène all sought to guide the participant into a space where a real encounter was possible. By ‘real’ I mean un-rehearsed, “natural” and immediate. Whether or not this in fact occurred was up to the individual participant. The architecture of the performance installation created spaces that channeled the participant towards a certain goal without actually forcing them to go there.

Forsythe suggests that choreography is “less an orchestration of bodies than the creation of a movement environment” ( I applied this idea to performance for non-practiced, untrained participants, focusing on and re-contextualizing everyday behavior within a precise aesthetic framework. This included a universal narrative, from my personal perspective, told through the traditional fairytale structure. I intended for the space to have a familiar but slightly perplexing quality. There was a ring of cameras and witnesses focused on the space. This achieved a heightened state of awareness in the participant without totally alienating him or her. The same is true of the narrative thread which addresses separation anxiety via the concept of the double persona. Most of this was clearly understood by witnesses and participants alike.

Both Manning and Forsythe discuss action potential in the unfolding event as key to the relational encounter. “To bring concepts to life rather than simply the contours of things is the first step in expressing the force of a relational environment.” (Manning, 2009: 215)

I designed the installation, including the choreography of tasks, for multiple players. My intention was to highlight and frame the point of contact or encounter between each player and his or her specific task within the overall event. This enabled each participant to express his or her presence in a carefully plotted mise-en-scène, elevating the participation into an integral, narrative contribution arising through the unfolding action.

Over the past twenty years, the theory of Relational Aesthetics has interpreted social exchanges as an art form. Founding theoretician Nicholas Bourriaud describes this development as “a set of artistic practices that take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context.” (Bourriaud, 2002: 1) By immersing the participant in the piece, I hoped to provide the impetus for the crystallisation of an alternative perspective on performance: a new thinking regarding our activity of making meaning in the theatre and its wider social resonance.

I try to go beyond the simple idea that the project of the choreographer relating to the audience establishes an art form, and develop a new idea that capturing the moment that the relation occurs is decisive. I understand this “snapshot” of the relationship’s formation to be the key component of an evolving concept of what “relational” can mean in performance work.

Drawing from the responses to the questionnaire for the see-ers, I note that there was a clear understanding of my intention to deploy the participants as “actors” (in the sense of an object-oriented “use case”) in the gradual divulging of the narrative, and to illustrate and enhance the multiple perspectives of the protagonist Sophie by acting them out (in the sense of psychological dynamics) in tasks. This served as a way of marking the passage of time. Four out of twenty-nine responders said that they did not understand the role of the participants within the overall event. Everyone else had either a strong emotional or visceral response. Others wrote their version of the story as-they-saw-it. Some analyzed the practical, narrative function of the participants.

James Meek, a historian and journalist for The Guardian, wrote in an article about the film Inception:

”Perhaps it’s the participatory zeitgeist of the digital age – whether expressed by playing video games, voting in TV reality shows or posting responses to the writings of paid journalists – that is encouraging participatory art to spread beyond the digital world, in the same way that the emergence of mainstream photography coincided in France with the rise of impressionist painting.”

(, 21 Aug 2010)

Perhaps participatory artwork is flourishing in the contemporary art world because people are now ready for it? I never doubted that my theme would be understood, at least viscerally. After reading the responses from the participants, I knew how poignantly my tasks had managed to position them in the role of protagonist, providing embodied knowledge of creating the event as-it-happened.

There were seventeen participants, and eleven of their questionnaires were returned to me. Based on these eleven responses, I conclude that almost all of the participants felt a sense of responsibility to fulfill their task, because (a) they felt that if they did not, the overall event would be ‘ruined’, and/or (b) that it was their duty to maintain the ‘flow’ that was being created and set in motion. They accepted a role which seemed to place them at the centre of the work. They felt that they had the power to either ruin the event or keep it going. These participants, for one brief shining moment, felt central to the performance. This was indeed my intention, to share responsibility and to encourage vigilance. I wanted to support the participants in supporting each other, strenghtening and validating their choices, and the event as a whole.


Space and Environment

I developed an environment or landscape exposing the mechanics of performance from within the interiority of personal experience. The recording of the moment of lucidity and its projection into public space discloses a rich and textured relation-scape with a multiplicity of perspectives. I attempted to allow the space to illustrate the narrative, and to embody the research. Conversely, I wished for the participants to embody and claim as their own their individual experience of the space by ‘playing’ it. I strived to create an ‘autopoeitic’ feedback loop between the performance space and the participants, mirroring the experiential nature of the installation and allowing it to resonate meaning throughout every layer of the living dramaturgical environment. There was a palpable expansion and contraction of space: the breath of the installation which occurred – breathe in, breathe out – every time that a new participant entered and left the ‘live’ space.

By dividing the space with a screen and piles of wooden crates, I was attempting to estrange the space as the character is divided. The internal role of the actress who watches from behind the glass and the active role of the character Sophie who struggles to be released from the puppet strings operated by her invisible ‘other’ – these are the two instances of the divided self of my character.

I needed to mask the machinations of the ‘live’ side of the space so that when participants entered, there would be a sense of surprise and a necessity to negotiate space immediately. For safety reasons, there was a short waiting time before entering the space so that participants could scan it and make a quick mental route through their score. In the participants’ response to question 5 regarding a mental rehearsal of their task prior to entering the space, half of the participants said that they practiced this while scanning the ‘live’ space, from the wings. This response indicated that there was a strong potentiality for my initial interest in stimulating a pre-articulated virtual synchronized thought-choreography in the participants coming to fruition!

The performance ‘live’ space was open-plan; it bridged the witness space in front of the screen and the reflection space. It was familiar like a comfortable bedroom: a record player and a pile of records, two large mirrors, and a microphone over a large bowl of water, colourful patchwork rug, a coat stand and a pair of slippers. However, it also had the surreal quality of a film-set. Five cameras surrounded the set, all pointing at the live stage. Three were recording for documentation purposes, and two were directly involved in the performance.

There was much for each participant to deal with upon arriving behind the screen onto the live stage. Not only did each of them have to perform their tasks for the first time under scrutiny, but they were also forced to navigate an obstacle course of objects, an activity which was integral to the execution of the task. This environment was designed to keep the participant focused on activating their task by creating enough stimuli to limit reaction time and prevent emotional pumping or stage fright. The whole system ushered the participant onto a clear path, leaving space only for he or she to make immediate choices on how to react in relation to the installation. This was configured in the awareness of the power of placing an ordinary person into an extraordinary situation and the huge dramatic potential which can emerge from that. There was no ‘acting’ involved. The participants were doers, surviving in a fragile environment where the ultimate danger is losing focus and allowing a single unbelievable or dishonest moment to break the real-contact and engagement and displace the world of the performance, forcing participants into resorting to tricks and unnatural behavior to distance and protect themselves.

The task of framing the behavior of the participants was a delicate one. It was my intention to foreground their presence as a poetic language of movement and speech, within the given aesthetic structure. I wanted to free them of the responsibility of performance. I wanted to reveal, simultaneously, the real and undeniable, awkward, shy, uncomfortable, beautiful and engaging nature of the ordinary human being confronting a new situation.

The Jig She Saw is more than a show. It is also an opportunity, for the participant, to have the kind of experience that Romeo Castellucci values highly: “finding oneself, suddenly, on the other side of stagecraft behind the performance.” (

Having made a journey through the fragmented space, displacing all its elements and breathing new life into the performance through activating the score, participants arrive on the other side of stagecraft, having contributed to the aesthetic through the structure provided. As if each individual participant had attended the projected show of his or her own life, as a performer, underscoring the existential ability of the human being to navigate a complex environment in order to survive the “outing” of one’s subjective life experience, now partially “objectivized” as performance.

To reflect the fragmentary nature of the double persona and to exhibit the value of multiple perspectives in a performance context, I wanted to decentre how the body could be viewed from the witness location in front of the screen.

I used imagery which isolated elements of the physical form on and off the screen; such as a silhouette or an enlarged, distorted face, a moving arm, an enormous eye, a faceless shadow. The projections and the mirrors fractalized the body image and obscured the face so that the participant was able to retain some privacy, but also so that we may focus on something else: the physical rhythm and the movement of the narrative. The abstracted form in turn frames the narration, offsetting the final separation of the protagonist from her ‘other’ self in an implosion of self and space. The lack of identity offers mystery. It furnishes space for the see-ers to weave their own narrative responses to the work. In most cases, the participants experienced themselves as being stand-ins of Sophie, making contact with the “real girl trapped inside her.”

This presentation was an experiment so it was necessary to keep the work out of a traditional theatre space and make no attempt at generating illusions or the suspense of disbelief. Participants crossed downstage, in front of the screen to enter the ‘live’ space. In most cases, the see-ers found this activity mildly distracting but accepted it as a way of including them in the procedures of the performance.

I decided to use mirrors to reflect the participant, not so that they could see all of themselves, but so that specific angles were reflected whenever they stepped into a mirroring nexus. Certain areas on the stage were hotspots, e.g., a person who was asked to look into the mirror and read a line aloud. She would not be able to see her own face, the camera would see her back, and the mirror would reflect the front view onto one side wall while the shadow appeared on the opposite wall and the silhouette became visible on the projection screen. The individual was thereby separated from the audience. He entered the space and became utterly fragmented. The nature of the task, however, required his total focus, evoking a sense of embodiment, re-constituting the self through the relational experience. The rhythm of the tasks had a continuous expansion and contraction which concluded only when the participant reached his final location among the group of participants who were reflecting on what had gone before. They reunited with a new shared sense of the performance as-they-felt-it.

Choreography of Tasks

The Jig She Saw was an immersive performance experience for eighteen witnesses and seventeen participants. Through engaging with individual scores of micro-actions, in a complex and fragmented environment, the witnesses and participants gained an embodied experiential perspective on the work in all of its aspects.

As a theatre maker and performer, I have learned that the theatrical stage enforces a merciless psychological transparency that demands performance or directional skill and technique to make it truly artful. On this project, it was also my responsibility to ensure that the participants were not exposed in any ways that they did not have the facility to cope with.

Therefore the tasks were self-contained. They were self-reflexive so that scripts did not have to be learned. The reading material was delivered through a megaphone to create distance and volume. The spatial tasks were simple and rhythmical. Facings were provided in the score and the mise-en-scène was in place so that participants did not have to consider narrative intention unless they wanted to.

The choreography of tasks was designed to protect the participants and provide space for mistakes to be absorbed into the aesthetic structure. I was careful to ensure that the narrative was open and flexible enough to cope with unforeseeable eventualities. For example, there was a large enough “space” so that a sense of being lost, forgetting what to do, or searching could have been appropriate within the context of ‘separation’.

There was no instance during the event where anything ‘wrong’ could, or did, negatively affect the installation, including willful destruction of the set. All the actions of any individual reacting to the installation are valuable in framing the exposure of a human being engaging in real contact, with presence and intention, in a complex situation. Although it may be uncomfortable to experience, it is real. My intention, in developing this work, was that the participants’ interpretation of their score come to be perceived as a poetic adaptation of the thematic thread.

When the see-ers were asked in question 10 what role did the participants play in the overall event, they responded that participants “represented Sophie’s fragmented thoughts” or “her real-world character,” that it was their duty to “speak aloud the thoughts the actress could not.” Sixteen out of eighteen respondents explained their understanding of the participants’ role with similar statements.

From where I was operating within the performance, I felt a strong texture of commitment from the participants. On two occasions I had a powerful, visceral and emotional response to the material offered by the visiting performer. This fed directly into my own performance, creating a real moment of contact, specifically related to the encounter.

The propositions included choreographic interventions to stimulate reflection upon personal experiences. Task nine asked the participant to recount her earliest biographical memory, while washing her hands in a large glass bowl of water and playing with the drops on her fingers. I watched this task from my chair on stage left. It felt like this participant was teaching me, through her open disclosure, how to finally own my own experience. There was an air of reflection and trust resonating through the sharing of this personal experience which became, in a way, mutual. An early memory is a safe task so long as it is long enough ago to provide the distance for a clear description, perfected through a lifetime of practiced repetition.

In the future development of this work, I will endeavor to include more self-reflexive interventions like this instance, as I believe that it provides more space-time for the participant to invest in the task and contribute from a more personal and controlled place.

Tasks six and seven required the participants to pace back and forth across the stage between two specified points, a number of times, counting their steps. By opening out the lens on the camera, an infinite reflection loop was projected onto the screen, multiplying the participants’ image and generating a dynamic visual which they were encouraged to play with, physically, in the task. What emerged from this task was the participant’s discomfort; a vulnerable and delicate moment revealing frustration at the obstacles on stage, a feeling of lack of space perhaps. This task was situated at a point in time in the narrative when the actress was coming to her final decision to separate from Sophie. It was a perfect, honest, theatrical dynamic, the detail of which could not have been planned. It framed her struggle in tasteful and delicate innocence. For me, this was authentic improvisation; the participant persevered, negotiated space, and completed her task against all her perceived odds. She survived. She moved the story forward and responded to the installation honestly.


The narrator, Sophie Spade, was one aspect of a double persona in conflict, a microcosmic reflection on my personal time spent in Belfast and what I have learned from connecting with the people here, what I have sensed of their experiences growing up in a conflicted society. The difficulties of integrating, not only a divided community, but also the personal, emotional and political dimensions of decision and action, knowing how to progress as a post-conflict society.

And there are wounds here which are not ready to heal. It was not my intention to show this through the work, but only to draw on this reality as a means to contextualize my narrative source within a broader social and political background.

What was interesting about the participants’ view of themselves within the piece is that the majority of them felt that they were helping me, and that there was pressure on them to get it ‘right’. However, there was enough space for improvisation created in all the tasks so that there was no ‘right’ way to do any of them.

This work gave me a sense of how people are willing to support one another when a specific and definite frame for the support is provided. In my research this year, there has been a strong aesthetico-social thread connecting all the practical work. Through processes of revealing the individual, embodied voice. Through developing a narrative framework out of the personal experience of the performer. In a social dreaming dialogue bringing to light communal and thematic threads, where new options and alternatives for perceiving the dominant social structures are discovered. All this happening through social choreography.

The Jig She Saw asked the participants to trust it and, in turn, it trusted them to enter the performance space. They were asked to bring their personal experiences, attitudes and behaviors into the aesthetic structure that it provided, in an effort to create a communal, performative experience that encourages active, creative participation. A welcome space created for those who wish to exercise a more vigilant and expressive role in the shaping of their artistic experiences, participating in or providing witness to the search for real contact on the theatrical stage.

The stage can represent a practiced place for developing alternative approaches to social, aesthetic and political encounters. It can open our potential for taking more responsibility for the relationships that we make and maintain. It can bring us to heightened awareness of how our actions affect and provide guidance for others in our extended community.


Bourriard, Nicolas, Relational Aesthetics, Simon Pleasance and Fronza Woods trans. (Dijon, Les presses du reel: 2002)

Etchells, Tim, Certain Fragments: Contemporary Performance and Forced Entertainment, (London and New York, Routledge: 1999)

Manning, Erin, Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy, (London and Cambridge, M.I.T Press: 2009)


Dogville, dir. by Lars Von Trier (Zentropa Entertainments, 2003)

Double Indemnity, dir. by Billy Wilder (Paramount Pictures, 1940).

Philadelphia Story, dir. by George Cukor (MGM, 1940)

Rear Window, dir. by Alfred Hitchcock (Paramount Pictures, 1954)

The Five Obstructions, dir, by Lars Von Trier (Zentropa Real aps, 2003)

The Maltese Falcon, dir. by Roy Del Ruth (Warner Bros., 1931)

The Science of Sleep/La science des rêves, dir. by Michel Gondry. (2006, Fr. /It., colour, 105 min.)

On-Line Resources

Castellucci, Romeo, ‘Purgatorio’, Festivalavingon, [last accessed September 2010]

Forsythe, William, ‘Choreographic Objects’, synchronousobjects, (2009), [last accessed August 2010],

Manning, Erin, ‘Society of Molecules’, Senselab, [last accessed 25 Sept 2010]

Meek, James, ’Calling on the Audience to Live the Dream’(21 Aug 2010), Guardian, [Last accessed 30 September 2010],

Appendix 1.


Choreography of Tasks for Participants

1. Walk to the space behind the screen and enter it.

Look around you and count, to yourself, how many items there are in the set.

Stand in front of the mirror that says “Use me.”

Read this line aloud.

“Whatever you want to undertake, you have to wrench yourself away from your own life. You can do this anyway you choose.”

Adjust yourself the way you normally do.

Take your time.

Go to sit in the empty seats on this side of the screen.

2. Think of a vivid dream you had.

Walk into the space.

Stand in front of her.

Take her hat and clean off the dust carefully.

While you are doing this, tell her your dream, take your time.

Hand her back her hat.

Go and sit on this side of the screen.

3. Enter space.

Look through her records.

If you have any of them, say so and tell her where you got it.

Put on your favourite track from that record.

If you don’t have any of them, pick out the one with the best cover and put on the track with the best name.

Stay looking at the record spinning.

When you have had enough go and sit on this side of the screen.

4. Enter the space behind the screen.

Stand very close to her, so that your noses are practically touching.

List the last ten things you have purchased, no hurry.

She will count them off for you.

Clear your throat.

Go and sit on this side of the screen.

5. Enter space behind the screen.

Pick up megaphone.

Stand on the red X facing the camera.

Read out this line into the megaphone:

“My imagination had been pre-empted……..The mirror annihilated time, place and person. -I beset me.”

Feel free to say anything else you want to say into the megaphone.

Then, replace megaphone.

Look at her.

Go and sit on this side of the screen.

6. Enter the space.

Pace back and forth the length of the screen 8 times.

What does this remind you of?

Notice your image on the screen.

When you finish go and sit on this side of the screen.

7. Walk into space.

See the hand-held camera which El is operating.

Walk over to her and look into the lens with one eye.

Stay for 15 seconds.

Go and sit with on this side of the screen.

8. Enter the space.

Pace back and forth the length of the screen 6 times.

Try an action to play with the image as you are walking.

How does the movement affect the image on the screen?

When you finish, say to her:

“Do you see what I mean?”

Go and sit with on this side of the screen.

9. Enter the space behind the screen.

Walk behind the bowl of water and face the way you came from.

Put your hands in the water and play with the drops on your fingers.

Tell us your earliest memory.

Dry your hands with towel provided.

Go and sit with on this side of the screen.

10. Enter the space behind the screen.

Look around.

See her.

Ask her:

“Have you decided yet?”

Wait for an answer.

Gesture as if you are checking your watch.

Go and sit with on this side of the screen.

11. Enter the space behind the screen.

Move up to face the screen so that you are almost touching it with your body.

Swing the hanging silver lamp.

Move your shadow with the lamp.


Repeat this action 4 times.

Is anything you notice about the effect this movement?

Go and sit with on this side of the screen.

12. Enter the space behind the screen.

Take up the megaphone.

Sit on the bench.

Please read the highlighted passage, through the megaphone.

Please read slowly, and clearly.

“When it first happened I wanted to take her apart, like a child dismembers a clockwork toy, to comprehend the inscrutable mechanics of its interior.

I wanted to see her far more naked than she was with her clothes off.

It was easy enough to strip her bare.

Then I picked up my scalpel and set to work.

But since I was absolutely in charge of the dissection, I only discovered what I was able to recognize already, from past experience, inside her.”

Replace megaphone.

Go and sit on this side of the screen.

13. Enter the space behind the screen.

Walk to centre and offer her your hand.

Let her come to you.

Keep a hold of her hand.

Step from side to side as if you are dancing.

Keep stepping and try to synchronize the side to side movement between you.

She will follow you.

Then add a new movement that she can follow.

Repeat many times- until the next visitor has left.

She will let your hand go and bring you to sit with the other participants.

14. Enter the space behind the screen.

Take up the megaphone and sit down on the bench, face the WALL.

Read this aloud, slowly. Pause on each….

“She…. must not see me.


I thought I saw….

I thought you….

I thought you….

She hears….you

I am… were…..

She…must not…see

I thought……….I thought

I hear…

She moves to….

I move you.

See you…..Saw

I thought you….

She is your….

I who am….I who am I who am


Replace megaphone.

Go and sit on this side of the screen.

15. Enter the space behind the screen.

Go to the centre of the space and face her.

Read this line aloud.

“It’s much harder to examine my imperfections in your mirror. Your split perspective will not collect the image the right way for me to hate what I see.”

Turn to the mirror behind you.

Adjust yourself.

Go and sit on this side of the screen.

16. Enter the space behind the screen.

Lie on the blanket with our head near the red X.

Put one arm in the air and play with your fingers in the projection, see how they appear on the screen.

Shift your body until you get a picture you like.


She will collect you and bring you to your seat.

17. Enter space behind the screen.

Pick up megaphone cough into it a few times.


“Hello? Hello? Can anybody hear me?”

Sit on the bench and read this text: Very clearly and slowly.

“My movement creates the space I will come to understand as the room. The room is defined as my body and the environment, where the environment is an atmospheric body. Without that particular moving body that particular environment does not exist.”

Go and sit on this side of the screen.

Appendix 2.



1. When you arrived were you aware that you could participate in the performance? Y/N

2. (a) Were you eager to participate? Y/N

(b) If No why not?

3. (a) When you saw the set initially, did you have any expectations of how the piece would look? Y/N.

(b) If Yes please describe.

4. (a) Did you feel anything about the participating audience e.g. nervous, excited, jealous, relief?

(b) If yes please describe.

5. Did the movement of the participants through the space distract from or add to the performance?

Describe your experience.

6. Did you at any time feel like you wanted to participate?

7. (a) Were you aware of the fragmented images/reflections through the space? Y/N

(b) If Yes, how did they add to the story you were watching?

8. What was Sophie’s Role in the story you were watching?

9. Did the participating audience have a clear role in the story as you saw it? Y/N

10. What role did the participating audience have in your perception of the story?

11. (a) Were you aware that their faces were obscured? Y/N

(b) If Yes how did it affect your story?

12. As you were watching the performance did you become less aware of the live nature of the performance due to the presence of the screen? Y/N

13. (a) Were you curious about the experience which was happening behind the screen? Y/N

(b) If Yes did you imagine what was going on? Describe.

14. Were you curious about how the participating audience were now viewing the performance after their tasks were complete?Y/N

15. How did the layout of the room serve to show the different elements of the story?


1.When you arrived were you aware that you could participate in the performance? Y/N

2.Were you eager to participate? Y/N

3.When you read the task, did you feel a reaction anywhere in your body? Y/N

If so where? Mark the place in the body and label. (you can mark more that one place)

E.G- excited/ belly

4.If Yes, did your feelings increase or decrease as your turn came closer? Explain

5. (a)Did you mentally rehearse your task before you did it? Y/N

(b). If Yes, please describe the scenario in your mind.

6. During the performance were you thinking about your task or concentrating on the performance or both? Please on 1-5 where 1 is concentrating on the task and 5 is concentrating on the performance.

1    2    3    4    5

7.(a).When it was your turn to stand up and walk to the stage did you hesitate? Y/N

(b).If Yes what made you decide to go ahead?

8. (a).Did you feel a sense of responsibility to the performance and its continuation? Y/N

(b).If so why?

9. Before entering the space had you begun to develop a sense of story in the performance?       Y/N

10.(a)While you were watching the performance, did you feel your task could include you in                the story you were watching? Y/N

(b). If Yes How?

11. (a) Upon entering the live space did you feel intimidated? Y/N

(b) If Yes why?

12. (a) Upon entering the live space did you feel it was a comfortable space?Y/N

(b)If Yes why?

13. (a) Was your task simply explained? Y/N

(b)If No how could it be improved?

14. (a) As you performed your task did it feel natural to you? Y/N

(b)If No why?

15. As you performed your task did you feel there was space for you to expand/improvise on it? Y/N

16.(a)Did you expand on your task?

(b). If Yes how?

17. (a). Did you feel comfortable with and take your time engaging your task? Y/N

(b). If No, why?

18. If you mentally rehearsed your task, how did your performance of the task differ from the way you imagined it?

19. What was Sophie’s role in your story?

20. Was it helpful having the screen separating you from the viewing-only audience? Y/N

21. What do you feel was your role in the story?

22. When you sat on the live side of the stage after your task, how did the change effect the way you viewed the rest of the performance?

23. Did you get a sense of accomplishment? Y/N

24.(a) Did you feel a sense of belonging in the performance? Y/N

(b)If not why not?

25. (a) Was your experience of this performance as you expected participatory theater to be? Y/N

(b) please explain your answer.

26. Would you participate in something like this again? Y/N

27. (a)Was anything about this experience confusing in anyway?

(b)If Yes, what was it and how would you improve it?

28. (a) Was there a story being told here tonight?

(b)If Yes what was it?

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