Us and Them: The Play image

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Community Workshop

In Spring 2011 we invited people from various diverse communities across Metro Vancouver to join us in developing an Interactive Physical Theatre Project, looking at issues of "us and them". We received more than 185 applications expressing interest in participating in the Community Workshop and as Cast Members.The applications were very open and many expressed deep lived experiences of the issues. We appreciate the courage it took to do this in writing and are very honoured by the generosity of what was shared. This also made the choices heart-wrenching. Thank you to all who applied! We hope to see you in Oct/Nov 2011 during the community dialogue at the Cultch!

Below is the callout for participants (deadline for applications was due June 15, 2011) that was presented to various communities across the Lower Mainland:

Headlines Theatre, producer of the 2009 award winning community project after homelessness…,
is collaborating with numerous grassroots organizations on our 2011 main stage project: Us and Them


We are looking for up to twenty people to participate in a 6-day Theatre for Living Workshop, exploring issues of 'us and them'. No acting or dance experience is necessary. Just a willingness to be open about your experiences and a desire to play! We invite YOU to join us in developing this exciting project! (We're also looking for possible cast members…)

Have you ever found yourself 'on the outside' in terms of identity? Have you ever created a division between 'yourself' and 'them'? Have you ever been struck by the violence of 'absolute truth'?

If your answer to these questions is 'yes', then you have knowledge and a perspective that is valuable to this production. Having a living knowledge of the issue is an essential criteria for participation. We need a diversity of perspectives to enrich this work.

The workshop will take place from Aug 29 - Sept 3, 2011. Venue: Vancouver Playhouse, 127 East 2nd Ave, Vancouver, BC.

It is very important that you are able to commit to coming to every day all day of the workshop. Each workshop participant will be paid $600 for the week and lunch will be provided daily.

The workshop will use theatre games and exercises to build trust and explore your experiences around the issue. In the beginning, these games and exercises will be non-verbal. Slowly, the workshop will create plays based on the life experiences of the workshop participants. This will happen through a symbolic, physical language. These points of tension and 'othering' will form the subject matter of the play. The purpose of the workshop is to gather core material for the creation of the Physical Forum Theatre production that will perform in Vancouver.

Being in the workshop is employment in a project with the purpose to create an artistic focal point for community dialogue and transformation.


Are you interested in being a cast member?

Six members of the community workshop will create the main stage Interactive Physical Theatre production along with Headlines' Artistic Director David Diamond and Motionhouse Dance/Theatre (UK) Artistic Director Kevin Finnan, and a professional design team.

The community workshop will not be an audition. If you want to be considered for the cast, you will be asked to do some improvisation work with David during the initial interview. Please note, you don't have to be a professional dancer or actor to speak the physical language of dance and theatre. But you do need to be willing to 'play'. If you are NOT interested in being part of the cast, indicate you are only interested in the workshop. Be courageous! Let us know if you are interested!

Cast will be paid $650 per week from August 29, 2011 to November 12, 2011.


What is Interactive Forum Theatre?

In Forum Theatre, we show the audience the play all the way through, and then start playing it a second time. Audience members can then stop the play and enter the stage themselves, by replacing characters with whom they identify and try to solve problems or issues inside the story. The theatre becomes a creative rehearsal for transforming the world.

Headlines is a global leader in Forum Theatre. Now that we are turning 30, we want to experiment and see if we can bring the language of dance into these audience interactive events. Come play with us and contribute to an important exploration about 'us' and 'them'.

How to apply:

Please send us a letter/email/fax indicating that you are available to commit to the dates and times of the workshop (Aug 29 to Sept 3, 2011, from 9am - 5pm each day).

If you are interested in creating the public main stage performance in being a cast member, please indicate that you are available to do so (Aug 29 to Nov 12, 2011). This is full-time work, day-to-day schedule TBA.

Please, also state WHY you want to be part of this project and HOW it is relevant to you, in a CONCRETE way, specifically through your life experience. This information will be kept confidential. Be sure to let us know how we can find you again (email, phone number, mailing address, a contact person.)

Send your email application to:
Mail in your application to/drop by our office: 323 - 350 East 2nd Ave, Vancouver, BC, V5T 4R8
Call us: 604.871.0508

The Schedule:

Deadline for applications: Wednesday June 15, 5pm
(Maximum 20 participants)
Please specify whether of not you are interested in becoming a cast member, or if you would like to be in the workshop only. For more information, please call 604.871.0508

Participant interviews and cast auditions: June 21, 22, 23 & 24, 2011
All potential participants will be interviewed. Those interested in being in the play will audition. It is not possible to prepare for this. Just bring yourself and be willing to play!

2nd interviews: June 29 & 30, 2011

Final selections: July 5, 2011
We will announce the workshop participants and cast.

Us and Them Community Workshop: Aug 29 to Sept 3, 2011
The Theatre for Living workshop will take place from 9am to 5pm daily. Venue: Vancouver Playhouse Shop, 127 East 2nd Ave. Accessibility info: Entrance from ground floor,washrooms not wheelchair accessible, and accessed up a flight of 12 wooden stairs. Lunch provided.

Rehearsals: Sept 7 to Oct 19, 2011 (Various days off are pre-determined)
The cast creates the main stage production. Rehearsal venue: Vancouver Playhouse Shop, 127 East 2nd Ave, Vancouver.

Performances: Oct 20 to Nov 12, 2011
The Interactive Physical Theatre production will be performed up to 23 times in Vancouver, at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre (the Cultch), 1895 Venables St. There may also be a live, interactive tele/web cast of the event on closing night.