WHAT IS RESPONSE ABILITY?
We believe that theatre can change lives, change communities, change societies, through a process we think of as Response Ability Theatre.
It works like so:
A theatre show can evoke a response in its audience that creates greater understanding of a certain group of people. This then gives audience members the ability to engage with that group of people on a non-hierarchical, non-judgemental level, which makes that group of people more able to express themselves and their needs to the world around them. There are many ways in which that will manifest - one of them, of course, being to make more theatre, evoke more responses, empower more ability, inspire more theatre.
There are so many things we're not allowed to say, see, think, feel, in our everyday lives. So many problems in society we just don't have the language to tackle - and the only way to avoid criticism is just not to try. So we feign tolerance without really knowing what it means for us - and that is so dangerous.
We want our auditoria to be oases where you can respond to what's around you without judgment - where you can come genuinely to understand others better by understanding yourself better.
So much of the language we do have to address our differences is so unhelpful - primarily because it relies on opposites and binaries that inherently lead us to "good" and "bad", "weak" and "strong". It's necessarily uncollaborative.
We tell stories that expose the making of these narratives, celebrate the unique talents possessed by those who typically go unvalued, and shines a light in the direction of a society in which everyone has the chance to express themselves, apply themselves, and the desire to see everyone else do the same.
Theatre doesn't start in auditoria and it shouldn't finish there either. For us, it starts with the need to communicate with mutual honesty and generosity, it houses our need to grieve and forgive the trauma we have all individually both experienced and inflicted, and we want you to take it with you out of those spaces with vitality, humour, permission and active hope.
Responsibility is a chore. But Response Ability is a gift. And theatre is found wherever it thrives.