Theatre reaches out to strangers
Street performance turns heads in CBDKATE DAVIDSON
Nelson pedestrians were wowed and amused as IQ2, an interactive theatre experience, took to the streets.
The performance brought together 20 random people on the corner of Trafalgar and Hardy streets at lunchtime yesterday.
They were given wireless headphones listening to omnipresent voices giving orders and asking questions such as 'Have you ever knowingly cheated on an IRD form?' to which most answered yes.
Participants moved around the transitory stage guided by their pilots, Nisha Madhan, Stephen Bain, and Rose McKie. They created a series of potential answers to the questions, using props such as "yes" or "no" flags and numbered plates ranking levels of agreement.
Co-creators Madhan and Bain were inspired to create the project because they "wanted to make something free to public about bringing strangers together and getting them to know each other."
And it worked.
Tourist Lea Saverbaum from Germany said the experience was the best thing she had done in her six weeks travelling New Zealand.
"I loved it. I feel like since travelling you don't feel like you belong anywhere so this is being part of something. It is really nice."
She said not being her in "natural context" meant she could answer questions honestly without fear of judgment.
Madhan said the show worked because privacy created by the headphones combined with the group responding together created a safe environment where people were not afraid to dance, yell out, and sing. Spectators at first looked perplexed, but were soon laughing at the group's antics.
Abel Tasman Educational Trust teacher Pania Konecna brought a group of students to experience interactive street theatre, which fitted in with what she was teaching.
"It was just really fantastic in how it brought the students together, especially with strangers."
Performer Rose McKie said she enjoyed the free theatre because it was open to anyone to take part in.
Further shows are scheduled on Saturday from 10am to noon at the bottom of the Church Steps and on Sunday from noon to 2pm at Founders Heritage Park.
- © Fairfax NZ News