In an age of high-speed electronic communication, a Vancouver theatre company is giving people an opportunity to slow down and share their thoughts the old-fashioned way.
Radix Theatre plans to set up two private letter-writing booths as part of a free, outdoor event in Yaletown today (July 26).
In a twist on the typical theatre experience, the public will be invited to enter the booths and dictate brief letters to people with typewriters sitting behind screens.
“It’s definitely not traditional theatre, but there is an engagement and there’s a performative aspect to it. It’s a lot of fun,” artistic director Andrew Laurenson told the Straight.
A previous incarnation of the letter-writing booths appeared during FUSE at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2011.
This time around, the event is titled Dear Stephen: A Letter Writing Booth, and organizers have a particular Stephen in mind: Canada’s prime minister.
“I’m personally quite disappointed in the way things have gone federally and I know of others who share the same view. And I feel like it’s within every citizen’s right to express their opinions to the government,” Laurenson said.
However, beyond encouraging people to address their letters to Stephen Harper, the organizers are leaving the content up to the participants.
“I feel like it’s going to be pretty open-ended. We’re not dictating to people what to say. We are just providing the opportunity to express themselves,” Laurenson said.
As for the finished letters, Laurenson said they can be mailed off to the Prime Minister’s Office, if that’s what the writers want.
The event is being held as part of the Roundhouse’s Summer on the Turntable series. It takes place at the Roundhouse community centre [181 Roundhouse Mews] today from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.