Good evening. For this section we are going to engage in a piece of Interventionist Theatre, or Forum Theater. We will present a short play, and you guys will intervene – fix it, play with it, learn from it.
The Play is called Paul has a bad day.
Paul Morris is the CEO of a fictional Jewish Federation in North America in a small to large wealthy yet poor community. Paul’s fictional federation funds a non-existent JCC that we might imagine houses a well-respected Jewish Theater. The entire play bears no reference to real people or real situations, whilst at the same time resembling them uncomfortably.
Paul Morris, whose is played by Alexander Strain, is going to meet four people in this play, all of whom are played by Laura Generelli. He will meet an anti-Zionist playwright in the lobby of the JCC, he will then meet the Artistic Director of the theatre who is putting on the anti-Zionist’s play, then he’ll have a depressing chat with his well-meaning secretary before meeting a major donor who’s in melt-down over news of the play.
It’s what we call fictional realism…
The difference between this short play and your regular tragedy, is that we get to fix it. You know the way that you emerge from that annoying conversation and only on the drive home do you realise what you should have said? Well here we’re going to give you all that redemptive feeling.
After this short play is finished, I’ll be asking you – the community – what else is going through the characters’ minds, and what they should have said? Then instead of arguing with you, they will simply get back on stage, and replay the scene incorporating your suggestions. It’s what they call a rehearsal for real life. You’ll even have the opportunity to replace either of the actors and step into the scenes yourselves to make sure they get it right.
The logistics of how the replay works we’ll explain later, but for the meantime please feel free to watch the play – it’s 25 minutes max – and make note of anything you think should be said instead…