Meet Me is an innovative, immersive theatre experience designed to fully engage audiences. Here, the characters alongside the audience must navigate the multiplicity of pathways towards resolution.
This interactive production explores sexual dynamics, cancel culture and consent in the post #metoo era in a small audience setting. Each audience member is given a specially programmed smartphone to use during the show; experiencing the characters’ own smartphones and social media in real-time, including receiving text messages, social media posts and music integral to the storytelling. At key points, the audience collectively decides how the play unfolds and then watch as their input is transformed into action. Live Action Theatre Project (LATP) in collaboration with Teesri Duniya Theatre presents this unique, premiere production, playing at McGill University from September 29 to October 8. Continuing their mandate to encourage dialogue, there will be moderated post-show talkbacks. Mature content warning-ages 18+.
Meet Me director and co-playwright Rosaruby Kagan is a drama therapist, psychotherapist, actor, director and theatre producer. Julia Ainsworth is a theatre artist and arts educator and the show’s co-producer and co-playwright. Set in the world of academics, actors Darragh Mondoux (Gemma), Zeshaun Saleem (Qas)and Leigh Ann Taylor (Roslyn) portray three characters of various ages and backgrounds whose perspectives clash after a night of intimacy goes wrong. They have been collaborating on the piece throughout intensive workshops and multiple drafts. An avalanche of texts, podcasts, videos and simulated social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter was written by Stephanie Merulla.
Audience members each follow one of the characters for the entire show as they walk between three locations on the McGill campus and meet up with the other two characters. “Meet Me is an opportunity to get people together who may not share the same political beliefs or ideology, to talk about the divisive theme of call-out culture and responsibility for one’s actions. I am hoping people will leave the play understanding on a visceral level why someone might make choices that they themselves wouldn’t,” said Kagan.
Enhancing this timely subject is LATP’s inventive use of technology and distinctive theatrical form. As audiences track the story arc of their character, they collectively shape the ongoing narrative via open and honest discussion. Meet Me inspires authentic lines of empathy between individuals with different viewpoints. No two shows are alike; audiences are encouraged to come back and follow a different character’s journey. “Our theatrical style is inspired by forum theatre, gaming and leading research in the field of empathy development,” said Ainsworth.
Themes in the play connect strongly with Saleem, “With an academic background in Islamic societies, I’ve been surrounded by Western feminism vs Muslim feminism debates, not to mention the rise of men’s rights that can influence vulnerable young men looking for meaning.” Said Mondoux, “I am taken with the power of a gaze, a lens and institutions; power and its implications for marginalized people has made for compelling theatre since before Shakespeare.”
Kagan and Ainsworth have been developing this project for four years. The talented artistic team is video and lighting design by Adam Walters; set and costume design by Rachel-Anne Germinario; sound design by Rob Denton; and smartphone app design by Jacob Niedzwiecki. Ahlam Gholami is the assistant director and the stage manager is Elyse Quesnel.
Live Action Theatre Project is dedicated to creating theatrical works that explore approaches to interacting & co-constructing stories with audiences. Teesri Duniya Theatre promotes critical thinking, community connections and intercultural dialogue. The final show of their current season is Counter Offence by Rahul Varma, directed by Arianna Bardesono (Mar.15-Apr. 3, Segal Center).
Playing at McGill Campus- TNC Theatre, 3485 McTavish (Morrice Hall)
Audiences will be travelling on foot between 3 different locations, 3-4 minutes apart
The show runs Thurs. Sept. 29 to Sat. Oct 8 at 7 pm (no show on Sun. Oct. 2)
Mature content warning-ages 18+
There will be moderated talkbacks after each show
For tickets: 514-848-0238 or thepointofsale.com/tickets/meetme
$20-$30; 20% off if seeing the show a 2nd time
VERY limited seating; wheelchair accessible
For information: (514) 848-0238 or www.teesriduniyatheatre.com