THE THOUGHT EXCHANGE at Downstage
Creating theatre that matters…to you.
The Thought Exchange is an experiment by A Slightly Isolated Dog Ltd. in creating theatre that connects to and collaborates with the community in new and innovative ways.
It consists of a series public events – both live and online – that take the form of conversations around provocative issues and questions. These conversations, involving both professional experts and members of the community, are part of the creative process for two new theatrical works.
Each event, while a part of the whole process, is intended to stand alone as an interesting and entertaining place to meet and discuss. A Slightly Isolated Dog Artistic Director Leo Gene Peters says:
“The Thought Exchange is a space to come together: a space to reflect, tell stories and discuss the important questions in our lives. These are some of the thoughts that matter most to us, but we don't often have a place to discuss them or hear what others think. Come along, participate as much as you like…or just sit and listen to others, it's up to you. Have a tea or coffee, maybe even a glass of wine and start talking about some of the things that matter.”
Surrounding these discussions will be numerous street events and online interactions that offer other ways to engage in the conversation. From blogs and social media discussions, to informal street events, A Slightly Isolated Dog is actively reaching out to the community of Wellington to include authentic voices and opinions in the creative process.
A Slightly Isolated Dog has previously created community-focused work in partnership with organisations such as the National Library, Hospice New Zealand and the Changemakers Refugee Forum. They made a mark on the local theatre scene with Death and the Dreamlife of Elephants (BATS 2010, Downstage 2011), winning three Chapman Tripp Awards. The show was set in a contemporary Wellington, albeit with magical and surreal elements sitting alongside the familiar. In 2012 they became a Downstage Resident Company, and The Thought Exchange is a part of this residency, with many of the conversations taking place in The ½ Bar at Downstage.
Downstage Director/CEO Hilary Beaton says:
“One of the most exciting things about working with A Slightly Isolated Dog is that they approach the creation of theatre with fresh thinking, and a deep desire to connect with our community – not just as a collective entity, but as individuals – and to engage them with the performing arts in an ongoing conversation. Many people talk about this – Leo Gene Peters and his company get out there and do it. It's brave, and it's provocative, and we're proud to support them.”
For Peters, making theatre that matters and affects people in a different way is the motivation:
“These conversations will create a different and vital kind of performance. These will be truly unique experiences that none of us will forget.”
Details of the conversation events are below:
Venue: The ½ Bar at Downstage
Discussion on Neurology and how the brain works
with Gina Grimshaw from Victoria University of Wellington
2nd September 4.30pm
Discussion on Neurology with a focus on Alzheimer's and Aging
with Mary Potter Hospice. Other speakers to be confirmed.
8th September 4.30pm
Discussion of the Settlement of Wellington, its history and architecture and the relationship between Maori and Pakeha
Speakers to be confirmed.
4th September 4.30pm
15th September 4.30pm
20th September 6.00pm
Discussion of Wellington's Geology and Earthquakes
with Hamish Campbell from GNS Science and Dan Neely from Wellington Regional Emergency Management
10th September 6.00pm
11th September 4.30pm
13th September 6.00pm
Limited space. Reserve your seat through www.Downstage.co.nz - here is the full url: https://www.patronbase.com/_DS/Productions/TEPC/Performances
Koha/Donation on the door.