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Peer to Peer as Theatre: Part 2

The other issue that blocks people from seeing the Peer Leader process as an act of theatre is the perception of content.

In the traditional practice of theatre, it has always been assumed that audiences are interpreting the play’s content the way the playwright and actors etc delivered it to them. But the fact is the audience is always taking in the play according to the dominant social intelligence of the period -despite the likelihood that certain individuals in the audience were capable of seeing more.

In the Peer Leader process the leaders are addressing the social/emotional development of the ‘audience’ members. To do this, they use the content to nurture the inherent life ‘insights’ of the group members to surface during the workshop. Basically, this allows the ‘audience’ members to create their own vision of the content and witness other’s.

This is essentially not very different than the use of content in traditional theatre.

The ‘gift’ of the theatre process is that its participants simultaneously recognize themselves in the content of the ‘play’ while also as members of a community. This is a very beautiful aesthetic and community process.

The poet Mary Oliver once wrote:

“ What does it mean…that the earth is so beautiful? And what shall I do about it? What is the gift that I should bring to the world? What is the life I should live?”

How do we continue to deliver the theatre process in the community? What lives could we all be potentially living- beyond the inherent voyeurism and passive consumption of other’s wisdom?

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