Innovation That Matters

Interactive, one-on-one theatre


Now that manufacturing, media and music have all been turned into bespoke, personalised concepts, it seems it’s time to overhaul the previously passive experience of theatre. Call Cutta in a Box is a theatre experience for one audience member at a time. As they enter a barely furnished room in a normal office building, a phone on the desk starts ringing. Upon answering it, they’re put through to a worker in the Descon Limited Call Centre in Calcutta, but, refreshingly, they’re not pitched insurance policies or long distance plans. Instead, the participant spends their time getting to know the person at the other end of the line. And that part isn’t play-acting: the person in the call centre really is 10,000 miles away, using their real personal details and stories. And this means that every performance can be unique and, in some ways, more meaningful than a scripted piece. The installation—dubbed “an intercontinental phone play”—is the work of German theatre company Rimini Protokoll. It began touring last year, visiting Copenhagen, Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris before hitting New York in January and February 2009. It’s been a while since we’ve covered an interesting concept in theatre—the last time was in 2006, with Teatr Rozmaitosci‘s play that took place in the audience’s home. There’s clearly a lot of room left to innovate and grab people’s attention—budding directors, we look forward to covering your work! 😉 Spotted by: Judy McRae



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