Out at Sea

Play by Sławomir Mrożek
debate space – Performative after talk
Chorgasse, Neumarkt, Zürich, Switzerland
spring 2018
The after-talk is developed from the play At The Sea for Sławomir Mrożek; it is about three characters a fat man, a medium man, and a thin man. They are stranded at sea with no hope of rescue. As supplies dwindle, they realise the only way to survive is to eat one of them. There is only one civilised thing left to do – campaign. What is a campaign without a little scandal? The focus of the group work was on the idea of election in such a situation; the scenography was done a replica of the three characters as the pictures are repeating itself over and over. The sound was an essential aspect of the scenography an ultrasonic speaker was set up to swing among the audience ears creating a drown soundscape of the sea when it encounters their ears dragging them to the situation in the middle where the men are situated and the audience surrounding them. 
The absurd play have been followed by an artistic after-talk, which adopted the same principle of campaigning. With dramaturge Melanie Osan,
 we developed a game structure where audience and artists involved in an artist talk, in the form of a campaign, aims to select one moment in the play where all of them agree that it was the critical factor of the play. We draw six squares on the rock street outside the venue. In the close walled ally, and we asked people to join in the groups in the squares to discuss and decide on a moment they find crucial. Then each group of the six will try to promote it for the other group their moment, and eventually they need to vote for the one moment, and if there were 100% votes on one moment the group would win a wine bottle, if not we will take it back. The audience here met the performers on a third thing which is no longer alien for any of them, which is the play in this situation, both had access to it. No one had the upper hand as the in usual situation of artistic talk of mediator and the production leader directors usually. as well open the whole set up for a new audience who is passing by, which make the original audience part of the watching situation for passers-by staging the whole debate in the street.
The set up allows everyone to hear each other as groups and give them a chance to cooperate to get the reward. That established by not dividing the spaces but by only drawing lines which easily breakable, no clear rules forbid the groups from communicating, at the time there is resources/reward for everyone to sip a bit wine if those groups do cooperate but the question if these groups are going to. So here the importance is not what we did as facilitators but the possibilities we open for the audience by this setup.
The election gets held, the wine went back to us. There was no agreement on one moment, but what happened that people got creative with their campaign there were moments where people were performing to the other groups to convince, and there was a form of speech by others. Eventually, people came together on a third thing met and debated and talked and performed, and later on, after the talk, the questions raised how to win and the concept of democracy was on the street to be discussed.




DIRECTOR: • Stutz Alexander
PERFORMERS: Sandro Howald, Johannes Hegemann and Florian Heise

CO-CREATORS: Liam Monzer Alzafari • Melanie Osan.
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