How can communities use the theatre to unlock the knowledge that resides within them to respond to issues of addiction at a grassroots level?
Headlines Theatre's play Shattering begins with the premise that addicts come from somewhere: our communities. It is also within our communities that solutions dwell. By combining the multi-layered issue of addiction with Forum Theatre, Shattering engages our collective creativity. Audience members are invited to stop the action of the play, and replace characters onstage providing an opportunity to initiate dialogue and serve as a safe testing ground for experimenting with new ideas.
In early 2006 Headlines Theatre was invited to a meeting on the Skwah Reserve near Chilliwack, BC. Out of this meeting came a request to create a Forum Theatre piece that would deal with the alarming rise of drug use.
Headlines set to work creating a play that dug beneath the symptoms to address the very roots of addiction, the day to day moments and relationships that set the stage for the addictive behaviors. Out of workshops with both Native and non-Native participants, the play was created.
In late 2006 the production ( which was then called Meth ) toured into 26 communities across British Columbia to tremendous critical and audience acclaim. While the play and the cast remain identical, the title has since been changed to Shattering. During the booking of the Western Canada tour we heard from many of our sponsors that they understood how the play only used meth as a window into addiction but still wished the title was not the name of a particular drug. Shattering works on many levels: how individuals, families, communities shatter as a result of addiction; also how the project is about shattering pre-conceptions about the issue and approaches to the issue.
After receiving numerous requests to bring the play to additional communities, Headlines is now preparing to take the production, with the original cast, back on the road. Beginning on September 27, 2008, the project will launch in Vancouver for a week, then play to thirty-one communities throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The performance in Agassiz takes place at the Seabird Island Band Office community gym on Monday, Oct. 8 at7 p.m. For more information about the show, call 604-997-9907.