'Phone call performance' offers Covid-era theater experience

On November 6 and 7 an innovative take on theatrical performance will take place in Latvia with the audience invited to participate in a "phone call performance".

The authors of the performance are Jānis Balodis, Katrīna Dūka, Barbara Lehtna and Kristina Hudenko, with 20 Latvian citizens taking the parts.

The performance is available in Latvian, English and Russian and titled "Exercises of (be)longing" and is being staged by the Dirty Deal Teatro (DDT) theater.

According to the producers it "is grounded in real life stories, moments or events when a person has been in the process of finding or not finding a way to be with people around them. Themes of acceptance and the cost of fitting in are embedded in each story."

One of the creators, Estonian artist Barbara Lehtna commented: “Another version of the work premiered in Estonia. The feedback we got was very touching and it was exactly the response that made us stick with this work even when nothing's certain. We think that people actually need this. People need other people and I personally think that's exactly why theater exists.”

Each audience member will receive a parcel a few days before the performance time. In the parcel they’ll find five envelopes with photos in them. On each envelope is a phone number and a time at which to call this number to experience five intimate stories from strangers who won’t reveal their identity. For more information about performance go to www.dirtydealteatro.lv or www.bezrindas.lv

The performance is funded by the State Culture Capital Foundation within the target program “KultūrElpa”.

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