Verbatim Theatre Is Essential in Story Telling

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Verbatim theatre is communal storytelling at its best. What are the benefits of such storytelling as a collective act? To say that Verbatim Theatre is communal storytelling implies that it is the community telling stories. Such storytelling employed as a collective act allows for many benefits including the voicing of previously unheard stories from a variety of perspectives, feeding stories into the wider communities and allowing for action to be taken, and providing a venue for the search of truth. Good. The communal nature of Verbatim Theatre means that a great variety of perspectives are voiced. In The Laramie Project we hear about issues such as homophobia and the “live and let live” culture, hate crimes, identity and justice system from a wide variety of perspectives including, but not limited to: homosexuals, heterosexuals, doctors, judges, family and friends of both the victim and the offenders. Similarly, Run Rabbit Run voices a variety of opinions from within the community from iconic personages such as Rupert Murdoch and Andrew Denton, to football club members and coaches, and old and young supporters of the Rabbitohs and corporate entities from other football clubs. This great variety enables both sides of a story or community to be represented: we learn that “its not just an institution, it’s a way of life” from Norman Nicholas in Run Rabbit Run and that “had this been a heterosexual… this wouldn’t have never have even made the news. Now my son is guilty before he’s even had a trial” in The Laramie Project. This variety enabling audiences to come to a greater understanding of the events, themes and issues presented, a distinct benefit that comes with the nature of the collective act of communal storytelling. I have seen this benefit in my study of Laramie as before studying this text, I knew nothing about the event, but the staging of the verbatim play provided me with a fairly sound range of perspectives that would be hard to glean elsewhere....
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