“the main purpose of Verbatim theatre has always been to challenge audiences into a confrontation with real events and concrete facts, an to prevent their escapism into theatrical fantasy.”
How well does this statement apply to Verbatim plays, RRR and LP?
Alfred Hitchcock commented, “ what is drama but life with the dull bits cut out.” This quotes is typically true of drama, however verbatim theatre is contrary to this as it forces it audiences to confront serious issues and offers conventions that shy away from “fantasy” world. Verbatim theatre is from of documentary theatre in which plays are constructed from the exact words and testimonies from interviewed people. These testimonies are based of people opinions to a traumatic event, which has affected a community in some way. Through the use of constructivism, Brechtian and Boal techniques, authenticity and the elements of drama; audiences are presented with realistic events. Verbatim plays have become increasingly more popular, as in todays society people are more interested in real issues. Through Moises Kauffman and The Tectonic Theatre company’s’ The Laramie Project, and Alana Valentine’s Run Rabbit Run, we are able to see how Verbatim theatre confront and challenges their audiences.
Due to both plays being “pure Verbatim”, authenticity and the importance of keeping it is central. There are many ways in which to maintain this authenticity, the most important being the concept of “true vernacular”. This concept is where the actors use the same pauses and stutters as the person giving the testimony has. It is all about true stories and this is presented through the untouched nature of the dialogue. This vernacular runs through both plays and is integral in reinforcing to the audience, they are representing real people. In Run Rabbit Run, this vernacular is evident in many on Mark Courtney’s monologues, “it’s a thread that goes through your life and your family’s life and…oh…”....
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