The team at When We Grow Up has been through 4 shows out of their 6 show run at Capital Fringe, but unlike most productions at the festival, no two have been alike. Some of the cast from the bizarre world of When We Grow Up have offered their thoughts on what it’s been like to have experiences that are radically different each time.
I think that the differences between audiences has been really interesting. We haven’t had the same ending twice! For the most part, I think that all four shows have had audiences that were very willing to participate (some perhaps more rowdy than others) and so it is therefore very interesting to compare and contrast each show.
I especially find it interesting to compare the first show to the fourth show. In the first show, Danny P issued in a new system, while in the fourth show, Amy’s ending was initiated. While the first show was a lot of laughing and an ideal ending, the fourth show included a serious and thoughtful debate between the audience members themselves. It was interesting to see the audience members really take hold of the discussion and get down to the nitty gritty of the dialogue that we were trying to create.
In terms of small groups, it’s been really interesting to see how the members of the audience react to having to choose the least valuable job. I have had some groups that adamantly defend their jobs despite not being their own, and others who simply want to volunteer someone and not think about it. It’s been really cool facilitating between both types of groups and trying to open up discussion. I’ve even had many groups that start to open up about their own jobs and start discussing the value of what they actually do.
The production so far has been an extremely exciting, surprising, and fulfilling experience. The show has never once been the same performance–different endings, different discussions, and having different audience members, particularly, has provided us a fresh When We Grow Up each time. Our rehearsals and devising sessions have truly prepared us for the alternate universe we usher spect-actors into–allowing us to answer any question, respond to any suggestion, with relative ease. I love the agency we’ve been able to provide theatre goers; it’s been as much their show as ours, and it’s been great being able to interact with them. We’ve witnessed audience members out for blood, revolutionaries, logical discussions on value and the system we’ve placed them in, and overall an amazing amount of enthusiasm. There’s only a certain degree of preparation we as an ensemble can maintain for each show, the nature of the crowd-sourced beast, but this has provided us new challenges and opportunities every time the countdown clock atop Terrance’s gizmo descends from the hour mark.
So far we’ve had four shows. For me it was interesting to see the varied audience ‘personalities.’ Each one was very different. This was magnified in our small group sessions, too. So far all of my groups have been pretty different. It was also interesting that, though we predicted getting the default ending every time, it has only (kind of) happened once. I feel like the audience was definitely the missing ingredient. If I’ve learned anything it’s that they’re unpredictable, so it’s been an adjustment to have to roll with that, and then synthesize it.