There is a growing movement in contemporary theatre where creators interview others in their community and then turn the text into a script for a play. Some call this verbatim theatre, others documentary theatre or interview theatre. When this form of theatre works well, these plays create a connection with the audience based on shared common experience.
KISMET: one to one hundred by The Chop theatre company is part of this movement. It is a fun and interactive piece that shares the thoughts of one hundred Canadians aged 1-100 about fate and destiny. In the process many other themes are explored, such as, death, love, and the importance of family. Not surprisingly given the subject matter, it is an easy script to relate to and one with an optimistic message.
The creators have chosen to use a combination of video, audio and live performances to tell their story (some of which works better than others.) In particular, the audio and live performance were more effective than the video due to the small size of the screens.
The set design is simple and clever–100 Canadians are represented by white Styrofoam balls on a black grid. The actors manipulate these at various points during the performance in interesting ways that tie in with the dialogue. It’s quite effective.
Overall the piece succeeds because of the charisma of the three main performers (Emelia Symington Fedy, Daryl King, Hazel Venzon). All three deliver high energy performances that kept me engaged.
KISMET: one to one hundred is a “feel good play” with lot’s of audience interaction, while at times it can become a little overly earnest, ultimately KISMET succeeds because of the energy of the performers and the authenticity of their script.
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