Staged Authenticity

A couple of initial thoughts to stew

In 1999, I lived on a tall ship. It was called the Amara Zee.

I was working aboard the Caravan Stage Barge.

Caravan - from the old Caravan Theatre Company whose theatre performances toured North American powered by horse drawn carriages.

Stage Barge - A replica of a Thames river sailing barge. 90’ long 22 in the beam. Powered by twin Perkins diesel engines. We had sails. Never used them. They were pretty though.

We were performing in towns founded on the refining of the flesh of glorious sea mammals for lamps. Lamps that likely resulted in Dickens. Which resulted in really bad AM Dram productions of A Christmas Carroll.

Given these facts that these towns were responsible for some terrifying horrors. And also, whaling? Whaling sucks.

But, people like us do things like this - we were there to poke the bear.

You see, we weren’t a charming bunch of French Canadians, all tights wearing and spinning from ropes.

We were doing a play based on “A Whale For the Killing” by Farley Mowat. This is the book that kicked off the save the whale movement. This was the story of how the come from aways destroyed their town.

We were the come from aways, only this time we were there rubbing what seemed to be salt into forgotten wounds.

The point of this is thus, when it comes to Staged Authenticity, always remember what Farley said: Never let the facts interfere with the truth.

I love the words ‘stage’ and ‘staging’. First and foremost, in theatre, the ‘stage’ is where the story is told. The ‘stage’ is where the performance happens. When a play is produced, it is ‘staged’. In that sense, something ‘staged’ is brought to life and shared. Staged authenticity is a place where a story is told, a performance happens, we’re brought to life and able to connect with each other.

Beyond the theatre, staging is a kind of support that we see all of the time. You’ll especially see it in growing cities. Buildings under construction are surrounded by staging all of the time. This staging is support for growth. Stages are also phases, things we need to pass through as well. As such Staged Authenticity is an acknowledgement that we can grow more authentic with each other through support. And we have to go through stages, aspects, masks and facets of being authentic.

I’ll talk a bit more about mask, role and authenticity soon.


Onederful Thing

Tell people that today is the international day of simon says

Tell them that you are legally changing your name to simon.

Tell them to do stuff. When they don’t listen to you tell them that you didn’t say ‘simon says’ and reluctantly inform them that they are now out of the game.

When you find anyone to play, eventually pass the leadership by saying: ‘simon says your name is now simon’

Feel the adrenaline from letting go of absolute power.