BWW Blog: Having A Candid Conversation About The Body Through Devised Theatre by Seth Day
Whenever I have the bravery to venture into Times Square, I look around at the Advertisements bombarding me and I wonder to myself if this is really 2016. I find myself surrounded by depictions of thin, tall, and typically white models that all seem as though they came out of a cookie cutter mold. And one thing is blaringly obvious: none of these people look like me. In fact, none of these people look like anyone I know. It's astounding to me that in 2016 this is still a reality.
As someone who works with children, I see first hand just how early these advertisements and projections of what a body is 'supposed to' look like start to take root. I've had kids as young as five tell me that they're fat, ugly, need to go on a diet, or that they hate a particular part of their body. I find this exceptionally disturbing. Not to mention there are many kids who grow up never seeing themselves represented positively in the media or advertisements. Trans bodies, bodies with disabilities, and bodies of color are just a few examples of underrepresented populations. It's no wonder folks who identify with these groups might get the idea that their bodies aren't meeting society's standards. 2016, I think it's about time we had an honest, candid discussion about bodies. Enter Reconfigured.
Reconfigured is a devised theatre piece developed by Honest Accomplice Theatre to facilitate open discussion about the body. A diverse group of about 30 women and transgender folks of varying identities came together and candidly discussed topics related to the body. The final product, scheduled to premiere in January, is an honest, authentic piece of theatre developed from a multitude of experiences. This piece of theatre is unique in both the content and the purpose. This is not a show you watch in silence and then walk out of the theatre; this is a show where the audience is encouraged and challenged to think about these topics and how they impact their lives. The show explores topics such as transgender bodies, menopause, menstruation, aging, and many other topics that often go unspoken about. All of Honest Accomplice Theatre's works explore topics that are typically seen as taboo. My hope as a member of the ensemble is that Reconfigured can facilitate discussion that can lead to critical thinking and eventually, change.