FEEDBACK Stories from the streets

Local independent theatre company sandpaperplane are pushing the boundaries with a unique storytelling installation called FEEDBACK, presented as part of the Blue Room Theatre’s Summer Nights program at Fringe World 2018 from February 12 – 24.

Three ‘jukeboxes’ appear in the streets of Perth, inviting passers-by to listen to stories and secrets collected anonymously from members of the Perth community. It could be a memory of a first kiss or a last goodbye. Something that could have been said, or something that can’t be undone. All you need to do is press play.

FEEDBACK is the brainchild of sandpaperplane founders Jackson Used and Ben Thomas, who have previously collaborated on sandpaperplane productions Wake and Bake, 34,000 Forks, Fairybread and So You Think You’re Charlie Smith. This project marks a departure from the company’s previous scripted theatre works. With the involvement of audio engineer and creative Scott Jennings, the project is an exploration and investigation of the connection of people with place, presented in an unusual and engaging format.

The project collects stories anonymously from community members through an online submission process through sandpaperplane’s website. The stories are then recorded by voice artists, and placed onto one of three jukeboxes, which are set up in the streets of Perth. Each jukebox will contain numerous stories, and offer only one option – play. Audience members and passers-by are invited to press play and listen to one or two stories, or keep going until they’ve heard them all.

Each jukebox will be designed specifically to respond to the location in which it is placed. The company will be commissioning several designers to work on the jukeboxes, and give each one a unique artistic appearance.

“An important part of this project is its ability to provide a voice for members of the community who might not often get a chance to tell their stories,” explains Used. The project will focus on collecting stories and secrets from particular community minorities, such as the elderly, and the Indigenous community.

“We want to encourage participation from the Perth community, and build a unique and responsive experience for the people who live here,” states Thomas. “We believe that the ability to share stories is empowering for both the sharer and the listener.”

An exciting aspect of FEEDBACK is its guerilla-style presentation. The locations of the three jukeboxes are scattered around the Perth CBD and Northbridge. “People can engage with the project as much as they choose,” says Used. “They can find out each location and plan a visit to each jukebox, or maybe they’ll stumble upon one without even meaning to.”

“There’s an element of discovery in this project which is really exciting,” says Thomas.

FEEDBACK is being presented as part of the Blue Room Theatre’s Summer Nights program at Fringe World 2018. The jukeboxes will be in location between February 12 – 24. Submissions can be made until about 23 Jan. If you would like to get in touch, submit audio recordings and images anonymously, or have any questions, you can reach the producers at contact@sandpaperplane.com or through their website: https://sandpaperplane.com/feedback/.

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