You Are Here- Graduate Thesis, Tracy Ross

You Are Here is a performance and community engagement model that combines theatre, intervention, storytelling, and community building. The project had two phases, titled You are Here: Encounters (YAH 1) and You Are Here (YAH 2). For each of these events, I created a context that promoted an immersive imaginative space for the participants to co-create, interact and dialogue. Participants had the opportunity to develop relationship, explore connection, and engage in community building through performance art.

YAH 1 was an encounter shared by two strangers, on a bench, on a trail, in nature.  The encounter itself was guided by a series of prompts that provided structure and direction.  The prompts were presented in several formats, including interviews, social games, shared tasks and challenges. The prompts led two participants in generating poetic material which, after the closing of the bench encounter, I then collected and translated into a performance (YAH 2).

YAH 2 was a forty-seven-minute performance constructed from the encounters of YAH 1.  The show was performed by three actors and took place in an intimate gallery space on the UBCO Campus (FINA Gallery).

My current research focuses on facilitating participatory and transformative theatre experiences that involve embodied co-creation. I am exploring how I, as an interdisciplinary artist, can construct performative encounters that interrupt the habits of being and mechanization of modern life, and call people into presence and connection. I question how I can develop experiential contexts that simultaneously enrich our relationship to ourselves, to each other, and to our environment.