Lighting Designer Karyn D. Lawrence and Literary Manager Andy Knight during an Inside the Season for Vanya and Sonja and Masha and Spike.
H. Adam Harris
Exciting new additions have been added to South Coast Repertory’s line-up of pre- and post-show engagement opportunities. In 2019, we introduced Director/Designer Conversations to the lineup of popular Actor Talks and Inside the Season. And now, there are three more opportunities for audiences to engage with the artists, the work onstage and theatre itself.
We sat down with H. Adam Harris, SCR’s Artistic/Audience Engagement Associate, to learn more about the new offerings—Performance Perspectives, The Deep Dive and Playwright/Dramaturg Conversations.
First, tell us about the inspiration behind the expansion of engagement offerings?
H. Adam Harris: We hope that each of these opportunities allows the audience to engage deeply with the work in a variety of ways. Each post-show opportunity is meant to provide a gathering place for conversation, creativity and connection. Artistic Director David Ivers is really interested in activating our lobbies and theatres as places for communal gathering. Places where we don’t just bear witness, but interact with the play, and more importantly, with each other!
What kinds of topics can we expect at Performance Perspectives?
H.A.H.: Performance Perspectives conversations will be based on different themes or ideas relevant to each play. Since our plays cover a range of ideas, the perspectives will as well. With A Shot Rang Out, I’m really interested in discussing the impact of this pandemic on our sense of wellness and self-care. What I Learned in Paris is a perfect play to engage with the intersectionality of feminism and Blackness. And Tiger Style! is set right here
in Orange County! What else can we learn about the Chinese-American experience right outside these doors?
The Deep Dive encourages active participation and sharing from the audience. What do we want theatregoers, especially those who may be hesitant to share their opinions, to know about this experience?
H.A.H.: In education we talk about a circular feedback loop between teacher and students. And believe it or not, that also happens in the theatre! With The Deep Dive, we want to open up the space to the audience’s opinions and thoughts, negative or positive. Think of it like a really robust book club; the author isn’t normally there, so you feel free to speak candidly. That’s the same energy we are bringing to The Deep Dive—no creatives, just you and other audience members.
And finally, for those interested in how plays get written, what would you like to share about Playwright/Dramaturg Conversations?
H.A.H.: The telling of stories is one of our oldest crafts. And our playwrights and dramaturgs have worked hard to understand what makes a story work. These conversations will focus on the process of playwriting and developing new work. Participants will love the ability to quiz these master storytellers on the craft and each specific play.
Learn more, including the entire schedule of upcoming engagement opportunities.