An experimental piece of ensemble-based theatre, The Silents traverses the stories of three people at a crossroads, exploring the power of internal fantasies and the price of forging your own path. Through their interlocking narratives, audiences traverse a path blending past and present, reality and fantasy, comedy and imminent tragedy. Central to the development of this work was the process of listening to and gathering stories from an array of community members, including persons from Cooltan Arts (a day center whose participants have experience of mental illness), family members of persons with psychosis and and delete and a team of psychologists from Newcastle to London. An online component allowed people to contribute their voices and experiences to the process.
In both content and form, this piece experiments with presence and absence. In process it also explores translations through multiple types of communication. With an illustrator present in devising workshops, sections of the performance text were “written” in image, only later to be translated into performance material. Other portions of the performance content were developed through workshops in which the performers were not present. Working with a team of psychologists and individuals suffering from psychosis, other source material was developed independent from the studio work. The material from these workshops was also introduced as performance text to be translated by actors.