Museum objects and exhibitions have the potential to tell powerful stories, but sometimes a singular narrative predominates and other voices and points of view get left behind in the need to transmit information that supports the thesis and structure of the exhibition. Sometimes too, museum insiders overlook important perspectives that would enrich the exhibit by representing a more diverse audience. Theatre performances can provide unexpected ways to bring the emotional punch of a really important story directly to audiences, adding perspectives that too often go overlooked.
As part of a larger series of performances designed to explore museum practices and patron experience, Bated Breath Theatre Company created a fifteen-minute play that started as a deconstruction of its process of creating the piece Freedom: In 3 Acts for a museum exhibition called Emancipation! in collaboration with The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, but quickly became an exploration of how museums present African-American history and give voice (or not) to underrepresented points of view in our nation’s struggle for Civil Rights.
The piece was performed as part of the keynote speech at the 2016 New England Museum Association Conference in November 2016.
Inspired by their play Freedom: In 3 Acts, further academic research, and developed from the points of view of the actors, Bated Breath uses their award-winning techniques of physical theatre, non-traditional performance techniques, and basic good storytelling to demonstrate how theatre can be a powerful agent for telling museum stories and effecting social change.
If you're interested in bringing Freedom Deconstructed to your museum contact firstname.lastname@example.org