Vancouverites Get the Chance to Explore the Corporations in our Heads

by | December 5, 2013
filed under Can-Con

Image of butterfly made out of a barcode symbolby Mallory Gallant

From Enbridge to lululemon to the Ajax Mine to Cover Girl. These are just some of the corporate brands that have been brought up and taken to the stage during Theatre for Living’s newest interactive theatre project Corporations in our Heads. Back in Vancouver from a B.C./Alberta Tour of 22 communities, this project examines how corporate messaging tells us what to buy, how to feel and who to aspire to be.

There is no play, no actors and no script. We are touring a process in which the whole evening of theatre comes from the audience each night. We focus on identifying the corporate messages in the consciousness of the community at each event and ask how these issues manifest in Canada and more importantly, within ourselves.

This is the context: Canadians who are organizing against oil pipelines have been labeled as enemies of the national interest. A series of community consultations took place across B.C. in which the corporation had rights that were at least equal to and in some cases greater than the people who live in affected communities. Our current federal government has pushed through two omnibus bills that not only erode the very core of democratic process in Canada, but compromise invaluable long-term environmental protection standards in order to secure trade agreements and short-term corporate profits. The Idle No More movement is a reaction against exactly this.

Our event, by the company formerly known as Headlines Theatre, starts by asking three audience members to share a story about a moment when a corporate message affected their decision making in an unhealthy way.

The audience chooses the story that resonates the most, then using interactive theatre techniques, David Diamond takes this moment to the stage with audience members giving life to the brand and its messaging. Audiences have been having a great time all over B.C. and Alberta as these moments and these stories are all about us – we find we have emotional connections to the brands and very intimate relationships with the messaging.

There are only four more events left in the Vancouver finale series to catch what the Vancouver Observer called a “cathartic and provocative” experience and what the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance called “theatre of the purest kind”. Suggested donation is $10 but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Participation is completely voluntary and no one is ever dragged up onto the stage.

Visit the Facebook event page for more information on how to reserve tickets for any of the remaining shows:


*All events start at 7:00 p.m. Doors at 6:30.

For more information about Theatre for Living (Headlines Theatre) please visit our website or give us a call at 604-871-0508.

(butterfly barcode artwork by Dafne Blanco)