Interactive play deals with social issues

PORT TOWNSEND — The Mandala Center for Change in Port Townsend believes theater can transform society for the better. The multidisciplinary arts organization, located at 1338 Jefferson St., will host a free public forum theater performance today at 7 p.m. aimed at just that.

Although the performance is free, the center welcomes donations to benefit the Boiler Room, a nonprofit coffeehouse and creative space.

“Waging Peace, Designing Justice” allows audience members to choose from several pre-scripted short plays depicting social issues.

Past years’ shows have explored issues surrounding racism, sexism, homophobia, globalization, education, health care, disability, war and the environment.

The 22nd annual performance invites people to consider these issues through live scenarios.

An international cast of 40 actors spanning Nepal, Singapore, Vietnam and South Africa will perform the scenario a second time, at which point the audience stops the action.

Then, they improvise solutions to the problem at hand.

“It can literally be a rehearsal for the future in which audience ‘spect-actors’ take action towards creating the kind of world they want,” director Marc Weinblatt said in a press release.

“This unique approach to theater as community dialogue can be playful, intense, hilarious, deeply moving and enlightening.”

For more information, email info@mandalafor or call 360-344-3435.

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