The Democratic Field presented by: the Artists’ Literacies Institute

The Democratic Field presented by: the Artists’ Literacies Institute


  • February 2, 2020 at 2:30pm
  • CSPS Hall
  • $10 advance | $15 door

This piece is locally presented as a partnership with Legion Arts and Mirrorbox Theatre, in collaboration with the Verbatim Performance Lab and the Centre for Social Innovation.  
Sponsored in part by RAYGUN.

“The Democratic Field” is a theatrical ‘table read’, social research project, and civic intervention which leverages the ‘literacies’ and methods of actors to expose the role of implicit biases and subconscious perception in voter preferences.

Beginning with policy statements from 10 Democratic candidates on selected issues, actors from the Verbatim Performance Lab then table-read these policy statements using an ‘embodied verbatim’ method. The statements are randomized among the actors so that bodies, genders, and races are shuffled, and the audience (and actor alike) no longer know whose words they are speaking. Forced to listen carefully to the
words, and to gauge their reaction to the identities of the ‘candidate’, new awarenesses about perception and preference emerge in the listener that no form of polling or surveying can access.

Following the performance, the audience is polled for their voting preferences, to capture which of the candidates ‘won’. Then a facilitated discussion with the audience draws out perceptions, observations, preferences, and dislikes, before the true identities of the candidates is revealed.