A nicer place to be.
We use theatre to help improve the way people relate to each other.
Over the past twenty years TakeAway Theatre has produced unique learning experiences for multinational and corporate clients, for factories and mines, NGOs, community organizations, universities and schools across Southern Africa.
We’ve performed in boardrooms, auditoriums, community centres, canteens and under trees, in shopping malls and courtyards, open plan offices, meeting rooms and on the street and sidewalk, in taxi ranks and train stations, in oil refinery control rooms, even on board a ship, delivered by helicopter.
But the workplace isn’t a theatre.
And yet, that’s what makes live performance so effective here – a sense of beguiling contradiction, a clash of codes and modes, active versus passive, work and pleasure, truth and dare.
Live theatre is unique and demands attention.
How do people feel?
Exhausted? Indifferent? Overwhelmed? Undervalued? Trusted?
How we meet our audience is critical. We start with acknowledgment, a kind of deep listening. Respect helps build trust. We can then make bold choices and encourage moments of truth, those catalysts of change. And because of this, suddenly, people are transported. They feel connected. They feel safe. They want to play!
We witness people open up.
People become human to each other again, not mere job descriptions. Colleagues see each other smile or laugh together, sometimes for the very first time. The world of work takes on new meaning. The information exchanged between us feels good and is valued.
The subject matters.
Our live shows, films, multimedia campaigns and interactive workshops are about things that matter, things that require understanding and insight. (See ‘About Us‘ for some examples.) These are generally the more tricky issues, like:
- organisational development and change
- wellness, disability and chronic disease management
- supply chain, procurement and fraud
- substance abuse
- performance management conversations
- emotional intelligence for leaders and team
Paying attention to the details.
We’ve taken on some extremely technical subjects. Sometimes we have so much insider knowledge that we meet awestruck people from the audience who ask what department we work in…
Other organisations, we’ve helped celebrate their milestones, telling stories in compelling ways as inspiration for their future journey. This galvanizes working communities with a sense of common purpose. People feel seen, and feel that they belong.
Telling people what to think only breeds resentment. The forms of resistance we sometimes see – being late, for example, or folding arms, shows that participation – precious attention – is conditional. Resistance is valuable and inevitable.
We’re thus always on the side of the audience, finding ways to connect with their experience. We’ve learnt how much it means to acknowledge people’s challenges and to provide a space to speak their truth. This is our responsibility, the thing that earns us a chance to perform or interact in a powerful way.
Enabling people to see each other with fresh eyes – suspending judgement, building acknowledgement and trust and opening up to new opportunities, shifting understanding to change behaviour – that’s our privilege and our responsibility, and the pleasure we create when working with you.