Viewers at Ant Hampton’s THE EXTRA PEOPLE are asked to wear a fluorescent vest holding an iPod connected to earbuds. iPods are individually coded with a set of instructions. .There is a feeling of discomfort that one must release oneself from to follow what might be considered “silly” instructions. One must trust that one is in a safe, non-judgmental environment in order to comfortably do things like sit quietly, alone, in the dark . . . and then suddenly, for example, follow directions to close your eyes and flail your arms wildly as though bees or mosquitoes are attacking your head.
You must give into the moment, and be comfortable with not being in control of the moment. You must participate rather than passively observing. You must be okay with not getting to experience or observe all portions of the play you are in . . . because you are actively participating. During the introduction to the play we watch players (i.e. the previous audience group) on the stage. Am I doing it right? Am I messing this up? THE EXTRA PEOPLE is a commentary on technology, as well as a platform for cultural and philosophic questions: How do we react to things that are out of our control? How do we react to being asked to do random tasks in public? What is real?
[The Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad Street] September 17-18, 2015; fringearts.com/event/the-extra-people.