On Friday, November 1, Vanderhoof was part of a special theatre event that has been touring the province and creating plays from the messages that corporations have put in our heads.
Corporations In Our Heads is a theatre event in British Columbia and Alberta that has no actors, play or script and is put on by Theatre for Living. It was held in the Friendship Centre and “joked” by David Diamond.
Diamond is the only face for this event that was designed to show the audience how many and to what extent corporations are sending unhealthy messages to our brains.
“I don’t hate corporations, I don’t think they’re evil that’s not what this is,” said Diamond on Friday. “Technically Theatre for Living is a corporation. But we have to agree that there are some messages that are unhealthy for us.”
Diamond is the Artistic and Managing Director for Theatre for Living.
Each night unfolds differently because the story is driven completely by the audience and helped along at times by Diamond.
It started out with three people who could think of examples of corporate messaging that affected a decision in their lives or gave them advice they knew was bad for them. Those people told their stories and then the audience picked whichever one most resonated with them.
Some of the stories were about body image and how media affects expectations and another story was about the decision to buy local or buy cheap.
After the audience voted they then had to create a scene from the memories and feelings contained inside the chosen story. So three more people were brought onto the stage who had to act out different corporate voices inside one individual’s head.
What this looked like was about four people or more on stage, yelling all at the same time while the audience laughed and looked on. But only a moment after the laughter stopped everyone was thinking about the messages and realizing that the scene was actually quite horrible.
In this way was the play acted out and brought to life for Vanderhoof. Diamond stressed at the beginning that nobody was going to be dragged onto the stage, that no one had to participate unwillingly, but he hoped that people would treat the theatre as a space of no judgements and openness.
After a while people did begin to open up and the play really got started.
Participants young and old joined in the act and brought to the audience a clearer idea of what corporate messages are and how to resist them.
The night was designed to show people how corporate messaging can affect their views of success, health, worthiness, intelligence, beauty, and community among many others.