Theater Review The joint work of artists and citizens on the fringes of Europe focuses on the illusions that affect our choices unnoticed

The biased performance features loaded features such as splitting the audience in half and a wall between the auditoriums.

Biased. Premiere at the Northern Lights Hall of the Espoo City Theater on 12 May. Concept and design Tellervo Kalleinen, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Ami Karvonen and working group.

I just read before the Espoo City Theater Biasedpublished by the Belgian NTGent Theater Why Theater? (Why Theater?). It tells more than a hundred theater makers around the world why they make theater in a world that burns, where war is fought, and which is rocking on the brink of climate catastrophe. The Espoo City Theater felt strong in answering the same question Biasedin.

It is often theater that is accused of merely reinforcing a particular group’s view of itself rather than causing change. In Biased this argument is taken seriously.

The work, created in collaboration between artists and citizens on the fringes of Europe, focuses on the heresies that make our choices unnoticed.

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Biased is not a mere presentation but rather a kind of meeting place where one can become aware of one’s skew of thought.

The audience is allowed to choose whether to go to the auditorium A or B. After Sn, the audience votes on various issues and its attentiveness is tested. Presenter of our auditorium Niina Sillanpää and the presenter of the A-auditorium Yasmin Ahsanullahto which we are connected by means of a camera, tell us what kind of misconceptions our thoughts may involve.

Thought distortions speak, among other things, of favoring the familiar, reinforcing one’s own prejudices, and emphasizing a certain kind of beginning and end in our thinking. Between the A and B auditoriums rises a wall built of boxes named after various delusions, which eventually collapses.

I am not familiar with the international actors in the Centriphery project (Croatian Matija KezeleFrench Fred Nevche) history, but Tellervo Kalleisen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleisen among the most well-known works that have activated the audience in various ways Choir of Appeal (2005), in which people were allowed to sing their own complaints as part of a work of art.

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Ami Karvonen in turn, it is known especially for sensitive contemporary theatrical works that redefine the human body. Niina Sillanpää has a strong clown background and Yasmin Ahsanullah is known from the TV series, among others Freight. Many of them are at the center of the art of finding some yet unfocused sense of interaction.

Biased book the touch is light, precise and determined. The show smuggles the cat to the table, and also makes it very appealing. It would be difficult to come up with a better guide than Sillanpää, who subtly utilizes his clowning skills. Top-down teaching shines with its absence. At the end, the audience is invited to a stage where they get to test their thoughts in groups of five.

After that, the protocol reveals the delusions of thought and the things revealed about the selectivity of the human mind revealed by the famous gorilla test. The DJ and bar provide an opportunity to be present, but despite their relaxation, the piece also plays with great threats.

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Dividing the audience in half, the wall between the stands, the polls, the attention contests, and finally a game where we guess at each other’s backgrounds things sound quite loaded. They even have the potential for disaster.

Needless to mention propaganda or the world situation to understand the dangers and multiplier effects of biases.

In Biased flows like a serious undertone. And, as with many of the performances I have experienced this spring, this one also seeks to answer the question: Why theater? Turning the shades of human presence into art is enough of an answer for me.

On stage Yasmin Ahsanullah, Niina Sillanpää, Matija Kezele, lighting and space design Milla Martikainen. Sound design by Grégory Maisse, music by Fred Nevché, costume by Emma Taivainen.

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