De Kapel, Dutch for ‘The Chapel’, is a participatory theatre play in which the audience takes on the roles of different parties in a fictional rehabilitation centre.
This fictional rehabilitation centre is disguised as a pitoresque village within the canals of a fortified island. Antisocial members of society that are a burden to their neighbourhood get relocated there so they won’t be bothering anyone anymore. This is actually a political concept that is realised in at least several European countries.
The audience gets divided in three groups. One group takes on the part of patient, one group is the staff of the centre and the third group will play themselves and form the ‘external commission’.
It’s a special day for the patients and staff in The Chapel. Today an external commission is coming, consisting out of representatives of society. They will each observe one of the patients and advice the rest of the commision on the question if the patient is ready to leave the rehabilitation centre and return to society. It’s up to the patients to be on their best behaviour. The task of the staff is to ensure only the patients that are really finished with their treatment are let go. Some staff members might just have formed a bit too much of a personal and informal connection with their patients and aren’t ready to say goodbye just jet.
This location theatre play is a complex choreography of guiding three different groups that observe eachother, form opinions based on dossiers, fill out bureaucratic forms and make moral descisions at the end.
The groups of patiens and commission members are partly guided by immersive audio monologues that spin the story from a very personal perspective.
Made by ten students of the Utrecht School of Arts. I was resonsible for a large part of the interaction design and I did the visual design.