Taking place over the course of one hundred years, Recent Experiences recounts the story of four generations of a single family as they wind their way through the historical backdrop of the difficult 20th century. The audience sits around a large table alongside the performers. With everyone sitting around the same table the traditional hierarchy between the stage and the audience is diffused, thereby creating a common situation and providing a possible space for the intimacy of story telling. Recent Experiences is a performance in the form of a micro-epic. It examines a gradual change in thinking: from a worldview that saw ethics and morality as something to be derived from tradition, to an outlook that searches for meaning in the potential of the future. Each generation strives not to repeat the mistakes of their parents, as the minutiae and melodrama of everyday life weave and clash against the major turning points in the 20th century. These stories stir up a legacy of shared beliefs about happiness, love and the yearning for truth, and they wrestle with the moral, ethical and human dilemmas that evoke notions of responsibility, death, guilt, solitude and despair. Recent Experiences re-invents the 20th century as a family story. The only thing left to do is sit with us at the table and gently partake in the wonders of this humane and tender play.
International productions of play by other groups:
- 2003/2004: Stuttgart Stadt Theater, Germany
- 2003:Tehran Center for Dramatic Arts, Iran
Iranian production has since toured to a number of international locations.