Introversion 101 Review
ATYP’s reviewing program was created to give young people a platform to voice their opinions and experiences while developing skills in critical reflection. The views expressed are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of ATYP or its staff.
The performing arts are a naturally extroverted sphere, so how do we communicate the introverted experience to audiences? How can we explain the capability of introverts to perform, lead and live fulfilling lives despite their preference for peace and quiet? SHLT’s production of Introversion 101 as part of the Anywhere Festival aims to provide a crash course in introversion to explain the prejudices introverts face in our ‘personality preferring world’.
While I did learn a lot about the brain chemistry of introverts and the ways they are perceived by the world, the ‘classes’ within the piece were performed and structured in a way that catered only to the extroverts in the audience. It would have been more effective to meet audiences within an introverted space, playing on the known hesitancy for introverts to observe rather than interact would have made a statement on how theatre can be inclusive of people who aren’t outgoing. It does seem painfully ironic that a play about being introvert-inclusive would rely so heavily on audience participation, which everyone knows is an introvert’s worst nightmare.
But maybe this was satire, having both actors speak and act in such a way that was overly extroverted and almost stilted. The sarcasm of both actors as they seemed to grit their teeth through the confidence was hilarious, and there were moments in the production that had been scripted in a way that allowed the audience to make their own jokes. With some more development to make the satire a deliberate choice, the piece would have been something special. However, I felt a little underwhelmed by the piece, as I had hoped it would have been more empathetic to the people in the audience who really did not want to volunteer for audience interaction.
Eleanor, 19 [she/her]
Introversion 101 presented by SHLT Theatre and Anywhere Festival played at The Paint Factory until the 20th May.